New career – day one.

I’ve just returned from the induction day of my access to nursing course. I know what you’re thinking.

Why can’t Emily go straight to University?

Well, I’ll tell you.

My fifteen year old self thought it would be much more fun to study photography, spending her wednesday mornings taking grainy photos of pebbles rather than continuing with the tiresome and unglamorous mathematics classes.

Between the ages of twelve and twenty-one I was convinced I would become a moderately successful actress. I went to one of those fame schools and then studied performance and theatre and university. No maths required. More fool me.

Right now, I’m staring down the barrel of a year’s intensive A level English, Biology and Law along with GCSE Maths. I need to get incredible marks in every subject and write a shit hot personal statement to get into King’s College and the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing.

So, whilst I panic about my first assignment and applying to UCAS by December 1st I thought I’d talk about why I want to be a nurse. If all goes well, hopefully, I am sort of doing homework and blogging simultaneously. Fingers crossed.

My Mother, who is sometimes mad, always passionate and completely invested in my happiness and safety was a nurse. When I was a little girl and she couldn’t get childcare I hung out in the hospital, watched operations and idolised her friends and colleagues.

It was the eighties so it’s not massively sexist to say they were almost entirely women. Awe inspiring women. Loud, honest, considerate, warm and darkly funny women. The kind of women you quote for the rest of your life. My first role models.

Until recently, I’d not realised just how much like them I had become, working in homeless services for eight years will give you a similar outlook on life. I can’t stay in that sector though, part of me would like to, but there is always one sticking point. If I want to progress in my career, I move away from what I love most about my work. If I become a manager I no longer work directly with clients, more paperwork and less people.

I really like people. I feel the most useful, whole and proud that I can when I’m being helpful to others, when I have a purpose and that purpose is good. I’m pragmatic and generous and hard working. I’ve dealt with enough blood and urine and vomit and faeces and screaming and death, working in homeless hostels, to know that I will be an unwavering and competent nurse.

I also really like science. These bodies we walk around in, their incredible systems and processes are endlessly fascinating to me. I cannot wait to know more. I’ll keep you posted. Particularly about the weird stuff.

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