Updated: Feb 28
As time passes and the pressures of Covid are reducing, things are now starting to get back to normal. It's been over a year now and I've not studied or trained in what seems like forever. Never in my life did I expect to say these words but, man...I've missed learning and studying! People who know me, such as my friends from the good old school days, wouldn't expect this statement from me. I hated school. I never studied for anything. I was the boy that never, ever did his homework. I was always getting detention for not doing it and then telling my teachers that there was no point giving me the detentions as I wouldn't turn up for them. At the end of the school day, I would escape across the back of the school field and make my way home. Sometimes I'd even screw up the detention slip and toss it into the bin that sat beside the very angry, red-faced teacher who'd just given it to me. They would boil over and issue me an even longer detention. They never learnt and neither did I. We played this cat and mouse game my whole school life. I even intercepted phone calls from the school and pretended to be my dad. This worked a few times, until I got caught when my teacher heard my mum asking "Who's on the phone Adam?" Needless to say, that didn't go down too well with the school, although I found it very amusing. I did zero revision for my GCSE's but passed the shit out of them nonetheless (well, with the exception of one because I didn't do any coursework). To say that I've missed studying and learning is strange but true. I have a thirst for knowledge. I want to grow and develop; to be the best nurse that I can possibly be. However, this doesn't apply to my mandatory training; I bloody hate that. It's the same mundane, boring training every year. Yuk! I know this is just as important to complete but it is just so boring! I'd been asking for a course at work but damn Covid had put the breaks on that idea. Not anymore though! The cogs are now in motion and things are resuming. I've now been given the raining course I wanted and I'm filled with excitement. It's my time to shine! To prove myself again by coming up trumps and passing! Like all training courses in my field, it's full of simulations and theory and long days of frantic home studying which stretch into the early hours. I'll be passing out on the sofa with a book in my hands, or waking up dribbling onto my keyboard! You get the theory and then it's time to do the simulations. The instructors' dreaded question, "Who would like to take the first scenario?" is usually followed by an awkward silence. Tumble weeds roll across the room and everyone avoids making eye contact with the instructor until one brave sole eventually volunteers (the first one to crack under the pressure). Honestly, I never volunteer. I wait until the end, giving me a chance to watch and learn from everyone else's mistakes, then try not to emulate them. I find that's the best way to limit the chances of making a tit out of myself. It doesn't always work and I've been known to make a fool of myself despite my master plan! The good thing about training days at work is the free food. This is when you see everyone turn into wild animals, stuffing whole trays of pizza down their throats, consuming enough food to feed an army in about five minutes. I've even seen people stuffing food into their bags as if it were the last chance at a hot meal they are going to get for the year. Let's face it, nurses never get time to eat at work so we take advantage when we can! In reality, when a course says food will be provided there is never an empty seat - just crumbs littered around the room and all of the learners in a semi-comatose state. Sometimes it's all too much: an explosion of information alongside a nervous hangover from consuming ten cups of coffee (why not, it's all free!). You stagger home with your head filled to the brim with new knowledge, feeling like it might explode. All you want to do is sleep but it's time to study! You are probably being tested at the end of the course. Even if you're not, the course leader will try and catch you out with random questions to check your knowledge. Good job you're coffee'd up - this does have its advantages, such as being able to talk for England! Whilst on training courses you can feel the tension in the air. The questions asked by students switch from probing, learning questions to "what happens if we fail?" or "what's the actual pass mark?" You always get a vague response like "Don't worry, you will be fine!". Nine times out of ten they are right. The relief of passing a course is amazing. Sometimes it can even be confusing. I was sure I'd failed a recent course, so when I was told I had passed my response was "Really? Wow! Are you sure?" To be fair, it wasn't surprising that I was nervous about that one. It was an intense course and I'd already seen some people being sent home after the first test. I was obviously in shock after facing the traumatic experience of both a tested scenario and an exam at the end. It was a proud moment nonetheless and I was so excited that I almost skipped home to tell my family - making the 15 minute walk in under five minutes. Becoming a nurse wasn't an easy process and I now realise that even after qualifying, it doesn't get any easier. You are forever learning. To enhance your prospects in nursing, lots of advanced courses are needed. No longer can I be the boy getting detentions for not doing my work. Now I have to study, and hard! Healthcare isn't easy but I always feel that I have something to prove - to myself and to all the doubters in the earlier part of my life. I will progress and I will make something of myself. I've come so far already. I've pooped the rainbow with my poker face on. Now it's time to climb that rainbow. The more knowledge I gain, the more my confidence is boosted. Most importantly of all, I am enjoying the process and showing my children what can be achieved through hard work and dedication. Anything is possible and us nurses make the impossible possible every day.