As 2019 is drawing closer, I wanted to write about my 2018 top moments and celebrate achievements! Why not? People often view things like this as ‘showing off’ but actually for me, I’m just proud and keeping myself motivated for third year. I’ve come from nothing… I got awful grades at GSCEs, I left school and went into hospitality with zero ambition in my soul (which is hard to believe these days!).
I’m proud that I’m finally achieving something, and my life has meaning to it. Not just my life but I want to give meaning, motivation and purpose to others as well. That’s why I share these things, nothing more and nothing less.
So, what has 2018 looked like for me? What have I achieved?
Let’s start at the beginning:
January 2018: Becoming part of the High Achievers Recognition Scheme at university. This was a huge achievement for me as I had never done well at school at all! Leaving with mainly D’s and E’s in GSCE! As part of the scheme I applied for and was successful in obtaining the Scholarship of £2500! This money went towards my own personal development.
February 2018: I started with the Student Nurse Project as one of the original members. Over at the Student Nurse Project we aim to provide information, advice and tips to help out other students. Being part of this amazing project has built upon my leadership skills and team working as well as social media engagement. You can check out our blog site here > https://studentnurseproject.co.uk
March 2018: I started my favourite placement within general practice (GP). I was then offered the amazing opportunity to speak at a general practice nursing conference with Karen Storey who is primary care lead nurse for NHS England. This was an absolute honour and has built my public speaking skills, which I continue to push myself and develop further for 2019.
Shortly after my general practice placement I became a general practice nurse ambassador for NHS England. This has been a fantastic opportunity to network and showcase my love for GP and get rid of these myths about GP nursing.
April 2018: I finally upgraded and got my own blog site and domain name (this site). This was something that was on my goal list for a while and with the HARS scholarship I was able to afford it 🙂
May 2018: I passed my general practice placement and my first physiology exam of the year! I got a 65.5% grade which was my lowest exam grade, so I was a little disappointed about that but it’s a high pass, so I am proud.
June 2018: I got the chance to go to the real bodies exhibition and do a review – What an experience! June was also the month for open days at the university, I volunteered on the stall and made an official open day vlog for the university. No one knows this, but this was my first ever open day at university! I never attended mine before starting so this was a new experience for me and I did my own little freebie dash at the end too. If you want to see the official Vlog, you can view it here: https://youtu.be/lTgt0SsHOBY
July 2018: I did an official vlog for the university. In this Vlog, I got the chance to go to London for the day with international students and show them a great day out! July was also the month of the health care awards at university, where I was officially awarded my certificated for the scholarship. And I dared to have rose gold hair? Haha .
23rd of July is also the official day of the international Hello My Name is campaign. I did a short Vlog about the importance of this but you can find out more over at the website here: https://www.hellomynameis.org.uk
August 2018 – We had our last day of lectures for second year! It was also the start of our community scoping experience (where we get to organise our own experiences out in the community to help us develop our knowledge and skills) – I attended coroners court which was a huge eye opener to me and I ended up doing an emotional Vlog on this here: https://youtu.be/0-6tG_ToSFU
September 2018 – I started my Orthopaedic ward placement, which I ended up learning so much from.
I got accepted onto the community rotation programme for third year! I had also signed up for the Snowdon challenge to raise money for the Cavell Trust charity. We did our first practice run, and I got a surprise from our lecturer Ann-Marie Dobson by throwing an emergency situation at me.
I also took part in the international activities week over at Birmingham City University (Curzon campus). This was THE best week of the year! I had the most fun ever. I was a buddy mentor for some international students, gave them a tour of the campuses and took part in fun events to help them settle in and feel like home in Birmingham. I also won an award for ‘buddy engagement’ – a real honour! And SHOCK! One of the main highlights from this week, was when I was put as the team leader for the treasure hunt. Our team won! And we had a celebration in the graduate plus office at university. It was an electric moment for me!
September was also the month that I helped set up Project GIVE with my friend and colleague Kelly . This project was set up to help fight period poverty in schools across Wolverhampton. You can read more about it on the website here: http://inspiringhealthychoices.co.uk/project-give-positive-period-menstruation-period-poverty/
October 2018 – We did a cake sale to go towards our Snowdon Challenge and we ended up raising £224 for the Cavell Trust charity.
One achievement I had out on placement during this month, was some great feedback. I had a really difficult situation where a patient had gone into critical care and I had got straight in to help. My mentor pulled me to one side the day after and told me the nurses had given her great feedback about how I handled the situation. My main reason for highlighting this one in particular is because at the time of the situation and when I got home and started to reflect, I actually didn’t feel like I had done enough! I felt truly helpless for the first time in my whole nursing journey. A feeling I had never felt before and didn’t enjoy it. So to get this feedback the following day just lifted me back up and made me realise – we are our own worst critics and to be kinder to myself in 2019.
I also passed my second exam of second year with 63% when I had thought I failed it! A huge relief and massive achievement. I also passed my assignment with 75%! Got my ‘first’ in the bag for second year.
October was also the OFFICIAL launch on the general practice student nurse network
November 2018 – This month I passed my last placement of second year with a P*! The highest you can get for a placement, this means that the student has gone above and beyond normal duties expected of them.
I did a couple of official vlogs for the university this month too! One was at the Bear Grylls experience at the NEC Birmingham. Which was an amazing and fun day! I also got given the incredible duty of interviewing the former England cricketer Ashley Giles at the Christmas tree light switch on. What a huge honour! We won’t mention that I initially got his name wrong and I ended up calling him Ashley Cole… whoops… video below for the comedy value.
November was also the month for the Academy of Fabulous Stuff, as I am a Fab Academy ambassador I got the wonderful invite to attend! It was a 1940’s themed event with free food and drink included. It was so wonderful to see so many inspirational people in one room. All of who have done amazing things throughout healthcare to improve other people’s lives. If you don’t know what the Academy of Fab stuff NHS is, then check it out here: https://fabnhsstuff.net
During this month I also attended the CATE awards in Edinburgh as part of the HARS scheme with university. This was a wonderful evening with some other students and lecturers, we got to dress up for the evening and relax – drinks and meal included!
December 2018 – During December I took part in Safeside at Eastside. This was an amazing experience and I learnt a lot more than I thought! I discovered things about myself that I hadn’t realised before and there were a few things that I have took on board and put into practice already. I need to write a whole separate blog on this still! Which will follow at some point this week 🙂
I also started preparation for my dissertation (not called dissertation anymore it’s called ACPE). I managed to do a lot more work than I realised and came up with my question for ACPE! A huge achievement to end 2018 with.
What an amazing year! So what are my goals for 2019?
- Start a positivity jar, I keep seeing this post on social media and I keep saying every
year for the past 4 years that I will do this. This year, for my final year of nursing, it’s being done.
- Improve on my research skills for ACPE and get that amazing grade.
- Push myself more and be confident with public speaking.
- Qualify as a registered nurse (with first class honours would be a bonus!)
Happy New year everyone! Always remember to follow your dreams and ambitions, never give up!
The Vlog version of this is here: https://youtu.be/BQ8Z6yxIYyk