2020, what a year! Although Covid was a huge curve ball, Liam and I still achieved everything we wanted to achieve this year and had plenty of highlights. Go through my year with me!
We saw in the New Year with friends, eager to begin 2020 – the year that we would hopefully buy our first house together and the year that I would qualify as a nurse!
After two weeks off for Christmas, I spent January finishing off my fifth placement on a male surgical ward and chipping away at my dissertation.
We had February off from any university sessions to give us time to really knuckle down on our dissertations so most of my month was spent sat at my work space reading and typing away! I gave myself plenty of breaks by sticking to a good routine at the gym and I also did some HCA bank shifts. My Dad and I visited the nursery of my old school to talk to the children about the importance of washing our hands properly and answer their questions about being a nurse/doctor (little did we know how prominent this would soon be!). Liam and I viewed some houses to see what we liked/disliked. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Liam and I’s second year anniversary and Liam’s 21st birthday, we spent a few nights away in Cardiff! We also had a night away at a local spa hotel and, with family, challenged ourselves to an Escape room and ice skating!
I went back to uni alongside working on my dissertation, I kept up a solid fitness routine and continued with my HCA Bank shifts at the hospital. And then came the first lockdown! Other than not being able to see Liam, not much changed for me. This month I experienced my first mask fit testing session!
At the beginning of April I had my final skills session at uni but the first skills session ever to be held online! As I finished off my dissertation, exam preparation took priority. I saw Liam (from a distance) for the first time in what felt like forever as he left an Easter egg at my gate! At the end of the month I sat my final exam online and submitted my dissertation. I also started at my final placement – my local community hospital and clapped with everyone in my village every Thursday night!
Throughout May I had my first experience of caring for Covid positive patients. A completely unexpected final placement but I worked with one of the best teams I came across in my training and I also had the opportunity to work alongside a variety of fantastic redeployed members of staff. Another mask fit testing session and a first for Liam and I – a virtual house tour! Once we were allowed to meet outside again, Liam and I went on several socially-distanced walks and bike rides.
Pedro (our hamster) celebrated his first birthday! Liam and I continued our walks in the glorious sunshine and I continued my 14 hour shifts in full PPE at the community hospital. I had my Covid antibody test (negative) and our house hunt well and truly started!
July was a whirlwind! I finished my final placement, had my final day at uni online, celebrated my Dad’s birthday, celebrated my 21st birthday by visiting Chester Zoo and having a family party in the garden, saw my friends, started a new part-time job at a medical company and Liam and I put in a successful offer on our house! It was also confirmed that I got a First in my Nursing Degree!
I spent the majority of August making phone calls and answering emails to ensure that Liam and I could get into our first home in time for my first job as a newly qualified starting. We went for a second viewing on the house, ordered some furniture, continued to collect things for the house and fill up our parent’s spare rooms! Liam and I began Muay Thai and went consistently went twice a week until we moved away. We also kept up our cycling and took part in a Muay Thai fitness day on the mountains! My parents picked up their new puppy, Purdey and I was put in charge of puppy training. To end the month, Liam and I went camping amongst wild horses!
We celebrated my Auntie’s 60th birthday. More phone calls and emails and plenty of packing happened as Liam and I prepared to move. There were a couple of stressful weeks as we didn’t know if we would be able to move in time but everything came together just in time and we moved into our first home ready for me to start my new job just two days later!
Having not long been away from home, I soon had to return as my childhood dog Jasper had to very sadly be put down. I’m so grateful I was able to make it home to be with him. I continued my shadow shifts at work as I adjusted to transitioning from a Student Nurse to a Staff Nurse. My parents came to stay with us for the weekend, Liam and I got stuck into the lounge renovation and exploring our new home town and I spent a lot off time with my nieces.
As my shadow shifts ended, I experienced my first shifts on my own! I started to meet up with my new work friends outside of work and continued with the lounge renovations. Liam and I got the news that the puppy we were waiting for was finally born (on my night shift!).
My parents moved in with us as they sold their home and there is was a delay in them moving into their new home. My confidence at work began to grow, the house turned into Santa’s Grotto, we baked Christmas goodies, we wrapped presents, I made Christmas crafts, we finished renovating the lounge and had a lovely, quiet Christmas! We had five days off after Christmas together which we spent getting active outdoors, visiting the beach and getting cosy.
Like all of you, I hope that 2021 brings us some normality. I hope that we can soon hug each other again, visit our loved ones and have a healthy, happy year. Liam and I are looking forward to welcoming our puppy into our little family very soon, continuing with our home renovation and I am looking forward to gaining more and more confidence at work.