What they don’t tell you about the Grad Scheme: The Importance of Resilience
25 Jan 2017
It’s the end of January, and my little break over Christmas is far behind me, and deadlines (both work and educational) are looming in front of me. I’ve had a pretty challenging few weeks at work – projects have slipped, meetings haven’t really gone to plan, and my workload has unexpectedly increased. So I came home last night, and tried to cheer myself by attempting to make a lasagne, which burnt. So whilst I was eating my burnt pasta dish, I looked at the date on the calendar in my kitchen and realised it’s less than a month until my first assignment for my PG Dip in Healthcare Leadership is due, and I haven’t even had the chance to carry out my work based assessments which my assignments will be based upon. I’m also 159.2 miles away from my parents, my dog, and home, and 193.2 miles from my partner.
And all of a sudden everything just feels a bit much. It’s horrible to have that shocking realisation that, actually, you’re fresh out of university, and you’re only 21, and you’re completely baby faced, yet you’re telling nurses and clinicians (who have been in their role for over 37 years – you weren’t even born when they started their career), how to do their job. (It’s also shocking to realise that you’re 21 and can’t even cook a half decent lasagne.)
The NHS Grad Scheme places a lot of emphasis on reflection, so I decided all I can really do is reflect on what has happened in my first five months on the scheme. Unfortunately, I can be a little bit ‘glass half empty’, which is why reflection, and resilience, isn’t exactly my strong suit. However, as I write and ‘reflect’ in this blog post, I realise that, actually, participating in the NHS Grad Scheme has remarkably improved my personal resilience.
One thing that has helped to build my resilience is reflecting on all the potential ‘positives’ in all my ‘negatives’. Based on my bad experience yesterday, I’ve come up with the following:
- I may not be fully prepared for my assignments, but I still have time, and if I completed an undergraduate degree, I’m pretty confident that I can complete a postgraduate diploma.
- Yes, my workload may have increased, but it’s better to be challenged than to be bored.
- Although I’m far away from home, I have loved the experience of moving to a new city. Sometimes it feels as though the support I need is quite far away, but I’ve made great friends in my region, who are also on the scheme. They have listened to me whinge (with fairly little resistance), and have provided me with advice on how to deal with difficult situations in the workplace. It’s easy to forget that there are 100 other people facing the exact same challenges you are.
- Being 21 and fresh out of university does not have to be considered a hindrance. It’s good to remind myself from time to time, that I was selected to be a part of an incredibly competitive scheme – so I must be doing something right!
- To be fair, my lasagne wasn’t actually that bad (it was better than nothing).
No one ever seems to tell you how hard it is when you take part in such a demanding Grad Scheme. However, I have learnt that just because something is difficult, doesn’t necessarily make it bad.
Thanks for reading!
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