I wanted to write this blog because Sometimes it’s important for my brain to work through things.
Two years ago, on my final nursing placement, I was asked
Have you ever been to see a therapist about your obsession with nursing? It’s not normal!
I was told numerous times I should just ‘babysit’ patients for a few hours, whilst the other nurses ‘did the work’.
When I arrived in the morning I was often told that today ‘wasn’t going to be a learning day, we’re just too busy with patients sorry’
Once, in a desperate attempt to improve in my weak area (fluid charts) I asked:
‘I need to work on my fluid charts. Can I just do one for a patient to keep for myself even if they don’t need it? I’ll keep it in my pocket just as practice’
To which I was told ‘no. They don’t need one so don’t waste paper’
I was feeling increasingly desperate and disheartened
I always asked the staff if I was doing enough to become qualified by the end of the placement.
Mikey you’re doing great, the kids love you!
Call it gut instinct, but I knew this wasn’t really the case.
After 4 more weeks of feeling increasingly uncomfortable, with comments about my head injury mounting, some of the nurses who told me I was doing great when I asked how I could improve went to my mentor and told her they had concerns about me.
I was never given specifics regarding these ‘concerns’.
I decided I had to leave. I just didn’t feel I was getting a fair chance. I didn’t want to leave and this meant watching my friends qualify ahead of me and extending my programme even more.
This experience affected me and my family at such a crucial time in my journey, that it even led my family to say that I should walk away from the programme.
A year and a half on and although I may have mentioned this through my blog before, I’ve been non-specific in accordance with maintaining confidentiality as stated in the NMC code of conduct (2015)
A recent conversation I had with a colleague on my new ward
‘Mikey, I’d heard of you before I had even met you. My friend who works on your old unit asked if you really were as rubbish as she’d heard’
On my previous placement, my last day
‘Mikey I can tell you this now, but everyone here knew about you and your brain injury before you had been arrived’
So much for confidentiality.
It makes my life difficult sometimes I won’t lie, but there are people with head injuries all over the world who are misunderstood and ostracised like this and worse every single day.
I’m only human. I’m not a bad person
I’m just someone who loves working with kids. Yes, sometimes I’m not the sharpest tool in the box, especially when I’m tired, but I have been assessed and passed my nursing degree.
The ward I work on now seem to support me with this mantra and I only hope this continues.
Give me the time I need to settle in and you’ll get the best nurse I can possibly be out of me. I just need a little bit of understanding and patience.
The moral I took away from this soul destroying and demeaning experience is that you should never judge a book by its cover because you never know what people are going through in their lives.