Another piece of Homework Emily was given was to describe a mistake that she had made, saying
What did you do?
Why did you do it?
What were the consequences?
How did you feel afterwards?
Did you do anything to solve the mistake?
Did you learn anything about your mistake?
How do you feel about the situation now?
I guess firstly it depends how you define a mistake. The literal meaning is “an act or judgement that is misguided or wrong.”
I remember having to do a similar piece of work at University, we called it a critical incident and had to go into much more detail.
It’s quite difficult to decide what is really a mistake, what is a regret and what is a misjudgement. I have many regrets and occasions where I wish I had done things differently, but they weren’t actually something I did wrong.
One of my biggest regrets is losing my nursing training (job) and it wasn’t my fault, but I do wish I had handled the situation differently. It may not have changed the outcome of course.
Back in 1990 when I began my training nurses trained on the job (full time) and studied too, we were part of the ward staff right from the start and changed wards every 2 or 3 months to get experience in different areas. We had blocks of time in school too and course work and exams and we loved it. Most of us lived in the nurse accommodation at the hospital so it was or whole lives.
In my second year of a three and a bit year course I had quite a bit of time off sick due to a back injury, which was a combination of a long standing back problem and a fall at work. I failed a couple of placements, mainly due to time off and then I was told they were terminating my training as they didn’t think I was right to continue (I can’t remember the exact phrases used).
I then had to go to a dismissal hearing where I could challenge the decision. I felt that the hearing was just a formality and that I didn’t really have any choice but to leave. I was told by the Director of Nurse Education that if I carried on I would put myself in a wheelchair before I was 30! Ironically I started using a wheelchair when I was about 31! So everything was against me really and at the time I didn’t have the confidence to question or challenge the dismissal.
I have always wondered what would have happened if I had challenged it and feel that I should have tried harder to be reinstated or tried harder to work despite the injury so that I wasn’t in the situation in the first place. Was that my biggest mistake? I don’t know, it’s certainly my biggest regret. I lost my job, income, car, and home in one fell swoop. I felt like I has lost/wasted 2 years of my life and had to start again trying to get a career. I had a lot of knowledge and experience that was no use anymore. I would still doing anything to change it now, 26 years later.
I did enquire a short time later if I could be considered for a lesser qualification, I was doing SRN training, the was at that time a shorter qualification an SEN, but they were phasing it out. I was told that I didn’t have the correct experience for SEN and that it would be pointless anyway.
Ironically I was able to use some of my experience to work as a carer and care assistant whilst studying later.
The experience left me determined to fight future problems and when I became ill whilst studying I fought to keep my place even though it left me with no income at all for 2 years and still has financial implications as I can’t claim any benefits. I finally got my degree but was too ill to work, I did try for a while and I constantly fight against my illness and it’s limitations, but it doesn’t help. So I still have no job, no income, no identity so still wonder if things could have been different if I had fought then.
I can still remember a lot of people from the course and wonder what they are doing now. I was one of the younger trainees at just short of 19 when I started, you had to be over 17, many were in their 20’s and shock horror I think some were nearly in their 40’s. Nurses could retire at 55 then. I would still walk back in there tomorrow and start all over again if I could, unfortunately I can’t walk far let alone look after other people. I have a family life now, but many people on the course had children, I have no idea how they managed. Nurse training is now a degree course and the hospital and school where I trained were knocked down a few years ago. I think it is going to be or maybe already a housing development, but trying to find information online crashed my computer, so perhaps I should leave alone. the search has thrown up a book about training to be a nurse in Derby written by someone who was there 3 years before me – dare I read it? Tried to download the book to Kindle, but it won’t work, also trying to tell me something!! Bought the book for Kindle, but it is corrupted so can’t read it!! Sadly the hospital site still seems to be undeveloped and just two bits of the original hospital stand all alone, very sad for a building with so much history and it means I can’t go back!
P.S I bought the book!