Monday, June 9, 2008

Exams, Assignments and End of Semester 1

It's been a couple of weeks since I have updated. A couple of crazy weeks. I've almost finished my first semester with just two exams and one practical test to go. I'm still loving nursing school, but am ready for a break.

This last part has probably been the hardest for me as I've been going through a bad bout of insomnia. Until a week or two ago I hadn't slept for more than an hour or two at a time, averaging 4-5 hours sleep a night. It really wasn't good. I was unable to speak properly or form a sentence and on one day realised that I missed my bus stop an hours ride from the stop! During this period I had my vital signs practical exam, which I failed. I couldn't even hold anything without dropping it. A nightmare.

I'm sleeping a little better now, which is fantastic. I've also been studying a lot in the hopes I will get some good exam results. So far I have been really pleased with how I have gone with my assignments and that the work I have been putting in has paid off.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ramblings from week 10

Week 10 now and it feels like I have hit a wall when it comes to assignments. I love what I am doing, but some of the assignments and the restrictions that are applied to the assignments seem kind of stupid.

I've been working on the current assignment for a few days now, and started it far too late. It's one that is overly frustrating and makes me want to tear my hair out. Although I keep on telling myself that it will be okay and I will have it completed to hand in on time.

It feels like summer has finally left and the days are much cooler (although I know a lot of people would disagree with me, but what do you expect from a girl who has grown up in the sub-tropics?). The cooler weather is probably not helping with my motivation to get this work done, because all I want to do is curl back up in bed under a blanket and read ghost stories or histories that are ignored by most historians.

I have my assignment open in a different window on my computer and sitting in front of me is a self-bribe to complete the work, although it's not having much affect (or is that effect... I always get those words confused). While the sun is shining outside the window a cool breeze is blowing into the room I am in and even with the birds singing it feels far too quiet here. And for the first time since starting this blog earlier in the year I am consciously writing in it as a form of procrastination. Rather foolishly I might add, since the assignment in the other window is due tomorrow and I still have mountains of writing and research to do.

That aside I have been doing well, and my results thus far have been better than I could have expected. And have felt enthused enough to apply for an intensive course over the winter break. Just a small update, and moment of procrastination and I have to get back to this assignment.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The strange things about nursing school

Before going to nursing school I studied acting and the one thing that continues to amaze me is the different attitudes people have about the human body. When I studied acting people were so comfortable with their bodies and those of other people. It wasn't all that unusual for people to walk around the school getting changed and there were even classes where nudity wasn't considered out of place.

Cut to a few years later and nursing school and the level of comfort people have with bodies is so different. While studying acting I never once heard somebody go "ewww, I have to touch somebody", however at nursing school I have lost count of the people that have said "ewww, you mean I have to touch them"...

Week 8... Not too long to go!

Wow, I can't believe that it's nearly the end of week eight... It's kind of scary since there are only 13 weeks in the semester.

I've finally got some results back for some of my assessment. I got an 18.5 out of 25 for the seminar I did back at the beginning of the semester... Not a bad result, but I would like to do better, but I did use it as an opportunity to get feedback on what I can do to improve for next time.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty hard for me and my anxiety has been making it hard. I've still been managing to get my assessments handed in, although I don't feel like they were up to the standard I should be doing. However, I have been finding it hard to focus and have had a day or two where I missed lectures due to feeling like I was on the verge of having an anxiety or panic attack.

I have used the last couple of weeks to try and motivate myself to be more organised and get more work done early. I have also realised that I need more balance in my life. Last night I caught up with some friends and saw a movie and was more relaxed than I have been in weeks.

I still love the course (if not all of the lecturers) and am happier than I have been in such a long time...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Lost and Found: Surviving Holidays and Keeping Motivated

Last day before heading back to classes, and the time I could have spent studying is over, not wasted, but lost.

Somewhere in the last week leading up to the break/study week I started to get scared and anxious and all the good work I had been doing seemed to become lost, along with my motivation. Anxiety had reared it´s head, and I seemed to be swallowed by the beast. I knew what I should be doing, but I started to question myself and if I should really be at nursing school and if I would make a good nurse. I became mildly depressed because of all the ¨I should¨ thoughts running through my head.

Last night we had some people over for dinner, including somebody who was a nurse and currently working as a nurse manager. We got talking and while I don´t have any stories of my own to share yet, I listened to the stories, I got to laugh, gasp and have input... And somewhere in all that I found myself reminded of why I was doing this.

This morning I awoke with a renewed desire to become a nurse and renewed motivation. I´m going to have to work hard at playing catch-up with the last couple of weeks and to get my assignments up to date, but I want to now and I have reason to.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Week 5, Catch-up and I survived until the mid-semester break!

So... week 5 is over, another assignment down and it´s time to have a short break.

I made it through the ´mythical´ week 5, have keep up to date with my assignments - if not always my readings and general study. I´ve been playing catch-up this week and have plans to use the break to try and get ahead again.

I´m still struggling to get myself into a set study routine, and am disappointed that I´m disorganised. I want to be more organised and I find myself frustrated that I´m falling back into old and bad habits. I never really learnt how to study properly in the past and it´s really starting to show. I get distracted far too easily and procrastinate/find excuses to not do things.

That said, if I can use this break to catch up and get ahead a bit more I will do okay. And I really want to learn good study habits and skills. I wonder if I can find a good book on study habits/skills that would help me?

I should get back to work.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Week 4: ´puters, assignments and study groups

So here I am in week 4 with just one more week to go until the mythical ´week 5´ which is rumoured to be the week where youĺl know if youŕe going to make it or not.

This week found me settling in more and feeling temporarily less stressed... at least until I realised that I had yet another assignment due next week. There were other problems as well, with the power adapter for my laptop dying (after being replaced just 5 weeks ago!) hunting for a new and affordable ´puter (Asus Eee PC - affordable and cute and tiny at just 7¨), forgetting that I had to write a self-evaluation on the seminar I did last week and the seemingly unending state of exhaustion - not to mention the apparently impossible task of finding vegan nurses shoes.

There have been some good things this week as well. The study group that we´ve been discussing starting had itś first meeting this week and it proved to be an excellent idea- with all that attended feeling like they were more sure of what they were doing.

There seem to be some people in my classes that are drifting away more and in some cases the age differences are really starting to both show and be felt. I find myself wondering just how much longer it will be before some of the younger ones quit. Some of them are lovely, but it seems like they are out of their depth or not willing to accept the not so good parts of being a nurse.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Week 3, Week 4 - Assignments, Seminars and feeling like I belong here

Week 3 is finally over! I was feeling pretty stressed about this last week, since I had my first three assignments due - including at 20 minute seminar to present. The seminar went well and I've had my fellow students tell me that they learned something from it and that it was interesting, which has been great. Although I do keep on thinking of things that I was supposed to include and didn't mention.

I know that there was a lot more that happened in week 3, but I can't remember most of it because I was so focuses on the assignments... The clinical lab class was pretty good though. Teeth cleaning and shaving. It's kind of weird shaving somebody of the opposite gender when you have never done that before. I really like the other students that I've worked with in my clinical labs - we always seem to have so much fun while we are learning...

I remember reading online that some nursing students could be really bitchy - generally on international sites and forums, but I haven't found that to be the case. Everybody that I've spent time with has been so supportive of each other, even when there's the occasional personality clash (read as personality that the individual find annoying/frustrating). And even the lecturers and facilitators are great - and that includes the 'scary' ones.

One of the lecturers that I have has a reputation for being 'scary', however when I had to see her about my seminar she was fantastic and gave me so much help!

Into week 4 now and a little bit of breathing space, even if there is another assignment due in next week, but after making it through last week I feel much more confident about it.

I feel like I am slowly becoming more in control of my studies and that they are not running away without me. And this week should see the beginning of our official study group meetings on Thursday afternoon/evening.

There are things that I need to improve or organise more, but they do seem to be falling into place. I'm still a little behind on my readings and need to spend some more time doing research into a couple of my subjects, but it's not totally overwhelming or something that I can't deal with.

If nothing else I've been so proud of myself in the last couple of weeks. It hasn't always been easy - especially when some things haven't gone according to plan, but I've been coping with it well most of the time. And I think that is one of the things that is making me feel like I belong at nursing school. In the first couple of weeks I didn't know if I could deal with it - especially alongside my GAD (generalised anxiety disorder), but I have done well. Just one or two moments of really bad anxiety and then after the event rather than before. And generally happier than I have been in years.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Week Two Review

So here I am, about to head into week three, and not a lot of posting happening.

Week two was pretty hectic and crazy. So much work to do, with three assignments to be completed for week three. I've been working hard on them, including tonight and am now feeling all headachy.

Biology was interesting, with a dissection being done in class. I had mentioned briefly to the facilitator that I had an ethical objection to participating in a dissection, but my comments were pretty much just brushed to the side. That said, my lab group is fantastic and understanding. I spoke with them before the dissection and said that I didn't want to participate due to my ethical objections to animal dissections, and they were fine with it. Seeing as I actually find the human and non-human body interesting I wasn't as concerned about observing the dissection. And it proved to be a good opportunity to talk to my lab group about why I have an ethical objection to the practice.

The dissection that was being done was of a Cow bone, and it enabled me to have a conversation about how Bovines typically don't even get to live a quarter of their lives. And that considering that a Cow may live for 20 years, and they are often killed by five years of age it wasn't a lot different to saying that I should have been dead by now - at just 28.

I'm pleased that I was able to use something that I was ethically opposed to as a way to start a conversation - and to start a conversation in a way that was accepted by those listening to it.

Other than the dissection, the week was good. I finally feel like I am starting to get into the right head space to be studying and there was a moment where I felt that it was all just falling into place.

I've still got a lot of work to get done before classes tomorrow and need to try and get a good nights sleep - and check to see if I will be getting a lift to uni tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Week one down, week two half over... and when do I stop feeling exhausted?

Week one over. Week two halfway through. There's a couple of things I want to know... actually there's just one thing that I really want to know - when do I stop feeling so tired? Seriously I can only remember feeling this tired at one other time in my life - and that's when I had glandular fever!!

I'm loving most of the work I am doing - and a lot of the classes I am taking this semester just keep on getting more interesting, but when I don't have classes all I want to do is sleep. I've managed to set my timetable up so that I have two days where I don't have to attend uni and where I should be doing study at home, but what do I end up doing? I sleep. And then I get annoyed with myself since I shouldn't be sleeping and I should be studying.

Apart from being so tired though it's great... or it will be when I get those assignments due in week three done.

The practical classes are fantastic. This week we practiced giving bed-baths to other students and making beds. The bed making wasn't too bad, since it's pretty much how I was taught to make my bed as a kid. And the baths were interesting... apparently I give a good bed-bath and the student I was bathing said that she really liked the way I bathed her hands and feet because it was soothing and relaxing. So I guess that's a good start.

A few rants about doing group work, but it doesn't surprise me that much, because I've never been all that good at taking part in group work. I tend to get frustrated that people don't listen to my opinion when I have a point to make. For example today I was working on a group assignment and one of the girls just out of high school was saying not to use websites as references, and I was saying that there are some websites that are actually good references, such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics website. However she refused point blank to accept that any website could be a good source of information.

I've been spending the last couple of days at uni coming out about my being vegan, which has been interesting. Of course there's been the usual reactions of "I wish I could be veg*n" or "That's got to be hard/restrictive", but so far most of the people I've told have been pretty cool about it. Although the hard part is going to be coming up soon - dissections. I have an ethical (and semi-philosophical/religious) objection to the use of animal dissections and have a feeling that it may be the first of many battles to come, but I'm going to stick it out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Day 2 of Classes - A Clinical Lab, Coffee and Tiredness

Day two of classes - or a day to do one subject. 8am lecture, one of the most interesting so far and I'm looking forward to more of them... a bit on the history of nursing, and an introduction to clinical work. Next up my first clinical lab session - a lot of going over rules and regulations before heading onto the first skill - handwashing. Sounds simple, right? It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be and I was told I need to cut my nails - something I don't mind doing, but since I was told I wouldn't get my hands and nails cleaned well I had to prove them wrong - and it only took two attempts!

A break and some of that awesome coffee. Mmmmmm.... A trip to the bookshop to discover that the book I need to get is out of stock (not that I've ever seen it in stock there!), which lead to a visit to the library. And my feeling totally lost... A two hour loan of the book I need to buy - with the reading chapter read in just 20 minutes. Not bad! Then a tutorial. A familiar situation... no tutor turning up. A phone call on my pointing out a phone in the room and a request for somebody to turn up. A moment later the tutor shows up apologetic that she was running late, and just a few minutes later the lecturer in charge turning up in response to a call saying that there was nobody there and explanations that we - the students called because our tutor hadn't turned up and the tutor saying that she had been late.

Home reasonably early, but ever so tired. All I want to do is sleep, but there is more reading to be done and I need to start on assignments, re-write notes and downloading of course information to be done - and emails to be sent. But at the moment all I can think of is sleep - so it's off to feed guinea pigs, grabbing the text I need to read and curling up in bed to sleep.

I just hope that it's not as exhausting next week.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Day One - Lectures, Tutorials and Timetable SNAFU

So here I am, at the end of day one exhausted, but happy. It was a long-ish day starting with a lecture at 9am and finishing at 6pm (again with a lecture). Three of my five lectures covering four subjects were on today, in addition to two tutorials and a pre-seminar meeting.

The first lecture was pretty much just an introduction to the subject (anatomy and physiology/microbiology) which was a nice start to the day, however following right on from the lecture I had to sign up for my seminar assessment topic which has ended up being in week 3 - hence the pre-seminar meeting. So in week 3 I will be completing my first assessment, a 20 minute seminar on the structure of the neonate skull.

After a break of about an hour and a half, my first lecture should have been followed by a tutorial. I turned up for it, as did the rest of the tutorial group... but not the tutor! Seems there had been a first day timetable SNAFU and the tutor thought she was starting at 4pm, not 12.

After the missed tutorial, it was off for another lecture - followed by another tutorial, and then my last lecture of the day. It doesn't sound like much when it's put like that, but it feels like it right now!

So many thoughts going through my head and my eyes keep on demanding that they be closed, so it's a half-hearted entry today and some much wanted sleep.

Although on a quick side-note there is awesome coffee! And they have good soy milk! Did I mention the coffee was awesome? Because it was! And they were so nice to a dorky first day student that asked for soy, had the lady behind the counter collect more soy and then realised she didn't have enough money to pay for the coffee (I thank the coffee gods for the kindness is letting me have a discounted coffee).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

<15 hours until my first lecture

Wow! It's almost here, my first actual day and it's going to be a long one... I have three lectures and two tutorials starting from 9am and finishing at 6pm. For cone though I'm actually pretty organised and I'll really be getting into it all tomorrow.

And I'm not so worried about my studies and my classes - I'm just worried about the sillier things - like is there going to be any food on campus that I can eat? Or any drinks that are not ethically problematic? I'm not expecting there to be much, but it would be nice... Although when you consider that not only am I vegan, but I also appear to be gluten intolerant it does make thing a little harder, so packed lunches it will be.

So what's for lunch on day one? A pasta salad - brown rice penne pasta with semi-dried tomatoes and mushrooms cooked lightly in oil with fresh basil. Snack wise there's some nuts and dried fruit and of course my typical bottle of water. I'm still deciding if I'll pack some extras like corncakes with hummus.

The desk I was doing up was finished over the weekend and my sitting room is now transformed into a sitting room/study. And the desk looks awesome! It's hard to believe that it's the same one that was $25- from the op shop (opportunity shop - ie thrift shop). I've got all my books put in the cupboards and pens read to re-write lecture notes when I arrive back home tomorrow night.

Continuing in the disjointed format of this entry I am excited about starting my classes tomorrow. I will recognise one or two people and I'm sure I'll get over the initial 'I don't know anybody and feel out of place' soon enough.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The part where I wonder 'what am I doing?' and 'Can I run away?'

Another orientation day - this one specifically for health sciences students, which means me.

After confusing myself over how to get to uni via public transport I managed to get a lift from my Dad who was driving across town for a meeting and could get there by going past my uni. That was good.

I was there early, but due to when the information sessions I was attending were on I got to miss out on witnessing a historic event - Sorry Day, where the Prime Minister said Sorry to the Stolen Generations on behalf of the Australian Government. I did get to see his speech later and it was beautiful. The words, the sentiment and the fact that an actual apology was made using the word sorry - and not just once either. I just hope it results in action and improvement in the lives of Indigenous Australians - something that is long overdue.

Sorry Day deserves it's own post and not just a small paragraph in this entry, but for the moment I will leave it at that so I can give it the attention it deserves.

Today was the introduction to the Nursing Course and Faculty. For me it was a moment that said "Okay, this is it, you're doing this now". And while I want to do this, it was for me a moment where I thought of running away. A point of no return, because for me sitting through that presentation was making a final commitment to becoming a Nurse.

While classes have yet to start this was the moment that finally made me feel like I was starting on this journey. Just a few more days and I'll be heading off to my first lecture... now that's scary!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day One - Orientation, Anxiety and Sleepless Nights

For the last few nights I haven't been sleeping well and last night I just couldn't relax. I don't think I've ever been so scared about a first day in my life. I wonder if I am doing the right thing, if it's going to be too hard and what I am doing going back to school.

I'm 28 years old and have floundered around in my working life, so going to nursing school is a big change - and one that I've been looking forward to (even if it is sometimes with fear). Today was my first day of orientation at uni and I was terrified about it. This morning I woke up from the little sleep I had gotten and packed my bag. I caught the train and went to catch the bus. I was already nervous, and when the bus didn't turn up on time I was verging on panic. I didn't want to be late for my first day. After making a few calls to try and arrange a lift the bus finally turned up - only 15 minutes late, but it felt like hours. I cancelled the lift and was on my way.

I arrived at my uni and headed up to one of the lecture theatres where an introduction to the uni was being held. I'd been running a little late, so I didn't get my bag of information until later, however I did meet a midwifery student who was close in age to me, so I had somebody to talk to and sit with through the day. Once I was sitting down and listening to all the speakers I relaxed somewhat. I was really doing this. I was taking steps towards becoming a nurse.

I did all the first day things - signing up to get my ID, touring the campus, signing up my interest in a couple of different groups/activities and buying my books. Everybody I met was friendly and I even ran into somebody I know! So I guess it's a good start.

Although the pile of text books is kind of daunting, I'm sure that at least some of them will be interesting.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Only A Few Days To Go

When I started the process of applying for university last year I was at a low point in my life. I had started working for a not-for-profit agency wanting to "make a difference", however I ended up hating my job and hating myself. When my employer found out about my mental illness (depression/generalised anxiety disorder) my supervisor started treating me differently. I was no longer a smart, intelligent person who was expected to carry out the workload of two people, I was stupid and incapable.
I would arrive at work to emails that were full of blame and the implication that I was incapable of my job - in spite of taking work home, working unpaid overtime, weekends and requesting assistance. I'm not going to say I wasn't struggling with the work, because I was... And I was taking a lot of time off.
It was during this time that I finally decided to do something about my employment situation. I'd fallen into office/administration work and to be honest, I'd never really liked it. I needed to feel like I was achieving something with my work - achieving in a way that was not just meeting deadlines. Which was why I took the job with the not-for-profit agency. And while I become more depressed there I did realise something - that I needed to find work where I could see the difference I was making, where I could see my achievements - even if nobody else could... Something more hands on.
I went to every university expo, open day and information day I could. And in the end it came down to one option - nursing. I've been alternately excited and scared about it for months. It's something that I never considered in the past - and something that when I think about it I wouldn't have had the maturity to deal with earlier on... but now it feels like one of the most right decisions I have made in my life. And now it's so close.
Come Monday I will be getting to know the university, finding my way around, getting books, ID and everything related to being a new student. I can't wait.
Over the weekend I'll be setting up my study space. I have found my ideal desk (a second-hand bargain at $25 - even with a little work to be done on it). I've got books and pens and a diary with all my lectures written out in it... And a determination to do well. *grins* why, yes I am a geek!
At the beginning of this process there were those that questioned my desire to do nursing... but that's been changing, in the last week I've had nothing but encouragement and support and it's a wonderful feeling.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Animals, Humans and Wanting to Become a Nurse

A conversation and an email to a friend got me thinking about a few things today. In my last entry I wrote about how working with animals started me on this path towards becoming a nurse.
I've been working in Administration for close to a decade now and am currently employed by a health organisation. As my course starts on February 11 I'll be leaving work very shortly and most of my co-works are now aware of what I am doing. Generally they have been very supportive - including 'the bosses'.
Today one of 'the bosses' was congratulating me on getting into the bachelor of nursing program and asked if nursing was something I'd always wanted to do. Being me I was happy to honestly answer that it wasn't and when asked what made me want to do it I said that it was the work I had done with sick animals... I probably didn't answer in a particularly well though out way and am sure I came across as a ditz. I emailed a friend to tell her about it and she replied with something that struck me as central to my decision and my life - " reinforces the similarity in needs between animals and humans..."
And it's true - humans and animals react in such similar ways when they are sick and in pain. I've seen both humans and animals respond in ways that are aggressive, scared, appreciative of small gestures - a hand held, a soothing voice... Sometimes no matter how hard you try you can't save them... And sometimes those you think won't survive do...
And while I am sure these inital posts make it sound like I'm ignorant or naieve about the real work nurses do, I don't think that is the case - i'm going in to this expecting blood, guts, poop, vomit and things I have probably never imagined... I expect it to be hard work and there to be times when I wonder why I am doing this, but for the moment until that happens I want to focus on the good. To be excited about starting a new career... besides, reality will hit soon enough.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Reflections on past studies and thoughts on being an adult nursing student.

18 days before I start university on February 11. It's a little scary to think about now. The idea of making such a huge change - of becoming a student again at 28, voluntarily being unemployed for at least the next six months, if not the next three to four years (A bachelors degree in Australia takes three years, however there is the option of completing a fourth honours year) and chosing to live with my parents again to save on rent and accommodation costs while studying (I should get a small payment from the governemtn as a student, so at least there is something coming in).
It's interesting how differently I am treating my studies this time around, compared with when I was younger. I got my timetable as early as possible and tired to work out a few days off during the week that would allow me to pick up some work if I am finding it too hard to manage financially and to allow for study, assignment writing and research. I've been paying off all my bills in an attempt to start my studies as debt free as possible (although the studies themselves will incur a debt) and have been putting aside some of my pay for months to help cover study costs - including books and uniforms (uniforms are a requirement of the clinical classes).
Last time I was studying I turned up on the first day unaware of what my timetable would be. I would skip classes, and avoid buying books if I could. I was employed on and off, and at times I was employed fulltime - which while it might sound responsible often lead to ignoring my studies and completing assignments at the last second. I was lucky to fluke my way through some classes, but there were others that I had to repeat or sit supplimentary assessments for. And it's not something I want to find myself doing again.
This time around I feel like I'm in a better place to achieve good results with my studies. I have a direction and a goal to achieve that is much clearer than it has been with other studies. Even before making a final decision to study nursing I had decided that I was going to make a career change and that I didn't want to continuing working in administration for the rest of my life. I had also made the decision that if I was going to undertake any study to affect a career change it was going to be study that had a clear career outcome and would have good employment prospects. It also had to be something that I had an interest in and that I was able to find both personal and professional satisifaction from.
So, just what was it that made me decide to study nursing?
Part of me wants to say it was the office cat - which is true in part, if a little odd. One of the offices I was employed at in the last couple of years had a resident cat (who I'll call Mr Kitty, to protect the identity of my former workplace and Mr Kitty), a cat who had a hard life prior to being adopted by the office. Mr Kitty had survived terrible abuse as well as cancer, and although he was spoilt by all of those in the office, he was often sick. Prior to working in the office with Mr Kitty I was phobic of vomit, however after cleaning vomit off folders and my desk and being amused by seeing Mr Kitty vomit over a folder waiting to be collected by a staff member that didn't like him my phobia lessened.
At the same time as sharing an office with Mr Kitty I was fostering animals that were in need of some extra help, sick or pregnant which I loved.
I also studied science in the past both at high school and university and had adored the subjects relating to health and had even thought about undertaking a public health degree, which for various reasons I didn't.
And while I loved caring for animals, I still had an interest in human health and disease. And that interest only seems to increase the longer I am vegan. I also came to realise that as a child and a teenager I would never have considered a career in nursing because of the association with nurses being female - and to me going into an industry that was so predominantly female was against what I believed in then... I might have been a girl, but damned if I was going to act like my extended families ideal of one!
And while I knew that there were male nurses, I saw them in a similar way to how I saw female plumbers and builders - people chosing a career that wasn't traditionally associated with their gender as a way of fighting gender bias - something I saw myself as doing when I got older.
I'll always believe that an individual should be able to choose any career regardless of their gender, but I have come to realise that an individual shouldn't feel a need to not choose a career just because it's one traditionally associated with their gender.
And when it comes down to it, I want a career where I feel like I am doing something to benefit society, that I am helping human and/or non-humans. Where I can continue to learn and gain new and different experiences. And while it sounds less noble or more selfish than the previous points I want a career where I can feel secure in my employment and know I am going to earn a living wage. And of all the careers I considered when I decided that I was going to make a change nursing was the one that seemed to fulfil what I was seeking better than any other.
So here I am 18 days away from going back to university, from studying nursing and making a total career change. And I'm excited about making a change that I've wanted and needed to make for some time and I'm scared because it means leaving my comfort zone and taking a risk.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Queen of 1001 blogs Starts a New Blog

I've lost count of how many blogs I've started over the years, but here I am just a few days into another new year starting yet another blog.

This going to be a year of changes for me. One of the biggest being returning to university to embark on a new career. Early next month (February 2008) I will be starting classes to study a Bachelor of Nursing. I'm alternately scared and excited about it - although I think even the scariness has a sense of excitement to it.

I wonder how the things that are important to me are going to impact on my studies and my ability to work as a nurse, but for the first time in years I feel like I am starting on the right career path. I spent a lot of time researching schools and asking how their programs fit in with my own ethics - especially in relation to animal rights. Far too many schools still see animal dissections to be an essential part of studies in health and medicine (and that's not even starting to consider veterinary or other studies) - although most of the schools I contacted seemed to be willing to accommodate my ethical objections to participating in what I can only see as abuse.

Apart from starting to study nursing I'm going to be a bridesmaid to one of my wonderful friends (and obviously to her wonderful partner - who is also a great friend) who is getting married later in the year.

I'm also working towards some goals musically. I've been playing bass for a couple of years now and love free improvisation/avant garde/new music and am working towards playing my own music for an audience at some point this year.

So welcome to the blog of a vegan nursing student, a girl bassist, a woman with a mental illness, a believer in animal and human rights, a feminist, a lover of tea and so much more... A journey into a new life accompanied by wonderful friends, some great family and my furry children (in the form of guinea pigs)...