Being a student nurse is bitter sweet, you experience every inch of caring and nursing – except anything to do with blood. You’re not allowed to administer IV medication, nor are you allowed to take blood or insert a cannula. Whilst this is something I’d love to have the opportunity to do, there is more than enough to keep my inquisitive mind perfectly occupied.
I everyday experience the rewarding nursing skill of personal care, which allows me to know that my patients are comfortable, clean and washed everyday. Being given the opportunity to partake in executing personal care allows me to bathe and dress them how I’d expect to be helped if I were a patient. To parallel, I also am heavily involved with medication and injections – which is something I really enjoy.
There is no denying, training to be a nurse is very difficult! There are more abbreviations than NHS staff, the work-load:staff ratio is not equal and whilst struggling physically during your 12 hour shifts, your brain is working overdrive to take in as much information as possible. Oh, and did I mention that my 40 hour weeks are voluntary. For many, this is a huge deciding factor in applying for and completing the three years of nurse training, and I completely understand.
My personal life was not in a place for me to easily decide to attend university, again. I was in a full-time, rewarding job with a good wage and savings. I’d finished my stint of education and had a degree to show for it. I was (and still am) in a very healthy, exciting and loving relationship and was starting to save for our own home with my partner, Tom. It was Tom who said to me that I had to go for it. I’d wanted to be a nurse for so long and had no other real career aspirations – other than to carry on progressing where I was currently working. After a long haul of trying to decide whether returning to education was right for me (for us), Tom told me that if I didn’t do it now, I never would. He promised to support me, help me and stand by me so I could reach my goal and be in a job that I’d dreamed of – and he has stuck to his work ever since. I have no regrets about my life choice. Yes, it has put a few things on hold but I know it is right for me. It is important when your in a relationship to see it for what it is, not what it is now. I have days where I wish we had our own place, and that maybe I should’ve trained after we moved but when I sit there and think about the chance I’m giving myself, and our future stability – it is worth it.
My advice for anyone considering training to be a nurse would be to go for it. I cannot explain how rewarding it is. I cannot believe that on the condition that I pass the rest of my course, my job isn’t work. It is hard work and at times draining, but I don’t feel like I am working for payment (which yes, I know I’m not being paid right now). It is a pleasure to not only nurse patients, but for those who are more unwell – being there at the end of their life. Not many people are offered an opportunity where you can hold someones hand, calm them down and make them smile at the end of their life, and that is always going to be my favourite thing about my job.