Practicum in Penticton

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Congratulations to Nicole who graduated from the Psychiatric Nursing Program! We thank her for her hard work on the blog and wish her the best of luck in her new career. Questions and comments will now be disabled. Please watch out for a new Psychiatric Nursing Student Blogger in the near future!

Hi All,
 
Fifth semester practicum is well underway and propels me yet another step closer to becoming a RPN! It is amazing to think that after this practicum, I am only a few months away from graduation. While school takes up a great amount of time, I am still fitting work into my hectic schedule. Between my job at the hospital and my practicum there as well, I am putting in 50 + hours a week at Penticton Regional, with homework on top of that! Having said that, I want to stress how important time management is! Know what to prioritize and remember that your body – and mind! – can only handle so much. With this in mind, I am beginning to decrease my hours working at my job in the hospital. School is my main priority, and to continue being a successful student, I have to know where my energy is most needed! 
 
I began my practicum on the IPU (inpatient unit) at PRH, and am slowly branching out into the community. I am up to a 4 patient load on the IPU, which is great, as I have been able to get a good sense of my nursing abilities. Medication administration, patient assessments, interviews, and learning how to deal with situations quickly and effectively is all part of the IPU experience. While I love the inpatient setting, I am also interested in community work, which is what this psychosocial rehabilitation semester is really all about. I recently worked one evening at Braemore Lodge in Penticton, which is a psychosocial rehabilitation facility. It was interesting to have this off-ward experience; to see how the residents are able to come and go, and to help them with goal-setting to get them back into the community in the most functional way possible. My next stop is to spend a day shadowing a geriatric psychiatrist and working with Mental Health Emergency Services staff. I am so grateful for all of these experiences – what fantastic ways to explore mental health in my community!
 
In the practicum setting, it is important to remember our role as students; we are there to learn and be directed by those with knowledge and experience in the field. But being a student doesn’t mean we stand in the shadows; we are also there to prove to ourselves and the staff we are working with our competency and dedication to Psychiatric Nursing. I think of practicum as going in for a job interview; we might be students now, but we won’t be forever! Making a good impression and demonstrating our abilities is so important. Who knows… I could end up working in any of the places in which I’ve had a practicum experience! Bringing your A-game for practicum is key!
 
I will have more updates about my practicum and courses in the next blog. Any questions and comments as usual are appreciated!

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