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NAMI Provider class May 20, 2006

Posted by danucube in Mental Health, Volunteer.
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Next week is the first NAMI Provider class that I am part of the team teaching. We have a team of 5 instructors, very interesting. We'll be teaching social workers, nurses, clerks, … first line folds about special aspect of serious mental illness; things that they do not learn in school. Excited with this opportunity also as it will help me with nursing.


NAMI Provider Training February 5, 2006

Posted by danucube in Mental Health, Nursing, Prenursing, Volunteer.
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Just came back from a 4 day NAMI Provider Training. Learned a LOT. I think it will affect me positively if I go into psych nursing somedays. Even if I don't go into psych nursing, I think it will be beneficial as a nurse.

Some of the things I learned that is sticking in my minds right now are:

  • Teach by modeling.
  • See if you can change "heart" instead of changing "minds"
  • The importance of the patient's family. The importance of working collabaratively with the patient and his/her family.
  • The importance of dependency->independency->interdependency. Notice the final stage is NOT independency but interdependency.
  • Teach by stories, especially personal stories.

There were many more points, it will take me a while to absorb them all. Also I was happy to meet a few nurses in the class also and I got to pick their brains.

I had a great time as consumers, family members, and providers all learn to work together in this class as a team, to share together our burdens, to share our common goals together. It was a great enviorment as there were no "us" or "them" as we learn to teach together and eat together and share our stories with each other.

Sad January 27, 2006

Posted by danucube in chaplaincy, Providence.
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Today I was in a chaplaincy “retreat” for about 1/2 day. We met at a beautiful place up in the mountains. We could see the fog gently rolled in. Lots of tress and the crystal clear water drops hanging of tree branches reflecting the sun was very beautiful.

However, I also found out one of the patient died. I only visited her twice a while back last year. She was on a floor where people are usually paralyze in one way or another. I’ve heard she left the hospital and was doing well… and then all of a sudden she died. I felt sad as I remembered praying for her and her faithful family many times. She was one of those patients you don’t forget easily. I only visited her briefly but to this day I still remember her joyful smile. The smile is a huge contrast to the physical conditio she was in. It was a very uplifting and infectious smile. A smile I’ve brought with me to other patients I visited later. A smile that was a blessing to me and to the patients I visited. I was privileged to meet her and her family for a brief moment, a brief moment in a very difficult situation. Guess I’ll get to know her and her family more in eternity and I will see Christ’s joy and smile in her face again.

Spiritual Care in Hospice October 30, 2005

Posted by danucube in Nursing, Palliative, Prenursing, Volunteer.
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I attended a 1/2 day training yesterday as a Spiritual Care Companion with a local hospice that I do some volunteer work once in a while.  It was informative.  Did learn one compact definition of spirituality (there are so many different ones) which I like.  It is define as “the expression/experience of the divine”.  I think this is a decent definition for faith traditions that have some kind of divine.  The definition do not of course apply to those faith tradition really do not have a concept of the “divine”.  Need to take some time to go over some of the readings.

I was going to just get some training and not going to sign up.  But I changed my mind at the end of the class since I notice I am the only “Christian” there.  This is the first such class and we are the first volunteers in this area.  By joining, I would play a part in making the Spiritual Care volunteer team more complete as we need people from all faiths and spirituality. 

1st Behavior Health Patient as a Chaplian Volunteer January 31, 2005

Posted by danucube in chaplaincy, Volunteer.
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Today I was given a chance to be with a behavioral health patient who has bipolar. Caught her in a good mood and we talked quite a bit like an hour.

The patient's husband is very supportive. What helps her in some case is Budhism meditation techniques and some Yoga techniques. She does have a Christian background. What she indicated was that she is struggling with God. She also feel like she is losing her "self". She wants to get back in "touch" with God. I caught her in a good mood as I mentioned because she would smile and have a sense of humor. She also felt "isolated". Here is basically what happened:

* We explore Budhism a little bit but it turned out she wants to talk ahout more in terms of a personal God more in line in the Jewish/Chrisitan tradition

* We did pray. We listed out more than 5 items on my pad. We pray for those items. I let her keep the list.

* I asked her if she wants to hear Psalm 25 (the part abhout being alone or lonely). She gave me the ok. I read part of it but she didn't like it. So I stopped.

* I got her feedback, she did not like that part of the psalm but she like the prayers we did.

* She ask me to come back in two days. If they are changes, she'll contact hospital chaplian to let me know.

So over all it went well except I made one mistake in picking Psalm 25. In retrospect, she was happy and I picked a depressing Psalm. I was not thinking since she mentioned being "isolating" and I know Psalm 25 mentioned being lonely but I totally was not aware the tone of the Psalm mismatched her mood. So what I learn is to match the Psalm to the mood.

Hope she continues to recovery and I'll do better when I see her again (assuming she does not change her mind). I'll pray for her tonight and the next few days.

Library offer December 28, 2004

Posted by danucube in library, Providence.
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Well today I was doing some health library volunteer work and the medical librarian from downstairs came up to see me. She asked me if I am interested in becomming sort of a part time worker or something for the all the different local medical libraries in the network. She and her former boss were impressed at my work. I suggested that I can probably work around summer and I can just applied. It is a interesting turn of event.

We will see what happened.

Psych Nursing, EMT, Police December 19, 2004

Posted by danucube in chaplaincy, Nursing, Prenursing, Providence, Volunteer.
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Just read a short article on how in one of the cities in Canada, they have a speical police car which has a psych nurse in it. The psych nurse work with police in dealing with people who have a serious mental illness.

That is interesting since I also volunteer with the local police department. Wonder if this will play a part in my future if God does lead me into psych nursing…

Found out from another nurse where in her local town, she was asked to take the EMT certification so that she can ride along with the local fire department (I think, not sure). They are looking for psych nurses who has an EMT certification to help.

The local Jr college that I go to has a EMT certification program, it takes 3 quarters to finish. I wonder if I will have the time to do it. I might… start next quarter and finish by the end of the year which will be just before nursing school…

Talked to an old pastor today who brought communion to my mom faithfully when she was really sick. We were talking about how God leads. He told me how God lead him which is very interesting since he is multitalented. Basically his advice is to get all my basic down real good (like finishing nursing school with good grades) and just watch and see where God leads. So I am going to take one step at a time and see what kind of people will God bring into my life and what kind of opportunities will God open up.

We will see…

Psych Unit December 19, 2004

Posted by danucube in chaplaincy, Providence, Volunteer.
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Well, we have a breakthrough of some sort. I may be the first chaplian volunteer to go into the psych unit on a consistent basis (there are others but they do communion only).

The first meeting we had, the nursing manager was out sick. Really sick. It looked like it was going to fall through. But we had a meeting with a social worker, her officemate, and the charge nurse on that particular shift. The social worker's eye sort of lit up when she found out I also teaches the 12 weeks NAMI Family to Family class (serious mental illness class for families who have love ones who suffers from a serious mental illness). The meeting seemed to go well. I was invited to a group meeting for families a few days later.

The family group meeting was very small. Only one mother came. But it went well. I was wearing two hats as I was representing the hospital chapliancy and NAMI at the same time. We actually did talk about spiritual aspects of the illness. Anyway, it seemed to work pretty good as the social worker represent the professional point of view and I represent the lay point of view which gave it a somewhat personal touch as I can identify with the family on a personal level given my experience and training. The social worker is very nice and very good and I hope I can work with her more, just to learn.

The social worker also invited me back a week later to work with her which is nice.

I also talked with the mother for over 1/2 an hour after the meeting and she seemed encouraged after our unofficial meeting after the official meeting.

2nd midterm, chapliancy, … etc November 14, 2004

Posted by danucube in chaplaincy, Nursing, Prenursing, Providence, Volunteer.
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Well, I got my scores back from the second lecture and lab midterm in A&P. Did good. Got 100% on each one. Actually I missed a few on each of the midterms, but the extra credit I did made up the questions I missed.

I am looking now as to what to take for next quarter. Looks like I'll try to get into the second quarter of A&P and microbiology. Micro has a 6 hours lab instead on your standard 3 hours lab. The quater comming up is going to be the hardest prenursing quarter I will have.

It looks like God is slowing getting me into the rhythm of studying again as each quater, starting Spring quarter this year, is getting progressively harder.

As with the Chapliancy volutneering, I did two rounds all by myself so far. It looks like I don't do that many patients as compare to other volunteers. That is because in both cases, I ended up listening to one of the patient for 45 minutes to an hour. One was actually the patient's family member who just poured her heart out. Another one is the patient and I just sat with her and discuss all kinds of things from Budhism to Christianity to the relationship between arts and theology.

Well, have to prepare for the lab finals, lecture finals in A&P plus a group presentation and and final presentation in Communication.

Assualtive Behavior, Chapliancy Training, Tests… October 15, 2004

Posted by danucube in chaplaincy, Nursing, Prenursing, self-defense, Volunteer.
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It has been a busy week…

First the good news, I finished the first big Anatomy & Physiology lecture test. I think I did good on it (we'll see how I really do next Monday). I finished the test in about 35 minutes and the prof let us have about 90 minutes to finish the test, and so I feel pretty good.

In terms of confidence, this is important for me since I need to do good early in the beginning because if I don't, I'll be in trouble as the course will get harder as we proceed. I am just so glad that God has provided me a really really good professor who is very good at explaining things.

I am just so facinated by our anatomy and physiology and how they relate to each other. I am constantly amazed at the intricute design of our body as I am now slowly getting into the details of it. I am amazed at how all the different things has to work just right, or else we get into trouble.

In the middle of the week, I took a 4 hour class on managing assualtive behaviors at the hospital where I do my volunteer chapliancy. Very interesting as we go through the cycle of violent behaviors and all kinds of stuff. We even practice a "take down" when everything fails. The "take down" involve a team approach where everyone has a very specific role. The key thing to the "take down" is safety – safety for the patient and safety for all the staff. Even the "straps" they use are different. It is velcro instead of the old days where they use leather (cuts off circulation, takes forever to secure, just plain bad for the patient). The velcro will restrain the violent patient, but at the same time give the patient the ability to move enough without hurting him/herself.

According to the statistics, most violent behavior turns out it is around the evening shifts, not night or morning shift. Especially around September for some reason.

The "take down" occurs rarely as in most cases, it is de-escalated verbally. Or the next level is that they can be de-escalated by a show of numbers where lots of staff just showed up and the sheer number will difuse the potential violent situation. But when it does occur, it has to be done right because you have the safety of patient at sake here. It is really an last resort kind of thing where if you don't do it, the patient will ended up hurting him/herself or/and others.

As for the chaplaincy triaing I had today, we went to the intense critical unity. Heard about different stories being told by patients and their families. Praying for about 1/2 the patients again. So far, all my mentors pray not only for the patients and their families, but also pray for the staff. One patient asked us to pray, but do it outside his room, not with him. When we finished the visit, my mentor and I went outside and prayed privatly for the patient as he requested.

Got 2 more hours to go in terms of mentor training…