With this post going live on Scarlett O’Chunky, I am either doing two things. One being getting comfortable under the covers in bed as I pretend I don’t have the real world waiting for me or I am currently jogging down the hallway to yet another emergency at work. Even though some would assume by being a Registered Nurse, I am working in a hospital and therefore am off to save someone’s life.
I hate to burst your bubble Dearest Reader but my ‘jogging down the hallway’ is an emergency buzzer announcement stating an elderly resident in my care has either fallen to the floor or they’ve rolled out of bed. Bring on the full head to toe body assessment complete with neurological observations and the standard questions of, “do you have any pain?” and my favourite, “did you decide to roll out of bed because you missed me?”
Least to say, I often get a blank look from both the resident in question and fellow staff.
Having said all of that, my next sentence is rather intimidating and nerve wrecking. Intimidating and nerve wrecking because as of 4 pm this morning, I would have officially completed my first week of studying my Bachelor Degree of Midwifery and will be mentally preparing myself to finish a quiz, do further readings and get ready for week two. Besides completing this first week of studying, I would have actively taken a step into the future of becoming as well as the name and professional outlook of being a Registered Midwife.
Although I have debated on and off with myself over the past fortnight as to why I should sit down and list in dot point the reasons for steering away from nursing; I do feel the need to document my thoughts, opinions and the process for self progression, interests and future evaluation when I think I cannot do it and have stopped seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Does this bring back certain memories of a previous degree?
My need to document my personal journey alongside my thoughts, perceptions and experiences as a Student Midwife stems from documenting my journey and process as a Student Registered Nurse. This meant documenting a ton of negative and positive thoughts I had about why I had decided to become a nurse, my personal experiences while undergoing placement and my overall fear of never graduating and holding a piece of parchment paper. However, it also showed the steps I took to become the woman, person and nurse I am today. A nurse who is fully fledged, competent and often describes herself as a life saving Registered Nurse.
I do use the word ‘life saving’ because I view myself as being someone who not only saves the lives of individuals within my care but I am also someone who takes them in return. I know this may be shocking and disturbing, the image of a twenty something year old woman holding the lethal injection that can possibly end someone’s life but I help the progress of death by providing comfort and care to those who are at the end of their journey. Otherwise known as life.
Like many Graduate Registered Nurses, I thought I would walk into a job in a hospital and spend the rest of my life looking after nameless patients from various backgrounds and socioeconomics. I did not think for one second that I would end up in the industry I vowed to never return to and that being Aged Care. Simply for the fact, I was and still am over dealing with death and the frequent visits of the Grim Reaper. Having been a Registered Nurse for nine months and learning the ropes of keeping tabs on 40-60 residents under my care, I started evaluating and thinking myself, where I saw myself and how I envisioned my knowledge.
Although I do not feel obligated to pinpoint an exact time when the answer surfaced, my decision to step out of the world of nursing was a long term factor within its self. Unlike now where I begin my adventure and three year journey of becoming a Midwife, after possessing the wisdom and knowledge regarding life of a college student, I realised I had failed to recognise, understand and put forth something important.
While studying to be a Registered Nurse, I failed to recognise and understand but I also failed to put forth my intention, desire and urgency to broaden my horizon, knowledge basis as well as further developing my passion and understanding of patient centred care. However, now working an industry where I am putting all of those thoughts into a work pattern and securing the knowledge of what patient centred care is, I knew I wanted to know more and with this, began researching what ‘Midwifery’ and being a midwife was all about and it all pointed back to woman centred care.
Woman centred care is something I have always been heavily involved and passionate about, particularly when speaking and wishing to learn about women’s health. It was also one of the areas I wished to heavily specialise in as a Graduate Registered Nurse and further down the road as a Registered Nurse. My continuous desire and wanting to learn more outside of my comfort zone as a Registered nurse was fuelled ever more when my sister, Kaffy, graduated.
As I watched Kaffy saunter across the stage to shake the Dean’s hand before collecting her two Bachelor Degrees at the end of 2016, the moment of clarity appeared like someone flicking on a light switch in a pitch black room. By that time it was to late for me to register my interests to go back too University for the starting year of 2017.
Having previously picked a university that was not only two hours away from my home base, I had to travel hours for placement and contained enough hills that didn’t make my arse resemble buns of steel; I went about selecting a much closer university that has as good of a name as QUT (Queensland University of Technology). One day in the early months of 2017, I had made the decision to step back onto grounds containing knowledge and power and found myself sitting on campus for two hours, simply blending into the background.
I stared at people and while testing the atmosphere, I knew this university was the right decision for me and it would see me graduate 2021 with a Bachelor Degree. After spending a majority of my time on campus wandering the buildings and immersing myself into the culture, I drove back to The Little White House and registered my interest. I registered my interest of wanting to study a Bachelor Degree of Midwifery through QTAC (an online University application system for those Readers who are international) and at the university I had vowed I would be seeing it in 2018.
Like any blessing that enters your life and changes it for the good, I had this urge to check my emails one evening while at work. As I scrolled through my emails while handling a conversation with a staff member when I paused as I tried to soak in the words before me. I grabbed her hand before letting out a yell. I showed this person my personal email and watched as she read it before stating, “Congratulations. You will make a wonderful midwife.” That October night was and always will be a favourite memory of mine.
So what does this entail for Scarlett O’Chunky and my plan of action.
The simple answer is, Dearest Reader, I want to continue documenting my journey to becoming a midwife on this blog. Although Scarlett O’Chunky is a lifestyle blog, I can vouch my journey to become a midwife won’t take over my feed and bore you to death. Although it is tempting, I am not someone who wishes to envision your skeleton body clutching a mouse (do we have them anymore?) or a screen of any size.
Speaking of envisioning things while stepping out of my comfort zone, I will be uploading posts regarding my journey to becoming a qualified midwife and the different experiences I will be facing. Whether the post features information about what I have been up to during my studies, things I have come across that have either made me go ‘that makes sense’ or ‘I need to have a think about that.’
This means if you are interested in reading about my ‘college student life’ experiences, trying to survive the high waters of college, my thoughts and perceptions regarding delivering babies and learning the highs and lows of what it takes to be a bloody decent midwife in an interesting career choice than you’ll be able to find it under the ‘medicine’ category. Or you can click on the ‘midwifery’ tag and it will bring up all of my midwifery posts.
However, if you don’t want to hear about my newest adventure and just wish to hang out and read about my lifestyle posts that include some mention of chocolate vodka cake, melt downs or the pondering of life than you can see those as well. Having said this, I mentioned in my Instagram (Scarlett O’Chunky) stories last night that I would be undertaking a new interest and that is vlogging.
I realised after having written about my experiences and thoughts of becoming a Registered Nurse, that I was able to understand the emotions I had been feeling at time because I had been the one to write it. It clicked that if I had been a stranger reading my words, who didn’t understand my thought process or know me as a person, it would have been incredibly hard to pinpoint what emotion, thoughts and idealisations I was thinking or feeling at the time. Hence why I have decided to try out blogging and vlogging my experiences because a visualisation of reality (or a snippet) can be equally as interesting.
Another reason is because we, as a community, would be able to see, hear and experience my feelings and clear emotions as I experience highs and lows. I do believe that my youtube channel (here) will be purely focused on vlogging my experiences as a midwife student unless I feel like branching out and including my lifestyle. I also thinks its a interesting way to interact with you, Dearest Reader, besides merely sitting here in the dark at 1 o’clock in the morning, typing words and sentences.
Having said this, when I do write about my midwifery journey, I have to note that I will continuously respect patient confidentiality and with that, will be heavily following AHPRA guidelines regarding social media and publishing (which can be found here). This means: no names for both patients and staff shall be revealed and no locations or hospitals will be mentioned for further privacy.
I am positive, Dearest Reader, you will understand this completely but I wanted to throw that disclaimer out at the beginning. I can also vouch that it will appear at the bottom of every midwifery post for further validation.
So with that, I have included in dot point the things I have learnt for the first week of uni and as a Student Midwife:
- People at college are friendly, supportive of new students and are willing to extend a hand
- My tutors are my professors for my degree and will get to know me by name.
- I have extended knowledge and therefore can easily relate to newer students.
- The average age of someone studying midwifery is roughly around mid 30’s to early 40’s.
- Most women I have encountered have already had children and this has influenced their choice in studying to be a midwife.
- I was asked why I wanted to become a midwife.
- I couldn’t find the words to define an answer because I didn’t feel as if there was any particular correct or wrong answer. Instead, I said: “new generation will hopefully shape and define a brighter future.”
- The popular answer chosen by most was to advocate and “empower” the woman.
- I feel more confident in myself than what I originally thought and anticipated.
- I haven’t had an anxiety/panic attack in the last 24 hours (this is huge news!)
- I feel like I have chosen an industry that has both positive and negative outcomes
- however, I do know I will be able to navigate through the tough times and overcome negative thoughts successfully
- I have an excellent support team both far and wide.
- I openly discussed my anxiety in class and everyone was surprised because I appeared confident and calm.
- Although my voice did become shaky while discussing how many attacks I used to experience on a daily basis.
- I was offered a position as a RN entry pathway by my tutor.
- I politely declined the offer to become a midwife in 18 months.
- I started vlogging my experience yesterday (Monday) but opted to spend these two days by myself, experiencing my options and campus privately. I will vlog next week.
This is where I shall leave you for now.
Until next time,
Scarlett O’Chunky, RN and SM.