As of today I have 58 days left to work at the Health Centre.
59.5 if I add the extra days I’m working next week.
I remember when I started working as a nurse – how new and exciting it was and how I couldn’t wait for another day filled of more new and exciting things. Now I feel a bit like a horse who just trots along following orders. Anyone working in medicine today will tell you that any step outside the square box of licences and certified procedures is a step too far. I am not alone in being fed up of being led by people who are terrified of what might happen but unlike the others, I know that in 59.5 days I can step away from their contagious fear and live my own life.
It’s the holidays that bring out this sort of thinking. Annual Leave turns nurses and doctors into normal people who spend time with other normal people who are not ill in any way and want nothing more from us than a good laugh or a silent walk along the beach. Every nurse I know can’t wait to pack up the “abuse and/ or insufficiency radar” and do normal for as long as we possibly can. But like all things, normal ends and we come back, browner and happier but still remembering what we’ve just given up. One of the first things we do when we is rush to the annual leave planner and put our names down for more of it.
I chose nursing because hospitals were always warm and being cold was the part of living in Southland I disliked. Those who chose more wisely are fortunate. They still see challenges and learning opportunities and love it intensely for what it is. Everyday I work with women who are natural healers, motivators and carers; it’s just that I am not one of them. I am not without nursing skills but I have reached the point where I never want to go to another lecture about vaccines or ears or some infectious disease with an unpronouncable name. I don’t want to have to feel anxious because I know there is a way I should behave with this race of people when all I want to do is treat them as I would a friend and listen to what they have to say and let them do the instructing. I know I spend far too long editing and then re-editing my consultation notes and when someone gives me a letter to reword or a blog to write for the FB page, I sing like a bird. I even like doing recalls because I get to write a little note in each task file.
In 59.5 days I will be able to write without thinking about spilling my tea in the car and what time I should be back from lunch. I will be free to kill off and save as many imaginary people as I can dream up which on the face of it, sounds like a useless occupation compared to nursing.
Until I consider the life I’m talking about is mine. And it’s got a ways to go yet.