Am I going to regret being a nurse?

  1. I am about to start nursing school next semester and Im a little worried.
    I've heard nurses have GREAT communication skills and just LOVE to be around people.
    ok so here is my story:
    I work at a retail store as a sales associate and I do NOT like my job, Im not very good at "small talk" i am NOT great at upselling or selling plans/warranties on our products.
    I also work as a pca at a retirement home and i LOVE my job. I love helping people i love listening to the residents tell stories about when they were younger, i just love making a difference in their lives, i love knowing that i am needed to make their lives much easier.
    will I have alot of trouble as a nurse if my communication skills arent great?
    ...i want to work as an RN at a hostpital, i know i will have to comfort people during hard times, and i want to work on that i really do
  2. Visit lovelylady42 profile page

    About lovelylady42

    Joined: May '08; Posts: 27


  3. by   Reddy,RN
    You will love being a nursing student because at first your clinicals will give you time to listen to stories.

    As a nurse, listening for the patient's cues that could show physical or mental issues are the skills needed. Not small talk.
  4. by   RN1981
    You'll be FINE. Nursing isn't aout selling anythig to people. It's about CARING. If you can do that, you'll be a fine nurse.
  5. by   kocheli
    You can do it.wish you all the best
  6. by   OBigdog26
    When nurses communicate to patients it's not a social interaction, but a therapeutic one. What I mean about therapeutic is that it is for the patient's benefit and not the nurses. You will learn more about this in nursing school.
    When we interact with patients we tend to listen and do a lot of health teaching. It is a totally different industry compared to retail.
  7. by   sillymom
    I totally know what your talking about. I worked retail as well and hated the one on one. I thought after doing all the pre-reqs for nursing, I would have more confidence, but no luck. I have realized I have an anxiety disorder (had it all along, just avoided it all these years). I have decided to not let this control my life choices any longer. I want to become a great nurse and WILL become a great nurse. You can do anything you set out to do (if you really want to do it of course). I did well in all my classes (true) and now look forward to the nursing program (not really, but see that is the disorder conflict). Mixed emotions...but like I said, I want this and I will have to work my little toosh off to harness this career! Hope any of this helps. Exposure will mold you into a proper nurse. You'll see and learn.
  8. by   katkonk
    Communication skills are learned and honed like any other skill set. It helps if you already are good at it naturally, but it isn't absolutely necessary. Do you think that psychologists and counselors necessarily have great communication and therapeutic skills when they first start? No way! When I took counseling psych. courses this is something we practiced and practiced and practiced. You can learn active listening skills and types of communication. If you recognize this as a short coming of yours, request help from the counselors at your college or university. Perhaps they can help you prepare and learn those skills so that you are able to tackle the tough things in nursing school and not worry about basic communication skills. I can tell you that the best nurses DO have the best communication skills.
  9. by   Dogstar
    "i love listening to the residents tell stories about when they were younger, i just love making a difference in their lives, i love knowing that i am needed to make their lives much easier."

    The ability to listen well is a skill most of us have to put forth a good deal of effort to acquire. If you have this as a natural gift you will be very well suited to be a nurse in whatever area you wish. It is a critical yet often overlooked assessment tool, and it is fundamental to effective communication in any context. It shows that you give a damn. Also, yammering just to hear your head rattle, especially when trying to sell people crap they don't need, is abhorrent. To paraphrase Mark Twain, "No one ever learned a damn thing while they were running their mouth."

    RN1981 said it best, "you'll be FINE. Nursing isn't about selling anything to people. It's about CARING. If you can do that, you'll be a fine nurse." :spin:
    Last edit by Dogstar on Dec 31, '09
  10. by   nrz2bee
    I am in the process of applying to nursing schools. I am a shy introvert and sometimes it gets the best of me. Anxiety can affect so many areas of your life but many people have it. The person interviewing you for a job or the customer you are helping may suffer from it too.I also work retail. I make it a habit to just go up to the customer and say can i help you with anything? For me once I get past the initial shyness its as if i knew the person already. The more you try talking to the customer the less intimidating it will be. As far as selling stuff is concerned we dont have to worry about selling would be a problem if you chose marketing/business. Good luck...dont worry about seems like u have a good heart. i am sure when u are working one on one with patients u will be fine. A strength to overcome your anxiety will come b/c you have a passion for nursing. Good luck in nursing school and congrats on getting in. Happy New Year
  11. by   ellakate
    I have never regretted being a nurse.

    Which reminds me of a song.

    Egrets, I've had a few, but then again too few to mention. . .
  12. by   premie_nurse
    Your comfort level with small talk while performing routine activities will come with time. Nursing school will help you to know what type of communication is considered therapeutic, and clinicals will help you to become more comfortable using these skills. I think that if you choose the area of nusing that best suits you, you can enjoy your job!
  13. by   RhiaRN75
    You'll regret becoming a nurse- but you'll love it more! The few times I've wondered 'why the heck did I get myself into this mess', my reply to my stressed-self is 'because you love this mess'. The good greatly outweighs the bad, IMO.

    Communication in nursing is nothing like communication for the rest of the world. I personally dislike phones, crowds of people, and on some days, humanity in general. I like people on an individual basis, though. I'm uneasy speaking to strangers in person but I have no problem with it at work. It's just different, and not an easy thing to explain.

    At any rate, the best communication skill a nurse can have is the abitity to listen. The most difficult conversation to have in the 'real world' is not easy- people want input. In nursing, the same situation is easy because usually the pt just wants someone to listen.

    Listening is an underappreciated talent.
  14. by   nursemike
    Okay, so that'll be one knee replacement...and can I interest you in an appendectomy while you're here?

    Retail experience would probably be helpful to a prospective nurse--presumably, you've learned how not to glare at people and mutter under your breath, so that's a big plus. Being a good listener is definitely an important skill. But it will also be important to learn to be assertive. Sometimes I have to pause outside the room and remind myself, "Be the nurse." Somebody has to, and who is more qualified. Of course, the first time I invoked that mantra, the patient turned out to be a retired 30 yr nurse, so when I went in and laid down the law, she tossed me out on my ear. But we learn from these moments.

    If you like being a PCA, you'll probably like being a nurse. Unfortunately, you may not get as much time to listen to patients' stories, but any time you can find will be appreciated. Sometimes I leave my chattiest patients' assessments for last. And looking at pictures of grandchildren can be charted as a neuro check. Sometimes you give the patient the time they need whether you can spare it or not, and finish your charting after report. Who would blame you if you got behind because you were doing CPR? And sometimes hand-holding is just as important as CPR.

    Good luck.