I really want to do a quick blog to help me remember how things invariably work out, (or have so far). The beginning of the week was overtaken by the stress of a broken down car which left me stranded 300 kms away from home and school. On the day that the car broke down it was desperately hot, I was still suffering slightly from a 'big' (read alcoholic) weekend, and I was missing out on the important first day. The whole debacle of the car just got crazy. I lay on the bed, thinking what the hell am I going to do. I cant do anything, I am powerless, I have no money, no resources and I really need a car!!! It felt so utterly hopeless, because I felt I had so few resources to access. The day miserably ground on, I took to the corner, huddled in despair at the thought of being so stuck, and possibly having to quit school. I saw no way out and I thought, this is it, its over. Now long story short, the other car got fixed up and taken in and got made legal. Car problem solved. But prior to this the bushfires happened. We watched it on TV, the devastation of peoples lives, laid out before us in bright ugly detail. We saw the covered bodies and the leveled townships, people milling around in shock, traumatised at having to go though this, just by chance. No reason, nothing but chance and bad dumb luck. The thing that struck me was, they are people like me. Average people, living their lives, raising their children, watching tv, having bbq's with mates, just like me. But I was sitting in my boyfriends home, safe and sound, while they were standing outside a pile of ashes. It could have been us. I guess what im saying is that my car problems seemed so big, but sometimes we need to see life from a different perspective, well, I had no car, but I had a home and the people I loved were safe, things were ok, things could be so much worse. I allowed my stress to be reduced by looking at the beautiful things I do have, and the car problem shrunk down to a manageable size. Perspective, its all about perspective.
I'm intend to write bits and pieces about cultural safety over the next ... whatever. I have started a bit about it, but wanted to post this little piece that I put in the initial blog. so I will. what do you think?
Now, lots of us believe that you DO NOT nurse as some kind of robot - who simply completes tasks that help a patient get better. No, my type of nursing is where you use ALL of who you are, to connect with a patient allowing you to support them, in some way, in their journey towards health. Whether this is a 5 minute interaction with someone rushing through ED, that only allows a genuine smile and a touch, this may be enough to let that person know that someone cares, they are not alone in this big scary hospital. Robots cannot be genuine, only a human who knows herself can be.
I have found a stronger justification for blogging. In the first place, it allows thoughts to take ‘solid’ form. Having concepts and ideas swirling around in your head can drive you mad, and as time passes, thoughts get lost and something that may have had value disappears. This is contrasted by bringing things from inside your head and letting them take form in the ‘real world’. Blogging takes it that one step further, Your thoughts are captured and exposed, via this open media, therefore you become accountable, in a way, for what you have written.
I remember my first real academic essay for a university paper I had undertaken. My flash name for it was, ‘maori nationalisim in a post colonial society’.
Now, when I wrote it, I truly think I believed in what I had written. Years later, on rereading it, I couldn’t believe what a load of crap it was (it did get an excellent grade though …). My beliefs and values had changed so much in the intervening years, through gaining more education, through life experiences, growth and through just getting a bit older and (hopefully) wiser.
Which brings me back to blogging and my second point
… Even if I end up being the only person to read these blogs, …
I would like to write about things that are, at the time of writing, meaningful to me. In this way, I will perhaps be able to see how my values, and beliefs and understandings of various things, develop, remain the same or are discarded over time. Maybe what I write in the coming months, might seem ludicrous in the next year, or perhaps they will remain and become foundations on which things grow.
I want to be the best nurse I can be. I am not undertaking nursing because ‘it’s a guaranteed job mate’… (although what a bonus) I want to nurse because God (or a higher power) gave me a brain and a heart that would be a waste to do very little with. I believe I have the capacity and ability to care and to share the skills that I acquire with others. I passionately and firmly believe at this time, that nursing is what I want to do. I wonder if and how time will change these beliefs?
ok so I had my first primary health lecture yesterday, my first 3rd year paper. I enjoyed it, even though its very .... dry-ish, lots of reading about policy and strategy's ...hmm, but still, I am beginning to see a bigger picture about how health actually works from way up the top to down to the 'grassroots' and that is actually really interesting (weird but true). Anyhoo, was enjoying away and then.... had a triple take when browsing the essay information, first essay due on the 24th... of FEBUARY! I honestly put my hand up and asked if it was a misprint, but alas, no misprint, I have 3 wks to write 2500 words on ...something... great, my bp heading skyward, and still hasnt come right. yay.
Ko Ngati Tuwharetoa toku iwi Ko Turumakina te hapu Ko Te Arawa te waka Ko Tongariro te maunga Ko Taupo te moana Ko Tapeka te wharenui
Kiaora te whanau
I’ve started my introduction to this blog with a description of who I am and where I belong in this world. The above words are an anchor, they represent a tie to my place of belonging. Tuwharetoa is my tribe, a grouping of people to whom I am connected, by blood and land and wairua (spirit). Turumakina is the more immediate whanau, the sub-tribe. Te arawa is the waka which carried my ancestors to Aotearoa many lifetimes ago. Tongariro is the mountain and Taupo the lake which has nurtured us since we began here. Tapeka – the beautiful house that heard my fathers footsteps and keeps the memory of them in its warm heart.
I hope(!) to record my journey through the next 18 months (all going well – lol) as a nursing student, my mihi represents my beginning, and so it seemed a good place to begin this with.
Ive come from spending the afternoon with my lovely new friend H. (ok so her real name is obviously not H, but hey if I’ve learned one thing in the past 18 months its how to change stuff around to maintain confidentiality). Anyhoo, my friend (now ever known as H) inspired me to begin a blog, and I thought it was a jolly good idea. I like the thought of perhaps (hopefully) writing something that others may somehow (again, hopefully) find useful. I also just like writing. I also hope that I can make some connections with other nursing students (and nurses). I want to hear what other people think, and hear about other peoples experiences, I’m on one of those buzzes where you just cant get enough knowing… Its like my brain is starving and I need to cram as much in as I can (but it might just be the vee [caffeine] I had today…).
Heres a rundown of how I got here (nursing). Im in my 30’s, a detail that still shocks me, as I still feel somewhere between 18 and 26 (though on a bad day its more like 65). I have 2 children who are fast approaching their teens, and I have parented them alone since they were born. I have a boyfriend who I’ve been with for a few years who is a fantastic emotional and mental support, but he lives in another town so he contributes very little to the day to day bits. Im Maori and European, brought up in a pakeha environment that had no access to Moaritanga. Ive been a ward of the state/foster child, a 15 year old runaway and a ‘young mum’. I finished learning anything of academic value at high school when I was 14 but kept going to school (mainly to see my boyfriend) until I was 15. I floated around doing stupid stuff for a few years then decided to give study a go when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I did one of those starter courses that cater to ‘non-acedemics’ . It was gentle enough to build up my confidence.
I did the pre-nursing courses one at a time, so it took 18 months to do 3 papers!. But doing them slowly meant I passed. The day I got my acceptance letter into nursing was unforgettable. I started, got overwhelmed, dropped some papers, passed some papers, then decided to move towns. Moved 1000 kilometres away, started at a different institution, got overwhelmed, passed some papers and then dropped out. Did some more papers outside of nursing, passed some papers, then ….. you guessed it … dropped out. Of the 5 institutions I have studied though, over half of my papers have those (un)glorious letters DNC after them….. did not complete, definitely a recurrent theme in my life! I got older, I got a little wiser, my children got more independent and my boyfriends love nurtured me, so I moved towns once again (??) and started all over.
I think every day of that first year I kept the thought of second year in my head. I kept thinking if I can make it to second year, I can make it. It became all I wanted, second year, everything narrowed down to that, and getting there was freakn spectacular! I went around obsessively dropping the fact that I was second year into almost every conversation I had for about a month, (umm ok so I still do it a bit…)
Here I am at the beginning of the second semester of my glorious second year and I’m still pretty stoked.