On my way

Last month I turned 21. I also “celebrated” 6 years in my trade that I am desperately trying to leave.

As I see birthdays as a new year, I made a New Years resolution that in a year I will be working in healthcare as an AIN.

I just took the first step towards my resolution- I enrolled in a certificate 3 in aged care. This qualification when I finish will allow me to work as an AIN- a solid step.

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Right in the feels!

At my university, we are required nationwide to undertake two core curriculum units to complete our degree.

These units focus on society at large and our obligations to serve our communities.

After a number of intensive sessions and an exam, we received a mark. I only got 58/100 on a 50% assessment. I tried so hard to master the topics. I tried really hard to get a good grade to keep my gpa high to keep alive my dream of medical school.

I guess all I can say is welcome to university education!

Right in the feels! 😦

Losing motivation.

As mid semester break continues on I fall straight back into the swing of being a student. That is, to put it simply, much like being unemployed but socially accepted.

It with semester breaks that I begin to realise how little time we actually spend at university/ college. I have two and a half years until graduation and of the 120 weeks, only 50 are teaching weeks.

Sleeping in until lunch time and spending the rest of my days on Facebook and YouTube gets old very quickly. With it though, it brings a lot time for introspective thinking. Personally, I begin to think that there are easier and faster ways to become a professional member of the workforce albeit in a different industry.

This lack of structure to my life makes me feel like I’m in a rut. That my life is stagnating and I’m not moving forward. However, I KNOW that I am moving forward and that any place worth going takes effort.

I guess I’m just part of the student body minority. I thirst for knowledge and love being at university.

Most students would be shocked to hear this- but I can’t wait to go back to uni and am dreading summer break!

The night before exams.

After knocking off work exactly 12 hours before my first exam of the semester, I rushed home (safely of course) to pack up my things for tomorrow and got ready to sleep.

Of course, here I am three hours later unable to sleep with an exam fast approaching. The top tip I’ve always seen for exams is to “get plenty of sleep the night before”, and clearly that’s not happening.

So I guess I’ll add a second top tip and that is to be thankful that McDonalds now have 24 hour drive throughs.

On that note, it’s drive through time!

Exam study- I don’t know what I’m doing!

So as exams roll around and talk of study comes up every conversation I find myself lying and saying that I’m doing heaps.

I say lying because I really have no idea what I’m doing nor do I know how to actually “study”. For me writing notes almost word for word and listening to lectures has worked, but spending my time trying to learn everything is really counterproductive.

I didn’t do senior high school years and went to a technical college where it was an encouraging environment where no one failed. Good in that respect, but not so good now the pressure is on.

I find myself now just fumbling through a lot of material trying to get succinct yet thorough notes.

Although I have no doubt in my ability to do well, I feel at a loss and like I’m wasting valuable time.

Readers, what are your study tips and habits that you use during semester and before exams??

Ten things first semester has taught me.

As the end of the semester draws closer I have reflected on many of the things I have learnt and the situations I have been in. There have been many lessons, thoughts and experiences but below are the top ten things I have learnt this semester.

1. About 1/3 of the cohort likes to make jokes about how the will knock off restricted drugs when they are registered nurses working on the wards. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say this, I would be a millionaire. Although I know its mostly only a joke, it will most likely become a reality for some and thats just part and parcel.

2. Some people are only in the profession because they “got into university”. Thats all well and good, they could come out after three years and be the most amazing nurses that we have ever seen, but for the rest that sit in the back of the lecture hall and talk and laugh and disrupt the rest of us- find a mirror and take a good hard look at yourself, someone missed out for you to be there.

3. Academics are academics, when you get frustrated because you feel they aren’t doing a good job of teaching just remember these people are the cream of the crop and you need to do the leg work to seek them out and tap into their wisdom. If you make the effort to participate in their classes, they’ll make the effort with you.

4. Simulation mannequins have some of the most hilarious attachments (like balloons attached to the anus) and they make lab sessions that little bit more fun when parts fall off during a transfer manoeuvre.

5. Six semesters of nursing school is not long enough but it feels like forever. You need to cherish the time that you do have in school, do your best in your studies and keep focused on the end goal. Losing sight of the end goal is when we begin to fall short of our potential.

6. When you do graduate you won’t know everything and you won’t be expected to know everything. Nursing school prepares us to become a new graduate nurse, it is from here that we learn and develop into the nurses we want to be.

7. Some things you learn in school make no sense, and they probably never will.

8. Third years will tell you stories about practicing cannulation on each other and proceed to show their bruised arms and you will either be very interested or feel slightly anxious. For myself, I felt EXTREMELY anxious haha

9. Nursing school is hard and its not something that people do because they didn’t get into a “better” course.

10. Student nurses choose to go to nursing school for a reason, but ultimately we want to be a part of a cause that is greater than our own. Thats what makes nurses amazing people.

 

Placement, emotion and doubt.

I haven’t posted for a loooong time, I’ve just been so busy with uni and work!

Recently I went on my first placement as a nursing student- the anticipation had been building amongst my peers however, I was always feeling a bit uninterested.

Majority of my cohort was sent to observe staff at an aged care residential facility to see therapeutic communication and core nursing skills in practice. I have a thing with nursing homes, I don’t find them pleasing and they leave me feeling distressed and negative.

During my placement I met some lovely residents and staff and watched the interactions and care that was necessary. When it came time to leave, we had a short discussion with the director of nursing who told us a nursing home is “not their home and not the hospital”.

This comment left me feeling sad, distressed and confused. For me, an aged care facility is a place that once a resident enters they aren’t coming home. To hear the director say that this was not a residents “home” made me ask myself “what is it then and why are they here?”. I couldn’t answer this and this caused me a feeling of sadness and doubt.

I doubted whether I could be a nurse, I couldn’t emotionally disengage from an uncomfortable situation once so how could I do it every day when I graduate?

For days I felt tormented and finally sought the advice and wisdom of my co-ordinator on campus. We have a long session of “real talk” and I came away with a simple message. That was that the fact I was crying in their office meant that I cared. I cared that the attitudes of some people are wrong and I cared that the people I met were such beautiful people living with a quality of life that I can’t imagine.

This experience taught me two things. They are that to be emotive and to be affected is not a sign of weakness but a sign that we care and that in life we need to find what makes us feel good and we won’t find it without seeking it out.