Sometimes, it’s exhilarating to be a clinical health psychologist. You see residents who have made significant progress in dealing with their personal issues. Other days, you notice that a resident’s degree of progress has simply plateaued.
On the more challenging types of days, you’re faced with dealing with very discouraging clinical situations. You’re expected to listen to a litany of complaints, with very limited control over changing those very conditions about which residents complain.
Alternatively, you’re expected to be the sounding board for a resident whose medical condition has unfortunately deteriorated. This can induce very strong feelings of helplessness.
Today was definitely one of these types of days. Over and over again, I heard my residents complain about how long they typically wait before their call lights are answered.
I met with a woman who is dealing with worsening congestive heart failure. I met with another female resident who is facing progressive kidney failure. I’m very thankful for my specific training in health psychology on these kinds of days.