Last lap now…


On the marathon that is a BSc Hons in Mental Health Nursing I am running the last lap, the final furlong, the sprint finish. Whatever you care to call it, THIS year I will be qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse. A handful of assignments, a presentation and a dissertation stand between me and that goal. I have a few weeks left in lectures to absorb the last bits of theory then an extended placement for about four and a half months known as the ‘management’ placement.
This management placement is the only one during the degree where we are allowed some input into where we go, we were to make three choices and hope for the best. Tomorrow we are due to discover our fate, where we will spend time on practice and for the last time in our nursing career have the safety of “I’m just the student” prefix when introducing ourselves.
I made my three choices back in early December and am already aware that the placement I really wanted is not possible due to operational demands on that area. I am really disappointed as I learned a great deal when I spent time in that team, they were also a wonderfully friendly and accommodating team. On a practical level as well they work 9-5 Mon-Fri and whilst I know will likely work shifts once qualified this would have proved very useful during this final placement when I have academic work to do as well.
C’est la vie. I am a great believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason and I feel certain that this reason will show itself soon, I just hope I have one of my choices though… nerves are setting in now!
I want to be the best nurse I am capable of being so value my time on practice placements so very much, I know how important gaining the skills for my future career is and with the NHS running so frugally at present I am aware that once I have my nursing registration there will not be time to spend on self development during the working week. I feel like I am waiting for exam results waiting to find out where I will be spending my final months as a student nurse, I have butterflies in my stomach and tingling in my fingertips. I am only nervous because it matters so much. I have my own lived experience of the horrors which mental illness can impose upon its victims and the hope that recovery gives, I have the theory I have absorbed like a sponge in lectures, I have the reading around I have done often during my daily commute on the train reading about things which either in lectures or on placement have fascinated me and inspired me to learn more and I have watched practitioners taking on board their practices like a child imitates its mother by wearing her high heels. Soon, in a couple of years maybe, I will be the one allowing someone to step into my high heels and that is an amazing thought. I LOVE nursing… I just wish tomorrow was here so I knew where I’m off to next!

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