Life has really changed for me since I joined nursing school I have found myself in compromising situations but I have been able to adapt. Everyday is a busy day as there are practical activities moving from one place to another. The instructors keep us on toes and we have to devote our time in studies. I spend numerous nights reading or writing treatment plans. Most of my time is devoted to my studies and this has negative implication to my security job. I am not able to work as much as I would have wished to ensure my pockets are loaded but the time investment on studies is for a good cause. I have become a better student as learning has become easier. Constant study and revision perfects knowledge on issues, most jobs pay in proportion to the output. Less working hours or days translates into fewer amounts of cash obtained.
The numerous assessments in class have made me change my studying behavior. I have identified myself with a group of other students into forming a study group that ensures maximum study. My new study habits have made me a better student as I easily understand what is taught and answering questions is much easier. There are several coping mechanisms including compensation, displacement, undoing and reaction formation. My experiences as a student show an interaction of these mechanisms. I find myself applying each of them depending on the situation at hand.
Compensation entails how a person tries to overcome or outdo the weaker character traits with the stronger traits. One tries to improve their fate by utilizing the aspects they are stronger in. personally, I have a weak memory, I easily forget. I cannot vividly recall what I read a week or two ago. To solve this problem I ensure that I increase my study habits. Through constant revising of what is learned I have been able to improve my bad memory as it keeps me on toes regarding my studies (Ansari W.E, 2002)
Displacement is about transferring emotional reaction to stress form one object to another. Life as a student nurse is quite stressful considering that there is much to study. Assignments, tests and practical presentation are on daily basis. This has seen me spend sleepless nights in the study room. Good grades are not just achieved by hardly earned in reacting to this stressful condition I engage in physical exercises at least four times in a week. I go for swimming from Monday through Thursdays each week to ensure that my stresses are washed away. It is a perfect experience as on leaving the swimming pool my mind is fresh enough to accommodate new concepts and ideas.
Undoing approach of coping is about negating a previous action and making one situation better. It’s about accepting the current situation and not underscoring the possibilities of better achievements. The results of my first nursing test were not so appealing. Most students performed better than my 65. This was a challenge to me to work harder and perform better in the second. Intensified studies have made me rise from 65 to 74 to 84 over the terms. My positive reaction towards improving my worse grades has successfully seen my improved grades.
Reaction formation is about the way a person internalizes or develops conscious attitudes that are opposite of what one would like to do. Everyone would look forward for an easy way of getting things. Hard work is tasking and makes one forfeit other things that would earn him/her pleasure. Nursing has made me forego many things I would like to do. I would really like to go partying with friends and having fun but I forfeit it as adds no value to my career. Instead I spend most of my time indoors studying to achieve my nursing career goals. (Ansari W.E, 2002)
My interest in nursing is much influenced by my Italian family background. Most of my grandparents and great grand parents came from a line of either doctors or nurses. I believe it runs in our family. My parents always encouraged me to pursue nursing and I gladly accepted. Throughout my life I saw my grandmother in a nursing home. I admired the way nurses cared for her and it was internalized in me that nursing is a very important career. Caring for people has now been my vocation. I want to leave a positive mark in the lives of those I touch. Quality care is what my motto will be every time I attend to patients.
My strong catholic beliefs have taught me to work as if I was working for my lord. It also teaches me that I should treat others the same way I would like them to treat me. I have a positive attitude when taking care of patients, as I know it could be me in their position. I ensure that the services I give are the same I would expect had the roles reversed. Christianity has also taught me that all are equal before God and that all is vanity. Life’s most important things are love and care for others. We express love, which is the greatest commandment by caring for others. (Ansari W.E 2002)
I have adapted several self care strategies to help me adapt as a student nurse. I have learnt that although I cannot control the circumstances can be adversely affected if I do not get enough sleep. Although my tight program makes it hard to have quantity sleep I capitalize on quality sleep I do take a nap when I cannot concentrate anymore due to drowsiness. I watch my diet, too much carbohydrates especially when going to sleep reduces my efficiency. Starchy foods take longer to digest and concentrate is negatively affected since much activity is one the stomach. A well balanced diet keeps me healthy and my immunity is higher. Constant exercises work well both for my physical and mental wellness. Swimming gives me a relaxation feeling on a tough demanding day. I also take a walk when I want to shift the subject am studying.
On fortnightly basis I pamper myself by taking care of myself. I go for a professional massage. Self care makes me feel better. This positively improves my self-awareness and helps to internalize my goals more. I have a positive right attitude and looks at life with an optimistic approach. Accepting the challenges that come with nursing puts a smile on my face, as I know the challenges are part of the ‘valuable package’. A stronger prayer practice gives me the peace of mind to face each challenge on the way to successfully attaining my nursing career goals. Study groups also assist in coping with nursing challenges.