Attention All Nurses.... - page 2
What do you, personally, contribute to nursing?!! I am contemplating a career change from corporate america to nursing and one of the main reasons is, I feel this need and desire to make a... Read More
Feb 18, '13It'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, '13I 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, '13In 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, '13Before 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, '13Stop ! 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, '13Keep 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, '13I 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. 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, '13 : Reason: I don't need no stinkin reason
Feb 19, '13Im as jaded as the next nurse, and no one will accuse me of being a starry eyed dreamer, but..... I *do* think we make a difference. Even if all I do all night is pass pills and change diapers and do dressing changes in a nursing home, at least I *know* I'm doing something
these residents need to live and be comfortable. These people need to be medicated and toileted and fed and monitored. That's accomplishing something more than the vast, vast majority of the working population can claim.
Now, being a pencil pusher or a salesman, *those* are jobs that would make me question what I contribute to society. I watch shows like 'The Office' and wonder "What in the name of God do people with these kinds of jobs do??"
Feb 19, '13Quote from RNperdiemSee, this is one reason I prefer NOT to work in a hospital. I used to work in one and the sense of entitlement and "customer service" eats away at you. The narcissistic nature of our society is really spotlighted in the hospital setting.Sometimes I do help the patient make the transition from a critically injured patient to an alive, talking person ready for a transfer to the floor. This brings real satisfaction.I have to honest. Hospitals ARE corporate America. I have been in nursing long enough to see the "corporate" attitude harden and become deeply entrenched over time.
But, and this may come as a shock to some, there are other places a nurse can work than in a hospital. My nursing home residents have their annoying quirks, but at least I feel like I'm providing a needed service. And my residents are *way* more appreciative than my hospital patients ever were.
Feb 19, '13Some days I love my job. Other days I consider quitting and applying for a cashier position at Dollar General. The nights when I'm being pulled 50 directions because we are short staffed. The nights when a patient yells at me for them not having enough ice in their water. When lucid patients soil themselves out of spite. I get spit at. Peed at. Yelled at more about pain medicine not being enough while they simultaneously complain about food and soda.
One of the only things that makes me love my job is skills like IV starts and medications through them. Catching something that could have had a negative effect. Rushing patients to cath lab and them walking out a few days later.
There are negatives and positives to every job, but honestly, I am considering leaving nursing. Instead of feeling like an educated professional, I feel like a degree holding waitress who is expected to please everyone with only words since supplies and groceries to keep on the unit are too expensive. With changes in healthcare I feel this will only get worse.
Keep your job in corporate America.
~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
Feb 19, '13I think that being a nurse is much more than a job. It is a calling. For me, I would be a nurse wether or not the pay was decent. I am currently working as an LPN in a nursing home/rehab facility. I work on the rehab side. You know the place between hospital and home. I am also in He tail end of the RN program at Tacoma Community College. And I work as a grocery cashier at Fred Meyer. I don't mind working at FM. But I LOVE working as a nurse. Even though going through nursing school, working, taking care of my kids, and now going through a divorce after 17 years, I wouldn't change my decision to become a nurse. I think you should see if you could shadow a nurse and see if that is something you truly are interested in investing the time and the money it takes in becoming a nurse. Research all aspects, because there are so many different avenues you can take in the nursing field. Best of luck to you. If you want it bad enough, anything is reachable.
Feb 19, '13I would like to think that I contribute in the way o making someone's stay in a place a way from home, is that much easier. And the little things like taking my time to just listen, do something, get something, say something to or for someone to help them through a difficult time. Somedays are really hard and not so fulfilling an other days are better than any words can express.
Feb 19, '13combsj25, look for meaning in religion or philosophy for you will not find it in any profession, especially nursing. Once you hit a hospital floor, you will find that you are just another piece, another bolt, in the big money machine that is health care in this country. You will be prepping patients for unnecessary, harmful and expensive medical procedures, you will be pushing pricey and noneffective drugs to patients like a pawn for the pharmaceutical industry and thus be making your contribution to the hospital's bottom line. Look at all the health care companies listed in the NYSE; this industry is not about meaning or helping people, it is about making money to shareholders and that will be your job when you become an RN. As far as ethics, conscience and meaning goes, I feel worst about my job as an RN than I did about my work as an attorney, and that is a pretty shameless profession.