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On leaving

I sat down to blog about a day volunteering with students…but then, being the multi-tasker that I am, I checked my work email and discovered this from a student:

   I wanted to wait until my psych grade was finalized and everything so this wouldn’t sound like brown nosing! I want to tell you how grateful I am to have had you as an instructor. Although I am not specializing in psych nursing, the content you taught reaches into every aspect of nursing. Even working as a CNA, I hear your voice when I am with a patient telling me to give them a little of my time and telling me to use my ‘therapeutic communication’ :). I am now less judgemental and more patient with not only patients but just people in general. You have also inspired me to find something I love and specialize in it, like you have done with psych. So, I just wanted to thank you for all your hardwork in teaching and also with Project Homeless and Project Motlow. You have reminded us that nursing isn’t just skills and patho, but it is also caring and empathizing.

Thanks again:)

This is so poignant right now. I don’t think I have the words to express the emotions that I am experiencing at this moment. I feel a lot of joy to know that I have touched someone’s professional practice and personal life in this way. This is exactly why I am a teacher. My own psych instructors laughed at the patients as if they were some kind of freaks. There was this separation of “us” and “them”. My own practice and personal journey, luckily, has taught me how very very wrong this approach is, and how it doesn’t help the patient to get better and it also harms me because it is not living up to my potential as a caring human person and it separates me from wonderful people who walk this journey of life alongside me, not underneath me. My aim as a teacher is to impact the student perception of the people they encounter; to get them to be aware of judgments and not allow those judgments to affect our beautiful potential for meaningful human interaction. Very much of my philosophy comes from various nursing theories, predominantly Jean Watson’s Caring Science, and the rest comes from my personal experience with phenomenal human beings that society and even themselves have labeled as “bad”, “no good”, “worthless”.

I am also feeling a good bit of sadness…and maybe  not quite regret or doubt, but definitely some inner conflict. Yesterday I accepted a new job. As of April 27th I will no longer be a teacher. I am moving into a managerial/supervisiory type position – officially “Administrative Coordinator”. I have made this move almost 100% for financial reasons. The finances are a HUGE factor and the difference in salaries is remarkable. I have been focusing on my excitement about NOT having more days left at the end of the month than money in the bank and trying to ignore the fact that I am leaving something that I love doing. And apparently I am leaving something that I am good at.

I may have more words on that later. I definitely need to drudge up some words for this volunteer experience because I have to do a write up for, well publicity. And of course when I HAVE to write something, I start to feel stuck.

More words soon.


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