Private Sector Guilt

Monday, 16 November 2015

I did it- I qualified as a mental health nurse. Officially on the register as of approx 10 days ago, and my cohort graduates later this week. The past year has been so hectic that blogging has fallen by the wayside; I had a total of two days off during my final, three-month-long placement, but it was all worth it and I'm graduating with the degree classification I wanted. My current post is in a male rehabilitation unit that isn't yet open, so I have very little nursing to report on (I mean, literally none), but I do have a lot of other things. Brace yourselves, this has been building for a while.

Inside the Mind

Thursday, 23 April 2015

This time I'll do it. This time I'll go to every lecture and make notes, and when I get home I'll do the recommended reading — no, wait, I'll do even more. I'll be the most well-rounded student nurse anyone has ever seen, because it can't be that hard to learn about everything, can it? There's only three modules, and half of one of those is just clinical skills. There's so many ways of learning, it'll be easy to get into all of them. But, oh, we're never really going to have to do all these things as mental health nurses, are we? It doesn't matter if I can't do it perfectly. Why are we learning about catheterising patients? They'd never let a mental health nurse down there, good lord. And all of this physical stuff — it's handy to know, but how often are we actually going to use it? I just won't bother doing extra reading on the renal system, or the others, there's loads more important stuff to focus on. I'll start learning my drugs early, that's what I'll do. First I'll learn how to pronounce them, that won't take too long, surely? Wait, everyone pronounces everything differently, and it confuses me on the ward. The average doses are different for different disorders too, how am I ever going to remember them all? And don't even get me started on titration. Side effects! Side effects! I'll learn the side effects, they'll be practically the same for everything and they're important to know. Why are there such complicated words for such simple things? Do I need to know them? Surely only pharmacists need to know these. And I could look them up in practice, right? That's what the BNF is for. Nobody knows everything all the time… Or do they? Maybe nursing is like driving, you don't really do it properly til you're qualified and out on your own for a bit. But that's not good enough, is it? You can't muddle your way through things that affect patients' lives. Lives. Lives. What has my life become? I get up early, leave the house, run around all day, come home, go to bed, and do the same thing over and over again. My bursary's been reduced again this year? But the cost of everything is going up. I need to do assignments and manage placement and work for money and see friends and see my family and take time for myself and there'll never be enough hours in the day/week/year. Everything I read is related to nursing or mental health, I should maybe read for pleasure sometimes, too. Or sleep more. Or get some sunlight. And, god, exercise. So many physical health lectures about how we're going to die slow, painful deaths if we don't get regular exercise. But how? HOW?

These are a collection of recurring, stressful thoughts I've had over the past three years. I'm actually at a point where I can see a light at the end of the tunnel; I've completed almost all the academic work (bar for a report and a reflection) required of me and my last placement begins in June. It'll soon be time to start looking for jobs and the reality of how different my life is going to look this time next year is starting to hit home. Cue panic, ahhhh.


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Preface: trigger warning for suicidal ideation. Also a lot of in-depth discussion about PMS, periods, physical symptoms, and emotionality. In short: if you don't like reading about the wiles of being a woman (to a true extreme), you may want to abandon now.

I've had issues around my menstrual cycle for as long as I've had a menstrual cycle, I would say. Much less around my actual period than before it, where my premenstrual symptoms have ranged from such extreme breast tenderness that to simply move would cause intense pain, to raging mood swings that have, particularly lately, caused me to wonder if I have a serious mental illness. Today I was finally confirmed as suffering with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, the most extreme form of PMS.

Psychology and MH Nursing

Friday, 2 January 2015

Placement looms again. This is our penultimate placement; a mere eight weeks, which pales when compared to the behemoth 15 weeks we had to deal with last year. I've had my 'expression of interest' wish granted, and I'll be spending two months with an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service.

I've been begging my tutor for this placement since literally my first term of training. I've been begging life for this kind of opportunity since I was a lowly Psychology student, actually. IAPT was established the year that I graduated from my first degree and I'd had high hopes of jumping straight into a PWP training post and the world being my oyster. Unfortunately, despite numerous applications, I never got so much as an interview. I was embittered for a while, but life has a funny way of working out.

Dating as a Student Nurse

Sunday, 30 November 2014

This week I've felt forced to end my second relationship in as many years, and it's led me to one conclusion: dating as a student nurse does not work.

For me, anyway.

Using Evernote for Essays

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

I'm a sucker for organisation, and I've spent much of the past academic year kicking myself for not getting into using Evernote before now. There's a fair few blogs around on how to use the app to help write essays, but I haven't found any of them particularly helpful, or at least not in a way that I find applicable to writing essays for nursing.

Basics: Evernote is a free application for every platform ever - I currently have it installed on my MacBook, iPad and iPhone. You need to create a free account to use it, which takes mere moments, and if you wish to access your notes offline, you'll need to pay £4 a month for a premium account (I've been doing this for the past two months as I've had chance to work on essays when I'm at placement, which doesn't have wifi). Your account syncs your notes between all your devices, and is incredibly simple to use.

Choices, Choices

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Pre-placement thoughts:

"I don't want Crisis/HT, I want to work with people long-term."
"I don't want Crisis/HT, it's all medication."
"I don't want Crisis/HT, it's too far to travel."

Mid-placement actions:

I've submitted my management request for third year, and Crisis/HT is top of the list.