Complete/Incomplete Friday journaling is an essential component of the clinical experience for students in the PMHNP program. The purpose of journaling is to reflect on clinical experiences and examine thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to those experiences. This reflective practice serves to improve professional identity and skill set. It is important to note that the grading is not based on the specific experiences students have, but rather on their commitment to reflecting on those experiences and utilizing the reflections to enhance their practice.
The journal serves as a personal, one-to-one communication tool between the student and the instructor. Entries are private and only viewable by the student and the instructor. Any discussion or communication related to clients must prioritize client confidentiality.
In addition to integrating critical thinking into the management of clients, students are expected to evaluate health promotion and maintenance for diverse populations, including children, adolescents, adults, and older adults, particularly those who are medically underserved. The role of a PMHNP also encompasses the analysis of cultural competency and spirituality in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management of clients with mental health conditions.
Each journal entry should focus on a client encounter from the week and must not exceed 500 words. It should also include an analysis of the nurse practitioner role or its potential role in the clinical setting. Students have the option to choose from the following prompts to guide their journal entries:
1. Write about a situation where you felt you handled it well. Describe what you did and provide justified reasoning for your actions. Reference relevant course content or research in your commentary.
2. Write about a situation where you felt unsure of yourself. Explain what happened and what made you question your decision-making. If faced with the same situation again, how would you handle it differently? Justify your actions and provide reasoning, including reference to relevant course content or research.
3. Write about a situation where you felt you handled it incorrectly. Describe what happened and explain how you would change your actions to achieve a different outcome. Justify your actions and provide reasoning, including reference to relevant course content or research.
4. Write about a continuation of a situation that you previously faced in your clinical experience. How has the situation evolved? What actions have you taken to guide the relationship with the client? Describe any interventions you have implemented and provide an update on the current outcome. What are your goals for this patient? Justify your actions and provide reasoning, including reference to relevant course content or research.
Regardless of the prompt chosen, it is crucial for students to demonstrate critical thinking and apply knowledge gained from the program in their analysis and justification of their actions. Reflecting on clinical experiences and integrating relevant course content or research will contribute to the development of a comprehensive and evidence-based practice as a PMHNP.