Wednesday, 15 August 2012

What A Difference 365 Days Make

Last week was a week to remember for many reasons, but perhaps the biggest reason was that it marked the end and successful completion of my first year. I cannot tell you how unbelievably proud, relieved, and scared I felt walking out of uni that day, after all I am now officially one third of the way through my education. Having been on placement for the last two and a half months, I am well and truly in reflection mode, and so it seemed only fitting that I should reflect on the past year’s events.

It seems odd to me now that this time last year I was literally counting down the days, hours, and minutes until the start of my degree and career. I had yet to don my uniform that I now feel like I am never out of, yet to experience the true meaning of fatigue and the capabilities of the human body in overcoming such a sorry state, yet to learn how to spell diarrhoea, and yet to understand what it meant to truly care for people and the impact this would have on my own life as well as theirs.

As with any year there have been ups and there have been downs; I’ve had days when I’ve struggled to imagine doing anything else with my life, and days when I’ve had to talk myself round from walking away from it all. Nursing is nothing if not challenging, and although this has been one of the most stressful years of my life, it has also been one of the most rewarding.

Academically, I can’t complain. The standard of teaching at my university is absolutely excellent, and it’s not uncommon for me to leave a lecture feeling inspired or intrigued by both the lecturer and the subject matter. My grades are good, a large part of which I believe is down to the aforementioned stellar teaching and staff, and ultimately I really enjoy being at university and being in a conducive learning environment.

In terms of placements, my experiences for the most part have been good. My last placement in particular was fantastic and one I shall never forget. The standard of care is the best I have ever seen, and I feel truly lucky and honoured to have worked alongside such an amazing group of people. In just ten short weeks they have shown me that the ideal doesn’t have to be just a concept, but can in fact be a reality. Sorry for all the gushing but we simply don’t shout enough about such examples of nurses and nursing care in my opinion, however that’s another post all of it’s own.

As a student nurse each day is different, bringing with it a new trials and tribulations, fears and doubts, achievements and failures, as well as sorrow and joy. One year on and I can barely remember what my life was like before I embarked on this incredible journey, and if I’m honest, I don’t really want to.

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