Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wading my way through Uni in Australia....

I am fascinated with all the international nursing blogs especially those from US and UK. I thought I would write down some thoughts about the Uni program I am dreadging my way through at the moment.

Where to start??? At the beginning I guess. The university program is currently 3 years but can be extended to cater for part time students (especially helpful if you are concurrently working or like me have kids) up to 6 years. Entry is based on rank received on completion of high school or can be determined based on life experience, professional development and sitting a special entrance exam.

At a crisis point in my life I decided to persue becomming a nurse. It was never a life long ambition or a dream of mine as a child, I honestly never imagined I had what it took until I started out. The major turning point was being a birthing partner for my best friend who was so grateful for the support and I remember thinking to myself - I could really do this. I felt useful, I instinctively knew how to support her and I felt empowered to know I really made a difference in the birth of my goddaughter.

So I sat the test to give me a rank and then I waited. I was amazed that I did so well and I started preparing for my new life. I remeber being really worried that I wouldn't fit into uni life and that I would be the oldest undergraduate on campus (How naive I was, I needn't have worried at 27 I was far from the oldest).

The first year I started out doing a part time load of 2 subjects per semester. I had told myself that Uni was going to be incredibly hard and juggling it and 2 small children would be a mammoth effort that I would be lucky to handle. The first 2 subjects were Anatomy & Physiology 1 and Perspectives in Nursing. I loved A & P and hated Perspectives. The whole idea of sociology and how it fit into nursing was lost on me. The second semester I did A & P 2 and Clinical health assessment. I enjoyed both of these and did really well. Due to my part time status I did not go on Prac for the first year of my degree. (infact not until the end of the second year).

By the end of the first year I knew I could handle a higher workload so I adjusted my progression to a full time status. The second year I did Pathophysiology and Pharmacology 1 & 2 (absolutely loved it), Communication, Psychosocial development, Nursing Practices, Health promotion and my elective was End of life studies. I had 2 weeks of prac in a Aged Care facility/rehab fascility which I hated. I didn't mind the work, it is just that I was so bored and the nursing staff were so old fashioned.

This year I have completed Health Law & ethics, Acute nursing, Informatics (hated it - all about computers in nursing) Research, Complex clinical skills and Human Responses in Crisis. This year I have had 8 weeks full time clinical placements in a variety of settings(in 2 week blocks). For me I have worked in 2 x Cardiac wards, ICU, Critical Care Unit and Acute Mental Health.

For my final year I will be doing Wound and Pain management, Adapting to health changes, Community nursing, and Transitions to practice ( I know there are two more, just cant think of them), In addition I will be on prac in 2 & 3 week blocks for 12 weeks of the academic year.

Wow I am exhausted just thinking about all that work. I have to say that as hard as the work is (I am amazed at the amount of work involved and by the amount nurses need to know), I absolutely love studying. With all its pitfalls and the juggle with other commitments it is still one of my greatest passions.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

HypnoKitten said...

Could the other two subjects be mother/baby or pediatrics? I didn't see anything there about women's/children's issues.

We had to do clinicals in both the birth center and a pediatric hospital. We never spent time in critical care while we were in school.

I got your note - thanks for putting up the logo! I'll get you in on the next go-round of new blog postings I do. Happy Blogging! :)