Just want to express my thoughts

Hi! I just wanna do a quick blog post. I arrived in my flat at around 8pm from a long day shift and I was the nurse-in-charge of that shift. Right now, I was still absorbing what has happened earlier with all the queries from the relatives. They want to speak to the doctors, which is hard because we do not have the team of doctors and consultants in the ward during weekends, what we have are on-call doctors, the Discharge Registrar who are only seeing the patients that are for discharge and the Senior House Officer who are reviewing patients that are on their list. So for other patients, they won’t be seen unless they become unwell.

Being in-charge means you get to receive all complaints from the patients, relatives and you receive the order from the doctors, orders that need to be urgently done. You need to know everything that is happening in the ward.

I suddenly compare this present self of mine to my previous self back when I was in the Philippines. I can say that I became more patient, more understanding, more compassionate and I guess a kinder, better person that I was before? Do you agree?

Being a nurse in the UK entails a lot of work dealing not only with the medical and nursing intervention but also with the social issues of the patients. For example, if there’s a vulnerable adult patient that is living with an abusive family member, we cannot just discharge the patient home if she becomes medically fit for discharge. We need to raise a safeguarding case and alert the social worker in the community and we cannot go ahead with the discharge unless the safeguarding case has been closed or has already been sorted out.

You cannot judge the patient if he is making an unwise decision regarding his treatment if the patient has been proven to have a capacity to make a decision for himself. We can only understand where they are coming from, we think about their situation.

I’ve done a lot of conversation with the patient’s relatives today. I took the guts to speak to them eventhough I don’t know what to say or what to respond. I realised that sometimes, they only want to express their feelings about the treatment and they want someone to talk to, to listen to and someone who will escalate their concerns if it have to.

Back to my old self in the Philippines, this is something I never thought I can do. To finally have the courage to take on the role that entails a lot of talking, and conversing, relaying, not in my primary language but in my second language which is English. It’s a reality that I had to face when I decided to courageously apply as a nurse in the UK.

I’ve done it in my neutral accent. I don’t have a British accent because it’s so hard and it takes a lot of effort and it’s so awkward to sound like it. Speaking in English is already an effort, speaking with a British accent adds more to it. So no, I am using and speaking English in my neutral Filipino accent.

Sometimes I stutter, have incorrect grammar, ran out of words to say and cannot express thoughts into words. It takes times though. But what’s amazing with the British is that if you cannot express your thoughts into words and you’re still thinking of how to translate your concerns into words, sometimes they get what you mean right away and they are the one who says what it is. You just have to clarify and add more of what you want to tell them. Grammar and spelling don’t need to be superb, for as long as you are able to express your ideas and are able to converse, it’s fine.

One of the character traits that I admire to my British colleagues is that they are very polite. They are very professional to talk to and I haven’t seen any of them getting angry and raising their voice.

But the flipside is, I guess working in the hospital anywhere in the UK is really a hard work. It is so busy and there’s a lot of pressure in our job.

Sorry, I am now blabbering. I jump from one topic to another. I need to sleep now, it’s 23:46. Tomorrow’s Sunday, I will attend the mass in St. Joseph’s Church at 9.30am and take a rest physically and mentally. Life’s not just work.

On my pajamas now. Good night!

My heart melted….

Hello! Just a quick blog post. It’s already 23:06, I had my long day shift earlier. I came home at around 20:30 and cooked chinese-style fried chicken inspired from the the Chinese food takeaway I had on Sunday. It was delicious.

My fried chicken, it was delicious as well. I watched a video from Youtube on how to cook the recipe and now I know how to properly fry the chicken without too much oil outside. And the secret is not to use any breading. You just marinade the chicken, dry the chicken using paper towels before deep frying.

Well, the reason why I blog today is because I want to share what happened earlier in my shift. I was feeling bad in the shift because I knew that my communication skills (especially speaking or conversing or communicating) was not superb. It was just okay. I find it hard to communicate (in English) with my patients, patient’s relatives, doctors and co-workers what I was thinking. It happens to me, when I am physically tired, I become mentally tired also that speaking English becomes an effort.

English is my second language and this is what I use for this work. I can speak and understand English. But sometimes, I am unable to express the bits and pieces because of exhaustion. I can’t think of the right words anymore. Those were the times that I realised that speaking a second language is really an effort.

But it made my day when my health care assistant (HCA) thanked me for a fantastic shift and said, “If I will become a nurse, I wanna be like you.”

My heart melted. I smiled and replied, “Aw… Thank you.” It warmed my heart.

Earlier in the day, I was disappointed with myself thinking I could have done better in communicating and explaining what’s happening in the plan of care for the patients. But I think it’s just me. On my part, I take time to listen to my patients, allow them to verbalise their concerns and as much as possible, to respond appropriately and therapeutically even if it takes effort to put ideas into words. I shouldn’t have been too harsh on myself and I know that everyday, I am doing my best for my work and that is the most important.

“Always do you best.”

This is the Fourth Agreement in the book of Don Miguel Ruiz, “The Four Agreements”. According to him, always do your best. Your best may change from time to time. It may change when you are sick or when you are healthy. In every circumstance, always do your best. And in my case, still doing my best when feeling tired as well as when feeling refreshed and new.

I need to sleep now because I have another long day shift tomorrow. Good night!

P.S.

This post was written on 14/01/2019 but unable to post because I have no time and strength to figure out how to use the new Block editor of WordPress. It’s my off today that’s why I was able to watch videos from Youtube on how to disable the new editor and use the classic editor instead.

Have a great day, everyone! 🙂

 

 

 

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!