Sunday, 2 September 2012

The NHS from the other side



Ever since I was a tiny ninja I have tried my best to make others happy and put their needs before my own. I would do anything for my friends and family and that also extends to people who I barely know.

In the last few months I've extended that nature to people who I don't know at all. People who are completely new in my life will get the same treatment as my nearest and dearest. I will happily chat to people at all hours about worries that they have, share my worries, compare stories about our diabetes and help each other get through some really though times! It's an amazing feeling to know that I may have made a tiny bit of difference to someone by offering a shoulder to cry on and empathy.

Recently a light switch flicked on inside me head as I started to reply to an email. It was 2am and my phone had beeped as into my inbox came a message from a patient who attends the diabetes clinic that I go to. A 2am email to me means that this person needs someone now and not in the morning. I wouldn't email someone unless I was desperate and had no other option. I replied and throughout the next day emails were sent back and forth. I was at work and could feel my productivity slipping as I spent more and more time trying to think of a way to solve the problem.

As my manager glared at me from across the office (my job is to edit videos so too much typing gives the game away) I thought back to my mother who had always suggested I become a nurse. Her idea stopped in its tracks after I was diagnosed with diabetes as I quickly became fearful of needles, blood, wounds, hospitals, doctors, nurses etc. Maybe I could overcome these fears if I wanted to help people badly enough? The pros certainly outweighed those cons! Maybe watching a couple of Casualty and Holby City re runs would help a bit (it seemed like a good idea at the time)! Maybe I could do some work experience at my local hospital and interact with patients. Maybe when it came down to making someone else better or making my stomach feel queasy the latter would get pushed to one side. It does sound like a silly reason not to go for a career as a nurse, I'm sure these little issues will soon be forgotten after a while. And what better place to faint than in a hospital!

So I quickly made my mind up to get over it and get on to a course. Because I'm 26 and my most recent academic qualification is in media and journalism I need to go to college for a year and complete an access to nursing course. Also (I'm a tad embarrassed by this) I need to re take my maths GCSE! I've failed it twice already as I am absolutely hopeless at maths, but this retake is costing a lot of money and if I don't pass then there is no hope of me getting into uni next year.

There is one issue which is playing on my mind though... politics. NHS politics is something which does not interest me in the slightest; however I know that it does affect me. If I comment on availability of pumps, or lack of treatment, why my appointments are being cancelled etc this is all down to politics and I've been unknowingly sucked in. When I see the health care professionals tweeting and arguing about politics I worry about how it could affect me even more and how it might change me.

I want to be a nurse because I want to make people better, make them live longer and make them and their families happy again. Maybe that sounds naive, maybe I'm going to be in for a shock in the years to come, maybe I'll get involved and realise that I was too innocent and ignorant to the world that's going on around me. Then again maybe I'll get involved for the patients, for those who are the number one priority and the whole reason people join the health care profession. 

All I know is that I enrol on Tuesday and I am feeling extremely excited about the prospects which are ahead of me. There's one small obsticle to overcome which is finding the money to pay for the course in one day... If you see that this post has been taken down on Tuesday then you'll know what happened. Right now though I'm already bright eyed, bushy tailed and eager to learn and soak up the other side of the NHS!

A little while ago one of the diabetes consultant's in my clinic called me his young padawan
and after explaining to me that it was a Star Wars name for a Jedi Apprentice I was quite pleased. I've learnt a lot from him in the last year but the main thing which I've picked up from him is this... If people tell me that I can't do something then my reply will be; "watch me" and to give it my best shot!! 


Ninjabetic x 


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