HIV test counselor

I am winning at my sofa but losing at my TV. I have owned both items for about two months. I love my sofa. I did not realize what I was missing, not having a sofa in my life. However, in regards to the TV, I have only turned it on once to watch a terrible Amazon prime movie called B-girl or something like that. It was about a girl break dancer and I had hoped for more dancing and less plot but it was just a bad movie with some dancing. My brother thinks I am obsessed with movies in the genre, inner city youth overcoming adversity through dancing. It’s not far from the truth.

This week was a difficult week. I participated in a 3 day training/test which resulted in certification from the department of public health to be a HIV test counselor. I can now go out into the community and assess and give HIV test results. I cried in my role play session when I acted as a person receiving a positive test result. Practicing giving the result as a counselor was not as bad as receiving the information. All week I practiced emotional listening and client centered counseling. I worked really hard on my words, emotions and body expressions – less judgment. I also learned how to read the Hep C and HIV rapid tests, grateful I do not work in a lab. This is by far the most challenging work I have ever done, and I do it because I want to learn to use my words better, and help provide safe spaces for sexual health conversations with marginalized communities.

My first counseling shift begins on Monday and I hope not to be awful. I feel there is a lot at risk, if I give an awkward session, someone might not return in the future to test. I’ll be working as a volunteer test counselor 6 hours a week.

I have also been spending a lot of time crafting my nursing graduate school applications. My first application is due on Monday. I hope my personal statement, goal statement and post graduation plan essays are enough to accept me.

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