Everything In Between
A lot happens between the time you graduate and the time you first revalidate; that three years will go by very quickly, and it’s only when you stop and look back on everything you’ve achieved that you’ll realise how far you’ve come and how amazingly you’ve done.
So far, this book has covered a vast majority of the experiences you’ll generally have while working, and although not everything will be applicable to every branch, speciality, place of work or individual person, aspects of it can be taken by almost every nurse working in every sector. Some aspects of nursing however have gone undocumented, partly because of my own inexperience of them, and partly because they just don’t fit under any particular topic. Below you’ll find some of these more miscellaneous experiences that can happen to you throughout your years nursing. These also don’t just apply to your first three years, but throughout your career as a whole; they might have already happened, they might be about to happen, or they might never happen. Each of us is different in the way we nurse, in our thoughts, and in our opinions, but these are some things that I can say have stood out for me in my career so far.
Nursing Changes You
There is no denying that your role as a nurse will have some impact of you as a person; there are so many ways in which it can change you for the better; whether this be your personality, your knowledge of certain topics or your general views, beliefs or opinions, no one can say that they have not been in some way affected by their nursing career.
You’ll Make Lifelong Friends
It’s very rare that you’ll ever work within a team of people that you don’t form friendships with; even if there are only one or two. The beauty of having friends at work is that they can understand exactly what you’re going though in tough times, and together you can celebrate the great times – you’re all in it together. A lot of this was covered in Chapter Two with regards to team work, so I won’t go over it too much here, but I think it’s extremely important to remember that your colleagues will be your rocks on so many occasions, and if you’re lucky enough to be part of a really good team; cherish them.
You’ll Find Your Niche
As a student nurse your variety of placements will give you the opportunity to try and figure out where exactly you want to work. For some people, this is enough time to truly find their niche, but some people still need more time; there might be so many specialities that you enjoyed that you still don’t really know which path you want to follow. This is absolutely fine, and just because you’ve been employed somewhere doesn’t mean you’re stuck there; you’re allowed to move around until you find where you truly love working. It’s better to try lots of places of work before you really settle in, than to stay somewhere because you feel like you should.
Sometimes You’ll Grow an Unfathomable Confidence
I don’t know whether this one is down to nursing or human nature, but there will be some shifts you work that will instil in you some type of amazing confidence. You’ll feel like SuperNurse; your patient care will be second-to-none, you’ll do absolutely everything that is required of you (and more), and you’ll really feel amazing. When this does happen it’s the best feeling ever (even if it does only last for one shift) and it goes to great lengths in building up your confidence.
You’ll Still Get Scared, but You’ll Learn from These Moments
This is almost the opposite of the above point, but it is something else that you will experience along the way. As I have established in previous chapters, the longer you’re qualified the more confident you’ll become in your nursing role. However, there will still be shifts that will test you and patients who will suddenly take a turn for the worse and scare you. As experienced as you might be, you will still have moments where you really don’t know what to do (our patients are good at keeping us on our toes, aren’t they?!). In these moments it is important to remember to try and keep a calm and logical head on your shoulders; don’t panic, don’t flap, just get help and do everything you can for your patient – they are your number one priority at all times.
Nursing Has a Huge Impact on Your Life
No matter how long you’ve been nursing for, from the day you started you’ll have already felt the impact on your life. The way this happens will be different for all of us, but you’ll definitely feel yourself changing because of it. Nursing will shape you as a person, it will help you to realise the important things in life and it will bring you so much joy when you see the impact you’re making on your patients. Yes, nursing is hard, and it probably isn’t going to get any easier, but when you think about all of the lives you’ve already changed, and the lives you’ve yet to change, you’ll remember the wonderful impact you’re making.
Nursing really is wonderful, and nurses really are wonderful! Keep going, have faith in yourself and always remember that you are SuperNurse!
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