01 January 2007

Review of 2006 - April to June

April brought auxiliary nurse training through a very impressive nursing agency (who I genuinely enjoyed working for) and the opportunity to gain more patient centered experience. I stopped observing at this point to concentrate more on my Masters degree and earn more money. I was still working 3 shifts a week in my bar, covering the students in my halls of residence and working care shifts so I didn't need the extra hours.

As the Easter holidays loomed I got sick to the high teeth of my masters, and with an unconditional offer to a paramedic course, I seriously contemplated quitting my degree. I was stuck at university alone, as I didn't get an Easter holiday from my studies and was bogged down in dissertation with no university structure to keep me going.

May saw me making the most difficult decision of my life to date. I had 2 unconditional paramedical studies places and a conditional medical school place (I had to pass my MSc).The way the UCAS system works, you have to pick a firm place and an insurance place for if you don't make the grades on the first offer. Although for obvious reasons you can't put an insurance place after an unconditional offer (as there are no grades to miss out on), meaning that if I put the paramedic place first, I would have to abandon medicine completely. I decided to put the medical place as a firm choice and choose Sheffield Hallam as an insurance. It was a decision that I really agonised over for a long time prior to May, and a decision I'm yet to be convinced off.
I was also still desperately doing my dissertation, although procrastinating greatly!

June obviously wasn't all that interesting as I can't remember doing anything other than my dissertation. I know I did a mixture of agency shifts in hospitals, 'care' homes and individual's homes.

Personally I prefer doing one-on-one care work in the person's own home. I find it easier to give a better level of care and to maintain a level to which I would expect my family members to be treated. As has been raised elsewhere, it's too easy to pass the buck when you work in a care home or hospital. I worked in a local hospital as a bank auxiliary to 'special' for a patient. This meant that my sole responsibility was meant to be just the one patient who had extra needs but was on a general medical ward and the nurses couldn't cope without an extra pair of hands. This would have all been fine and good had they not abused my role to change every incontinence pad on the ward. Now I'm very amenable and will do my job (usually) without question (as long as I'm getting paid), but I found it incredibly infuriating to be the only one running around like a blue arsed fly while every other nurse on the ward was sat gossiping at the nurses station. You ask me to chase the wandering patient I'm meant o be 'special-ing' down the corridor, that's fine. But the reason he's wandering down the corridor is because I can't do what I'm meant to be doing. Ok, rant over.

I hated working in care homes, and as a result I asked the agency to not offer me work in them.


John Robertson said...

I always dread going to care homes. No one is expecting you when you arrive, no one knows who the patient you're going to is, you see the other residents being verbally and occasionally physically abused, the places smell and have a generally uncomfortable feel to them. Of course, it's only the bad ones that stick in your mind, but as usual the minority (hopefully) spoil it for the majority...

Faith Walker said...

Hi Merys,

If possible, would you be able to let me know the name of the agency you used to auxiliary nurse?

I can't find anywhere to employ me yet~


Trainee Paramedic said...

I've been reading you're blog since you sent me an email, and i cant remember ever knowing that you applied to Sheffield Hallam. I perhaps owe you my very existence on the course. As i applied very late (2 days before the january deadline) and choosing my interview in March, i never found out till the 8th May that i was on. I hope you enjoy the next term better than the last!

Merys said...

Faith: the agency was a specific northern one, and as such they don't exist down south yet, or I would have transferred myself.

Trainee Paramedic: Perhaps you could enlighten us as to how your interview went?? (and when you were interviewd in March)

Trainee Paramedic said...

My interview was on the 22nd March, and like you it began with a group 'decide what this is' test. We were pretty sure what it was anyway but it was confirmed when i spotted its name in small letters on the side of it. then for the main interview, i was with a lecturer and a service representative, where they asked me loads of questions, and i just talked my head off. The lecturer even said i talked to much, but i didnt want to leave anything out. I came out feeling I'd done all i could. Luckliy it worked.