Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger?

So, last night in CPE group my verbatim got completely shredded and I got to see that I had in fact been waaay directive with a patient in a way that I hate to look at. And got to see that based on extremely DIRECT feedback. Have you ever felt overwhelmed by two entirely separate processes, so overwhelmed that you can't speak? That's me:

Process 1: I heard the worst and I survived.
Process 2: God, this is really, REALLY awful.

Last night I had to stay with process 1 in order to get the information being offered. For the rest of the night and now this morning, I'm stuck in process 2. This really, really hurts, to see that I would 'take over' for the patient in this way. It contradicts a value at the core of my understanding of pastoral care. And now I don't trust myself even one whit. Feels like being run over by a semi. AND, this afternoon, I am to be observed by my clinical supervisor, a man whose personal style is on a different planet from mine.

On the other hand, there is one more piece of info: the patient survived, and was even seemingly pretty happy with the encounter, awful though it was.

Any extra prayers, send 'em my way. Or maybe the patients' way!!!



Blogger Sue said...

Oh this ever bringing back some memories of CPE. I feel for you and I'm praying for you. Just remember that this too will pass (which sort of equates CPE with passing a kidney stone -- not a bad analogy really), and remember that you are a beloved child of God.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Also you might think on this: my verbatim experiences (through two units of CPE) show that the way I remember/write about encounters and the way patients remember them are often two different stories. (Don't think right now about how this can work both ways.) Sometimes my take on a conversation was much worse than how it actually happened...and I suspect that it might be the same for others. Really, it will end one day and you will look back fondly on the things you learned, though maybe not the process of learning them. I'll even do the thing you're NEVER supposed to do in chaplaincy: I promise.

2:52 PM  

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