Hi! I just wanna do a quick blog post. I arrived in my flat at around 8pm from a long day shift and I was the nurse-in-charge of that shift. Right now, I was still absorbing what has happened earlier with all the queries from the relatives. They want to speak to the doctors, which is hard because we do not have the team of doctors and consultants in the ward during weekends, what we have are on-call doctors, the Discharge Registrar who are only seeing the patients that are for discharge and the Senior House Officer who are reviewing patients that are on their list. So for other patients, they won’t be seen unless they become unwell.
Being in-charge means you get to receive all complaints from the patients, relatives and you receive the order from the doctors, orders that need to be urgently done. You need to know everything that is happening in the ward.
I suddenly compare this present self of mine to my previous self back when I was in the Philippines. I can say that I became more patient, more understanding, more compassionate and I guess a kinder, better person that I was before? Do you agree?
Being a nurse in the UK entails a lot of work dealing not only with the medical and nursing intervention but also with the social issues of the patients. For example, if there’s a vulnerable adult patient that is living with an abusive family member, we cannot just discharge the patient home if she becomes medically fit for discharge. We need to raise a safeguarding case and alert the social worker in the community and we cannot go ahead with the discharge unless the safeguarding case has been closed or has already been sorted out.
You cannot judge the patient if he is making an unwise decision regarding his treatment if the patient has been proven to have a capacity to make a decision for himself. We can only understand where they are coming from, we think about their situation.
I’ve done a lot of conversation with the patient’s relatives today. I took the guts to speak to them eventhough I don’t know what to say or what to respond. I realised that sometimes, they only want to express their feelings about the treatment and they want someone to talk to, to listen to and someone who will escalate their concerns if it have to.
Back to my old self in the Philippines, this is something I never thought I can do. To finally have the courage to take on the role that entails a lot of talking, and conversing, relaying, not in my primary language but in my second language which is English. It’s a reality that I had to face when I decided to courageously apply as a nurse in the UK.
I’ve done it in my neutral accent. I don’t have a British accent because it’s so hard and it takes a lot of effort and it’s so awkward to sound like it. Speaking in English is already an effort, speaking with a British accent adds more to it. So no, I am using and speaking English in my neutral Filipino accent.
Sometimes I stutter, have incorrect grammar, ran out of words to say and cannot express thoughts into words. It takes times though. But what’s amazing with the British is that if you cannot express your thoughts into words and you’re still thinking of how to translate your concerns into words, sometimes they get what you mean right away and they are the one who says what it is. You just have to clarify and add more of what you want to tell them. Grammar and spelling don’t need to be superb, for as long as you are able to express your ideas and are able to converse, it’s fine.
One of the character traits that I admire to my British colleagues is that they are very polite. They are very professional to talk to and I haven’t seen any of them getting angry and raising their voice.
But the flipside is, I guess working in the hospital anywhere in the UK is really a hard work. It is so busy and there’s a lot of pressure in our job.
Sorry, I am now blabbering. I jump from one topic to another. I need to sleep now, it’s 23:46. Tomorrow’s Sunday, I will attend the mass in St. Joseph’s Church at 9.30am and take a rest physically and mentally. Life’s not just work.
On my pajamas now. Good night!