30 years ago this morning, I worked my first ever shift as a Student Nurse.
I started my Nurse training in the October, and I then spent the next 3 months in the class room with brief visits to the wards.
After a short break for Christmas I started my first placement on Ward 21 at Kingston General Hospital on 1st January 1990. I know, I can’t believe that 1990 was 30 years ago either. I was 18 and a little bit hung over (quite a lot actually), in fact I was a little bit late. I had foolishly decided to go to a New Years Eve party and thought I would be able to party on down and still manage to get up on time and feel well. The truth was I was half an hour late and felt quite poorly.
Ward 21 at Kingston General Hospital was a Medical Elderly Ward, so therefore was very busy. It wasn’t long before I was too busy to feel sorry for myself. The winter of 89/90 was a particularly bad flu season, and there was a lot of very poorly patients on the ward. My feet barely touched the floor. Now I was quite a sheltered 18 year old and had never done a hard days work in my life. My shift finished at 3:15pm and I walked a mile back to Hull Royal Infirmary, where my Nurses’ Residence was. That was a long walk I can tell you. I got into my room at about 4pm, my hangover had come back with a vengeance, so I decided to rest my head for a little while. The next thing I know I am waking up in the dark and my clock says 7:00. I say to myself no not again! I jump out of bed and start rushing round getting ready, I come out of my room with my uniform on heading to the bathroom and someone on the corridor asks what i am doing and am I not coming for a drink. It was 7pm! So yes I went for a drink, and I remembered I was on a late shift the next day anyway.
A lot has happened since then, as you would expect really in 30 years, unless my life had been extremely dull.
I am still in Hull, I still work for the NHS. I never made a conscious decision to stay in Hull, in just happened. By the time I qualified I had met Lisa, so it just felt right to stay, then we moved in together, I did my Sick Children’s Nurse training, then we got married and had the boys. I love living in Hull. I love Hull, I consider it my home, and I cannot contemplate living anywhere else. Then again I never imagined I would stop working as a Nurse (some of my colleagues my suggest I never started), but this year that is exactly what I did, so I suppose never say never, as you just don’t know what is coming next.
They say time flies when you are enjoying yourself, and I can definitely say I have had a lot of enjoyment over the past 30 years. Some sadness of course and some very difficult times, but on balance it got me exactly where I need to be right now.
Here’s to another 30!