Components of CPE include group time for learning and processing, individual supervision, daytime clinical hours, and nighttime on-call shifts. All of the components have not been easy to fit into my schedule this semester as I am also taking a pastoral care class and doing an independent study. However, the most difficult pressure on my schedule has been the on-call shifts.
Weekday shifts are 16 hours and weekend shifts are 24 hours. Not to mention the recovery time before and/or after catching up on sleep and processing the emotional drain.
Yet even with all of this, I like offering pastoral care in on-call situations better than during daytime clinical hours. Might sound strange. I'm still trying to figure it out.
But last week
- I sat with a woman who had performed CPR on her friend as she died on the side of road;
- I watched a large family say goodbye to a loved one as life support was withdrawn;
- I visited a woman who had to say goodbye to a baby who never drew a breath in this world;
- I spoke with a couple who is unsure of how many breaths their baby will take in this world