Since I wrote an intro on my Tourettes and my Deafness, I couldn’t resist to make one about me as a nurse. I’m still in training, so I am not (yet) a professional, but I do have some experiences that I’d like to share.
Where it all started
It started with me dropping out of the Signlanguage Interpreting program because of my hearing loss. I KNEW I wanted to ‘help people’, and ‘make a difference’. My mum, dad and sister all work (in some form) in health care, so I knew that they made a difference in people’s lifes. Whether it is by talking to them, or supplying hospitals with equipment that is needed to save people. Nursing at University level seemed like a good idea
Applying and procedures
After I decided I wanted to become a nurse, I applied and did a day of testing at the Uni to see if I was ‘qualified’ to start. And… I was! I was so happy the day I received the news that I got accepted at Uni.
The first year
I followed a program where you do the first 2 years combined in 1 year. That was tough! But I learned so much about the human body and I was surprised that there is SO MUCH that can go wrong, why doesn’t it go wrong more often?! I made new friends, did my first internship at a nursing home and there was one situation that really stuck with me.
2nd year Internship, how to save a life by talking
There was a woman of around 75 years old who had become paraplegic due to cancer about a year before I met her. She got help with daily care, washing, getting dressed, being lifted into the wheelchair and her decubituswounds were taken care of. When the care was done, the nurses left and left her do her own thing, until she was lifted into bed again and then she wasn’t seen for the rest of the night.
I thought to myself: this woman had been able to walk for 74 years, she was independent and did so many things. And now she’s like this. At first I pitied her, but soon I learned that there was no pity neccesary. She was a strong woman, with a strong will for life. I am, in many ways, like her: I’m Deaf and have Tourettes, but I don’t let it hold me back from doing anything!
One day she was told she needed surgery for her wounds. She didn’t talk about it, but I could see she was terrified. One day I asked her directly and sat with her for a long time. She said she had become depressed and anxious – which was no surprise for me, but she hadn’t told anyone. I reccommended some things and that helped her a bit through the surgery. I visited her in the hospital and she was very happy with that. I will always remember her.
Apprenticeship at the university hospital!!
The thing I was working to for 1,5 years finally happened, I got accepted as one of 16 people (out of 200) to not just do an internship at the university hospital, but to get to have the responsibilities that any other registered nurse has and I was going to get paid for it! I was out of my mind so happy.
I was placed in the Brain Division, deparment of Neurology. Ironically, since I myself have Tourettes Syndrome, a neurological disorder. I loved working there, I loved my crazy funny co-workers and I loved the patients.
But as you can read, it’s past tense… I had to stop because of my Deafness and there were some things in my family (my mum was diagnosed with cancer 2 months ago and I got overwhelmed by it all), so to be short: it got too much for me. I learned a lot, I’m really humbled that I got to have this experience, but unfortunately something I had to let go of.
The next chapter of my life
I wouldn’t be Sam if I didn’t already have new plans. And I do! There’s a mental health institute for the Deaf in my country where I applied for to do my 3rd and 4th internship. I have an appointment set at the end of this month, and I hope they’ll see my positive attitude and will hire me!
To conclude: you might face obstacles, but if you find a way around them, they won’t bother you as much. “If things don’t go right, turn left”.
Question: If you work as a nurse (in training), where do you work? What do you like about it most and want to share that with me? Have you faced obstacles during training?