Monday, September 1, 2008
Okay, so I just slept from 4PM to 8AM with only minimal interruptions. That is so, so, not healthy. Neither, apparently, is my over confidence.
I've noticed at work, that my favourite supervisor has been really laying into me about putting myself in unsafe situations. Part of this it turns out is that management has been spying on us through the camera system and he got a lecture about us, but part of this is very directed at me.
At first, I was mad. I thought, what the heck, I know what I'm doing. I have experience, blah, blah, blah, I'm right, he's wrong. I was taking it as a personal insult, and I was FRUSTRATED! Because it kept happening though, I realized I should probably take a look at my behaviour and figure out what exactly was going on.
I've always thought of myself as having a healthy fear level, especially recently. Having struggled greatly with anxiety in the past, feeling confident is something relatively new for me. I tend to be more fearful them some staff members and less fearful then others.
The biggest issue seems to be in the drunk tank. As staff, we have the option of giving detainees water, or not. I rarely, rarely do, this is not my issue. The first issue seems to come in the way we wake people up. Generally, we're supposed to bang on people's doors and scream. I have a hard time with this, because sometimes everyone else is FINALLY quiet, I don't want to set it all off. I'd rather open the door, lean in, and speak loudly. If they don't wake up, then I have to "kick" them (shake gently with foot while holding door). I NEVER let go of the door, I never bend over and use a hand unless someone else is present. I'm CAREFUL.
My biggest issue seems to be however, when a client is having a medical or psychological emergency. I like to right in there with them. If the person is having a hard time breathing, I want to be in there rubbing their back and monitoring breathing. I want to be ready to perform CPR if necessary. If a client is having a panic attack, I want to be in there, looking into their eyes helping them ground themselves and breath through it. I've had panic attacks, and they're freaking scary. This, is where I get myself in trouble though. My instinct is to reassure and protect, and I tend to forget about MY safety.
Unfortunately, my supervisor's right. I need to be more careful, and I'm glad he's willing to reprimand me. See the thing is, I trust him, and I trust his judgment, he's very discerning and perceptive, and he really is trying to help me. He doesn't want to see me hurt, or on leave for PTSD. He's been there WAY longer then me, longer in fact then I've been alive. Of course he knows. He's seen it all before.
And so, goal of the week. Watch myself, and discuss. I love having a supervisor I can actually talk to, even if he's not a social worker. This week I am going to pay attention to my confidence levels, the risks I take, the risks I don't take, and the feedback I get from other staff. It sucks to be wrong, and told you need to change your actions/attitudes, but it's important, and I'm glad I have a supervisor willing to do that.