Well, today was the final day of my traineeship.
I wish that it wasn't. I feel that I have so much more to learn. Don't get me wrong: I have learned an enormous amount over the last year, on both a personal & professional level. This has been such a steep learning curve for me. I know that I am not alone in this. But I feel that I fall quite a ways short of the mark, too.
Working as a nurse has deep & profound responsibilties attatched to it. The trust that clients/patients ( the terminology changes depending upon the place of work) have in me & my abilities scares me at times. Work colleagues need to be able to have faith in me as well. As I said to a workmate today, I feel "undercooked". She laughed, but re-assured me that all was ok.
But it's not unusual for me to have doubts in my own abilities. I don't think that this is necessarily a bad thing. I think that it makes me work harder to ensure that I do my best at all times.
It has taken me 14 years & 4 attempts to get to this point. I seriously started to think of nursing as a career when I was pregnant with GG (she's now 20!), but it wasn't until VBoy was 5 months old that I decided to give uni a go after working as a lab tech from the age of 19, with a 4 year stint as a family day carer thrown in as well. After 1 year part time studying for my Bachelor of Nursing, Beloved secured his job in Muswellbrook, so our move to the country with 3 children under 9 (with no family support around) put paid to any idea of continuing my studies.
Fast forward to 1999, I started working as caretaker at the local dog pound, then my career changed in 2002 to working in Dementia Daycare & I was offerred a traineeship as an Assistant in Nursing in Aged Care. At the same time, I was nightfilling in the new Big W in Muswellbrook. The move to Denman concluded my relationship with Big W, & I became the Activities Co-Ordinator at Denman Aged Care Facility.
This was a lovely, comfortable, non-threatening job, but nursing continued to beckon. The more time I spent within the hospital system, the greater the urge to nurse became. Then the idea of an Enrolled Nursing traineeship was suggested. But securing a traineeship was easier said than done. I applied once, twice. I was interviewed once, twice. After the second attempt, I was contacted to say that I was shortlisted, but 1 off the list. If someone dropped out, I would be in. "Who do I have to shoot?" was my reply.
Nobody dropped out, but again I was contacted, this time asking could they put my name forward to a private company. Of course I said yes. Another interview, but for a Newcastle facility. I don't think that they believed that I would have been happy to work out of my geographical area. I was actually applying to work anywhere from Wyong to Gloucester/Taree & all over the Hunter.
Discontent had set in at Denman, & I applied & was succesful in securing work in the Aged Day Centre at Muswellbook Hospital. At the same time, Beloved & the kids convinced me to apply once more for a traineeship. I was reluctant as Sboy's HSC year was coming up, & I felt that it was important that I was available if he needed me. Vboy was had only recently turned 13. Was it fair to take so much time out from my family?
Their resounding response was "YES!". The application went in the same time as the application for the Day Centre, about September/October. The boss knew this, but wanted me to work with her anyway. Again, I was asked to attend an interview. God, how I hate interviews.......... All the required questions were asked, & appropriate answers given. My one & only question to the panel towards the end of the interview went something like this:
"Well, it's no secret that I've been here in this seat before. Actually, 3 of the 4 of you on the panel have interviewed me previously. So, my question to you is.... 'What do I have to do to convince you that I am the right person that you need for one of these traineeships? How can I convince this panel that you should employ me? That you need to employ me....'..?". There was a bit of shuffling in their seats, & a few wry smiles before the question was answered. After this we ended up having a lovely informal chat about the direction of healthcare etc...... On January 5, 2008, I received a call on my mobile after my Aunty Viv's funeral offerring me a traineeship, based out of Scone Hospital.
And the rest is history. You've walked the journey with me.
I can't believe it's over.
I feel that's it's a bit of an anticlimax.
My lovely workmates bought me a beautiful chocolate cake for afternoon tea, and some handcream & shower gel. I love these women. This morning, they argued over who was taking me with them...... It was so nice... And I only had 15 days with them. But they are my original employing department in healthcare. In my appraisal, I said that I felt as if I had come home.
I'm now unemployed. But instead, I'm referring to it as "holidays"............
I might have LOTS more time to blog.............