Ok, so today was not as bad as I thought it would be. This is typically the case, but it WAS the first clinical day jitters, so of course I was nauseated. Plus, this clinical is Psychiatric/Mental Health ... and I have an aversion to that WHOLE topic. I've had quite a few experiences in my job that make me uncomfortable with this population. Luckily, today was a success!
First, we have badges and keys to enter/exit the facility. When I heard the click of the door behind me, I had to remind myself that I had the key to exit - I was NOT a patient. I found my way around pretty easily, I've always had a good sense of direction. We met our instructor, went over guidelines, were divided up into groups, and were sent on our way. The staff was really welcoming and helped us with our scavenger hunt ... ("Where are the fire extinguishers?" "Hmmm, hopefully we don't need the CODE cart, but at least we know where it is!") Then it was socializing time ... [insert awkward silence here]
Patients did eventually approach each of us after they became accustomed to our presence. I sat in the day room and appeared to be watching TV, they came in and started conversations with me. NCIS was a good ice breaker. It was an old episode ... gotta love Gibbs and DiNozzo, McGee as a Proby, but I like Ziva better than Kate.
Luckily, our instructor let us out early since it was the first night. I packed my bag so fast and was practically running for the elevator. It was a relief when my badge worked for the exit. They hadn't turned it off to keep me committed - this time ....
I can only imagine what JSchro's pictorial representation of my night (from nausea to exit) would have been. It makes me smile.