Thursday, September 22, 2011

Still here, more or less

I've been blogging less and less lately. Initially I thought it was because I was just too damn tired from getting up at 5:30am and not being able to fall asleep by 10pm. But I think that I say a lot of what I have to say on Facebook, since, after all, I have two identities to write for and I get a ton of feedback, which is mostly useful.

But I can't write as extensively on FB as I can on here, unless I write a Note. The problem is, I have all these feelings I don't know how to handle. The anger at my mother and her pervert boyfriend. Don't know what to do about that. And there's the PJSD, the anxiety about disappointing the clinic manager, since I know how critical she is of the counselors. The uneasiness about being in the undefined middle between the counselors and clinic manager -- not really supervising or being supervised by either.

I'm still so new to this treatment modality, and so often I feel put on the spot and clueless. I don't always know how to handle situations, and it seems that sometimes CM the clinic manager expects me to. Which terrifies me. I know I'm still new and have some leeway to make mistakes, but that knowledge doesn't always stave off the panic I feel when she says, "What do you think, Ayelet?" and I have NO IDEA what I should think.

Like today. A counselor asked me to see his patient, who is dealing with a very nasty family tragedy. I'm not going to give any details, but it seemed -- from the way the patient described it -- that there was a lot of miscommunication going on between patient and patient's adult children. And there was some urgency, because a family event was happening this Saturday, and the patient didn't know what to do.

If something like that had happened at my last job, I would have suggested that the adult children come in with the patient for a family meeting. But at this job, non-patients are only allowed in the clinic after 1pm (patients are medicated between 7am-1pm).

The smart thing to do would have been to bring the patient to CM's office and ask about family meetings. But I didn't do that. I let the patient leave, and then spoke to CM. Who was perfectly nice -- said I was still new, and this was okay. But I know how frustrated she gets at the counselors who are struggling. And I don't want her to feel that way about me. I had to call the patient and leave a voicemail explaining that the meeting had to take place after 1pm. And hope that the patient gets the message before bringing in some children.

A similar incident happened a few days ago. Same counselor, different patient the counselor wanted me to see. The counselor took me to the medication area, where the patient had just finished drinking his methadone. The patient didn't want to see me and denied there was any problem, a very different version of the story he had just told the counselor.

I tried to get the patient to come back to the counselor's office without talking to him in an open area -- because that's a confidentiality violation. But he refused to come back. It was an awkward situation, and I don't think I handled it well. Because I did end up speaking to the patient, a little. Mainly he insisted he was fine and didn't need to see me, but still: confidentiality.

CM pointed out to the counselor that he should have called me into his office to meet with him and the patient. And I felt bad. I think CM could tell I felt bad, because for the rest of the day she was extra nice to me. Telling me how much she appreciates everything I do, apologizing if I was in her office showing her a chart and the phone rang. I don't want her to think that she needs to handle me with kid gloves, but I guess I'm a little scared of her.

All this tells me that I need more supervision. I thought I would be meeting with my supervisor individually once a week, and then have the social workers' meeting as well every week. Not happening. I'm not getting much individual supervision, and the group meeting is often canceled. So no wonder I'm worried I'll screw up. I'm not getting enough guidance!

I did email my supervisor and ask if she would be able to schedule some regular supervision time. Maybe I'll share that I'm feeling a bit lost, and don't want to let CM down by screwing up.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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