RealInternships: Stephanie Salinas

My experience at Bader 5 has been excellent thus far. During this week’s team meeting, my supervisor gave me a piece of advice that helped reshape my internship experience and outlook in a positive way.

StephanieSince I started my internship, patients are constantly coming and leaving. Many of them are transferred to more intensive treatment programs, but some are able to go home. Although going home is obviously a good thing, sometimes I worry that they are not well enough to go home or that another crisis will occur once they go back to their natural environment. The team meetings are meant for us to discuss any questions or concerns that we have, so I decided to mention this concern of mine to my supervisors.

My supervisor explained to us that sometimes “to help” is not the right term to use in this type of environment. He sees it as being on a journey with the patients, because they are in an extremely difficult time in their lives, and all we can do is support them. Some of them, however, may not want help at the moment, and that is okay.

As interns and staff, we have to learn to accept certain things, while continuing to support the patients and each other. Although they may refuse to accept help from us, we must understand that they are taking the right steps to heal by being here, and that is a huge step in itself.

He also explained the importance of self-care for staff and interns, because of the high-stress environment that comes in the mental-health field. Discussing topics such as these are important to avoid feeling burned-out or stressed at home. I definitely left work that day with a better mindset!

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