Thursday, 17 September 2015

And the next journey begins...

On the 1st August 2012 I started as a staff nurse on a surgical wing at a private hospital. I was able to develop myself into a senior staff nurse, specialise in high dependency and realise my love of teaching!

This job also increased my confidence in making management decisions and also highlighted how, as a nation, we are rubbish at looking after our own health. I very quickly developed a love affair with health promotion and teaching my patients to understand their bodies.

Yesterday, September 16th 2015, was my last day. Back in April I accepted a position to undertake my Masters degree specialising in public health and promotion. It feels like an age ago that I found out and now I am FOUR days away from beginning the training for my dream job.

This is more than just leaving a nursing job. I am also leaving the clinical nursing role completely. For 5 years since I qualified I have taken care of very poorly people from SO many walks of life. I have cared for palliative patients, advised on medications, changed the nastiest wounds, done cardiac arrests, taught student nurses, been vomited, weed and spat on. I have dealt with every bodily fluid you can imagine and still sometimes wonder what orifice it has come from. I have been able to assist in theatre and appreciate what happens beyond the scar. But most of all I have worked alongside some of the most wonderful people.

Yes I am leaving the clinical setting but it's the team I am going to miss so much. They're the people that have encouraged me, hugged, challenged me, told me where I am going wrong and where I was going right. Even the days I struggled to deal with management or busy moments. They were on hand to say 'if you need me to do anything just ask.' I'll never forget when I had my breakdown 2 years ago and I questioned how well I could perform as a nurse. Yet, they just said it was my mind that needed to take a rest not my capabilities.

How lucky am I? I am so underserving to have worked alongside some of these incredible people and now I must leave them.

It's safe to say I am really excited for the next part of my nursing journey. I never thought 5 years ago I would be going back to university and specialising! It's barmy! It's crazy to think that.

But there is NOWAY I would be where I am without the awesome nurses, assistants, doctors, consultants, students and the multidisciplinary teams that have humbled me along the way.

I will miss the very bones of you all. This MSc is for you guys...


Tuesday, 8 September 2015


A few weeks ago I lost a patient in her late thirties to a nasty disease. It was a sudden death and I never imagined getting a call from her mother to inform us of the news. Undoubtedly it was horrible for myself and the whole team to hear.

What was also harrowing was that her family knew her wishes if she were to die. But that cannot happen because she never made a will. So in the midst of grief her family are having to battle it out to ensure their daughter's wishes are heard, but legally her requests don't exist. I really cannot imagine how hard this must be to deal with!!! And it got me thinking.

I need to make my will.

Even though I don't feel like I have a lot to my name there are certain things I want to happen if I were to suddenly pass away. I have never really discussed with my family what funeral I would like, how I would like to be buried and organ donation etc. They are tough questions I have had to ask myself but they need answers because I'd hate to think of the hassle my family would have to go through if I didn't - legally - have a response to them.

Also here in the UK if you don't have a will then the government are quite within their right to take your money and assets. And I do not want that to happen! I want to ensure my loved ones inherit what I have worked hard for and enjoy the things in life I may not be able to. I think it's a shame that will making isn't heavily regulated because it helps prevent so much like family squabbles, appoints trustees, ensures your money/assets go to individuals, charities etc that you want them to go to. If you die with no will, the law decides all that, not you. At present 30 million people in the UK, over the age of 21, do not have a will. I think that's sad but not surprising.

It's these people that I want to carry out my last requests, not the government who don't know me.

So do you have a will? If not, really think hard about getting one drawn up. If you do not know how to go about it then you just need to instruct a will writer to act on your behalf. In total it has cost me £100 to have one drawn up which is minor in comparison to heartache. Once it's done you can update it anytime and you'll have peace of mind, that even in death, your wishes are being heard.


Saturday, 5 September 2015

Honor-ing the day you were born.

Dear Honor,

One year ago today I got a text to say I had become an Auntie again. I was in the Caribbean and part of me just wanted to hop on a plane to meet my little Honor Rose.

I think what astounds me is just how different you are to your brother. You are a such a sassy, forthright and strong little baby. You have had a voice since the day you were born and everyone knows about it. You're such a diva but I have been smitten with you since the day you were born.

I remember about a week before you were born I took your brother out to paint pottery. I remember thinking how an earth am I am going to love another baby as much as I love your brother?

But it just multiplies.

I love your strong will. I adore your cheeky grins. I cherish how much you love your brother and I will always be puzzled by your interest in dirt.

I don't want you to grow up anymore. But, equally, I cannot wait to see what a wonderful little girl you will grow up to be.

Thank you for gracing my life this past year. I treasure you and Cohen, more than you will ever know. I cannot believe you are one years old!

I hope you grow up to live up to your name. To honour life, to honour those who love you and most importantly honour yourself.

I am so proud to be your Auntie. Happy 1st birthday my amazing little niece!


Friday, 28 August 2015

Travel: Mexico

As many of you know I love my trips and holidays. Since buying my house and starting university next month I have to be a lot more careful about anything I book now. In saying that I still want to go away just not as often.

So next year I am off to Mexico!

I know that I need a trip where I can just relax and chill out. I am going at the time my masters degree ends so a little R&R is something I will be needing. It's funny because I have a travel list and some people have asked me why I am going somewhere that isn't on my list of places I want to go.

And the answer is pretty simple.

It's just a list.

It doesn't mean I don't want to see other places. I know I really want to go to Thailand and that isn't on my list but it doesn't mean I won't go because it isn't on my list. I think it would be very narrow minded of me to have that view.

One of the things I do LOVE about going somewhere that isn't on my list is that I haven't researched it. So if you have been what do you recommend seeing/doing?

I am going to be on the Caribbean coast just south of Cancun. I welcome any Mexican advice and ideas!

Have you any trips planned? 


Friday, 21 August 2015

Just Everything

I feel like just everything is getting on top of me at the moment. I just feel as if I am permanently harassed and not just be people. By traffic, paperwork, gossip, rubbish weather, poor funds. I just feel irritated by everything.

Two weeks ago I went through a meltdown. It was the first time in two years that I felt out of control and it was scary. But I have also, with wonderful help, been able to pick myself up so much better. I have been able to realise where my thoughts should not have been going and been able, with support, try to re-navigate myself. It's almost like I am a GPS. I lost my way for a bit and at the moment I currently feel like I am doing the U-Turn. I just haven't quite figured out which road to drive onto yet. But I am quite happy to wait at the junction until I do.

It's also hit me this week that this time next month I will be a student again. I am so used to being the mentor for student nurses so to go back to where I was 5 years ago - just seems a little crazy. I am EXCITED for it. I am so ready for a new challenge and this is something I have dreamt of doing. But this week has also hit home at what I am leaving. Even though I find the job boring I do not find the people I work with dull in the slightest.

They're like a second family and I genuinely feel like I am flying the nest. Their support has been invaluable but my God it is starting to sink that I won't be working alongside them anymore. It's scary. Today I said my first goodbye to one of the girls, as she is going away for a month, and the idea of having to do that 20+ more times sucks.

Change is a good thing but it also stops me from being in the driving seat for a little bit. So just like this post. I seem to be feeling a cacophony of every emotion at the moment. Yet, as long as I am better than I was two weeks ago then I know I will be okay.

I have faith in the next step even if I can't see the whole staircase.

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