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This is a discussion on How hard is being an RN? in Arizona Nursing, part of United States Nursing ... I have always wanted to be a nurse. Well, maybe not always, but since I was a young adult. I didn't...by twinieten Sep 13, '10I have always wanted to be a nurse. Well, maybe not always, but since I was a young adult. I didn't have the grades and was really quite stupid, anyways. I went another direction.
So here I am, a middle aged mother, who has gone back to school to fulfill my dream.... and I keep reading about how hard it is, it's not for the faint of heart, and that some people leave just as soon as they find a job because it sucks.
So please tell me, how bad is it? How hard is it, really? I don't think I am going in to this with blinders on. I think I understand that nursing is hard, but it can also be rewarding. Is it really that bad?
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- Oct 7, '10 by AZMOMO2Read the first year in nursing section .... I'm only an LPN and my day consisted of pulling yet another double shift (16 hours- I was there 18 hours however because I had to wait for others to finish their charting so I could finish mine and give report to a new nurse) 1 demise, 1 transfer, 1 admission and 6 med passes to 28 people, as well as 3 incident reports, 4 change of conditions, 4 people off to appointments, being yelled at by an NP because of a DKA, and 6 CNA's ******** because we had no shower person.
However, I was give many smiles, two hugs and had quite a few laughs today as well. My feet hurt, my back hurts and I have a bladder infection from holding my pee too long. LOL
Welcome to nursing!
- Oct 11, '10 by 1rarejewelI would describe it as a comparison to giving birth and raising a child. No matter how many people explain the pain of birth (learning the job)...you will never fully understand it until you actually go through it yourself. Ultimately, if the desire to be a mother (nurse...and sorry men, not excluding you) is truly in you, the pains of birth and trials of parenthood will be well worth the pain and effort required to learn what you need to know. If it is not what you truly desire, it will show eventually. As with most careers, if you don't enjoy it and you continue to stick with it, the misery will seep into other areas of your life.
I just graduated in May and was fortunate enough to get hired on the unit that I was a NA on. School has not done much to prepare me for what actual nursing is. I'm learning more on orientation in regards to prioritization, time management, coordinating care, bedside manner and on and on....than we could ever pick up in school because there is not enough clinical time to do it. To each his/her own, but I do love it so far.
Just like being a parent...you have good days and you have bad ones...you have days where you feel like you can't keep up or they're not enough hours in a day. But when you see the end product of your blood, sweat, and tears and you know you had a part (even if it's a small part) in increasing the quality of another person's life, you know that you are doing what makes you happy. That is most important.
That was pretty long to say...it's hard...very hard. Some patients will appreciate you, some won't. Rarely ever do they truly know the work you do for them because they can't see it. Drs may or may not appreciate you, they may fuss, be disrespectful, irritated..who knows. I'm not saying take it, I'm just saying it happens. You have to deal with family members who sometimes are worse than the patients in regards to demands and behavior.
The job is so all encompassing, I would be forever trying to type it out. All I can say is, if you want to do it...go for it!
- Oct 12, '10 by rettefrancaisRNIt will never be easy, but it will be wonderful at times. Over the years, what I have found is that co-workers can make or break a situation. I worked in several hospitals that closed in the early 90s. It broke my heart. We were family. Unfortunately, since then I've worked in a few places and chose to quit within 3 months because of other staff. Am now semi-retired, love what I do, and hope to keep doing it for a long time.
- Oct 12, '10 by Been there,done thatIf you are already middle-aged, this is NOT the job for you. it is back-breaking brutal work. 38% of nurses have back problems.
The emotional toll is even higher.
- Quote from cleojaneSomeone is disgruntled.If you are already middle-aged, this is NOT the job for you. it is back-breaking brutal work. 38% of nurses have back problems.
The emotional toll is even higher.
It HIGHLY depends upon your specialty. Personally I LOVE my job as an infusion nurse. I do not have to bend, pull, or lift. I do not have to chart much. I work with awesome people in an awesome facility. I have never been yelled at by a Doc or family member since starting infusion. My career keeps me interested everyday, I learn a ton, and consider what I do an art.
I LOVE Nursing and I LOVE my career. I have seen many many 50+ nurses start their career. Case management, infusion, dialysis, administration, wound care, vascular access are all low lifting careers.
To give a general statement saying nursing is "brutal" and that a middle-aged person cannot have a great and wonderful career is as erroneous as it is naive.
I would agree that the emotional toll is high but the rewards are even higher. 364 days of sheer terror and strain is worth that 1 day when you personally save someones life, deliver that baby, relieve an elderly man's fear or any of the countless little blessings we deliver.
If nursing was easy everyone would do it.
- Quote from fifthwheelThey say if you have a bad experience you tell 10 people, if you have a good experience you may tell 1 other person. Just how it is. If it was really that bad there would be no nurses left. I would agree however that it is not for the fain of heart. You have to put on your big boy pants to be a nurse and stand up for your rights and more importantly, the rights of others.I keep reading about how hard it is, it's not for the faint of heart, and that some people leave just as soon as they find a job because it sucks.
Quote from fifthwheelHow bad is it? Depends upon your employer and specialty. There are good employers and bad employers, like any profession. There are good specialties and bad specialties. Just depends upon what you are looking for and what suits you.So please tell me, how bad is it? How hard is it, really? I don't think I am going in to this with blinders on. I think I understand that nursing is hard, but it can also be rewarding. Is it really that bad?
Nursing is EXTREMELY REWARDING. I see my profession as my contribution to my country, to my community. I still remember my first code where I performed compressions and the patient survived. Nearly brings me to tears thinking about contributing to saving his life, to giving his children one more chance to see their father. I also remember the first time I saw someone die, it was a religious experience for me, looking into her eyes was like seeing God.
- Let me tell you my testimonial as to why I became a nurse.
When I was a teen I would volunteer for a non-profit that would provide free oral and maxillofacial surgery for cleft palets and lips in Mexico. To give you some background, those born in the U.S. with cleft lips and palets tend to have them repaired immediately before the baby leaves the hospital or soon thereafter. In Mexico you must pay upfront for this surgery so many do not recieve it. With the oral deformity babies have a very hard time breastfeeding or bottle feeding and most starve to death or are abandoned. If you survive you are many times ostracized from the community for being cursed or having sinned or some such nonsense.
I was mostly just washing intruments and sterilzing them and being a go-fer. When I was 16 I met a pair of twins and and a set of young parents that changed my life.
These twins were beautiful! They were fat, had curly hair, big rosie cheeks and unfortunately a matching pair of cleft lips, one right and one left. The father was an American citizen from L.A. full of gang related tattoos who fled to southern Mexico. The parents heard of our clinic by word of mouth and spent their life savings to reach us.
They traveled first by donkey for several days to the nearest town where they took buses for a week to reach the clinic in Juarez. They walked several miles from the bus station to the hospital and camped out front with two large garbage bags of their babies clothes and diapers. They literally slept on the ground in the ally adjacent to the hospital for several days.
When we assessed the babies they were emaculate...clean, happy, VERY well taken care of. The father began to relate his story to us with tears in his eyes, begging us to please help his children. I had never seen such pure, intense, sincere love before. His love for his children was so intense everyone could feel a special...energy. He would have willingly ended his life so that his children would live a better life.
At that moment I knew that if I could only help him, even a small amount, I would be serving a greater cause. At the age of 16 I decided to dedicate my life to serving others like him, to help those who cannot help themselves, to heal, to care, to love, to teach, to protect.
Nursing is not a job nor a profession really, it is a calling.
- Oct 12, '10 by HoozdoQuote from cleojaneHeck, I was 49 when I graduated. Would I do it again.....If you are already middle-aged, this is NOT the job for you. it is back-breaking brutal work. 38% of nurses have back problems.
The emotional toll is even higher.
- Oct 13, '10 by 1rarejewelAs well, my best friend in the program was 45 when we started, and she probably has much more energy than I do. I work with 2 nurses who have 40+ years on the job (each) and still work as hard as the younger nurses, so it must say something about their good health because they are going strong. I also work with a nurse who graduated from nursing school at 47 and she's been a nurse for 9 years now.
I agree about it being a calling, but I understand that not all nurses are nurses because they were called to be one. I'm not knocking anyone's reason for starting, as long as patient care isn't compromised because it's not the work someone wants to do. I also agree about the specialty, floor, hospital system, management, and cohesiveness of staff playing a big role in difficulty.
I happen to work on a med/surg unit (Surgical/telemetry). My manager is wonderful, the staff work well together, and I can't complain about the system right now. The thing is I'm so new that I don't want to specialize yet. There are a few things I'm interested in doing. After my rotation with the IV team, I think I would love to do that, but I do need basic med/surg foundation for me to be comfortable in my skills. I would also love to do ICU, CCU, NICU, labor and delivery, and possibly cardiac. I think as I get older, I'll want to do Hospice, Infusion, or become a Clinical Doc Specialist.
The wonderful thing about nursing is that you have so many options available, and many don't require a lot of extra schooling. Certain transitions just require orientation into the specialty...at least at our hospital. A fellow new nurse transferred to CVCU after 1 year on our floor and had the 3 month orientation. Just research what you truly want to do because you don't want to spend the money, time and effort for something that you'll decide you don't like. I am glad I chose nursing so far.