Students that actively participates in the process of counselling are able to dive deeper into the emotional and psychological aspects of their experiences they encounter throughout their college years. With this, the students learn to handle their aptitudes of the academic stages and clinical practices in the hospital environment.
As I reflect, I have enriched myself and benefited by learning from students as well as my colleagues in the college. From the numerous counselling experiences, my great deal of connectedness and collaboration with them had led to many effective therapeutic alliances. Overall, I have learned to develop my flexibility and ability to communicate empathetically, as well as to advocate and patiently facilitate student nurses’ resolution of issues by themselves. And yes, with these abilities, I have developed the passion in helping them to make choices and to shape a better life.
Therefore, my constant reminder was to be an EFFECTIVE living candle rather than a great living candle for the students. Part of being effective was to create awareness among students on taking action and understanding the meaning and benefits of counselling. There were times where I personally encountered difficulties and challenges when students perceived counselling as a taboo or some sort of punishment and thus this made counselling sessions to be more tough and hindered students’ progress on personal development. As such, it depends a lot on the willingness and openness of the students to make counselling sessions more successful. The importance of voluntary participation of the students especially in disclosing their personal issues are crucial to achieve a breakthrough. Otherwise, the students may not have a clear pathway to move on instead they may face difficulties during their studies or in their future. Nevertheless, being aware of and accepting my own vulnerabilities integrated with honesty has strengthen my connection with the students.
At times, I found the value in my clinical intuition that has aided majority of the student nurses. Meaning that, I have learned to put apart what I have been taught and went with my gut feelings. I am confident through the intervention of psychoeducation on counselling process, it will enhance a positive mental mode and improve the well-being of the student nurses. Finally, though it was just a short moment, but it was indeed a great blessing and joy in “Being A Living Candle” for the student nurses in the college. The various counselling experiences has led them to develop therapeutic alliance. My passion to help has aided me in being an effective living candle which in turn has enhance the positivity of the students and their well-being through counselling.
I believe God through His grace and wisdom has used me as an instrument for the student nurses who seeks for direction and healing. Be assured of my resounding “Yes” if God wills and the opportunity arises again for me to “Being a Living Candle” for the student nurses of Tun Tan Cheng Lock College of Nursing, Assunta Hospital.
Sr. Angela Wong Chin Chin, Fmm
Registered Counsellor (K.B.;P.A.)