My five day long work experience in the local mortuary was one of the most interesting weeks of my entire life. I learnt, witnessed and experienced things that I couldn’t even have thought of. I was told to treat it as ‘observational only’, but I was hardly going to stand by while someone struggled with a fridge tray, or had a really messy autopsy room to clean up, or had a doctor at one door while three different funeral directors had walked in. Of course I couldn’t do too much, but I got stuck in enough to be a helping hand and show my appreciation of being allowed to be there in the first place.
After day one I wasn’t sure I was in the right place at all. I knew it would make it or break it for me and after the first day I had witnessed some very stressed staff, a bloodbath worthy of a proper horror movie and been shouted at by the pathologist who was conducting the autopsies that day. I went home with a smell in my nostrils and a worry in my mind that I couldn’t cut it out. The smell disappeared quickly but the thoughts didn’t.
Until the next day. I didn’t consider not going back, I’m not one to give up that quickly, and can be really quite stubborn when I want to be. I held my head high, decided to laugh off the pathologist and see what the day would bring.
By Friday I had seen everything I needed. I’d stood and watched (a different) pathologist conduct a full autopsy and explain exactly what she was doing. She even apologised for the other pathologist and her actions! I’d helped as much as I could with the work (within obvious limits) and I knew for a fact that I wanted a job there more than anything. I still knew that it was unlikely, that jobs don’t come up often and the new trainee was flourishing as well as being lovely and my friend now!
I left after that Friday with a spring in my step and a new determination to get somewhere with this. Oh and that week I had found out that I’d been successful in getting an administrator job at a hospital in London. I would be an NHS employee at last, a step in the right direction and now 20% discount at Nando’s to boot.
The team at the hospital had all said they would let me know about any jobs they heard of coming up and I had their full backing to progress with my dream.