So today I returned to my ex-work base to do two things, well three; sign my new contract as a sponsored HCA (healthcare assistant), unpack my carboot and clear out my work tray and say a proper goodbye to the few colleagues who remained in the late afternoon.
Along with excitement about the impending 3 years ahead of me, I feel somewhat mournful at the end of the last 2 years spent with the most amazing team. Not in a long time have I felt such comradeship in an environment that is fraught with government imposed cutbacks affecting staffing levels amongst other budget related issues. As the NHS frantically try to stop the tsunami of patients flooding the acute hospitals, the community nursing teams are the flood barriers, desperately trying to stem the flow. And my god what a good job they do. I shall desperately miss the banter that helps you keep you atop the lifeshite that threatens to drag you down and I hope that I can find similar inspiration in future teams that I work with.
Two years ago I came to the Trust to work as a therapy technician and within a few weeks after listening to the nurses speak passionately about their patients at a multidisciplinary team meeting (MDT – basically a meeting where different health professionals discuss their patient’s needs), I soon realised that I wanted a piece o’ that cake.. I felt inspired by their enthusiasm and knowledge and here I am after 2 years of hard work and dedication to finally begin the last hurdle. Three years of degree level study. And don’t be fooled. We are not talking about the usual uni shennanigans. This is no picnic.. no three month summers with fart-arsing around and missing lectures willynilly. This is proper head down, work your arse off shit. We’re talking only 3 weeks off in the summer. Off sick? Well there had better be a darn good explanation why. Placements that follow the shift patterns of the ward you are training with, be it 12 hours or over the weekend. And I am one of the lucky ones. I have managed to get sponsored. I will actually receive a wage to do this course and won’t have to rely on the bursary that is in it’s final year of circulation, thanks to the good ol’ Conservatives who are determined to drive the NHS deep, deep into the ground.
I begin in three and a half weeks. I get to settle my youngest in to school and to savour some time off before I get thrown into the lion’s den of bureaucracy, protocol and breaching deadlines, offset with the tangible rewards of knowledge, passion and patient (de)appreciation.
I won’t deny it, this journey on the Nursing Train feels like it could become an untamed rollercoaster as I struggle to deal with my anxiety demons that threaten to get a stranglehold and wrestle me to the ground but I know I am capable, I know I encompass the qualities needed in a good nurse and I just need to have faith that I will surface at the end of the third year, victorious, graduating with the biggest, fuck off smile on my face.. ready to greet the world as a qualified nurse.
And where should this newly qualified nurse tread? Well I have an interest in women’s health. I currently treat clients with maternity and fertility reflexology and I love the idea of integrating this with orthodox medicine. So folks, stay with me for the next few years and share the stories that you have as you pad down your own path – I am just as eager to share my own stories as read yours xx