I cannot believe it’s been a year since I was posting about being finishing first year and now I’m two shifts and an exam result away from being in my third and final year. It’s quite scary.
I’ve somehow become adept at blocking out the inevitable that in another years time I’ll be let out on my own into the big bad world of nursing. I still can’t grasp how I’ll ever be able to remember all of the things I should know, or get rid of the feeling that I’ll be a terrible nurse because of my ‘lack of knowledge’ which I know I can only gain with practice and time. I do however have to hold my head up high and believe in blind faith that I’ll be ok. I will get through it and I will be capable enough.
Granted the fears are somewhat less than they were two years ago when I started this journey. Second year has taught me a plethora of skills and disease processes along with the nursing treatments to aid recovery or comfort. I know a shitload more than I did at the beginning of the year and that says a lot. Yes I still have moment where I think my brain will shut down and ‘poof!’ all the information evaporates without continual practice. But again, blind faith and regular reminders until it sticks will be my way forward.
I remember sitting here a year ago writing about my ‘second year slump’ after a terrible placement with not so nice people and feeling so unmotivated and lacklustre about my future in nursing I cannot stress how different I feel now. Feeling discouraged is part of the nursing game, forever, at least once a week or day, for the rest of your life. It’s because we do a hard job with a lot of responsibility and it’s taken this year for me to realise that it’s ok to feel like that and that most people do, even nurses who’ve been at it for years.
I’ve learned to give myself a break and that I’m not supposed to feel thrilled about every placement or job I have. I don’t need to be joyful about nursing all the time, it’s ok to have days where you hate it. This probably sounds really odd but during first year I would beat myself up for not liking the wards like other people do or having dread over not being good enough because I wasn’t skipping into work every day.
I’ve got to experience community nursing and theatre nursing this year and I’ve loved it. The wards just aren’t for me, I can do it just fine but it doesn’t make me happy going into every day. However there are so many different areas to work in and that’s why nursing is so unique and worth rolling with the punches for.
I’ve matured this year and know that a job is just a job at the end of the day but it truly is what you make of it. You don’t need to get trapped in an area you don’t like, you can find somewhere else to move on to.
Fellow student nurses who are feeling discouraged. It will be ok. You’ll find what works for you and if it definitely isn’t for you then you will know in your heart right away. Trust your gut instincts that aren’t led by fear and you’ll do just fine.