I came home today from a long day shift and it was a pretty good day. I will be back tomorrow so this is just a quick blog post.
I realised earlier that being a nurse in the UK is like being a mother to your patients. I don’t know but this is just my opinion. Eventhough these patients are way older and are considered elderly, I felt like during the shift, I was their mother. It’s because it is us, nurses, who are looking after their overall needs because family members are not allowed to stay overnight at the patient’s bedside. There’s just no space for them to stay in and the bedside is not designed for that. They are only allowed to stay in overnight if the patient is near the end of life.
For the rest of the patients, they are there alone and their family or friends only visit them during the day. So for most of the time, it is us whom they can ask for their needs. So earlier, I felt like I was the mother of my 8 patients, 8 gentlemen ageing from 50s to 90s. Me and the health care assistant that I work with were the ones prompting the patients to do their activities of daily living such as eating, taking medications, elimination and washing and dressing. What’s special with being a nurse in the ward is that you are the go-to person of the patients if they have problems, concerns or if somethings’s bothering them. Pretty much like a mother to her children isn’t?
And these patients are at their most vulnerable state. Imagine how it feels like to be unwell. We get emotional, we cry, we get scared, we feel anxious and think about it if your family member is not there to comfort you. So that is also one of our roles. We explore our patient’s feelings, we ask how they are doing, we ask if they are in pain, etc. These people are at their most raw state. They can be funny a lot of times, they can be grumpy, they get agitated, they get confused and delirious, different emotions and state and I think the key for us nurses to be able to cope with the stressors of our job is to have a strong mind and heart. Not in the sense that you harden your heart or yourself to be able to survive your day. It is about being calm and not losing yourself if you are having a bad day and yet, still maintaining your joyful and kind hearted personality for your patients.
Because as a patient, having an unkind nurse is the last thing that you want to have. When a patient got angry or when you are shouted at, you shouldn’t take it personally but understand that maybe that patient is going through a hard time coping up with his condition. Othertimes, when you appear foolish in front of a doctor or a patient because you failed to read what’s on the documentation. That’s okay… The next time, you will make it a habit to read notes and you won’t assume anymore.
For the longest time, I have been thinking why I took up nursing as my course in college. Aside from the fact that it was suggested by my mother as I cannot decide which course to take when I was in high school, I’ve no other reason why I just did it. I followed the suggestion of my mother because I respect and honor her. It was hard during the years I was in college as I was struggling to pass this course. In the beginning, I have doubted if this is really the career that is meant for me.
Looking back, I am so glad I have chosen this course and that I have followed the advice of my mother. Truly, mother knows best. I couldn’t imagine myself doing any other job in the world. Maybe I can teach in the future, but I love that my foundation was based in nursing. I had tried to work in a fast food chain, call center, insurance and bank industry in the past but working as a nurse has been my most enjoyable and most fulfilling job so far. I am enjoying every shift and I look forward to going to work.
Here is a picture with my mother when I graduated nursing back in 2010. Young people, it pays to listen to our parents because we need their guidance as we go through life eventhough we are now young adults. They only want the best for us and by persevering in our studies or work means that we are looking at the bigger picture. When you look back at life you will say, “I am so glad I have followed my parents, I am so glad I waited, I am so glad I did not give up.” You will have less or no regrets at all.
Today is my day off. It’s the day of the lovers but since I am single, I did not celebrate this day with someone. I stayed in the flat, in my room with the company of myself. I’m trying to rest my body because I still have my bad cough. Going outside in a cold weather may not be beneficial to get rid of this cough that’s why I decided to stay at home. And I did enjoy my company. I didn’t feel sad or lonely. Maybe a bit, but it was fine. I’d rather spend this day alone than to go out or find a date just to say that I celebrated Valentine’s day with someone else.
The truth is, I want to wait for the right man. If marriage is the path that God wants for me, then I will surrender to His will and wait for the man that He has prepared for me. This waiting may indicate that I would have to spend Valentine’s day alone, then so be it. I am willing to wait. Staying in my flat on Valentine’s day alone may not have an impact in my life at present but I know in the long run, I will benefit from this and that I will reap what I sow.
I don’t mind getting married on my mid 30s or late 30s, for as long as it is the right time and that I will be marrying the right person. I know if it’s God’s timing, I will be in the right disposition in life in a way that I can give my full time and attention to my future family. When I get married, family with be my number one priority next to enriching my relationship to God. Because without God, all are nothing. Family over work, over friends, over travels, over leisure and all the luxuries in life. Family commitment is important. I do not want to shy away from my real goal just because I am here in London.
Quick update from me.
I have this bad cough for 4 weeks now. The thing is, whenever I have a cough even when I was still in the Philippines, it takes a month or more before it will be completely gone and the same thing happens here in London. It’s just not a nice feeling to have crackly cough and cough when I’m in the training or at work. I wanted to have a doctor checked this but I am unable to get an appointment to my GP (General Practitioner) as the appointment is always full everyday. So when I went to our ward to attend my Tracheostomy training, I have told my ward manager about my cough and that I couldn’t get an appointment with my GP. She told me that I could ask the Respiratory Registrar in our ward to examine me ’cause she has a clinic and if ever I need medications, she can give me a prescription. So she called the Registrar, her name is Iris (she’s so lovely, soft spoken and very kind, I know her because I’ve been working with her in the ward). We went inside the Sister’s office so she can auscultate my chest and breath sounds. She said that my lungs are clear and it could probably be a viral infection. According to her, she can prescribe an inhaler for me, or if I want, I can monitor my cough (because she really wants me to cough it out and not to suppress the cough) and if it gets worse, I will need to see her in the clinic next week. It gave me a reassurance that there’s nothing to worry about and that my cough will clear up eventually. ‘Cause I wouldn’t want this cough to develop into chest infection or pneumonia if I didn’t have myself checked by a doctor.
Apart from that, another thing that I look forward to is studying again for a Respiratory course. I applied for another course which is Chronic Respiratory Disease Management in London South Bank University, Havering campus. The senior nurse in our ward, Ate Lottie, was accepted on this course and she asked me if I also want to apply so we can take the course together. I told her, yes, I would love to attend trainings and courses related to our ward because there’s still a lot of things that I need to learn. First, I asked for permission from our ward manager, Katherine. She replied on my message saying that she had asked our Matron, Diane and they would both support my application. Katherine is the kindest and she always supports us whenever we want to enroll in a course that can benefit us in our work.
On February 12, I participated in the Common Medical and Surgical Emergencies with the FY1 doctors and 3 nurses and we did simulation of some emergency situations. The FY1 doctors were so nice, as well as the A&E consultant and ITU consultant, and the instructor, Gareth who facilitated the training. When you’re wrong, they don’t say you’re wrong, they offer alternatives and what could have done better.
February 13, I went to the Moving and Handling training in the morning which is an update on our knowledge on how we can maximize the use of the different Moving and Handling equipment like sliding sheets, hoist and sara steady. Ruben was our instructor and he discussed scenarios on how we can properly use equipment to move the patients without compromising our back or our safety and the patient’s safety. In the afternoon, I attended the Tracheostomy training of Jonathan. I’ve handled a lot tracheostomy patients in our ward and after the training, I’ve got clearer understanding about tracheostomy, laryngectomy and how to care for these patients. And also not to forget, I also took the Preceptorship Training on February 4 because I am the Preceptor of a newly qualified nurse in ward. So basically, I will be supporting this colleague of mine on how to be able to transition to the new role and adapt in the ward.
So yeah, I’ve been absorbing a lot of information lately but I embrace it because I am able to discover new things about myself, my faith and my profession. It hasn’t been easy but everytime I become unmotivated, I ask for forgiveness from God, I forgive myself (I try not to be too harsh on myself), keeping in mind that every challenges is a learning opportunity.
I am owning this season of my life, single and waiting and enjoying and learning a lot until such time when life enters a new chapter. When? I do not know. I leave everything in God’s perfect time.
Two days ago (Tuesday) was our last day in the University and was also our exam day. It is called OSCE or the Objective Structured Clinical Examination. The objective of the exam is for students to demonstrate proper knowledge and skills on how to manage a deteriorating patient using A to G assessment.
Mind you, this is the same type of exam that I failed twice before I became a registered nurse here in the United Kingdom. But the scenario for this course is different.
Last night, while watching some Youtube videos, Grace, my friend who did the course with me, sent a message telling me that the result is already available online.
So I quickly logged on to my account in the student portal of the university’s website and with my heart throbbing, I searched for the OSCE results.
When I scrolled down, I saw that I passed the exam! Wheew! What a great relief.
My lecturer’s comment is that it was a good OSCE and that I am ready to apply in my job the knowledge I’ve learned in the classroom. My lecturer, Sue, is the kindest. Another lecturer, Siobhan, was also really nice. In general, I found the British people to be really kind and polite.
As students who attended the university for almost 2 months, we were presented with a relaxing environment (no pressure), and that we are free to share our experiences and knowledge to the class. We only need our mind to be open to learning to better our practice. It has helped us a lot because we have been informed on what to do in case of emergency and how to do things properly based on guidelines, research and journals.
Studying for free (employer-sponsored study) here in London has been one of the blessings I received this year. And it was a great experience!
My friend and I had rewarded ourselves by watching “Disney’s The Lion King” musical in Lyceum Theatre in the evening after our exam. My friend really enjoyed the musical because it has a sentimental value to her as she remembers her brother. For me, it was hilarious and entertaining but I enjoyed Mamma Mia The Musical more. Now, I’m looking forward to watching “Aladdin” in the future.
My heart is full and I am so happy and contented in my life right now. I have nothing more to ask. I am looking forward to my vacation in the Philippines at the end of this month. I will also be celebrating my birthday in the Philippines with my family. 🙂
I realised I will need to go out and spend time with my friends more often for me not to feel lonely and sad here. Not that I’m lonely and sad right now, but sometimes it’s good to spend time with people who bring joy to your life.
Later tonight, my friends and I will be attending the opening of the Christmas lights in town and then will go to the birthday party of the daughter of my colleague whom I babysat last month.
Hello guys, how are you? I’ve been extremely busy these past few days and there’s really a lot I want to share in this blog. It’s just that I procrastinate. How can I overcome procrastination? I actually wanted to create a blog post before my trip to Italy with the theme – “Great things are coming”. The trip to Italy was one of those.
I just came back from Italy 2 days ago. It was a 5-day trip and I went home with a lot of stories, memories, experiences, and Italian recipes. There will be a separate blog post of my Italy trip in the coming days or weeks.
There’s something I am looking forward to next month. Here’s the story… On the 2nd quarter of this year, I have a thought of applying for CPD (Continuing Professional Development) units in one university in London. It’s an employer sponsored study. I know I will be able to learn a lot from the course that’s why on the 1st of July, I finally decided to submit an application online in London South Bank University to study the course Care of the Deteriorating Adult Patient. I waited for more than a month and I haven’t heard any update from my application. Finally, on the 14th of August, I received an email that my employer has approved the funding of the course.
I got excited when I received the email. I was on duty at that time. I would like to attend as much seminars and courses as possible here in the UK because UK offers fantastic trainings and courses. The knowledge and information serves as takeaways that I can apply at work. Never have I imagine myself being able study in a university in London for free.
I can still remember when I was in high school, my older sister brought home several magazines of universities in the UK and I was looking and reading those magazines wishing that I can also study there. Looking back, I didn’t expect that it will come true. I know I will learn a lot from this course which I can also share to my colleagues and inspire future nurses.
To other nurses in the UK who wants to have further studies, I encourage you to take advantage of the seminars, courses, trainings and boot camps that your employer is offering. Believe me, with the knowledge that you will gain from these trainings, you will be able to perform your work more confidently than before.
According to Merideth Goldstein of The Boston Globe, the quarter-life crisis occurs in one’s twenties, after entering the “real world”. Oftentimes, feelings of being “lost, scared, lonely or confused” about what steps to take to transition properly into adulthood are felt by the individual going through this crisis. (Wikipedia)
When I was working in the Business Process Outsourcing in the Philippines back on 2014, I was enjoying my job then but at one point, I started to think if it’s really the job where I want to settle and retire. I was 24 years old. I was always on night shift and I thought that I do not have a life anymore. I go to work at night time and during my rest days, I only stayed at home to catch up with the lack of sleep. What if I get married, have children, I don’t want to work on night shifts when I already have a family, I want a normal day job (all I ever really wanted is to have a family of my own, be a housewife, take care of my future husband and children) and I won’t be able to do that if I’m working on night shifts. I just want a simple life when I have my own family.
I tried to look for an office 9-5 job. I wanted a challenge, learn something new and somehow be promoted in the business industry. That’s when I decided to enter graduate school. I looked for several universities like De La Salle University-Taft (I even visited the campus to view it but I felt that it was not for me, it was so grand and posh). Instead, I chose University of Sto. Tomas (UST) – The Graduate School – because ever since college, I’ve always wanted to be a Thomasian. Being a probinsyana, my idealism of a college life has always been like in UST. But life has it’s own way of making things happen and I ended up studying in Chinese General Hospital College of Nursing (which I don’t regret, I wouldn’t be in London right now if I studied elsewhere). In studying nursing in Chinese Gen, I learned the value of studying hard to pass my exams, studying ever more after I have studied and studying the most after I had studied more and failed in the exam. I had spent sleepless night to review for my midterms, quizzes, moving exams, case presentation, etc. When everyone at home was already sleeping, I was still up and reading my ultra thick nursing books asking myself why am I doing this, I’m supposed to be enjoying my college life, this is not the college life that I was dreaming of when I was in high school in Nueva Ecija. And I have no choice but to go with the flow. Not knowing what the future is in store for me. Fast forward, 10 years after that, I didn’t know that all those hardwork will pay off. My siblings had seen my struggle to study, my parents did. I owe them a lot now that I am in London.
So going back in UST to study MBA (Masters in Business Administration), I was looking for inspiration and motivation to push me to finally enrol but I couldn’t find any, I was scared of the unknown. It took a while. I love reading magazines. It’s one of my sources of inspiration when I was a bit young. My older brother was a former layout artist of Enrich magazine and he brought home several copies of that magazine (thanks for that Kuya). The deciding factor that finally pushed me to enrol in The Graduate School was reading an article written by Amanda Balneg from Enrich magazine stating about how reading Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist” had taught her to reach for her inner dreams. She stayed in her office job and every night after work, she goes to Instituto de Cervantes and studied Spanish language, applied for a scholarship in University of Salamanca in Spain and was granted the scholarship. That article inspired me and when I was randomly chatting with my teammate in Convergys, JJ, said that she had also read The Alchemist and she lent me the book. I was excited! Reading every pages of the book, I felt the lessons hit me hard and I read the book at the exact time I was looking for validation and a push to finally take a step towards achieving a change in my life. The Alchemist is about the story of a boy who left the town he grew up in to search for a treasure. And in searching for that treasure, he met a lot of people who had taught him the way of life, learned lessons and found true love along the way, reached for his destination not knowing that the treasure he was looking for was buried in his hometown.
After reading that book, I was so inspired and motivated and I finally decided to enroll in UST. I took the exam and paid my tuition fee from the money I saved every pay day at work. I had to choose 3 subjects, which I do not have an idea which from which. My gut feel says St. Thomas in Critical Thinking, Management of an Enterprise, and International Trade and Business. It was a very fun semester in UST The Graduate School. The only time in my life that I look forward to attending school. I had enjoyed every discussion and wrote on my notebook all the lessons in life that my professor was sharing which were making sense. And then in one of the subjects I had, I didn’t know that in International Trade and Business, my professor told us on the first day of class that we are going to Australia for the International trip. My parents paid for the 35% of the trip and I shouldered the rest from my savings. Though they did not require me to repay them, I returned the amount they gave for that trip when I was already here in the UK. Then the trip pushed through on the first week of March 2014. Because of that trip, Australia remained very close to my heart. I don’t know why but that country and continent became very special to me. Maybe because that’s my first trip outside the Philippines. Maybe because I was on a quarter-life crisis at that time and that trip gave me clarity on what I want to do in my life. Maybe because I thought that I may not be able to afford to go back in that beautiful country again in the future so might as well savor the moment. I was on a “turista” (tourist) mode at that time. I was in awe of that country.
It was an exposure trip. Travelling exposes a person to the beauty of the world. Travelling can be a gateway for a person to reach his goals. Australia was my first trip outside the Philippines. It was my first international trip. We went to Melbourne and Sydney. But what sets apart or changes everything was when I was in a river cruise in Circular Quay. It was a sunny day, I went up to the top part of the cruise to see the view of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The view was magnificent! “Is it real? Am I really in Australia?”, I told myself. I only see this view in a post card, or in a travel book, or in the television. This has always been one of my dreams. I thought at that time, “Why did I give up on one of my dreams which is to experience living and working abroad, to be independent, to experience living on my own, to save for the future and in God’s time, marry a good man and have my own family.”
I couldn’t believe on the effect of that trip to myself. After I returned to the Philippines from that trip, I contemplated with the lessons and realizations I had when I was in Australia. I finally decided to go back to nursing. So I went to my Alma Mater, go to the Nursing Service Department, asked if there are nursing vacancies. Timing, at that time, there was a shortage of nurses in the hospital and there will be an orientation for the new batch of nurses to start the following week and they asked me if I would like to start on that date. I said, yeah, sure! I would love to. So I resigned in the BPO company and even if I do not want to, I did not continue my MBA and went back to concentrate to nursing. I was thinking, I can always go back and study MBA again in the future.
This was one of the events of my quarter-life crisis that led me to where I am now. There were still other things that happened in the early times like thinking of studying another degree, looking for universities (I even went to Bulacan State University (BSU) one time to inquire about getting a 2nd degree), applying for several jobs, opening my own business, etc., so many thoughts. It was mentally tiring. Because you will keep on thinking and figuring out what to do with your life. My quarter-life crisis lasted for almost 2 years. I know I’m over it when I figured out what to do in my life in terms of career, what path to take which is the road where I am right now. Now, I’m a little bit more relaxed about where life will take me.
Looking back, now I know why things happened. Why I had to stay up late studying my nursing books during college even if I don’t want to. It’s because that moment was the start of my preparation for this job in the UK. I couldn’t see myself doing any other jobs at this point in my life. Maybe, this is where I’m meant to be.
Until now, there are times when a thought of switching job or location has entered my mind multiple times, but I don’t want to think anymore. I just want to be in the present moment and be grateful of what I have. I wouldn’t be here if this is not for me. We are meant to be where we are right now.
To anyone who might stumble in this post thinking you are experiencing a quarter-life crisis, I know you feel lost in life not knowing where to go, I’ve been there. You will eventually figure it out. Don’t plan everything, let life unfolds on its own. You only need to do the first step towards your dreams or goals, and then God, the universe will take care of the rest.
Guys, what is your experience of a quarter-life crisis? Please share it in the comment section below.
***All pictures from the post were taken from google images.
Today marks the 70 years since the NHS (National Health Service) was established. The aim of the NHS is to provide free health care at the point of use for the people in the United Kingdom. I only joined NHS on October 2016 and it is only now that I had realized the importance and how great this service is for its people and for the employees. They said that NHS is the best health care system in the world. I have also learned that the average life expectancy in the United Kingdom is 81.5 years. I can personally attest to that. Since I am working in a medical ward in the hospital, the majority of our patients are aged 70 to 90 years old. UK has a high life expectancy. And they said it is because of the health care system of the country. Living in the United Kingdom for 1 year and 8 months now, I have seen a lot of good things about this country. In general, they eat healthy food, the air is clean and there’s no pollution. There’s a lot of choices for vegan food, gluten-free diet, etc. in the grocery and restaurants. There are options to add salad in the meals, and their dessert consists mainly of fresh fruits like satsuma (orange), pears, banana and yoghurt.
Things I like about NHS:
One of the values that they are promoting is equality in gender and in race. There is absolutely no judgment. No matter what your background is, where you’ve come from, you will be treated the same as with everyone else. United Kingdom is one of the most multi-cultured countries in the world. While watching the 2017 New Year celebration Fireworks display in London, the beginning was a statement “Welcome to London!” said in different languages. United Kingdom acknowledges the contribution of other nationalities in the services of its people.
This is an ethical principle that was discussed to us in college. Justice is healthcare for everyone. Justice is equal and fair distribution of resources. And I must say, the resources are distributed to its people and the cost are shared by everyone through the tax that we are paying.
Free health care system
One thing that amazes me in working in NHS is the free health care system provided to its people. From the time a patient is seen by ambulance at home and brought to the hospital in the A&E (Accident and Emergency) department, transferred to AAU (Acute Assessment Unit) and zoned to a specific ward, jug of water is provided, tea, coffee, biscuits and cakes are served during teatime, menus are given for lunch and supper and choices are offered for breakfast, all the medication tablets, intravenous (IV) medications, inhalers, wound dressings, doctor’s rounds, nursing care, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, etc., if needed, throughout the whole hospitalisation are completely free. Upon discharge, depending on the condition, ambulance transport is being booked to send the patient home, TTO (To Take Out medications or the medications that the patient will need to take at home) are also being supplied for 2 weeks.
There’s also free diagnostic procedures like MRI, CT scan, PET Scan, Xray, etc., procedures like liver biopsy, chest drain insertion and for cancer patients, the chemotherapy is free and if surgery is indicated, it is also free. There’s the social services that provides the equipment at home if necessary like the sarasteady, commode or hoist for bedbound patients that will be discharge in their own home. It’s a holistic approach because if the patient will be discharged in the community that needs help, he can be referred to district nurse or alcohol support group, etc. I am wondering how rich this country is, to be able to provide a free health care to its people and the legal residents of the UK. It’s true, it’s an envy of the world. There are pros and cons of having a free health care, but this is the same as the pros and cons of all the things in life. We cannot disregard the fact of the benefit it is giving to the patients and for us workers.
Working in the NHS has given me a great experience and opened my eyes in the realities of life. That life is so much different for the people living in the first world country compared to people in the third world countries. This opened my eyes to the reality, from someone who grew up in a third world country, we can continue to hope that we can head to the direction of growth. That there is hope for my own country to improve. From this experience, I can cultivate the wonderful things that they are doing and maybe, when the time is right, I can go back to my home country and bring the wonderful ideas I learned from the West.
As an employee of NHS, it has given me good compensation, work-life balance, good trainings and opportunity to study that is sponsored by the employer, a lot of learnings encountered everyday at work that I can share to our colleagues, co-workers and student nurses.
There is so much realisations about life in itself that I am pondering even until now.
P.S. All pictures are taken from google.com images.
Last week, I attended a mandatory seminar in the hospital called “Conflict Resolution”. This was facilitated by Richard Evans, the head of the Facilities department of Kingston Hospital. It’s a seminar that aims to provide information to all staffs on what a conflict is, who are the most common to experience conflict and how to resolve it. Everyone working in the hospital may experience a conflict. However it’s the employees who have direct contact with the patients that are most likely to experience this like the nurses, doctors, physiotherapist and receptionist. I find my job to be a stressful one as we are dealing with the most vulnerable people, those who are sick, under the treatment of a medical condition and the unwell adults. It is also possible that we may experience aggression and frustration from patients and their relatives.
Admittedly, it adds to the pressure of our job whenever we speak to the patients and relatives about their concerns and questions. I learned in the seminar that to be able to respond effectively to the other person, it is advisable to do the following:
Give the brain 2-3 seconds before replying
Remain cool, not rising to the bait
Speak calmly, firmly and softly
Keep listening (the longer the other person speaks the more difficult it is to remain focused and to retain all the information)
The trainer also mentioned about Transactional Analysis and how it can help us to be aware and improve our capability to resolve a conflict. According to Google, Transactional Analysis is a system of popular psychology based on the idea that one’s behaviour and social relationships reflect an interchange between parental (critical and nurturing), adult (rational), and childlike (intuitive and dependent) aspects of personality established early in life.
In Transactional Analysis, I found out that we have 3 ego states:
Each person has the Parent ego state, Adult ego state and the Child ego state. In the Parent ego state, we can either be Critical or Nurturing. Critical is being direct, explicit and exact while Nurturing is being caring and permissive. The Adult ego state is the present state which can be described as rational and questioning. The Child ego state can either be Adapted or Free. In the Adapted category, we can be defiant and complaining while being Free is described as being curious and fun loving. The trainer gave an activity to us where we found out our most dominant ego state. The result of the activity showed that the most dominant in me is the Nurturing Parent ego state where I identified myself as caring, empathetic, comforting, helpful, sympathetic, loving, warm, etc. Usually, this is the most dominant ego state of the nurses. My second highest score is the free-child state with the words that accompany myself like being happy, excited, hugging, laughing, emotional, inspired and fun loving. So, my two dominant ego states are Nurturing Parent and Free-child. We were told that no answers are correct. Every answer is personal depending on each person. It’s a personality test. The main aim of this activity is for us, participants, to be aware of our current ego state because that is how we usually resolve a conflict.
According to the trainer, for the conflict to be resolved effectively, we should be on our Adult ego state because only in this state is where we are rational, questioning, at present, neutral and balance. The Adult ego state has the most ability to resolve conflicts. The traits of the Adult ego are analytical, unemotional, negotiating, observant, interested and calm. We, the participants became aware of our dominant ego states and we were encouraged to make more conscious effort to be in our Adult ego whenever we are resolving conflicts.
I wrote this post to remind myself and not to forget about this because this is a good takeaway from a training. I learned a lot and I can use this in my everyday life.
Hello guys! I apologize for being absent in the blogging world for several months. I have a love affair with blogging. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I just don’t feel like doing it. I went for hiatus in blogging to concentrate on a new chapter in my life. I had shared in the previous posts that I had moved to London, England on 2016 to work as a nurse. It’s been more than a year now. Looking back, I never thought that I will be at this point in my life. Remember the quarter life crisis I experienced on my early 20s, the career shifts, etc.
These were my fears before I moved to the UK. Can I make it living on my own? Can I start a new life in a different continent, in a different country, a place that is very far from where I came from. It’s been more than a year now. And in that 1 year, I’ve learned to take a risk in life and love. I tried to face my fear of doing something I’d never thought I can do. I had learned to trust life, to trust in the Higher Being. I believe that there is a reason for everything. That things will happen if it’s meant to happen. I don’t question life anymore because at the end of the day, something good will rise from all the negative things. Hope is moving forward even if it’s hard because you want to get pass that stage of your life. If you are not yet contented in to where you are right now, if you think you deserve more, then you are right. If you are not yet happy, then strive to achieve whatever it is that will make you happy. Whether it’s in your job, relationships, family, health, etc.
I went on break in blogging because I concentrated on settling in my new life and career here in London. I reviewed for the exam, (while working) for me to become a registered nurse in the UK and thankfully passed the examination on July 2017. For the readers who are thinking that it was an ‘easy-everything-1-year’ since I arrived here, it was definitely not. There were probably more failures in this road to UK compared to everything that I had ventured ever in my life. The majority of the steps in applying as a nurse in the UK, I had failures. But why didn’t I give up? According to Sonia Ricotti, never give up because just when you are to give up is when things are about to turn around in a grand way. I hold on because I know that great things are waiting for me around the corner. This is the e-mail that I had been waiting for on July 2017. Finally, I passed my exam after two failed attempts!
The whole process was very hard and tedious and it took me 1 year and 9 months to get my PIN. That is from taking my IELTS on October 2015 until I passed the Part 2 – Test of Competency on July 2017. To be honest, I cried when I received the result on my e-mail. This is the destination of all the hardships that I had to go through when I was still working as a nurse in the Philippines. This is the destination, but the journey is still the sweetest. So after receiving this e-mail, I immediately informed my ward manager Katherine, the Practice Development Nurses Siobhan and Richard, my closest friends here in the UK, my siblings, Ryan, and made a long distance call to my parents in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. My mother was very happy and said that she had always been praying for me, I know my father did the same.
Before I passed the exam, I worked as Band 3 – ONP and was wearing this white uniform.
After receiving the e-mail, I excitedly arranged my Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration and received my PIN after 48 hours. Afterwards, me and my friend Fe, who also passed the exam, went to the sewing room of the hospital to fit our new band 5 uniforms. I chose two dresses and 1 tunic with trousers. I’ve always wanted to wear dress with black stockings and black shoes on duty. And when I got the uniform, my new ID and new name plate, I lay them all on my bed and I even took a photo of them. Here it is…
This is me wearing my new uniform happily. Simple joy… Pinaghirapan ko kasi talaga ito! (I really worked hard for this!)
*** P.S. I had written this a long time ago and it stayed on my draft folder for 7 months. I want to publish this to remind myself of my UK journey and the happiness I felt when I became a registered nurse in the UK. I know being a nurse in the UK is just a phase in my life, that I should enjoy every moment of it even if the work is hard and be grateful for the opportunity that was given to me. With this experience, I am learning a lot not only as nurse but also as a person. I have grown and realised on my own what really matters in life and it’s not money, travel or career. Despite the fact that I’m living in a first world country, I am still a simple person, my ultimate dream remains the same which is to have my own family, be a wife and mother. I will use this as a motivation to my work to give quality care to my patients and share the lessons that I learned here in my blog to anyone who might stumble on my life stories. To you reading this, do not give up even if you had failures, if you really want to achieve your dreams, keep on trying.
It was a regular night shift, I was assigned in the middle bay when I heard the charge nurse speaking to the Outreach nurse that one of his patients was not alert and oxygen saturation going down. We immediately went to the room and saw the patient unconscious and pale looking. I went back to the nurse station to dial the emergency hotline to ask for adult resuscitation team to come to our ward. I had experienced several cardiac arrest situations in my nursing career when I was still working in the Philippines but it was rare here in the UK. One of the reasons is that since the majority of our patients are aged 70 to 100, if they deteriorate, they or their family were choosing the DNAR or the do not resuscitate status if their heart stops beating.
Unfortunately, we were unable to revive the patient even though we did our best. The leader of the resuscitation team said after, “Good job everyone.” The reason why I am writing this experience is because after the cardiac arrest, I was very silent and there were a lot of thoughts running through my head.
The resuscitation team made a team debrief after and we’ve talked about what happened. The two senior doctors facilitated the team debrief and they’ve discussed why we stopped the resuscitation. The female senior doctor said that everyone’s role is vital because we are a team. During the resuscitation, she asked everyone if we agree to continue the resuscitation of the patient, only few members answered but we still carry on the resuscitation and the reason why she asked us all to answer is because she values the decision of everyone. She said we should never ever say that “I am just an F1 doctor” or “I am just a band 5 nurse” or “I am just a cleaner.” She wants us to speak, for example, it might be that the patient had said something to us during the day that is very vital for us to continue the resuscitation.
Another important thing she said is to listen to what is being said for the update of the situation and for the delegation of task. And since the patient is in an isolation room, she said that appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment such as gloves, masks, etc.) must be readily available inside the room because we still have our families, our children, our partners that we love that’s why we should take care of ourselves.
This is my first cardiac arrest experience as band 5 staff nurse in the hospital, and the resuscitation process in the Philippines is different here in the UK that’s why I was still grasping and watching what everyone was doing. And by hearing from the doctors say, “Good job everyone”, I said to myself, “Wow, I was valued” even though I felt that I don’t deserve that because there’s a lot of things that I do not know. I felt like my role and effort was appreciated. I felt like I was enough no matter how small my role was or how little the help I have given. I am enough. There were a lot (what I mean with a lot is really A LOT) of improvements especially on my part but what was seen by the doctors were our efforts. That’s one of the things that I really like about working here in the UK, being treated professionally and with respect. Value for one another and Respect are two of the core values of our hospital. I’ve realized that the workers and staffs are living up to these values. No pointing of fingers, surely there were a lot to improve but these things were addressed in the right manner in the Team Debrief.
I went on my sleeping break for an hour and still, I was recapturing what happened earlier. I said to the charge nurse, “Rick, I don’t know why but after the cardiac arrest, I was very silent, I don’t know what to say. I still have a lot of things to learn and that I do not know.” He replied, “Yes, there’s still a lot of things that you don’t know, that I don’t know and that they do not know.” He’s trying to tell me that nobody knows everything. (Why is everyone so kind in here?) I plan to speak to my manager to book me a study leave to attend Intermediate Life Support and all other trainings as I see the vitality of these in my line of work. Remember how I’ve learned a lot about communicating with distressed and worried people in the training: Sage and Thyme.
Probably one of the reasons why there’s a lot of thoughts running through my head after is because I was feeling stressed lately at work. There were a lot of highs and lows with my job. We are happy whenever our patients get to be discharged but we also had patients who deteriorated and who passed away and this emergency cardiac arrest. We are not robots, we have our feelings of sadness and loss for the family and we are also affected. That’s how emotional our job is.
Just to end this, I can say that there are times that it’s busy, tiring and stressful but it’s also fulfilling whenever we get to provide the comfort and needs of our patients and whenever we see them happy.
By the way, I searched in YouTube for the demo of cardiac arrest from the Resuscitation Council (UK) for the readers who are not from the health care industry to imagine the scenario. This is how it’s being done. Ideally.
One more thing, the featured image is from google.
Thanks for reading, as always! =) Please comment below your thoughts about this post.
What is your biggest rejection so far and what did you learn from it? Here’s my story.
In 2014, when I was still an employee in a BPO (business process outsourcing) company, I was going through the quarter life crisis. At that time, I was no longer feeling fulfilled in my job and longed for a change. I wanted a job that I can settle for, and perhaps stay until I retire. The reason why I was actively looking online for job openings. I ended up applying in a multinational bank for a sales post since I have a sales experience in a bancassurance industry back in 2010. It was a prestigious bank. I thought it will be great to be part of that institution and not really because I like the job. Yeah, doing things for all the wrong reasons. One of the mistakes that we make at one point in our lives. Sales post is a tough job, I had been there, I had done that, I know how mentally demanding the job is, but I still went for it. And so, I already had two interviews from the HR and from the head of one department, but I was told that a different department head will conduct another interview. I will describe the manager who conducted the interview. He’s a man, maybe around 40 years of age, looked intimidating, looked accomplished in his career, well spoken both in English and Filipino, wears a barong and black slacks, very professional looking.
It was the usual interview, “Tell me something about yourself, what was your previous sales experience, where do you see yourself 5 years from now, and the like.” At first, it went well. The turning point in the interview is when I was asked, “What is your passion?” I was taken aback, this is one of the hardest questions to answer because it’s telling about your vulnerability, that the other end might now understand what you really want to do in life. It’s very personal and it’s hard not to tell the truth. I stutter, because I know that the words and my answer to the question do not align in the job that I was applying for. I think he saw it in my eyes that it wasn’t really my passion to do sales. He saw and felt in my appearance, the way I speak and through my body language that I wasn’t fit for the job. I looked naïve, I was 24, and still figuring out how to live. All of us had been in that stage. And then I was told the most heartbreaking words and feedback in my life. The manager said, “You know what, I’m not gonna hire you, with your personality, you are not for sales. I see you as a goldfish, and the others in the production area are sharks, they’ll gonna eat you.” Deep inside, I was hurt, and I just sit silently listening to his remarks, nodding. I got his point, sales really isn’t something I am passionate to do, only applying for the prestige of the job and the company. At that moment, I wish I could vanish, I wish for the soil to just eat me, my morale was at my lowest and if there is anyone who will ask me, “Are you okay?”, I will definitely burst into tears. I was so sad that I had failed and that I was rejected right in front of my face.
But little did I know that rejection is a saving grace. I was being redirected by life into something else. A few months after arriving from a few days trip to Australia, I had an idea to go back to my real profession as a nurse in the college where I graduated and the hospital that I had my training 2 years before. And right there and then, I was accepted. I believe, if it’s meant to be, it will happen, sometimes, effortlessly. Then I realized, now I understand why I was not accepted in the sales post because it was not for me. I do not want to go through the stress and the demand of the job, the sales quota each month, the burden of generating sales for the company. I realized that my almost 2 years experience each in the bancassurance and BPO industry is part of my journey to where I am now. I am now turning 2 years as a nurse, and I must say, because of this, my life is now following a direction, no idea of the destination but it’s one thing leading to another.
I had experienced few more rejections after this, at work, in relationships, in applying for jobs but I always remember the lessons I learned from this experience. I was rejected because I am being redirected for something or someone else. Here is my message to everyone who would be able to read this post and is going through the same situation. Do not be discouraged. Do not give up. You have to actively look for your passion. Listen to your heart because most of the time it is true. If you’re not yet happy or satisfied with what you’re doing, just keep looking. You may not see the destination or the end point now, but step by step, it will be revealed to you. Trust in His will. Everything happens for a reason.