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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.

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.

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…

2nd Chaplain Mentor Training – Difficult Floor October 8, 2004

Posted by danucube in chaplaincy, Volunteer.
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Today I had my second session with a mentor in terms of Chaplain training. We went on a floor where there are long term patients from serious strokes to horrible car accidents. All these patients are paralyzed in one way or another and also cannot eat. I went on this floor last time also for a little bit. This time I went with a person who "specialize" on this floor. She is quite an incredible lady. On the floor, she knows everyone, from all the staff to the patients and their families. It was nice to see the family and patients "light up" when they see her.One patient is a young girl who had this horrible condition. Can't do anything except move her head a little bit and can have some emotion on her face. Her dad who is beside her looked really tired. When my mentor talked to the girl, I see a smile. When my mentor told the young girl about how her dog got sprayed by a skunk, I see a little laughter. Then when my mentor asked her to guess what she is going to dress her dog up as in Halloween? I see the girl with great effort actually mouthed the word "skunk" with no sound and smiled! Before we left, we prayed together with the family.Another patient we visited, he has improved a lot. He can actually move his arm a little now. He saw us and with effort moved his arms to welcome us. We basically prayed with him.Another patient was "guarding" the door in his wheelchair. I asked him whether I need to pay "toll" and got a smile out of him. He is going to learn how to use the wheelchair (it has all these electronic gadget on it for navigation). I suggested he try running over some nurses when he has the chance like what my mom used to try to do in her wheelchair once … We also prayed with him.

Today we visited quite a number of people. About 30 people in two hours (including family members). Sometimes according to my mentor the number is very low because a few patient like her to read Scritpure to them for like 45 minutes. Lots of the ministry on this floor is also ministering to the family, encouraging them, and praying with them.

A few of the patients have no family what so ever and we are really the only friends they have. A few patients have extremely devoted family members where they almost have a family member with them 24/7.

My mentor in her prayer always pray for the staff also. She always prayed that God will help the staff in their busy schedules to continue to treat their patients with dignity and to threat them as if they are treating Christ.

For the patients who are asleep, she would pray silently for them before going to other patients.

I've heard the coordinator of the chaplain volunteers say that my mentor has a real gift on this particular floor. I can see why. I think she actually has a calling on this floor. I hope I have a similar calling in the behavior health unit later on just as she has a calling on this very difficult floor.

Oh, I washed my hand like as if there is no tomorrow since the immune system of lots of these patients are low sometimes. Like I washed my hand after every patient contact. Never had my hand been so clean… better get used to it since I am going into nursing.

On this emotionally difficult floor, one is constantly reminded that life is fragile. But the image that is sticking in my mind right now is all the smiles that my mentor brought to the patients we visited. I am blessed to be able to go with her on this journey today.

Chaplain 1st mentor training September 20, 2004

Posted by danucube in chaplaincy, Volunteer.
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Well, today I went with a lady to visit the different patients at the hospital. We visited 2 floors. I even made used of my Chinese skill. Lots of listening, especially a few of the patient who are really lonely and very glad to be able to talk to someone. We did pray with about 1/2 the patients.

One of the floor we visited is a long term floor where lots of people stay there for months or years. These are really bad cases. One paitent, her daughter is taking care of her every day for 2 years. We talked for quite a while, it seemed she seldom have time to talk to other people because she is taking care of her mother. You see patients who are lonely and have no family members. You see patients with loyal family members who comes in day in and day out for years.

One lady in her 90s was my favorite for today. She is fiesty. Kept complaining about the food has no salt. Wanted a margarita (because it has salt) also. Got to listen to her story. Complains that everyone that goes in her room either poke her or give her pills. I asked her whether she was glad to see us since we did not poke her or give her pills. Got a smile out of her. She seemed to be doing well and hopefully will be out in a few days.

Got 3 more training session and I'll be on my own (not counting the behavior health training).

Behavior Health Unit gave me the ok September 16, 2004

Posted by danucube in chaplaincy, Volunteer.
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Well, the chaplin training went well. There were 5 of us, 5 new volunteers. What I like about this chaplin program is that we minister to the staff as well.

What I found out was that the behavior health unit was very glad to have me. Lots of people in the unit are really isolated due to the illness. They do have to come up with some extra training for me. I am looking forward to the extra training.

Chaplain coincident? September 16, 2004

Posted by danucube in chaplaincy, Nursing, Prenursing, Providence, Volunteer.
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Oh, here is another interesting coincident. The chaplain at the hospital where I am volunteering as a chaplain volunteer is not only a Christian, but a priest, and a nurse! She also happened to have lots of knowledge in the end-of-life area!