I passed the exam! :)

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.

That’s why…

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.

 

Have a great day everyone!

Changes…

Yesterday, I’ve finally decide to move out of the accommodation after 2 years of living here. Before, I have been firm with my decision of staying in this place and feeling contented with what I have. But things changed, my feeling had changed and I realised my life needs a change.

I will be moving out with my very close friend, Fe. We were on the same cohort (batch) deployed in London on October 2016. She’s really my best friend here and with the idea of moving in to a house, it would be her whom I would want to be with.

Before, the thought of moving in to a new house cringes me. Now I am excited! Eventhough it will still be on May 2019, in London, time goes by very fast because of the busyness of work and a lot activities that you can do.

In the last two years, I had shut down myself from the world. I travelled less, I did not go out more often with my friends as I was licking my broken heart on my own. Because that’s how I wanted it to be, I was taking it all in. I called my parents less often because I know that if they will ask how I’m feeling, emotionally, I wasn’t okay. But I have to say that I am alright for them not to worry about me.

Which is a hug mistake on my part. Everytime I call my parents in the Philippines and speak to my mother ’cause she’s the more talkative one, I always feel happy after the phone call.

Oh, this first heartbreak!

But no, I’m not moving out of the accommodation because I’m still heartbroken. I am moving out because I am now full to give my time, care, concern and love to my friends. ‘Cause the truth is, they are my family here.

Sometimes, you find happiness in your everyday when you give a part of yourself to people, may it be your time or effort to be there when they need you the most.

If you also noticed, I have not shared a lot about my feelings during the first days, weeks and months after the breakup. I shoved my thoughts away. I wasn’t ready to share at that time. And it’s not a healthy thing to do. That’s why after 7 months, it is only now that I am expressing how I really feel.

And this signals for a new beginning.

I am excited for a lot of things that I am planning to do in the next couple of months.

Thank you, Lord, for being my rock.

Broken Heart

This is my first post after a month. I just want to share what I’m feeling right now. I came home to my flat from a long day shift. And I was feeling sad. Everytime I feel this way, I always turn to 700 Club Asia to watch inspirational stories. I did cry after watching the episode. Now I understood why I was hurting so much. They said, the more you love, the more painful the feeling is after you’ve lost that person. It’s been 7 to 8 months since the breakup. A lot of times, I am feeling alright. Like telling myself, “Just a little more and I am fully moved on.” Not knowing that the following day, I will feel sad again.

 

These are the quotes that explains the relationship between love and pain.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”- Mother Theresa

“The greater your capacity to love, the greater your capacity to feel the pain.” -Jennifer Aniston

“Love means exposing yourself to the pain of being hurt… by someone you trust.”- Unknown

“Where there is love, there is pain.”- Spanish Proverb

 

With this first hearbreak, I realised that it is only God who can give me unconditional love. He’s the only one who will never leave my side, who’ll be patient of me and He’s the only one who can wait for me. With my heartbreak experience, my relationship to Him has grown. I confide to Him whatever it is that I’m feeling. So eventhough I am hurting, I have my whole trust in His will. I will be fine.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalms 34:18

The most important thing He has taught me is to trust in Him.

I want to end this post with this bible verse,

“We have courage in God’s presence because we are sure that He hears us if we ask for anything that is according to His will.” – 1 John 5:14 GNT

My Quarter-Life Crisis Experience

Warning! This is an extremely long post.

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.

Home Is Where The Dream Is

 

There was a change in my life. Because of this, I had to redesign some parts of my room. There was an empty spot in the wall and because of that, I thought of purchasing a painting. I went to Laura Ashley store and saw a beautiful painting with a scenery of  purple flowers. I liked it however, the price was a bit expensive and told myself it’s not really a need that’s why I didn’t buy it. Then one day, I went to Wilko store to purchase something then I came across this painting / frame with a quotation,

 

“Travel the dream far enough so you find home.”

 

This painting resonated in my heart. I remembered my all time favourite book, “The Alchemist”. I read that book in 2014, the exact time in my life that I needed an inspiration to pursue my dreams. I thought of the lead character in The Alchemist, Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy. He left his town Andalusia to travel in search of a treasure. He travelled far enough and along the way, he met several people that gave him wisdom and met the love of his life while in search of the treasure. Santiago fell in love with Fatima and almost decided not to pursue his search for the treasure to be with Fatima. But Fatima doesn’t want Santiago to give up his dream just because he fell in love with her. She doesn’t want to be the reason why Santiago will stop chasing his dream. She encouraged Santiago to go and continue his journey. Fatima is happy to set Santiago free to pursue his dreams and to willingly wait for the time he comes back. She wants to be like the other ladies in her tribe who are waiting for their man to come back after a journey. I admired Fatima at that moment for becoming selfless.  I can still remember the conversation between Fatima and Santiago. Fatima told Santiago, “I love you because I love you. There’s got to be no reason for it.”

Santiago travelled his dream far enough and when he reached Egypt which was his final destination, he had a dream that the treasure he was looking was buried in the place where he came from, in his hometown, Andalusia. So he went home and found the treasure and then he decided to go back to Fatima.

Same is true with reality, we keep on looking, searching and traveling in life hoping that we will find the treasure in the faraway land. Remember the quotation, “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.” Sometimes, this isn’t true. In life, we reach a point that we had travelled enough, worked hard enough, sacrificed enough, and then suddenly realized that this were not the dreams that we’re hoping for when we were young. That the dream is found in our home. Whatever home means to you. Home may be the country where you’re originally from, the province where you lived or the town where you grew up. Home may be your first love. You have travelled far enough only to realize that you are yearning and longing for your HOME. Home is where the heart is.

Looking at this piece of item in Wilko store, that’s how I interpreted it. It’s like my imagination was thinking those deep thoughts and realizations. Ending, I bought the frame and placed it on the wall in my room. Now there’s no more empty space in my wall. The frame was just cheap and very light so I was able to carry it in a bag on the way home.

 

Guys, how about you? How do you interpret that quote? 

Attending The Conflict Resolution Training

How to resolve a conflict? 

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:

  1. Give the brain 2-3 seconds before replying
  2. Remain cool, not rising to the bait
  3. Speak calmly, firmly and softly
  4. 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:

  1. Parent
  2. Adult
  3. Child

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.

Guys, what are your thoughts about this?

 

*** Featured image was from google.com

Where I Had My Samsung Phone Repaired For Free?

I bought my cellphone, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on December 2016 in Carphone Warehouse in Kingston Town Centre. The phone has been with me for 1 year and 5 months. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has a very slim shape and shiny texture. There were times that my phone slipped from my hand and dropped it on the floor.

Start of 2018, I noticed a small black dot on the upper right hand side of the screen, near the time display. When I asked my friend, Clio to have a look at it, he said that it’s a damage on the LCD. After two weeks, there was a vertical  pink line that appeared on the right hand side of the screen. Aside from the dot and the vertical line, my cellphone is working perfectly. What’s really important to me is the display of time whenever I’m using my phone. And since there was a black dot on the time display, I wouldn’t determine the time right away. I still have to lock my phone and then press the menu button so the clock appears on the lock screen.

After a week, I went to Carphone Warehouse because as far as I know my phone is still under the warranty. I had my phone checked if the damage is covered by the warranty and the staff said yes, it’s covered. He then instructed me to back up the files of my phone because there’s a possibility that the device might lose all the data if my phone will need a reset. I transferred the files on my phone to my external hard drive and went back to Carphone Warehouse after three weeks. I was with my friend who bought the same model of Samsung on December 2016. With regards to the condition of my friend’s phone, the battery is no longer working, the screen has a crack and it doesn’t turn on anymore. Me and my friend were assisted by a different staff member and were told that if our phones were dropped, it voids the warranty of 2 years. Disappointed, he advised us to go to Samsung Support Centre in front of John Lewis, which was just near the shop where we were.

My friend and I went to Samsung Support Centre and waited for a few minutes before a member of staff assisted us. I was informed that if there’s a damage in the LCD even if there’s no damage on the screen, they will have to change both the old LCD and screen to a new one, so approximately, it might cost me around £180. So expensive! The engineer will have to check the phone first before they quote the amount to be paid. I was advised to wait for their call. Afterwards, the paper work was done, and we were told that it might take a day for our phones to get repaired. That is so much better that to have to wait for 1 to 2 weeks in Carphone Warehouse. Their procedure is also to send our phones to Samsung Support Centre.

I waited for the call from the Samsung Support Centre but I did not receive any. After 2 days, I received a voice message from them saying that my phone is ready for pick up. I called the number back and I was told that the damage is covered by the warranty. It was a good news to me because I won’t need to pay £180 or more.

I went to town the next day to collect my phone and I was very happy when I got it because it’s like a brand new Samsung S7 Edge. There was a plastic cover in the screen and the menu pad, they cleaned the screen, removed the finger prints and when I turned on the phone, the dot and the vertical line were gone. The new repaired phone  was handed to me in a very cute casing which says, “Hello, I’m back” which made me glad because obviously, my phone is back and it looks like a brand new unit. I’m very happy and satisfied with the service of Samsung. Even though I bought the phone from a retailer which is Carphone Warehouse, they are honouring the warranty and repairing the phone with original parts regardless if the phone was bought from them or from a retailer. I must say, the customer service is superb.

 

It’s a great help that the staff from Carphone Warehouse redirected us to Samsung Support Centre. I was not aware that Samsung has a support centre that’s why I’m sharing this information. I’m not sure if we have Samsung Support Centre in Manila, Philippines. I hope we have. If you are living in Kingston, you can have your Samsung gadgets repaired in Samsung Support Centre, Kingston Town Centre.

Snapshots of My UK RN Journey

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.
Go and reach for your dreams! 

The Whitney Houston Show Memories

Last night, I watched “The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show” in Evertim Apollo in Hammersmith, London. Whitney Houston was honoured by the singer Belinda Davids who sang the greatest hits of the late singer. How did I know about this show? Actually, everything was very spontaneous. When I opened my Groupon app, I accidentally pressed the featured option, and The Whitney Houston Show popped out. Interesting, I told myself. So I searched google for the trailer of the show and got excited because I know a lot of Whitney Houston songs. I’m on my late 20s, I grew up listening to the songs of her in the radio and CD player. The venue of the show was in Evertim Apollo in Hammersmith, London. I thought that it was in Central London but when I checked City Mapper (this is the app that I use to go anywhere in the city of London with suggested routes and mode of transportation), I found out that the fastest way is by riding a bus. I just need to ride Bus 85 from the Queen’s Road/ Kingston Hospital and drop off to Shawford Court station then wait for Bus 72 and drop off to Hammersmith Bridge Road station. Afterwards, I only walked for 4 minutes and then I already saw the venue, Evertim Apollo. When I arrived 25 minutes before 8pm, there were two queues, one was for those who already have their tickets and the second one is for sales and ticket collection. I went to the second queue as I already booked the ticket the night before the show. That is me, so spontaneous of everything.

Outside of the Evertim Apollo

I noticed that with the shows that I attended here in London, there were very tight security measures being implemented as UK had history of terrorist attacks. Five minutes before 8.00pm, I finally got seated. I bought the ticket last night for a price of £50. I watched the show alone and was seated with two lovely ladies and also grannies, Maggie and Jackie. They bought their ticket on December of last year for £40, and they compared and concluded that there isn’t that much difference from the price of tickets bought last year and the night before the show. Remember that I bought mine for £50. Maggie and Jackie were telling me they’re still waiting for their favourite song Run To You, but unfortunately, it was not included in the songs sang by Belinda. During the 30 minute break, Jackie told me to try to watch for a Tennis match in Wimbledon sometime on June because it is a great experience to be with the atmosphere of a tennis match. According to her, it’s more exciting when you are physically present in the venue rather than watching it in a television. She said that after the match, she went inside the court and almost cried. Haha.. For her, it was a very emotional moment to be picked and be given an opportunity to watch the Wimbledon Tennis match.

My two lovely seatmates, Jackie and Maggie

Going back to the show, Belinda introduced herself after singing few songs. She said that she was born in Fort Elizabeth, South Africa and growing up, she wanted to sing like her idol, Whitney Houston. Well, dreams do come true because now she was the one chosen to honour the music and legacy of her idol. She looked like Whitney Houston, her skin colour, her hair, the gestures, her powerful voice and she was dressed exactly the same as what Whitney wore during her past performances.

Belinda Davids going to the audience

I thought that The Whitney Houston Show is like other West End musicals that are being shown in London all throughout the year, but it’s not. I decided to watch this show because upon searching, it will only be shown for 1 night in London, it’s now or never. The next day they will perform in Cardiff for 2 consecutive nights and in Manchester the night after. Belinda gave a stellar performance with her powerful voice belting out the Whitney Houston hits and received several standing ovations. The price I paid to watch this show is definitely worth it.

Whitney Houston is very popular in the Philippines. I grew up hearing her songs. I also remember that our Elementary graduation song was “One Moment in Time” that’s why I can still remember its lyrics. And since the Filipinos love to sing, Whitney Houston songs are always being sang by singers in the television shows, concerts and in the singing contests.

Here are some of the videos I took from the show.

 

The audience does not only comprise of older people but a mix of young and old, male and female. There were grannies and grandpas, there were married couples, group of friends and young people. I was dancing and singing my heart out (as heard on the videos that I took) as well as the whole audience. These were some of the songs belted out by Belinda: I Will Always Love You, Where Do Broken Hearts Go, I Have Nothing, The Greatest Love of All, One Moment In Time, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, etc. There was a live band and the National Philharmonic Concert Orchestra which gave fantastic music. The quality of music is really different, very soulful and grand if there’s an orchestra playing. This is a great show  worth spending.  It will entertain you, you will sing, you will dance and you will remember the talent, music and memory of Whitney Houston.

This is the video/ trailer that I watched that made me decide to come and see the show.

My selfie after coming home at around 12midnight.

 

I just want to end this post by leaving this quote from the book that I’m currently reading, “Do less, get MORE” by Shaa Wasmund. I remember I also read this quote from the blog of Tom Basson (www.tombasson.com).

It says there…

-What makes you feel alive? “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

When I was watching this show, I feel alive because I was enjoying my time, and that I am living my life in the present moment and in my own terms. I think I need to remind myself all the time to only do things that will make me genuinely happy.

That’s it for now. Guys, please leave a comment below if you have watched this show or still planning to watch. Have a great day ahead!

 

***I got the featured image from MyTicket.co.uk from google.com.

Cardiac Arrest Experience In The Ward

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.