Dreaming of being a nurse

Last week was the end of the school term and our local school invited parents in for the afternoon to look at their child’s work.  It’s always lovely to see what my daughter has been up to and she takes great pride in showing me every page however this term I have to admit to having a little tear as I turned the page and saw this lovely drawing:


Underneath it was written “It’s my hope and dream to become a nurse like my Mummy” To say that I was overwhelmed was an understatement and I found myself searching the depths of my handbag to find a tissue.  My daughter was very proud of this picture, which is in fact her future self taking care of a lady with a broken leg – she also has no feet but that is only because it’s tricky to draw feet when someone is lying down and not due to a medical condition!

Over the week I had some time to reflect on this picture and I started to think, that although humbled by my daughters wish to do what I do would I really ever advise her to become a nurse?

Almost daily there is news of not only healthcare but nursing being in turmoil and nurses struggle on through the toughest of times.  In my own career I no longer keep count of the times that I have cried or returned home from a shift to exhausted even to eat, fallen into bed only to wake up and return to do it all the very next day.  There have been times that I have felt alone and times when I have felt despondent with nursing.  And to top it all the pay that a nurse receives will never make any of us rich …. Yet I feel I am one of the wealthiest and luckiest people I know .. due to nursing!

Only as I have gone through my career have I actually realised how diverse nursing is, as a nurse there are many opportunities and different paths to choose.  In addition to this every day is, in itself, diverse, I have never had two days the same when nursing. .  On my last clinical shift, at the weekend, I was helping an elderly lady to eat her lunch. She really didn’t want to eat anything at all so I said “How about having pudding first?” and she looked at me like the cat that got the cream with eyes full of mischief.  “Oooh” she said “We were never allowed to do that at school!” So almost conspiratorially we started the meal with sticky toffee pudding and custard.  I asked her if she liked school dinners and she told me how awful they were but they had to eat them or sit there until they had. I asked her if she liked school dinner puddings at least and she said that “she didn’t much care for them either!” We then had a wonderful conversation all about semolina, tapioca and rice pudding! There is no doubt that I can recall hundreds (and have forgotten hundreds more) of stories like this, where a small and seemingly insignificant human connection can make a difference.  The chances are if I had not suggested pudding first this frail lady would have missed a meal – as it was she ate everything.  Do I want my daughter to be able to make a difference to people lives like this?

Nursing really is in my soul , those of you who are nurses reading this will know how that feels.  Nursing makes me laugh and cry and through the tough times I hold on to the good times as for every negative there are 20 positives.  Life isn’t perfect and whatever my daughter does my only hope and dream is that she is as wealthy in spirit as I am nursing.

However having said all of that I believe I have neglected to mention that my daughter is only 8 years old and this week wants to be Princess Anna from Frozen (#LetItGo !) when she grows up … which doesn’t sound like a bad career move to me :D

Keeping Up – Infographic

A little while back I wrote a blog called Keeping Up which was all about keeping up during Twitter Chats.  The blog was quite widely shared however, as well all know sometimes a blog is just too many clicks or even too much to read when surfing the world wide web … especially when viewed vis our mobile phones ! In the interests of keeping this information, short, shareable and sociable I have developed a little infographic .

Untitled Infographic (2)

I have to say that infographics are one of my favourite ways of sharing information via social media, they are a fab example of colourful content – content that is useful, engaging and shareable. The world needs less boring un-engaging typed pages (imagine your organisations policy folder!) and lots more infographics – so happy sharing #LongLiveTheInforgraphic :D

Smiling when you Tweet

Before you go any further dear Reader this blog comes with a sparkling and fluffy warning … I happen to like sparkly and fluffy but I know there are many who do not.  If you are a decidedly unsparkly and unfluffy person then I suggest you close your browser right now !

Ok so now we have everyone here who can do sparkly and fluffy we can crack on with this blog post.  This blog post is inspired by a Tweet that I saw out of the corner of my eye this week.  It the split second in which I merely saw it and didn’t read it I thought it was a picture sharing Twitter tips:

Screenshot 2015-07-03 14.51.56

Of course the picture was not tweeting tips but a “Wellbeing Bucket” – which I can only assume is a pictorial representation of things to help with our wellbeing … and its very lovely. (Thank you to @KathEvans2 for sharing it)

It’s pretty easy to see why, at first glance, I thought it was about Twitter – being polite, being kind, sharing, listening, being helpful and including others are all great traits to demonstrate in the Twittersphere.  However it was the inclusion of “smile” that got me thinking … would I also include this? Is smiling relevant on Twitter?

I started to think about all the Twitter users who I really like, the ones who brighten up my day:

egg-680584_1280@kathevans2 (who shared this tweet) was the first person to spring to mind, Kath is definitely a Smiley Tweeter, her tweets are both informative and positive.

@lillybubs was another person who I felt definitely smiles when she tweets, her bubbly and sparkly attitude shines through

Perhaps some not quite so obvious Smiley Tweeters are people like @TrishaTheDoc and @LisaSaysThis – they may not always agree with what you say but their tweets show a kindness of heart just makes me feel that they must smile.

But it’s @Pam007Nelmes who is clearly the best Smiley Tweeter ever, Pam proves that 140 seemingly insignificant characters can do so much good.  I bet my nursing hat and cape that Pam smiles and tweets.

I figure that I am sounding pretty sickly sweet fluffy and sparkly, probably with oodles of glitter on top by now (you were forewarned) so I guess I should explain what I mean by a Smiley Tweeter.  I am not sure I really know myself but I know I am not talking about having an inane grin on you face whilst you check your Twitter stream on the bus, and I know its not merely laughing out loud at the latest cat picture to hit our screens.  Its also not about agreeing with everything that everyone says as Smiley Tweeters can, and do, disagree and challenge thinking.  I think its more about an inherent kindness and compassion, its about caring for others, its about respect for fellow Twitter user no matter who they are, its about sharing and its about being human.  The more and more I think about it the more I know that people who “smile” when they tweet are the people I enjoy being around.