The schedule at my CPE was changed this week and I’m actually scheduled to begin to see patients today. On Wednesday, we spent an hour shadowing a chaplain and seeing how the work is done. I was involved with the visits of four patients, met several families, tried some reflective listening, and also was pushed aside by a doctor at one point. I felt I got a nice little showcase of what to expect during CPE. I’m glad for that.
At the end of the day yesterday, my group and I received our department assignments. Each of us received three units. My units are: the department dealing with heart attacks and heart trauma (I forget the medical name for that), a general medicine unit, and pediatrics ICU. I kind of knew I would get kids because I was one of the few folks in the group who didn’t say “I don’t want kids.” I didn’t say anything not because I wanted to work with kids but, rather, I felt that if I started putting barriers on where I wanted to go, it wouldn’t serve my learning this summer. I’m not particularly good at ministering to groups and I have no experience ministering to family members who have a sick child or sick sibling. I know my future ministry will not be restricted to merely one-on-one meetings with individuals. I’m going to have to deal with families, friends, and all the baggage that entails. I will say that I am worried and a little concerned about working with kids but I do know I’m not alone. Even though I am the chaplain in these departments, I have a massive number of chaplains to help me out. It’s great to have resources.
So, as I write this, my stomach is in knots a bit but that’s okay. I’m nervous and a little anxious but I’m only visiting patients for an hour today. I’ve been given a couple of examples of how to introduce myself when I enter the room. I’ll have business cards to give out at the end. It’ll work out.