Reflective Practicum Journal

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University of California, Santa Barbara
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My practicum at the Social Medical Work Department of the Scarborough General Hospital was an exciting prospect. The memories gained with this experience are most valued by me partly due to the vast experience gained in my area of interest and also the people and the interactions I had with the people and the working environment. Although the beginning of the practicum period was an isolated and lonely one, I quickly came to catch up to the conditions and the environment. The exchange and learning within the diverse environment was so inviting and interesting that I longed for a longer period of the practicum other than the initial one. In the end I had learnt a lot pertaining to my career and life as a general. I am glad I had a first-hand experience in my area of specialization and met new people who exposed me to their various perspectives of the world and life as a whole. I would never forgo a chance to be exposed to such a rich experience and exposure.

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1st Reflective Journal-November 12th, 2016

The word achievement comes to mind whenever I talked about my practicum experience this summer. This practicum experience is going to be four weeks of unforgettable experiences for me. This week has been my first at the Scarborough General Hospital. On the first day, I highly held my expectations and could not wait to integrate into the system of the Social Medical Work Department. On the day I reported I was taken through a brief period of documentation, where my documents and testimonials were validated. This was a process that I knew had a clear result since I had prepared and carried most of the required credentials to the area. I love being punctual and orderly and this principle worked for me on the day that I needed it most. On this first day, I got to interact with other fellow students on practicum. It was interesting to share our expectations and aspirations in life and for our career development. We all seemed to share similar expectations, which was good and bad at the same time. This similarity was good since it provided a platform for us to share ideas and enjoy learning together. But on the other hand, it meant we all had to share same resources and facilities. This was however solved when our supervisor presented us with a role schedule that would ensure each one of us was exposed to the various activities within the department.

That evening before I headed home, we were informed by the medical personnel in charge that the following five days of the week would be spent in helping us integrate into the whole system. In this orientation program we would be involved in programs that enabled us to be conversant with the operations within and outside the departments; other medical personnel around and the people from the community with which we would be interacting. The week continued with us meeting most of the expectations. The acceptance and reception by all the staff members and the patients within the facility were overwhelming. This experience was more than expected and greatly motivated us to be more zealous and upbeat for the whole practicum experience that was set before us.

During the week, my class knowledge became practical and real; I was introduced to the various illnesses diagnosed within this area of specialization and the remedies and approaches used for various situations of patient illnesses. This was particularly interesting as the events unfolded in the same manner as I had expected. All along in class and in the various field exposures I had desired to experience this practice and interaction with the patients. My dream to help serve and provide a healthcare solution for people in the society and beyond was gradually coming to reality. Finally, I was going to have a direct impact on the lives and well-being of some people within the society; and I would see myself as a solution to many people. This was the narration we had always heard ever since we began our course a few years back. Each of our course instructors and other resource personnel had always insisted on the importance of learning to serve rather than to selfish service ones needs.

However, the first-week experience had its demerits with which we tried much hard to put up. Being exposed to this real work experience for the first time, I had many problems with some equipment I had either just read about or had tiny knowledge about them. The Social Medical department in charge had little time as well to direct us through the all whole day; as a result, we had to fumble around sometimes on our own. Either way, it was a great way to have myself orientated to my new learning environment. I had a way to stay strong and wade through these challenges. I made friends with a few junior staff who had a whole lot experience of the whole department set up. They were resourceful in this orientation period and would forever appreciate their assistance at this important stage of my career. Through this initial interaction with the junior workers and fellow student, I obtained a new perspective on my social life and its importance in the development of my career. All along I had not seriously considered the aspect of my social life in the development of my career and life as a whole. I began to watch for value in the contacts and relationships I made ever since that day. This decision has been paramount and helpful to this extent. The saying that, the people you meet help define who you are, was well put into perspective in this first week. From the first day, I interacted with each of them, I have known they will be of great help to me in this process. Not only because that is the only way I am going to be comfortable around the hospital but also because they were part of this important step of my budding career in this field.

2nd Reflective log-November 19th, 2016

The just concluded second week has been a little bit more rigorous than the first week, which was full of orientation. The initial parts of our practicum program have come to an end, and now I have embarked on serious business just as I had expected. Reporting to work on Monday morning, I was frightened by the thought of a load of work that awaited me according to the schedule that had been pre-designed for me by the supervisor. Within this week I have been assigned some of the most interactive activities within the department which have proved to be the most daunting of all the activities. Working in the roles associated with assisting in the psychoanalysis of patients who visited has not been an easy task. I am however glad that this program had come first over the others since I cannot imagine ending my practicum with such an energy sapping role in this busy health facility. It has been a great experience interacting with the patients and getting to know more about the relation of physical attributes and manifestations about individuals and their psychological wellbeing. An interesting topic has been in how we make decisions based on such. The challenges presented by this work have been numerous. I had never been so undecided than the period I have been engaged in the psychoanalysis activity. Being a sociable person, I find engaging the patients for these purposes a secondary challenge. However, I think my zeal and expertise in this area has been taken for something else by my senior colleagues within the department. I have always been made the kind of person who stands in for anyone who has urgent matters outside the vicinity of the health facility. This treatment is somehow unfair, and sometimes I develop a feeling of despair and the need for self-defense against such schemes, but again I do recall that I am an individual with a greater need and that this knowledge is very useful for the advancement of my career.

The information I have obtained here has been hugely invaluable and enlightening. The patients are an inspiration. The positive aspects of their lives are a motivation that I could build on to make them more comfortable and well in their lives. On the other hand, the negative aspects of the lives of the patients I have personally handled come to me as challenges. These challenges motivate me to improve my knowledge and technological capabilities that are essential for use in the provision of better health care services and remedies. As a result, I have strived to live up to the expectation required by both the patients and my institution.

This past Wednesday will always remain a special day in my memories as far as the practicum is concerned. This particular morning I recall reporting for the practicum earlier than the normal 8 oclock. Having more time to prepare for the day, I decide to make a personal tour of the facility just to ascertain myself of the few departments and sections I have learned about in the past week. Passing by the department, I come across someone I have so much wanted to meet. She is one of the most prominent doctors in the country. She proves to be the most welcoming person I have ever met, just like I had heard from everyone else. We have an ample time sharing our experiences before she leaves for her work and me to the department. The invaluable advice I get from her cannot be substituted for anything about my career exploits. She is an all-around professional and goes beyond the boundaries of career and talks about life and several aspects of it. That is the kind of advice that has got motivating insights. It is these kinds of ideas that have propelled me to work more and yearn to achieve better things. For once it I have expelled my fears and looked forward to a great experience of the practicum and the entire career coming quick as days passed. This Friday was a bit different; we were taken to various clinic camps where we could exercise all that we had been practicing within the health facility. I also learned about new things on the road with the Scarborough hospital staff and fellow students on practicum. I have enjoyed several off-institution camps back in my school, but this is more than each one of those. The real meaning of teamwork has been brought into perspective in through this medical camp trip. I have also had the opportunity to interact with more people both from within and outside my career field. You know it is interesting to learn how various career specialty lines within the medical profession interrelate. It is even more interesting to learn how other non-medical careers relate to the medical profession. Such is the experience I have had in this week. I have never thought of better ways to spend my week than this. The weekend is here, and I cannot wait for the third week of my practicum experience.

3rd Reflective Journal- November 26th, 2016

This has been the week of assessment by my institutional supervisor, so I had to forget about much of the fun and focus on work. Over the weekend I had to comfortably compile my progress so far and furnish my familiarity with the various terms and activities within the department. The assessment started on Monday mid-morning and I having been preparing for this, so I expected no serious surprises. My first day of the assessment did not pick up pretty well as expected. My supervisor and I realized that I am still not conversant with a few things including the full titles and names of some of the staff we associate with within the department. It had never crossed my mind that such details can be of importance.

That apart, everything else was well coordinated, and I came out the genius. The supervisor added more insight into the scope of my objectives and advised on the areas I should focus most for the rest of the period I am in the hospital. The commitment of my supervisor to his students is moving. Within the period I interacted with him, I was affected by the kind of the positive approach he has toward matte...

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