Nursing Student Practicum -Journal Entry
Nursing Student Practicum -Journal Entry
Learning and Experiences
My clinical practicum experience was at a psychiatric clinic that began the second week after orientation of the facility and other staff members the first week. I notified my preceptor of my starting time. I encountered diverse patients with various mental health illnesses. Before the practicum, I set goals that I assessed after the practice the degree to which I achieved them as follows.
1. Goal 1: Create a positive environment that fosters open communication with patients by week one-I mostly confidently achieved this goal
2. Goal 2: Diagnose and create a treatment plan for psychiatric disorder by week 11- I mostly confidently achieved this goal
3. To manage mental and psychiatric disorders with minimal supervision by week 11- I mostly confidently achieved this goal.
During my practicum, I encountered the following challenging patients;
1. Determining the diagnosis of bipolar I disorder versus bipolar II disorder versus depressive bipolar II disorder, which has similar signs and symptoms.
2. Challenges in diagnosing a patient with cluster headaches versus a patient with migraines.
3. Determining differences in Anxiety disorders, especially diagnosis of patients with post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, providing the required health promotion, and educating the patient.
The practicum experience was educative, and I learned different signs and symptoms of psychiatric illness, which mimics a similar kind, and though assessment is needed to confirm an identified diagnosis. I learned to use diagnostics reasoning, consider the patient’s chief complaint and associated symptoms before making a diagnosis to avoid the wrong psychiatric diagnosis. I also learned different pharmacotherapeutic and psychotherapeutic treatments for patients with psychiatric illnesses. Another important lesson from experience is how to engage with patients from different cultures to ensure patient-based treatment and care. Additionally, I learned the adoption and importance of teamwork and collaboration in healthcare, especially inpatient diagnosis and treatment, to provide a good treatment plan and achieve quality results.
Resources available during the practicum were good guidance from qualified and experienced professionals. Other resources included orientation and continuous education, course workbooks, and my receptor that helped and guided my practicum. Also, evidence-based research and information from databases such as Medscape resource helped in daily procedures. The evidence-based practice I used for a patient includes protection to avoid hospital infection and providing family education about the diagnosis to enhance pychosupport for the patient. Also, I emphasized the use of both medication and psychotherapies to treat and management of psychiatric diagnoses.
The skills I acquired skilled acquired during my practicum are picking up key points quickly from the patients when collecting personal information, order correct medication for the specific diagnosis, and referring for higher levels of patient care. Also, personal skills gained are quick and effective decisions making, empathy, patience, and collaboration. This skill ensures the promotion of health and ensures the achievement of quality care and better health outcomes.
When given another opportunity, I would use the skills I acquired, including quickly picking up points from the patient when collecting patient personal information. Also, I would use the available resources such as help from experienced colleagues when making a diagnosis. Additionally, I pay attention to clinical symptoms when confirming a diagnosis because most psychiatric conditions do not require laboratory testing to confirm a diagnosis. In my practicum, I enhanced patient flow by limiting the time between patients and keeping up with notes assisted in efficient and effective diagnosis of the next patient, especially if the complaint and symptoms were the same.
Communicating and Feedback
I might improve my skills and knowledge by reading and researching diagnoses, especially from encountered cases, to learn differences in symptoms. I communicate to my preceptor my experience using nursing practitioner terminologies, thinking, and reporting as a psychiatric nurse but not as a practice student. My receptor has given me positive feedback about my practicum by telling me others did not produce quality reports about the experience. Also, she gave me a good grade which improved my overall class performance.
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