Funny how after I write a post about procrastinating I don’t write another post again until almost a week later! But it has been a busy couple of days around here. My test on Wednesday was a little rough but I think in the end we all came out alright. The rest of my week consisted of clinic and class with some homework on the side. Clinic was interesting as usual though I did spend some time thinking about whether or not I am really cut out for the pediatric acute care environment. Though I love the fast pace, the medical setting, and the diversity of patients seen on a day to day basis, it is hard to see these patients at their very worst, only to have them discharged three days later and move on to a rehabilitation hospital. Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely wonderful every time a patient is discharged because it means that the focus has shifted away from the life and death concerns to getting the patient back into school, work, and their regular daily activities. I find it challenging though, to say goodbye to these individuals and never know how they fare in life and whether or not they are ever able to fully recover.
About a year ago when I was making my decision about where to go for graduate school a good friend told me he thought I would be great at my job but that my biggest challenge would be getting too close to my clients and not being able to separate myself from their struggles. In the pediatric acute care I see myself doing just that - thinking and worrying about the patients for the rest of the night, long after I have come home and taken off my fancy new scrubs. Though I am sure that this inability to detach myself is exaggerated, being that this is my first experience with this sort of thing, I think if I were to spend my entire career working with trauma patients in the acute care setting I may be emotionally exhausted ALL the time.
So I have been thinking more and more about working in a pediatric rehab hospital. This is where the patients come after leaving the acute setting, and it is where they make their greatest strides toward recovery. It is also the place where the patient and family’s relationship with the speech-language pathologist is crucial. So perhaps this is where my need to work with, relate, and attach to people could be an asset rather than a hindrance. Such heavy thoughts for a Friday night…so now I am heading out for the night! Happy Weekend J