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- Feb 18 by mustlovepoodlesI train and educate adults who care for children in foster care and developmentally disabled persons. There are over 100 persons in the company. I am the only nurse. The others have degrees in IT, business, social work, and finance. Obviouslly, I am merely a cog in the wheel of the engine that runs the whole show. I love what i do, but so does everyone I work with. We're *all* working to benefit our clients.
OP, you don't have to go to nursing school to make an impact on those around you. Look around you and see what you can do RIGHT NOW. Can you help a child with homework? Teach an immigrant to read English? Photograph pound pooches for a rescue group? Drive a vet to his doctor appointments? I would strongly urge you to search your heart to discover what it is you really want to do. I won't try to discourage you from nursing, but you need to know that it's a lot harder, a lot stinkier, and a lot more aggravating than you might think.
- Feb 18 by hiddencatRNI just did a full day of new hire orientation and we had a 2 hour lecture on customer service and AIDET. How much of that talk focused on providing excellent patient care? None. It was all about managing customer satisfaction, handling customer complaints like they are your highest priority (sorry, but if someone is ****** about the wait because we're swamped with critical and sick patients, service recovery of the person who is annoyed that they got "cut" in line is NOT my priority). I get that with new reimbursement models we can't just take good care of patients, but it would be nice to pretend that that is still a little bit of a priority.
I love my job. But that is in spite of the corporate forces and scripted communication we're expected to use, in spite of sometimes ungrateful, entitled, and downright nasty patients and families. For me it balances out towards ultimately being happy I went in to nursing. That's not true for everyone and you're the only person who can decide if it would be worth it for you. I recommend finding a way to volunteer in a healthcare setting or at least shadow for a few days.
- Feb 18 by nervousnurseIt's GREAT that you want to be a nurse, but I also agree that there are SOOO many other things you could do besides nursing. Do you love the elderly like I do? Nursing homes would LOVE to have you as a volunteer---there are MANY residents who have *no* visitors! . Not only have I visited the residents, I've also taken my puppy for visits----WOW, you should see the residents' faces light up!!!!
Love children? You can volunteer at a Children's Hospital, a homeless shelter, a foster shelter, or as others suggested--be a "Big Sister". The Salvation Army is always looking for people to help in the Boys and Girls clubs, tutor the children after school, serve meals and other tasks in their shelters, etc.
Another suggestion I have for you if you're seriously considering nursing is to take a course to become a CNA (certified nursing assistant). I always knew I wanted to be a nurse, and starting as a CNA on a busy med-surg floor while I was in nursing school was perfect for me. I learned a lot, loved the fast pace, and found a few very nice mentors. Once some of the nurses trusted me and knew I was an eager nursing student, they would teach me more and let me do more tasks under their supervision.
- Feb 18 by AnonRNCI keep sick and/or premature babies alive - most of the time - and I teach their parents how to take care of them when they go home. When I cannot keep the baby alive, I care for it as it dies. I give it pain medications and I LISTEN to the parents express their grief. I touch lives almost every day.
And so do the rest of you! You just don't get thanked like I do.
- Feb 18 by SoldierNurse22In my previous job, I worked with people who had been diagnosed with cancer. I explained their treatments, calmed their fears, controlled their pain/nausea/anxiety as best I could, tried to make them smile, and administered their chemo. I monitored them for many of the tiniest signs of problems, taught them how to watch for those problems themselves, and alerted the team/RRT when I saw signs of trouble on the horizon. I kept myself alert for errors (from pharmacy, docs, PT/OT, etc) and advocated for my patient no matter what the consequences might have been. I was the last line of defense. I stood firmly between my patients and whatever disaster lay ahead, and trust me, disaster knew my name. And it feared me and the nurses that I practiced with!
In my upcoming job, I will work in a clinic where I will monitor patients as I administer IV medications over hours at a time. I will give them vital things that their bodies can either no longer synthesize or retain for themselves. I will explain the procedures, start their IVs, give them their infusions and monitor them for reactions. I will react once again as the first line of defense in the event of an emergency, provide education and hopefully a little laughter in their day.
Posters on this board are right. You don't have to be a nurse to do something incredible with your life.
But I and many others on this board are nurses, and we do incredible things every day, no matter how small or routine they may seem. I am a better me because of what I do every day. And if you want to join us, I will proudly welcome you into the ranks.
- Feb 19 by joanna73Before I was a nurse, I worked in the hotel industry. Sadly, nursing has become no different from the corporate world. In fact, the politics is worse because we work for the goverment. Yes, we help people and clinically speaking, the nursing role is interesting. However, nurses are facing the constant dilemma related to the inability to provide the level of care we want.
- Feb 19 by SonorityGeniusStop ! Dont even think about leaving your Corporate job. You MAY be able to contribute more than you think! Establish a scholarship fund at a nursing program, try to find a new grad nurse get a job using your connections, or ANYTHING else than going into nursing "change a life" - - we are powerless, and we only help the corner guy in the exec. dept. make a buck!
- Feb 19 by applewhiternKeep your job and volunteer somewhere. I used to think I "made a difference," but my son reminded me that I get paid for this, so that kinda burst my bubble of being a do-gooder. I would not advise anyone to go into this field now. There are way too many ways to truly make a difference in someone's life, without going to nursing school. Why not volunteer at a nursing home?
- Feb 19 by NurseDirtyBirdI stick tubes and pills in people, generally around 25 patients at a time. I also solve problems, alleviate pain, and help improve or maintain functionality. I monitor the condition of patients and alert their doctor when something isn't right. I coordinate multi-disciplinary care. I am an advocate for my patients, always trying to make sure their plan of care is in their best interest. I bang my head on desks in frustration sometimes. I sweat a lot, my back is in terrible shape, my bladder and kidneys hate me, and sometimes I don't get lunch. This is in a Skilled Nursing Facility (nursing home), where you would be working with an LPN cert or an ADN degree. You can also work in home care or hospice with these.
If you want to work in a hospital, you can probably get away with an ADN in some places, but for most you'll need a BSN or higher. The people who work in the ER, OR, Critical Care, ICU, and with babies and kids are generally BSNs or higher.
For an Associate's degree in nursing, you're looking at 1-2 years of pre-requisite classes, if you do not currently have a degree. Nursing programs EVERYWHERE are extremely competitive. There are a small number of people admitted each year, and tons more people than that apply. You essentially have to have a 4.0 to get in, or else you wait. For years sometimes. This is starting from scratch. If you currently have a bachelors degree, you can apply to accelerated nursing programs and have a better chance of getting in.
Then nursing school kicks your butt for 1-4 years, you have no life, forget what your kids and/or significant other look like, have no money, eat like crap, and dream about cranial nerves and beta blockers. And for what? Getting peed, pooped, puked, and snot-rocketed on, yelled at, threatened, and assaulted. And that's from your manager! (J/K...kinda) Not to mention people die on you sometimes.
I suggest volunteering at a nursing home. Specifically a nursing home, because you need to see how bad it can get. They're not going to let you volunteer with the patients in the worst condition in the hospital, and many patients in the hospital aren't there for all that long. Even better, take a CNA class - you'll need that to get into a nursing program anyway. Get your certification and get yourself a part-time or on-call job at a nursing home and get your hands dirty. If you STILL want to be a nurse after doing that, then go for it!
It's hard to get in, hard to get licensed and a hard job to do. There are lots of pitfalls and reasons not to do it. If you can get past those, perhaps it was meant to be.Last edit by NurseDirtyBird on Feb 19 : Reason: I don't need no stinkin reason