Buckman, over at Gomerville.com is the host of the 1st Anniversary edition of ‘The Handover’ (Has it really been a year already!!), which will go up next Friday, the 29th over at his blog. Make sure you pop over and see him then, to see what other bloggers have wrote for his topic!
For this one he asks us for an EMS Portrait. Someone who has been influential in our career in one way or another.
I have been wracking my brain trying to think of someone to write about, and yet I am finding it difficult to get it down to one person. I can talk about fellow paramedics whom I admire for one thing or another, I could go one for pages and pages about the support and advice that my wife gives me on a daily basis and I could even write about some of the patients who I have had the pleasure to look after at some point in my career.
However, whenever I think about the most influential person in my life, I have to mention someone who I have already written about once on this blog (but that was nearly a year ago)
I apologise if you have already read this post from last year, but I am sure I have gained one or two readers since then who maybe haven’t been back through all of my posts.
I know this is meant to be about EMS, but ultimately if it wasn’t for this man, I would never have gone into health care (as a nurse first) and ultimately find myself in the place I am now. I still think of him very frequently and I wish he was still with us now.
His name was Mr Featonby, and he was my school History Teacher.
(The following is taken from last years post..)
I thought I would share my thoughts on a man that started me on my path to health care way back in 1984.
I had always been a mischievous child at school, I was never really naughty, more just getting into little bits of bother and being a little disruptive. I got on ok at school and enjoyed most of it, but never really excelled at anything until I started “Medicine through the ages” with my history teacher Mr Featonby.
I can still remember the first lesson where he told us all about trephinning ( or burr holes in the skull ) way back in the midst’s of time. We then worked right the way up to modern times covering everything from Hippocrates, Alexandria, Lister, war medicine and too much more to remember. For the first time in my school life I started to look forward to a lesson and shortly after the topic started I got a 94% in a test.
The match had been lit and there was no stopping me now.
My brain suddenly turned into a sponge, wanting to soak up as much information as Mr Featonby could put out. I found myself reading books on the subject and looking forward to the exams. I wanted to show him that I was learning and excelling, when previously I was just the annoying boy at the back of the class.
However, during my final year, Mr Featonby was diagnosed with cancer. True to his character, he never missed a lesson and when he lost his hair he just put on his wig and carried on. Of course, boys being boys, we all called him names behind his back, but this made me feel really guilty and I ended getting into a couple of fights when I told others to stop calling him.
I finished school with a paltry 3 GCSEs (maths ‘C’, biology ‘C’ and History ‘A’).
I left half way through the sixth form but still managed to get a place on a nurse training course after passing an entrance exam. I wasn’t willing to let myself down by not following what was now my passion
During my first year of nurse training, we were studying childhood to adolescence. We had to organize a placement for three days to observe various aspects of adolescent development, so I thought it would be interesting to go back to my comprehensive school. I sat in a few classes, spoke to a careers class about nurse training and generally had a great, but surreal time! It was so weird sitting in the staff room with the teachers!
On the second day I bumped into Mr Featonby whilst I was leaving the staffroom. I asked if I could have a quick chat with him:
” I just want you to know how you’ve changed my life. Everything that I am doing now is completely down to you and how you taught me. You were always really strict, but I didn’t mind that because I really wanted to learn from you. Medicine through the ages made me choose to go into healthcare and I am really enjoying my training and in two years I will be a registered nurse. I just wanted you to know that it is all because of you. Thank you!”
He just stood still for about 5 seconds then started to cry. He gave me a hug and told me how much it meant to him to hear that.
What I didn’t know at the time and didn’t find out until about a year later was that when we spoke, his cancer had come back and he was terminally ill.
I think about him often, I hope he would be proud of what he helped me achieve. Every patient I have helped, the lives I have saved and the many more to come are all because of Mr Featonby, the most important inspirational figure in my career.