When growing up, I was always fascinated with the human body, and hospitals. I devoured anatomy type books, and every time I went near a hospital, I always imagined myself being ‘behind the scenes’. Being a patient was frustrating to me, I wanted to know what was going on INSIDE.
Fast forward many years, and many years (all that study), and here I am. A Registered (Real) Nurse at the world renowned The Royal Children’s Hospital. I worked my backside off to get here, and WOW, it was worth it. The sense of gratitude I feel EVERY single time I walk through the doors, or catch a glimpse of my ID lanyard, or even my scrubs, is spine-tingling!
Monday fortnight ago was our first day. Orientation. Normally that word installs a sense of trepidation and ‘b o r i n g’ into my soul! This time, however, I was slightly nervous, and, well, starting to worry about how I would fit in with all the youngsters! Not the patients, but the rest of the Grad cohort!
So. Let’s talk about commuting. Work is 1hr and 20mins away. On a good day day where there is absolutely NO ONE else on the roads, it can take me a good hour and a half to get to work. Getting home is another matter – THREE HOURS people. THREE.
I Will leave that with you for a moment.
Even driving Roger – that’s just too far.
Now I catch the train. Yes. It means that I get up at 4:00am, for a 7:00am start, BUT, I get to have a nap on the train, and I am nice and relaxed when I get to work. I also save on fuel, tolls and parking fees. Win win.
It has now been 4.5 weeks since I started (time flies), and quite frankly, I am LOVING it. All of the long hours of study were totally worth it. The travel is more than worth it (I say that now, lets revisit in a month or two!). I am learning oh so much, my brain explodes daily. I am living a long held dream. I am actually nursing. Little people. Not just applying band-aids to my own little people.
Every day is a challenge, every day I am faced with something new. There are so so many conditions that I have never even heard of. Three years of nursing school doesn’t teach you much at all. Yeah – I can write an essay worthy of top marks, and I can ace an exam, but neither of those things actually prepare me for nursing. Thankfully I am surrounded by a fabulous cohort of nurses and interdisciplinary medical teams that are very willing to share their knowledge and experience.
I have just finished a training day on ‘management of clinical aggression’. Bring on the code greys!
This week is our fifth week, but first week of being non-supernumerary- so in essence, we are Real Nurses! We have our own patient load. Although w are responsible for the care of our patients, we do have extra supernumerary nursing staff ready to support us, which is incredibly handy when going down to Emergency or taking a patient to Theatre – it is like a maze in this place! Unfortunately supernumerary stops when the shift is over, so they can not help me find my car when I have forgotten where I parked it. Just sayin’.
Living the dream. (albeit on little sleep!)
A you living your dream?