I would love to be able to sit here and tell you that nursing was something that I always wanted to do, but that would be untrue.
I’ve had many epiphanies about “what I want to be when I grow up”, but not many of them have stuck.
Despite that, I’ve always had some underlying confidence that I could be something, not just any something but something good and do it well. I just never really knew what it would be, and having that knowledge but nowhere to channel it felt uneasy at times, almost desperate.
I worried that I was going to run out of time to find my “thing” or that I’d end up having to make the best of a bad job, and inside, I knew that I would be forever sad if it were to come to that.
I happened upon nursing not by complete coincidence, but by very gentle nudges from my aunt, who is a nurse. She spoke to me of her experiences and gradually I found myself wanting to know every single thing that she could possibly tell me. I was hooked.
What happened from there up until starting university is just detail, but know this; I have never been more certain about anything in the 25 years that I’ve been alive. The past year and 3 weeks have been nothing short of amazing, I feel like parts of me were confused and changeable before and then nursing gave me this concrete purpose and I couldn’t be more excited for the future and my career.
I love that nursing gives me a medium through which to connect with people in their most vulnerable moments, those times when instinct tells us that the safest place is inside ourselves.
I love that my knowledge, skills and attitude will give patients reassurance that it is okay to trust me and I know that my commitment to lifelong learning will mean that they’re absolutely right to do so. To quote Maya Angelou; “They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel”.
I do not hope for an easy ride; it is clear that our healthcare system is heading for dramatic upheaval and our profession looks to change beyond recognition, but I sit here on the cusp of it all, not with reluctance, but anticipation. I am open, excited, diligent and tenacious; ready for whatever might happen.
I am a (student) nurse, hear me roar!
Zarah Ball is a 2nd year student nurse at the University of Nottingham, based at the Mansfield campus.