Week One of CPE is done! 10 more to go.
This week went very well. It was mostly orientation and classes but, as I mentioned yesterday morning, I spent about an hour visiting patients in one of the units that I will be working at. Most of the patients were either asleep or being seen by nurses and doctors. However, I did meet four patients, and 2 family members. One patient had his wife there and I was able to visit with them with another chaplain. Another individual was just in so much pain, I couldn’t stay with them long. Another patient was very kind but didn’t need much help. And another patient didn’t even give me the time of day – when I walked in, announced who I was, the patient just put their hand up and shouted “PASS!” So I got a little bit of everything in that hour.
I learned a lot this week and meshed well with my group but, by 5 pm last night, I was exhausted. K and I visited an apartment (we’re moving this month), put in our rental application, ate some dinner and came home. I was able to play on the internet for about an hour before I passed out on the couch. At some point, I moved to the bed and slept till morning. I’m not a long sleeper but I needed that 10+ hours of sleep. I was exhausted. I have a feeling my friday nights are going to be like this for the rest of the summer.
Looking at the four visits, I’m trying to recall exactly what I said when I introduced myself. I remember mentioning my department and what we do but I don’t know if I called myself a chaplain or not. I think I did but I’m not sure. I’ve noticed that it takes awhile for me to get comfortable taking on a new title. At my field education site, it took a bit before I had no problem calling myself Vicar. Near the end of my time there, whenever someone would call me “Pastor Marc,” I was always taken aback. I almost wanted to butt in and say “oh hey, I’m not that quite yet.” But, this summer, even though I’m a student intern, I really am a chaplain. Just saying the word is going to be one of my projects next week.
The schedule for next week is to write a few papers, sit in class for a bit, and spend about 3.5 days visiting patients. I met some of the staff of the PICU and they seem very excited to have someone available to visit them during the week. I think, on Monday, I’ll be attending as many inter-disciplinary rounds as I possibly can. Medicine speak, I will master you.