Saturday, 10 August 2013

A really crap shift, 5 day countdown, and reapplying

Sometimes because of both exhaustion, emotions, and hormones (hello mother nature, I am talking to you, thank you for not holding back this month!) it can get a bit too much. Combine that with a really stressful day job, and some ever increasing difficult patients and being short-staffed...well it ain't pretty. I initially wrote a really long post discussing everything that went wrong, but then thought it's not worth it. It's not worth spending so much time lingering on how crappy it was and why; the point is, working as a HCA is challenging in ways you couldn't imagine and it really takes someone to be in the job to know how. Doctors will never get that, and I still feel privileged to be in such a position where I get as much insight as I do.

The other thing that has been niggling at me a while, is - how much is this job helping my application? Yes, I am enjoying it overall (more times than others obviously) but at 8pm on a Friday night, and you've got someones shit on your arm, you really really hope that it's going to be worth it in the end. I have so much respect for the staff that have been doing it for many many years, and are indeed going to be doing it for many more, but that's not enough for me, and I pray to every god, that this will put me in a better position for where I want to end up. I enjoy the patient care side of this job, I enjoy speaking to many different people about everything and anything, I love being on the wards, I love being part of a much bigger team to help make people better...but it's not enough. I am 3 weeks in, and I feel brain dead already.

I've randomly bumped into a couple of people working in the NHS. This one guy turned out to be a scrub-nurse type guy, who thinks I should ditch being a HCA all together. He thinks it gives the impression that you want to be a nurse and that's it, that it actually appears my goals are much lower than what they actually are. I never saw it like that myself, I saw it as a humbling profession, one which would help me in so many ways, communicating with different people, exposure to patients, witnessing life on the wards, dealing with some of the complications to patient care, and the downsides of the NHS, and ultimately provide me a great platform to sell myself and prove I can be a great doctor...but maybe he's right? What if someone looks at my personal statement, reads me as a HCA and throws me in the "wannabe nurse" pile? If someone reading this out there can help me with this dilemma, I'd really love you to comment.

The other thing driving me mad is the whole 5-days-till-results thing. So much is unknown at the minute. I think somewhere deep down I am still having trouble coming to terms with accepting that I will be taking a gap year and reapplying. Just looking at medical school prospectus' doesn't make me excited or thrilled the way it once did, but it actually makes me feel forlorn. Like the whole, "I tried really really hard but still failed," type sad. And I know, I know I am only going to gain from here on in when I reapply. I get to do my UKCAT again, I have achieved grades, I can learn to drive and have my own car and just earn money and spend it all and not have to worry, I can go abroad and do the travelling I've always droned on about wanting to do... and yet I still find myself wondering what might be in clearing this year. Or whether I can just do a Math based degree and love life for a bit. Or may be engineering. OR DAVID BECKHAM STUDIES. (oof, that man...)

However this is the plan this evening: Cup of tea next to me, iPhone silenced, donuts out, pen and paper on my lap - I will be starting from scratch. I am going to remind myself of all the options I could have open to me, I will be detailing some phone numbers I may ring and try the long shot of "I have my grades please please please take me, I am not begging, I am just desperate..." but hey. You've gotta try.

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