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STUDENT BLOG

'I took on the challenge of a lifetime for nurses in crisis'

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I recently climbed Mount Cavell in Jasper, Canada, in memory of World War One nurse Edith Cavell with thirty-five nurses and student nurses.

Rosie O'Neill

The challenge was part of Cavell Nurses’ Trust’s ongoing centenary commemorations of Edith Cavell’s execution and involved us undertaking white water rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, mountaineering and kayaking in order to raise funds for the charity.

“This experience has taught me the phenomenal power of teamwork to push you beyond your limit to reach new heights”  

I was confident I would be pushed to my physical limit having only recently recovered from a nasty back injury, and if there’s one thing this experience has taught me it is the phenomenal power of teamwork to push you beyond your limit to reach new heights.  

Being part of a team from University of South Wales taught me that, although we work well as individuals, it is when we pull together that we are unstoppable. We had been cheered off at 3am in the morning by the rest of the group and we maintained this constant cheering along with many other forms of encouragement at every available opportunity as we were desperate to complete the challenge together.

“Our ascent of Mount Cavell was a magnificent spectacle. To stand at the summit with the three other members of the team and see that view was majestic”

Fear can be uncontrollable and as scary as some moments were for each of us as individuals, they were testing for those who witnessed them as well. Yet during the course the week everyone in the team experienced some sort of fear that they then subsequently conquered. Our ascent of Mount Cavell was a magnificent spectacle. To stand at the summit with the three other members of the team and see that view was majestic”

“It’s often forgotten that nurses also experience difficult or desperate situations and might need a helping hand too”

It is precisely this sort of teamwork, the practise of looking out for one other, which helps people within the nursing profession. As a student nurse I have worked with many colleagues on wards that have needed some sort of support.

I think that because of the nature of our job - to support and care for people - it’s often forgotten that nurses also experience difficult or desperate situations and might need a helping hand too. This is why I wanted to do this challenge and raise funds for Cavell Nurses’ Trust, who help our nurses in crisis that need support.

This is an experience I will never forget. The challenge tested our strength as a team, our decision-making ability and our resilience. These are all skills we will draw upon time and time again in our careers in nursing and midwifery.

Rosie O’Neill is a student nurse at University of South Wales

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