In the Student Clinic by Lauren Lockhart
I believe I can speak for all of the POCATech punklings when I say that the beginning of the new student clinic is a big deal. Like, a really big deal. It is a milestone that is not confined to the experience of one day, one week or even one year, but is the crossing of a threshold into a world that we wish to be a part of, help create, and probably never ever leave.
In my experience, the time between not knowing a single acupuncture point location and treating patients in clinic went lightning fast. So fast that it was difficult to come to terms with how ready (or not) I felt to treat real live patients in a real live clinic. Sometimes, or a lot of times in life, it is time to go, time to change, time to start—when we feel everything but ready. The world asks us to jump in and give it all we’ve got even if we haven’t a clue what we’ve got to give or if it’s good enough.
The first thing my patients in the clinic have taught me is that I don’t need to know everything or feel like I have all my ducks in a row to be present with them and offer them relief. That’s a real relief as an aspiring punk. We jumped in, my fellow punklings and I, and so far it seems that we do know how to swim – maybe it lacks a bit of grace, but maybe it doesn’t. The one sure thing is that the people who were in the water before us, the ones yelling at us, “Come on! Get in! The water is fine!” were right; it is more than fine, and we owe them a thousand units of gratitude for cheering us on.
The second thing my patients have taught me is that people are brave. People are brave to live with the suffering they carry. They are brave to take the steps they can towards relieving their pain, and they are brave to step into an acupuncture clinic run by students and offer their trust in our ability to care for them. The bravery I’m talking about is entirely fueled by love. Everyone in the clinic, from student to patient to supervisor, is bringing their bravery to the table and that is a beautiful thing. The student clinic is beautiful, everyone!
And lastly, a word about the Lents fire and the new temporary student clinic—there’s not a whole lot that can keep us from swimming now that we’ve jumped in. The temporary student clinic is now open Thursday mornings from 9am to 1pm at Saint Charles church in Northeast Portland.