a) My field assignment took place in one of the elevators of Jackson Medical Center. I chose this place because every Saturday morning I have to go there from 7:00am- 2:30pm for my clinical. I also selected this place because hospitals are constantly full of people, meaning I would be interacting and assessing the reaction towards my behavior of more people. I was accompanied by another student from my clinical rotation, Martha; who was responsible for observing the reaction and behaviors of the people. Moreover, she would act like a total stranger to me, like we had never met before. Martha and I wore professional-casual attire.
We are not allowed by the school of to wear scrubs in the Psych floor instead we get to wear regular clothes. The rational behind it is to maintain the student’s safety as well as the client’s behavior to be maintained as calm as possible while interacts with the student. Lab coats tend to alter the client’s behavior.The elevator I chose was the closest to the main entrance. It was a sunny day, which was wonderful for me because lots of people decided to come and visit their relatives, family members, and friends, among others. One of the benefits for having selected this place of service is that I was able to interact with people of different ages group.
b) I tried to be closed by the elevator to see the kind of people entering it. Also, I tried to be the last one boarding the elevator and once I was inside I would close the door to impede the entrance of more people, otherwise, the assignment would not be successful. I would choose one particular individual and I be staring at herself. Moreover, I looked at the chosen person as a whole. I observed at her hair, clothes, shoes, purse, etc. For instance, I would put my hands in my pockets and try to make noises with my keys. The noises helped increase the tension of the individual while I kept looking at her. c) As I was breaking the norm, I was feeling a little uncomfortable and I was nervous at the same time. I had never thought about doing this in my life. This event was frightening from both sides.
One, I was being exposed to them to be able to do something to me. Second, it was terrifying to them what I was doing. They did not know what was happening in my mind, or if I was a psychopath or a serial killer. Unfortunately, we are living in a petrifying world and more people are being diagnosed with a mentally ill disorder every day, or killing each other out of nothing.
d) As I mentioned before, my behavior was fear provoking to them. They did not know what I wanted. Why was I looking at the in such uncomfortable way. Most tried to fix their hair thinking there was something wrong with it. For instance, they cleaned their face like if it was dirty. Others fixed their clothes or looked in their purses. Others pretended to look at the numbers on the top of the door’s elevator to see how fast was it moving. My friend says, they tried to engage eye contact with her, making her eye signals, advising her of what was happening but she took her phone out and pretended that she was texting somebody. At the same time, Martha moved to the front of the elevator, giving me the space in where she was standing while I would gather a better visualization of the individual.
e) I believe this exercise has served to prove that social norms still important for our society. Since we are little, we are being taught these norms and how not to break them. It was a difficult event, as a woman, its really difficult especially at the beginning just to ride on an elevator to stare at people. We normally get in an elevator but people don’t look at each other. I also believe most of us try to live by the “norms” to avoid the use of social sanctions and they important part they play on how we carry ourselves in society now a days. I did this task because it was an assignment from school. However, I don’t see myself repeating this event ever again. The feeling of breaking the norms the way I did in an elevator is it very scary. I really would not know how to react towards such uncomfortable behavior.
Courtney from Study Moose
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