Work Placement Is Done!

Yet again, I disappeared from my blog, but I’m back once more! I’ve really nothing exciting to talk about so I find it hard to think of some interesting things to write about.

But, after a long long time waiting, I finally completed my work placement! In my healthcare course, we have to do a minimum of 60 hours work work experience in a healthcare facility for being a HCA (Healthcare Assistant), but with Covid and all, our due dates were moved from November to January. Then it was postponed again until March. Thankfully we all got out then in March and I was really apprehensive about it.

My placement was in a small nursing home in a small town about 15 minutes drive from where I live, so it was very handy to get there. On Sunday I went to get a Covid test, and if it was negative, then I could start on Tuesday. So Tuesday came and I was quite nervous. I didn’t have a clue what to expect whatsoever, so it was very overwhelming. Thankfully pretty much all the staff members were so nice (apart from 1) and they helped me as much as they could with everything. Also all the patients are so lovely.

I was afraid in case I wouldn’t like it, but I actually really did. It’s very rewarding and I like that the time flies by. Also I like how there is a routine. From half 8 to half 10 you get the patients their breakfast, washed and ready for the day. At quarter past 12 they have their dinner. Then at quarter past 4 they have their tea. I finished at 5 then while the other staff stayed until half 8 to get them ready for bed.

I was supposed to get 6 weeks work experience but due to Covid we were only able to get 3 weeks, so I asked could I go in on Saturdays to gain more hours and they said that that was fine. So now I go every Saturday to get more experience.

So I enjoyed my time there and the patients are so cute and lovely, so saying good morning to them, helping them get ready and having a chat is something I always look forward to.

Hopefully now I’ll be able to get a job after my course ends!

Aisling

Another September, Another Course

I never would have thought that I would be back doing another course… but that’s exactly where I am at! With this pandemic nightmare and pretty much all tourism jobs gone in a poof of smoke, I’ve had to rethink my career choice! I’m decided (and hopefully sensibly) to do a Healthcare course. It allows me to work in nursing homes, hospitals, elderly home-care, health clinics and generally anything related to healthcare. With the way this Coronavirus is headed, I felt this was the most secure way of getting a job at the end of May!

Subjects include Care Support, Care Skills, Anatomy & Physiology, Human Growth & Development, Care of the Older Person, Work Experience and Nursing Theory & Practice. Communications and Health & Safety are two others but because I done those last year this means I don’t have to repeat those. So my timetable isn’t as hectic as the Tourism course last year!

So far I’m really enjoying all the subjects; they are really interesting and I’m learning loads in each class. That’s what I really enjoy, just learning new things. My teachers are all really nice and my classmates seem very nice too!

Compared to my Tourism course, where I was the oldest out of them all, in my new group there is a whole mix of ages. Some are just out of school, one is 25 and she done a make-up a course before this, another has 4 children, another has a son in his 30’s, so I feel a lot more comfortable in this class than the tourism one!

This year the school split every class into two. So my class has 30 students altogether, but to help with social distancing, they split us into half and my group (A) go to school one week while group B logs onto the lesson via zoom. So this week I go to school and then next week I can stay at home and log in. I don’t mind this at all! I get to have a lie in, I spend less on petrol, and because I’ve been taking Spanish classes through zoom, it’s not strange for me to have classes online. I know there are others in the class who hate the online part, and would much rather go to class, but for me I think it breaks up the monotony and I’m sure the weeks will fly by.

As I was studying Spanish during the summer, I wanted to try and keep taking classes during the times when I am free, but I learned pretty quickly that I’m really not engaging in the classes as much as I was. Instead of going 5 days a week, 20 classes, I now go only 3 days a week with 10 classes. I organised it so I could do it Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but I realised that I’m missing too much in the days that I don’t go, and I don’t really want to be spending money each week when I’m not really getting much out of it. So I decided that I will stop taking online classes but I’ll continue to take speaking classes with iTalki. If I manage to maintain what I learned and keep practicing it then I would be happy with that!

For the whole summer I was debating whether to do this Healthcare Support course, but I decided that it was the best choice. I wasn’t very happy going back to school again and studying ( I put so much effort into the Tourism course, I just felt that I couldn’t do it all again), but at least I don’t have to do 2 modules and if I can do it once, then I can do it again. Plus I learned that I just have to adapt to the situation that I’m in.

I feel that this course will open up more doors to me, and I know that I could do the job. I’m a kind, caring person and I want people to be happy. I’m not cut out for working in sales or a really stressful job, but I know I could work in the healthcare sector. I’ll be recognised as a Healthcare Assistant so I’ll actually have a title. I would be helping the nurse with the patients, chatting to them, feeding them, bathing them and helping them with their daily activities.

I really hope I made the right decision with this course. I cried when I realised my tourism course is useless (for the time being), and that I have to go back and do it all again. It’s not what I planned at all and I was really annoyed that I chose the wrong course. I’m lucky that I can go back and do another one, but it’s still difficult to put myself back into the mindset of being a student when I was 100% certain I would get a job in the something related to tourism.

So, as I probably said this time last year, lets see what this year brings!

My Classes Are Helping Me So Much

photo of person holding a bible

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It has been 4 weeks since I’ve start my online Spanish course and it has been helping me a lot. Not just with learning Spanish, but just keeping me sane!

With no job on the horizon, I really had to keep busy doing something, and because now I HAVE to get up, it’s has helped me a lot! If I didn’t have my classes I know I would be getting up at 10 or half 10am, and although it’s not late, I can’t sleep at night when I wake up late in the morning. I would dread waking up in the morning and thinking “Another day of doing absolutely nothing”, and that would just set me up for a bad day.

Second reason is that I get homework from both of my teachers, and although it doesn’t take that long to do, it’s something to do! Plus I enjoy the homework because it’s reinforcing what I studied that day.

And finally…. I’m doing something.

That to me is the most important thing. I’m improving myself. I really really want to be able to be fluent in the language. I want to prove to myself that I can do it; that if I put the effort into it then one day I will be able to do the Spanish language exam (DELE) C1 and pass it with flying colours, maybe even become totally native and get C2!

I put so much effort into my one year course that I just completed and I got 98%, 99% and 100% in all of my modules, and I’m proud of myself because I really did put so much effort into the year. I know myself that I’m not gifted in school and that’s ok, but during that year I really wanted to do well and prove to myself that if I put the hard work in then I will be rewarded.

When I got my results it showed me that if I put the effort in then I will do well, or reasonably well anyway, so that’s why I really want to study hard, go to my online classes, take private classes, and just dedicate myself to the language. For the moment anyway. I’m not sure what I will be doing in September but for the moment my goal is to study Spanish.

So….the fact I’m doing something and not making me go literally crazy is my main reason!

I’ve been annoyed at myself for the past two weeks as I seem to making silly mistakes while speaking, but I think it’s just that my mind is getting all muddled up with all this new grammar and new vocabulary that it’s just taking my brain a while to process it all… so hopefully I’ll start seeing improvements soon.

But apart from that I know 100% that the classes are helping me and I’m going to try and keep taking them for as long as possible!

Aisling

Practising Mindfulness

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Every year my college has night courses that anyone can do. They can range from IT courses, make-up, language, floral arranging, Special Needs Assistant courses and they change some each year depending on popularity. I decided to join the mindfulness course and I really enjoyed it!

It was for 5 weeks from 7.00pm to 9.00pm every Monday, and there were about 14 people who joined it, and their ages ranged from early twenties to their 60’s, so it was a good mix of people.

Every class we always did a meditation and at the beginning it was a struggle, but now I’ve gotten better at them. We also spoke about the past week and what we were struggling with and had anxiety with. It was nice to be surrounded by people who are like me; worrying all the time.

We did lots of things every week and it was a lovely atmosphere to be in. Because we only had 5 weeks, the lady who was running it just gave us a glimpse of techniques we could use to be more ‘mindful’ and how to react to different situations. She explained that she used to be very anxious but then she did these courses and now she works full time giving courses to mainly children. She said it took her over a year to be less anxious, which surprised me! But I suppose it does take a long time to change your mindset.

She gave us contact details of people who are running more mindful courses, because I do want to continue doing these courses because I know they will benefit me. I don’t mind spending the money because I’m investing in myself and I know they are beneficial.

So next Monday I’ll actually miss going!

Aisling

I Feel Like A Child!

boy in brown hoodie carrying red backpack while walking on dirt road near tall trees

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My last posts were about going for an interview for a tourism course! So anyway, I got a place and went for the first meeting with all the other students who were doing different courses. I got my timetable (it’ll most likely change they said) and I saw the other students that will be in my class.

And I was right. I am most definitely the oldest out of them all! So I don’t really know how to feel about this! I saw that there were other mature students there so I know I’m not the oldest out of the whole class year, but still… it’s a bit unnerving.

So today I had to go to the school and get my student email and my student card. And Oh My God I felt like I was 18 all over again and couldn’t do anything!

Firstly, when the teacher said “Good morning” there was a grumble back. She looked around and raised her voice “GOOD MORNING!”.

This is EXACTLY what I had to do when I was teaching my 18 year olds in the University in China. (At 8 o’clock, 10 o’clock….. and pretty much at the beginning of every class they were half asleep)

Except now I’m part of these 18 year olds!

AAGGHH!

It’s very unnerving! I was the most responsible person and the boss of an entire classroom in China, and now I’m a student having to listen and take orders from a teacher. It’s quite hard to adapt!

Next, we were brought into a computer room and we were told how to sign up for our emails and that. We were literally told step by step how to log in, how to click on the Google Chrome, how to put our details in. How to sign out. 

I know all this stuff, and if I don’t, I’m sure I’ll figure it out by their step by step leaflet they gave us all about how to log in.

I don’t need to be babied around.

Then to add to this babying, I didn’t have my page filling the whole screen (because it was fine the way it was), and a teacher came over and said “You know if you click that square button on the top you can make the screen bigger”.

I Know.

But, I politely said thanks and clicked it. But honestly, this whole morning I felt like I was 18 again and having to have teachers to help me.

I’m pretty sure the teachers were like this when I started studying my BA degree when I was 18, but now that I’m older I really can see how I’ve become more mature.

But anyway, I start classes on Monday so we’ll see how that day goes. But I suppose one good thing is that maybe the teacher thought I actually was 18! Because If I was the teacher and saw a near 30 year old I would expect them to know that the square button makes the page bigger.

Aisling

I Have My Course Interview Tomorrow

two person sitting on sofa

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So tomorrow I have an interview for a course that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It’s a 1 year tourism course where you learn about tourism, cabin crew, health and safety, work experience, reception skills and about the Amadeus system. Tour agents use this system to book flights and things for customers.

I’ve been thinking about doing it since I was in Mexico and I think at the moment it’s the best option for me. I was looking at other things such as digital marketing because at the moment there is a high demand for this type of job, and I really did try and get interested in doing a course like that, but I just couldn’t get excited about it. I know in the tourism sector you don’t make a lot of money, but I’m pretty sure I would enjoy working in that area!

Apparently it’s quite an informal interview so I shouldn’t be too nervous about it. I’m more nervous at the fact that apparently the courses are in high demand, so I’m more worried in case I don’t get it. I get all excited about the prospect of doing the course, and then I get the disappointing news that I didn’t get accepted. If I don’t get accepted I will have to think of my next plan, because I’m going crazy not doing anything here! At least with the course it would keep me busy and I would also gain important skills.

So we’ll see what happens tomorrow and if they will accept me onto the course. And if not, I’ll have to start thinking of plan B!

Aisling