I've had a diary online at The Open Diary for some years under the name Tall Guy, but thought I like to give this site a go too, after it had been recommended by a friend.
I worked for slightly over four years on acute psychiatric ward as a Health Care Assistant. Which, although an extremely difficult job at times, could be very rewarding. However, eventually I got tired of the HCA poor wages and the dead-end quality of the job, and decided to try for my nurse training. This took forever, because first I had to do a years evening class in Health and Social Care to get enough qualifications to get on the nursing course in the first place. I was usefully supported by my ward manager throughout, and when it came to applying, I was lucky enough to get a secondment onto the nursing course, which means that I kept my basic HCA wage, rather than having to struggle on a pitiful bursary, as most student nurses have to.
Mental Health is a great area to work if your interested in people. It's no ordinary job. From day to day, you can experience boredom, anger, fear, hilarity, frustration, occasional violence, and guilt (I've witnessed two suicides and felt helpless both times). But if you want life experience, short of going into the army or the police force, it's the only game in town. In mental health, you really find out what you're made of.
What has life as a Student Nurse been like? Well I've had in many ways the best year of my life, but also one of the most difficult. The Common Nursing Foundation year is extremely tough. In the second semester, I had four assignments to write (I was having to resubmit two assignments from the first trimester that I failed), I was working on placement on one of the general hospital's orthopaedic wards (very heavy work), while revising for an exam (which I went on to fail).
However, come the end of the year and I've cleared all outstanding work: passed the written exam on the re-sit, passed the practical exams (horrendous. Try manually recording someone's blood pressure, with the assessor watching your every move), and ended the year on a 'B' for one assignment and an 'A' for the other.
So I'm all set to start my second year, glad at last to have reached the point where we branch into mental health, which is what I came to this course to do in the first place.
I've recently, after many years of not even picking up a pen, returned to my first love, which is cartooning, and specifically comic strips. I'm currently reworking some old material, with the eventual aim of producing new stuff, which will one day add up to a book.
Well there's lots more, but I'll leave it there for now. Do leave a note. Ta!