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March 07, 2021, 02:34:39 pm

Author Topic: Letís try again: Heidiís nursing journey journal  (Read 768 times)

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heids

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Letís try again: Heidiís nursing journey journal
« on: January 17, 2021, 06:03:18 pm »
+31
You know, in school I always assumed that everyone finished high school, got into their desired degree, completed the degree in 3-4 years, and got a full-time job in that field and stayed there for years.

hahahahahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHA

I could not have been more wrong.

Now, 7 years out of high school, Iím going to begin my degree.  Nothing so far has followed that pretty plan.  In 2021 Iím right back where I started in 2016: beginning a Bachelor of Nursing at Monash.  This journal will document my second shot at becoming a half-decent nurse.

Highly skippable rant about offers
Offers threw me a curveball Ė Deakin passed me over, but I luckily landed my last preference at Monash, though I expected them to be pickier than Deakin.  Look, Iím not disappointed Ė travel time was the main bar.

But still.  Frankly, Iím pissed at Deakin for passing me over for a degree with clearly-in ATAR entry of 72.  It sucks that Iím in a much worse position for uni entry than I was, without my ATAR to magically prove that Iím a Good Candidate and a Smart Person.  And yet I feel like Iím a much better candidate now than I was last time.  I tried to tell them all this most eloquently in my personal statement, but obviously without success.

In school, itís easy to rank everyone based on numbers, but in real life, thereís no way to ďproveĒ where you stand Ė and perhaps those black and white numbers and rankings and comparisons werenít that important, after all.

Well, it really doesnít matter.  A good dent to one's overactive ego is never a bad thing.

Post-High-School Journey
So far, my years out of high school have looked like this:
2015: VCE tutor, gained Cert III/IV in aged care, and began working in aged care
2016: Started a Bachelor of Nursing at Monash while working too many hours, fell apart and had several psych hospitalisations, quit both job and uni and did nothing for nearly a year
2017-18: Started volunteering at the Salvos to start picking myself up
2018-21: FT work at the Salvos, including store management
2021: As you will see documented in this thread.

This time vs. last time
First time round, I want to uni as a default.  It was just what happened.  Yes, I cared about what I was doing, but it was still a bit of a default, and I didn't anticipate returning once I dropped out.

This time, I know itís the right thing.  Iíve tried out (and thoroughly enjoyed) full time work elsewhere; now I know this is the decision I definitely want to make for the long term.  Iím truly passionate about becoming the best nurse I can be, and Iím going to give it what Iíve got.  Iím going in with intention, decision, dedication, and a desire to soak it all in.  Of course Iíll hate some of it, consider giving up at intervals, procrastinate a bunch, get ridiculously cynical at times, and miss a lot of opportunities.  But I go in with intention.  And a strong enough wish for the destination that I might as well get the most I can out of the journey.  And I hope thatís enough.

Last time, I did very little research and knew so little.  This time, Iíve scoured the internet for all the information I can find, Iíve joined the union, Iíve listened to lots of nursing podcasts, and Iíve read the entire enterprise bargaining agreement multiple times.  I didnít know what an EBA was last time.  I know Iím being overeager, but Iím so glad Iíve done it.  Iím also a little more confident in myself, in how I interact, in how I dress, in how I lead, in who I am.  I have a way to go with this, but itís a long way from last time.

Why I want to be a nurse
My extensive rambles on this are probably a story for another day, but I have reasons both pragmatic and idealistic (where idealistic = stereotypical ::) ).

Pragmatic:
-   Iíll be paid reasonably wellÖ at least compared to working retail like I am now :P
-   Decent job security (biggest healthcare profession)
-   I can pivot between so many different vastly different types of nursing (and fairly easily into other areas of healthcare)
The reason I donít want to tell anyone
Its lower bar to entry means I wonít feel quite as inadequate as I would in med or physio.  On the flip side, the lack of prestige secretly bothers me more than it should.  Medicine is a badge of honour Ė it automatically proves that youíre smart and competent without having to say anything further.  NursingÖ well, can you see many aspiring nurses on this prestige-obsessed forum?
Idealistic:
-   As a nurse, you work directly with patients. You help, care, support, make things better, on a very direct level, interacting with them as people more than doctors, who spend less time helping patients directly as a person.  Nurses really are the backbone of the healthcare system.  Yadayadayada.  Look, I just really do want to make my little piece of the world a marginally better place and I canít see myself anywhere other than healthcare in the long term. Į\_(ツ)_/Į

Where do I see myself ending up?
Iíll have to wait and see what specialties of nursing call out to me as I go, but Iím going to try and fight against the belief that ďhigher acuity = better nurseĒ.

Two key areas I could see myself working in, and most importantly fighting for improvements in:
1.  Care navigation/case management: directing and supporting people throughout their entire healthcare journey in the longer term, rather than just trying to bounce the acutely ill back out of hospital
2.  Aged care reforms: challenging ageism in healthcare (the most ignored ism!), questioning the value of extending life without extending the quality of that life, and overall focusing on improving what life is like for the elderly



Well, there ya go.  I'm getting tired of starting sentences with "I".  I hope this will be of interest to someone - but if not, it will probably be a topic of interest (and much derision) to my future self.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2021, 06:10:02 pm by heids »
VCE (2014): HHD, Bio, English, T&T, Methods

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Bri MT

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Re: Letís try again: Heidiís nursing journey journal
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2021, 06:58:09 pm »
+11
It's great to see you back again!

Usually I might step in with some form of advice or a question but I feel like you've explained yourself so clearly there's nothing for me to ask & I feel like you'd already know any advice I'd have to give. If you are possibly thinking no one might be interested I'd say you've forgotten a bit about some of the older mods at least :P. I have also seen a few people around with interest in nursing (albeit not nearly as much as med) so I'd be surprised if no one uses this as an information-source as well.

Best of luck with nursing & I'll be keenly waiting for updates :D

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Re: Letís try again: Heidiís nursing journey journal
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2021, 07:49:01 pm »
+3
Ooh, goody, I was hoping you'd make a uni journal. :)

Will be interested to hear updates.

I would ask questions but I've probably asked them all/will ask them sometime. :)
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insanipi

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Re: Letís try again: Heidiís nursing journey journal
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2021, 08:48:55 pm »
+3
Yay for this journal!

I'm keen to hear more, when you share <3
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homeworkisapotato

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Re: Letís try again: Heidiís nursing journey journal
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2021, 01:25:58 pm »
+3
Hi Heids! I've read your HHD guide like 50 million times, I'm so excited to follow along on your journey!
Your passion for nursing is so inspiring, so I'm looking forward to the next update  ;D
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hel256

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Re: Letís try again: Heidiís nursing journey journal
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2021, 10:15:33 pm »
+1
2.  Aged care reforms: challenging ageism in healthcare (the most ignored ism!), questioning the value of extending life without extending the quality of that life, and overall focusing on improving what life is like for the elderly

I really admire your desire to contribute to an area that is, like you said, commonly egregiously neglected. I'm looking forward to following your journey! :))
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Re: Letís try again: Heidiís nursing journey journal
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2021, 04:41:47 pm »
+1
You know, in school I always assumed that everyone finished high school, got into their desired degree, completed the degree in 3-4 years, and got a full-time job in that field and stayed there for years.

hahahahahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHA
Also, I don't know about anyone else, but this is the best start to a uni journal I've ever read. :P
Even though I intend to do it all that way.
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heids

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Re: Letís try again: Heidiís nursing journey journal
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2021, 01:46:46 pm »
+9
Thank you for your interest and comments, everyone!

@Bri Honestly, I'm happy to take all the advice I can get.  Sure, I'll definitely be the stereotypically snobby know-it-all mature-aged (ripe old age of 22, get off my lawn) student who looks down on 'those kids straight out of high school'.  But ultimately, I just have SO much to learn.

@homeworkisapotato wow, someone reads that thing I wrote so many years ago?!  Glad to know I'm not completely forgotten ;)

I really admire your desire to contribute to an area that is, like you said, commonly egregiously neglected. I'm looking forward to following your journey! :))

I've constantly come across the idea that the good nurses go to ICU/ED, while the 'dregs' go into aged care.  That in itself is telling.

It seems to me that we've lost a lot of the historical respect we had for the elderly.  They typically have extensive life experience and a lot of wisdom from past mistakes.  They have a rich history of memories, hopes and dreams, skills and achievements, hardships (often unimaginably so), heartbreak, and romance.  Yet we write them off with dismissive phrases like "OK boomer" (boomers are currently on the young and privileged end of "the elderly", but still).  We laugh at them, judge them for beliefs and behaviours that we too would share if we'd grown up in the same setting as them, and talk very diminutively to and about the elderly.

From what I saw of residential aged care, I honestly think that I'd want to kill myself before being incarcerated in your typical nursing home for 10 years.  I don't mean to say that life is without value after a certain point, but living situations can be pretty restricted and meaningless.

I plan to spend a lot of time learning about voluntary assisted dying and palliative care, and how we can improve delivery of home care, and how we can change social speech patterns to and about the elderly.



On this note, I'm currently trying to apply for part-time/casual PCA jobs in aged care.  I'm really worrying about whether I'll be able to juggle work and uni to my satisfaction, as it's important to me that I do both, and my expectations of myself have only grown since last time.
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Re: Letís try again: Heidiís nursing journey journal
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2021, 08:07:15 am »
+1
From what I saw of residential aged care, I honestly think that I'd want to kill myself before being incarcerated in your typical nursing home for 10 years.
I absolutely agree with this. Personally I think they do a pretty good job of it, but it's still a nursing home. I think your aims are pretty good ones. :)

Also, 'good' in a nurse can be fairly subjective, can it not? For some places you want a certain type, for others, others. And our elderly have contributed to who we are (even ignoring the fact that, if they weren't around, we wouldn't be) as a society and as families. I hadn't realised that what you're describing is true, but you could very well be right.

'those kids straight out of high school'
*cough, cough* Talking about me? :P
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