I need to tell the truth and not hide away my problems or struggles or I would not be accurately reflecting what I experience as a student.
Writing my previous blog was tough to write, but I am glad I did. The comments that have been left are thought provoking and heartfelt. I truly believe I made the right choice undertaking my training at this point in my life, not only for myself but for my family as well.
When I talk to other students who have children, I am so envious of them as they talk about how grandparents help them out, of the support they get from family and how they have been encouraged. My partner and I struggle through on our own. Sometimes I really wish we had someone to help us out to take the pressure off. Other times I wouldn’t have it any other way as the magical moments I get with my children make me realise I am very lucky.
My children are the most beautiful, wonderful, amazing, frustrating, naughty and down right mischievous people who I have ever had the pleasure to love. They make me laugh as they raid the fridge and paint my washing machine in butter, they take all my pairs of shoes out into the garden and fill them with water, they get up to all sorts of things that can make me cross – hiding my car keys is a particular favourite. But I wouldn’t be without them and I wouldn’t have my life any other way.
My personal tutor is also a major source of inspiration to me – his advice is always realistic and he helps me see things clearly when my judgement has been clouded. He has been particularly supportive this week as I managed to fail my OSCE’s. I think perhaps at times people lose sight of how stressful an OSCE actually is. Before I went in I knew I hadn’t prepared enough. The weeks running up to the OSCE’s I had let life get ahead of me and I was constantly playing catch up – so revising for an OSCE and trying to learn how to do a particular procedure as dictated by the Royal Marsden had slid lower and lower down my priority list. Anyhow – I failed. I wasn’t surprised to be honest, just very disappointed in myself. Nerves definitely paid a massive part and I think I had convinced myself I would fail before I went in. Having to perform a task whilst being watched and assessed is nerve wracking, especially if your mind goes completely blank (like mine did) and you succumb to a fit of giggles (yes – I did that to). Luckily I get a second chance in July – this time I will prepare properly and I won’t be as nervous. I can’t be scared of something I have already experienced and I feel positive about having to retake my OSCE’s.
I am also back out on placement at the moment. I am doing eight weeks on a Gastro unit as my high tech placement. Once again I have been incredibly lucky and got a fantastic mentor. I had the opportunity to spend the day with the Alcohol Liaison Nurse earlier this week. What a fantastic experience that was, we spent most of the day on A&E and I have utmost respect for him and the work he does with alcoholics. Spending time with people who obviously enjoy and are passionate about their work is a fulfilling experience. He was happy to share his knowledge and I learnt not only from his words, but from watching him in action as well.
My current mentor is the same. It is such a pleasure to learn and work along side passionate and caring nurses. Working with nurses who take the time and talk to me and remember my name – not refer to me as “the student” makes a huge difference as well. I am enjoying my placement because I am lucky to have a fabulous mentor and work with a great team of nurses. Enjoying my work and my experiences makes the down sides of being on placement seem not so bad. It still hurts that I don’t see my children in the morning, but the pleasure I take in spending time with my mentor, learning new skills and meeting new people makes everything worthwhile.
I have no doubts any more, I will not let other people’s opinions or words spoken in anger upset me. I am doing what is best for me and my family, I am becoming a Nurse.