I feel I’ve moaned my way through this degree
Second-year was particularly tough for me and I was emotional much of the time. My poor family and fiancée got the brunt of it and I felt for them.
Then just before my final physiology exam this year I really did break down.
I’d just finished a run of 10 days on placement and I had just one day off before my next shift. I had to revise but I was exhausted. I’m an ‘early bird’ but on this particular day getting out of bed made me cry and ring my mum for the millionth time saying I couldn’t do it. She was so worried she knitted me a teddy bear with a little note and sent it in the post as a hug from home. Cue more tears.
”We work hard for something we’re emotionally invested in and that can make it tough on everyone around us”
So yes, this course is tough.
We work hard for something we’re emotionally invested in and that can make it tough on everyone around us. I’m starting to see the light now and hopefully so are my ever-suffering family.
I’ve just finished my first placement of third-year, done my exam and received a cracking grade of 90% for my essay. I can finally start to feel positive. I’ve even had a job offer, which just feels like madness. I’m writing this not to brag but to say don’t worry, you’re allowed those down days. You’re allowed to cry. But please don’t doubt yourself - you can do it.
“You’re allowed those down days. You’re allowed to cry. But please don’t doubt yourself - you can do it”
I wish I’d worried less during this course and enjoyed it more. I love nursing, as I’m sure do you. I got a letter last week from a patient. I’ve never had one before and it has made this entire course worthwhile. The patient said I’d helped them and their partner through the toughest experience of their lives and that I’d truly made a difference to them.
I’ve held ladies’ hands whilst they miscarry. I’ve had a patient discuss abuse with me and feel like they can open up to me. This is a true privilege and not one I ever imagined I’d be granted at the start of this course.
”You may be a student at the moment but I can promise that you have made a profound difference to someone already and will be remembered fondly by someone”
We spend our lives doing a job that is quite ‘everyday’ for us but for our patients they may remember us for the rest of their lives. They likely don’t remember our names or even our faces. They will remember whether they felt they could trust us and if they were treated with kindness when they were frightened.
You may be a student at the moment but I can promise that you have made a profound difference to someone already and will be remembered fondly by someone. That is why you’re putting yourself through this hard work. You’re a kind nurse - remember that during the bad days.
Vicki Abrahams is Student Nursing Times’ adult branch student editor.