In the first few weeks of my placement on the acute mental ward, I was put into a situation which changed my outlook on nursing. My story that has built my experience had no significance to me at the time, but the following day I realized something very important which I will take with me on each following shift. My patient was an elderly woman admitted for a suicide attempt and depression. I naturally felt sad for her when I found this out while reading her charts. I planned to spend the day talking about her feelings, supporting her, and empathising for her.
She approached me and said “Can we talk, I am feeling so depressed”. I straightened my back, sat down and mentally prepared to have a meaningful conversation. I wanted so desperately to be that counsellor that would say the right words to give their patients a positive outlook on life. However, a few minutes into the conversation she was talking about her make up. This went on for a half an hour. She then proceeded to talk about how she prepares different meats in her meals for a very lengthy time. After a short time my patience had faded thin, I stopped listening to half of the things she was saying, and I wanted to get up and leave. I was shocked that she wanted to have such shallow conversations and I dreaded speaking further because I knew they would turn into lengthy encounters about anything other than what I wanted to talk about.