I would really REALLY like you to contribute to the Book of Nurses in celebration of International Nurses Week this year (May 6-12).
Your story matters.
OK then, to start off tell us what country/area you live in, how long you have been nursing for, what areas you have worked in and the specialty you currently work in.
Hello, I’m Hattie! I’m currently living in Canberra, Australia. I’m in my second year of nursing at university. I’ve done placements in paediatrics, disability & rehabilitation, and mental health.
What made you decide to become a nurse?
I left school at 16, with absolutely no clue as to what I wanted to do, attended college for a bit. I went travelling, worked jobs that weren’t getting me anywhere and was pretty fed up with it all. Until my wonderful mum directed me in another field of work; caring for people with disabilities.
She got me an application for a disability agency, I very reluctantly applied thinking I’d hate it, and literally the next day I was employed as a carer. I loved it from the get go. Whilst helping to clean up a rather nasty wound with a nurse, I was struck at how much I enjoyed it.
Was nursing for me? Things just felt overwhelmingly right, I applied to uni and two years later here I am! I haven’t looked back since. The expression “mothers know best” is so right, it worked in my case anyway!
Did you find your training prepared you for what actually goes on at the bedside?
What sort of things really opened your eyes when you first began working ‘on the floor’?
I’m still in training, but we got exposure to working by the beside almost immediately. I also worked a lot with nurses when looking after high dependency clients in my caring job; they often liked to talk about ward nursing.
So I guess I had a bit of knowledge behind me before heading out onto the floor.
The stringent checking of drugs and patient is good; we had that drilled into us early at uni. Ward cultures still get me; every single one has been so different. Heading out into the workforce will be interesting I think, can’t wait though!
Tell us a story: an amazing, funny, moving or memorable moment from your book of shifts.
When I was on placement in a rehabilitation ward, a patient had been partially paralysed in a car accident. They were in the ward slowly gaining their strength, learning how to do everything again, from using a knife and fork, to walking. For weeks she had been spending hours in the gym learning how to walk. Anyway, it was dinner time and everyone was assembled in the dining hall, except one patient. I walked down the hallway to ask her to come and eat, only to see her walking down the hallway towards the dining room. The determination on her face was just amazing. She walked, with a frame, the 50 metres or so to her seat to eat dinner. The room was silent until she sat down and people began to cheer at such an awesome effort. I was completely overwhelmed at something we take for granted, she worked so hard for.
Not just a nurse: what about when you are not at work? What do you get up to in the rest of your life?
I absolutely love travelling, I always have done. Uni has partially put a stop to that, but I graduate next year, hello overseas trip! Other than that, I love music, going to music festivals, watching rugby union, baking & cooking, photography, and just relaxing. Tea, I love it! Our household is never without tea.
Piss and Vinegar: name 3 things that really get under your skin, push your buttons, or generally irritate you at work or outside of work.
People who sit in the right hand lane going about 10/20kms under the speed limit, seriously. Move over!!!! People who don’t contact pharmacy to order in new medications, and leave empties in the box. Inconsiderate acts, if we were all a bit more aware of others then this world would be better!
The nurses desk: What is the one thing you would like to say to the rest of the nurses or general public out there.
To all the nurses who have given me such positive experiences on my placements so far, thank you so much! You are the nurses I strive to be like, and hope to teach students the way you taught me. Positive attitudes from both parties makes for a really pleasant learning experience.