January 9 2018
HA – Heart
AOM – BPH med
AT – L Malleolus – wrote docs first before raising bed rails and leaving pt
Only obsessed about the bed rails.
March 14 2018
“Third time’s the charm!” were the exact words I told my uncle about 2 years ago now when he asked how my future plans were looking like, and throughout those two years after passing my written exam, it was an emotional and educational one.
Walking into this exam was so foreign to me because I knew very little people — almost no one — who were taking the exams and study groups and study material. I literally had to do so much research where in the Philippines review centers were everywhere!
Now let’s rewind the entire thing.
The application process was first a drag. Having to do this myself, it nearly took me another two years to get all my documents rounded up. This included a montage of back and forth letters, emails and phone calls to my Alma Mater and the Hong Kong Nursing Council because I was lacking documents, or I did not hand in my files in time and so on and so forth.
When I finally was allowed to take the exams, I spent nearly two hours every day studying. First hour when waking, and a one-hour detour studying in cafes before heading home. At that time I worked from 9am until 7pm at the very latest and I worked for one of the toughest bosses I could ever encounter at the time.
In the end though, I did pass the written in one take. And then I had an emotional moment in life where my boyfriend at the time decided to end the relationship. Not only was I already mentally and physically exhausted and at my limit, the turmoil had to be aggravated by this–this then affected my first try on the Practical exam.
And then somewhere along the way I met a supportive partner in life, who helped me study (by being my patient) and prepare for the ultimate exam of my life. I will admit that the 2nd take on my exam felt a little half-hearted, because have way my anxieties got the best of me, (I guess you could also say that I was a little bit distracted as I was entering a new relationship then) and I began having extreme tremors like a Parkinson’s patient would, and sadly, that cost me my exam.
For the final take, I took my time and this time, found a class that was willing to coach me. But because I was the only english-speaking client I had to pay HKD24000 instead of HKD16000 if I found friends to enter this with. Despite my efforts of finding others, they either found it too expensive, or chose to just stick with their current study groups.
I did not let this get in the way though. So I did what I could to earn that money and saved up as much as I could. Where the normal classes had a total of 39 hours, my special class had to cram everything in just 24 hours. Two weeks before Christmas before flying to the Netherlands for my partner’s family reunion, I had to go to work everyday, and the days I didn’t work (Friday and Sunday) I had to attend my 8 hour classes.
How I managed that? Persistence, resilience and determination.
And on the last day of my class I had a mini breakdown from all the stress building up, but of course there was no time for that since I had that flight the same evening.
Even when I was on that holiday, every jet-lagged hour I could not sleep, I was visualizing the steps for my exam. For every minute of commuting and disconnection from social media, I would sit quietly and visualized the steps needed for the practical exam. I even had a little flashcard I prepared for myself to study on the go.
And on the day of the exam, I listened to Pokemon’s Elite Four theme songs in all variations up until I sat at the lobby waiting for my batch to go in.
For first time takers of the Practical Exams, the set up is done in a nursing school, where their rooms are simulated wards and your practice dummies were live nursing students. You had three stations that tackled three main objectives of the exam:
Health Assessment, Administration of Medications and Aseptic Technique
(I’ll go into more details later)
I did my exams exactly in this order.
My Health Assessment was based on Cardio. Administration of Meds revolved around high blood pressure and BPH and Aseptic Technique was done on the Left Malleolus, where for one split second I had a mild panic attack figuring out where the fxxx the malleolus was. I then fell into deductive reasoning in regards to the location of the wound.
It always fell into three categories, the arm, a joint and a foot. And because might stated a lower extremity, I told myself to calm down and just casually observe the lower extremity, and ta-da! It was just on the foot. Lucky me. If I had panicked any more, I would have probably failed.
I even thought that I would because I blanked on malleolus!
Any way, fast-forward to the 9 week mark — of course we’d like to skip all those days freaking out, having timely melt downs and inevitable anxieties consume me — in my email, I received two attachments.
Now before I mention anything else, I just wanted to share a dream I had roughly two days before I received the email. I dreamt I read the letter from the council saying I passed. I was soooo happy that I was literally jumping for joy in my dream to the point where I woke up.
Anyway, going back to the experience of me and the email I remember how my stomach dropped and feeling light-headed. I didn’t want to open anything first, so instead, I read the 2nd attachment and it was a file for me to fill in for registering as a nurse. And then it clicked. I read the first 5 words of the letter and then the rest was history.
Every day I now wake up early and excited, ecstatic that all my dreams and planning and persistence lead up to this day!
But of course, my story does not end here, it has just begun.
But enough about me, have you taken the exam yet? 😀