I have a bit of a confession to make, Dearest Reader.
Now after spending 4 years, nearly 5, in bed with one another on a Wednesday and Sunday morning, I can honestly say it is not a confession at all. But as we all know after my various posts that have described my relationship with procrastination and how we are best friends –take now for instance when I should be really typing my 2500 word assignment- and all things related to Grey’s Anatomy, I have been trying to find ways on how I can accomplish set goals and tasks.
So one of the things I do after staggering into the kitchen for a cup of coffee is write myself a to-do list. Something that I must admit has become a bit of an obsession for me as I secretly get a thrill when crossing things off. But if I am forced to or simply have run out of time, I often tend to forward un-done jobs onto the next day and as a result, these little bad boys are often the first to be accomplished.
My desire for accomplishment stems from having read an interesting article at the beginning of the year and what an amazing post it was. Although I forgot to save it since I was incredibly sleep deprived after finishing placement over the summer break, I found the handwritten rough notes I had originally plotted down, a couple of weeks ago while cleaning out a book for nursing placement and all I can tell you is that the blog post was quite detailed.
Written amongst the witty catch phrases, go get’em comments that left you wanting to skydive or bungee jump because you had so much confidence in yourself was the tips and tricks on how you can successfully achieve said goals, dreams and ambitions whilst still maintaining your sanity and dignity. In this case because I am normally one anxious and highly stressed little bunny, they had me hooked at the promise of keeping sane.
Although I love my to-do lists and are a fan of them, I’ve discovered they aren’t that terrific when it comes to college but more so in the sense of clinical placement. As I am not capable of predicting or foreseeing what is going to happen during my shift unlike other things in my life.
As a result of handover being a vital necessity on those patients who are about to enter the care of myself and fellow Nursing buddies, I often find myself leaving the shift with a rather extensive to-do list scribbled away in my A5 hardcover blue notebook. Over the years of writing down important notes on a piece of scrap paper and only to lose them, this little blue notebook has become an extended part of my body as it get carried to and from each placement undertaken.
When it comes time to crossing off the things that need to be researched after having drawn a rough sketch diagram of a person’s chest cavity with a question mark over where the heart would lie or jotted down in a rush on a underlying disease that I don’t understand, my to-do list becomes a to-be-educated list. Something of which I have been previously told is highly unncessary and stupid.
Each to their own, Dearest Reader. Each to their own.
So what does this mean on the eve of completing my final 160 hours of nursing clinical placement in peri-op and achieving said goals?
Side note: Peri op for those who do not possess medical knowledge or want to ‘Doctor Google‘ –something a beloved friend of mine told me recently, much to my horror-, peri-op is a rotation that will see me watch and observe surgeries being undertaken, post anaesthetic care that entails the patient/s being monitored for any reactions to the anaesthesia and the beginning of it all, admissions and day surgery.
For starters, when I applied to begin the journey otherwise known as studying to become a Registered Nurse and when discovering I had to undertake 800 hours of unpaid work as a student nurse, I wrote down a to-do list. A to-do list or goals of the places within a hospital I wished to have completed my time as a student nurse.
My two locations for preferences and my only two preferences were cardiothoracic and operating theatre (OT).
Like many students who have previously filled and walked the shoes I am currently walking before I pass them off to the next student, who is about to begin their journey of becoming a Registered or Enrolled Nurse, I consider myself pretty fortunate or lucky to have completed my time in a cardiothoracic unit and now in OT.
Secondly, I realised while writing my list of things I needed to complete today before leaving The Little White House tomorrow for my new destination of living that my to-do lists are going to be a waste of time. Guaranteed I have already got it programmed in my head that I have 4 o’clock starts for the next month, I have to find time to finish an assignment, study for an upcoming and final exam and various activities I wish to complete; I’ve decided that I am going to relax and enjoy the next month.
So instead of scheduling my life into hourly brackets, that I’ve just realised puts a lot of pressure and anxiety on my shoulders; I am going to spend the next month breathing and soaking in everything I can learn about being a scrub nurse and living out my Grey’s Anatomy fantasy.
Unlike the Grey and Sloan Memorial Hospital, my hospital doesn’t exactly perform lifesaving cardiothoracic surgery but I have the next best thing and that is neurovascular and orthopaedics. Besides, who doesn’t love seeing a slice of your head being extracted from your skull before 9 am? Can honestly say Dearest Reader, I brought the same topic up only a few nights ago and watched in delight as my person almost threw up at the image presenting its self within their own skull.
I also feel and believe that my drive for wanting to experience a stint in theatre stems back from my own experiences as a child and teenager of going under general. Or rather as a student nurse and having a broader knowledge of what actually happens beyond that red line that greets loved ones, the scalpel and the impeccable medical team that is performing life altering surgeries.
These life altering surgeries have given me the ability to hear a car travelling at a 100 kilometres and the delicate whisper of “I love you” being said in my ear and saving my life from cancer at an age where life appears to suck and nothing is worth living. Oh how 15 year old me has absolutely no idea what she is thinking at all but then, that story is for another day and time in the near future.
Tending to often think of my life as being the candy store in the novel of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dhal or James And The Giant Peach, which is also other dearly favoured novel of mine, I believe this final placement of mine is going to be extraordinary in so many ways.
Personally, I don’t think this belief comes from it being my last clinical placement and the excitement of knowing its going to be the last time where I am able to call myself “student something”. Or the fact, my last assignment and exam is right around the corner and as a result, I’m now having to wear sunglasses for the first time in four years since the light at the end of my tunnel is so bright.
Becase of the brightness and how everything is starting to appear and sound different, I must admit to struggling with the radiance and pitches of it all, after having been used to living in darkness and quietness for so long.
Lastly as I sit here in my little spot on the couch, wiping tears that are trickling down my face, the realisation of knowing an era of my life and pathway of discovering who I am is about to come to an end. An ending that I initially thought would be a slow, drawn out process like so many others before this time. Instead, I’m finding and discovering that the end is speeding by like sound travelling through space and to be honest, I don’t honestly think I am coping with this.
But like many things in our lives, Dearest Reader, that have brought such joy, uncertainty, self depreciation, doubt and the incredible strength we possess to carry on; I have realised that I need to stop crying so I can start thinking about the future and what will it entail and bring for me as a Registered twenty something year old Nurse.
So as I lay my head on my pillow tonight and I release that little sigh before slipping into an undisturbed sleep of medical instruments and witches on broom sticks, I would like you to take a couple of moments to write down some goals and achievements that you would like to accomplish.
For I know what my goals and achievement are and how I have accomplished them already. One of them is knowing that I possess incredible strength and determination to not quit when it all got too hard.
I can honestly say as this post comes to an end, I always love having these little heartfelt moments with you Dearest Reader. For at the end, you always bring a spark back to my life, an energy boost to run and jump that last little hurdle and the knowledge that I have an army of amazing people encouraging me to take one more step.
As a loved one recently said to me one morning: “You can do it, Babe!”
Lots of love, hugs and appreciation,