I first started my nursing degree back in September 2019. I was excited to start a new chapter in my life, then the pandemic hit and ground everything to a halt. We were all put onto online learning and because of this my motivation and passion for a career I've always wanted faded away. A few months into the lockdown my health troubles started, which sent me on the path of multiple hospital appointments, scans, tests and surgeries. My first surgery had the biggest impact as I had to take time off from clinical placements to recover. Throughout the 2 months when these surgeries took place, the university were very understanding and put measures in to support me academically in the short term, the most helpful being an extension on the assignment I started before the surgeries. After that the support fizzled out and the mental strain of my health issues caught up to me. I broke down after being strong for so long. So many questions ran through my head- what if I hadn't gone to the doctor about my blood pressure? How much damage could the tumour have done if I didn't spot it when I did? I felt like I couldn't talk to anyone at the university about this- my personal tutor was less than sympathetic when I was struggling. She offered solutions that weren't suitable for someone with an invisible illness. As soon as I said I had no motivation she said "Why don't you try and get into a routine- get up at the same time every day?". I tried to tell her that with my health conditions and flare ups that might not always be possible but she insisted I try it. Safe to say it didn't work. After this the support fizzled out further. Even though they put an action plan in place for my placements, I now feel like I'm drowning in work with no end in sight. My passion for the job has hit rock bottom once again and I feel like the next few months will be the hardest mental battle of my life so far. My hope for the future is that my university learns just how much invisible illnesses can impact someone's life academically, physically and emotionally. I also hope I can use my voice to make positive changes for future students so they don't go through the same troubles I have.
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