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'How would you feel if you were a nurse?'

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Reflection is a word often used in nursing, but how do you reflect? Danielle talks us through her own unique brand of introspection

Leaning into my final year, I am experiencing a quarter-life ‘started from the bottom now we’re here’ style crisis.

Somehow I have managed to stumble my way from a junior to senior student nurse when realistically I know nothing. But one snippet of knowledge I have managed to acquire is the value of introspection.

On my interview day, I distinctly remember being asked “how would you feel if you were a nurse?” My response was simply “fulfilled”.

That word rests on my desk and I encourage you to discover your impetus and lean on it. Reflect always. Not just for academia, reflect in a way that self-examines and reveals yourself to you.

My personal reflections are often poetry so please allow me to introduce myself:

Who am I?

I am ‘the strange case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, never constant, always changing. A lattice of mirrors that reflect whoever you need me to be. Perhaps I am a method actor?

For my friends, I am the one who seldom drinks in order to keep a caring watch, bats away leering eyes whilst holding purses and mobiles. “Danielle the Dependable” always a text away! Or a call, a shout.

But I do not mind for I choose my friends or rather they chose me, we made the decision to become a defective family, to make the transition from child to adult together, no matter how daunting it may be. So this role I exhibit with wisdom and skill, I wipe away tears, speak words of kindness and jest, oh how I jest! Until we laugh, from the depths of our diaphragms and the sound ricochets through our gleaming eyes, making others wonder how we have it so good as they feel our exultant roar.

I grasp things far too easily (when I can muster the motivation) as my mind is always open. Perhaps I am a blank tablet to be written on by others? The teachers seem to love it, how I manage to piece together an assignment on something they barely taught me yet I am somehow expected to know.

So perhaps I am a sponge, absorbing knowledge from texts and wringing them out with my own unique flourish on paper.

I am affection combined with compassion and how it radiates inside me. I feel it glow, it’s true ‘the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return’.

So, who are you?

Announce yourselves in the comments section below in a way that is you, I would love to know all about your journeys and I look forward communicating with you all over this pivotal academic year. The beginning for you and the end for me!

To all the new student nurses, remember why you wanted to become a nurse and reflect on it when the demands of the course lead you into the temptation of dropping out and busking on campus. And enjoy it! I wish you all the luck in the world!

Danielle Garrington-Miller is in her third year studying child nursing at University of Nottingham

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