Define "helping people" (turning tables) - page 2

by wish_me_luck

2,420 Unique Views | 16 Comments

I had to start a thread...I see a lot of people on here that want to change careers and go into nursing to "help people" or that's their reason for doing nursing as a first career. I have to admit, I wanted/still want to "help... Read More


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    Gosh - it makes me very happy to know that my colleagues are such a dedicated and altruistic bunch.

    Honestly, the whole 'ministering angel', 'helping' thing was not a real driver for me. I wanted to do something meaningful - that makes a difference in peoples' lives - not really connected to any sort of public acclaim because I really don't like that. I also needed something that was intellectually challenging (my brain made me type that). But my truest and most durable motivator is .... Control. Yes, I am a control-enthusiast. Can you think of a better job for people like me?

    We (ICU nurses) can control all vital functions - ventilation, IABP, VADs, dialysis, IICP pressure, hemodynamics. . . yep, that's for me! Very satisfying. And of course, we're 'doing good' and 'making a difference' also - nothing like successfully battling the Grim Reaper & helping extend someone's life to put a spring in your step.
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    I am reminded of an episode of the show, "Scrubs" in which they show a montage of residents getting interviewed, and every single one says "I want to help people." I immediately made a mental note to at least say something kind of different to stand out from the crowd.

    Since I went into nursing with an eye on hospice, I can say that I find the transition from life to death to be one of the most important that we will ever make, but one that frightens or upsets almost everybody involved. I want to serve as a compassionate intermediary and teacher during this important time. I want to support people who feel like they are alone in their fear or grief, and ensure that whatever final sensations my client may feel in this world, they are free of pain.

    Specifics are always better than generalizations. This was a great question and actually got my brain working a bit!
    Ir15hd4nc3r_RN and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    Thanks. I am being sincere about asking themselves "what they expect from a nursing career?" "likes/dislikes about previous job", etc. because if they are currently a desk job person that gets evenings/nights, weekends, holidays, etc. off and really likes that best about their current job but wants a job that helps people and also want to make big bucks, so they automatically think nursing....um, that isn't going to happen.

    The nursing jobs that generally give weekends, holidays, etc. off are like clinics/health depts/ etc. and they tend to get paid lower because of that reason and they don't have the stress level (let's be honest here) that say an ICU nurse has (I have to admit though, I think ortho nurses/hip and knee replacement units are very stressful because they have to patients up out of the bed and going not too long after surgery (like 24 hrs) and they do a lot of transfusions and having to get patients ready for PT...that was one unit that was not my cup of tea at all--run, run, run all day long--kudos to you, ortho nurses)

    Anyway, I have seen quite a few people who want decent money from nursing, yet do not want to work holidays, weekends, nights, and do not want to clean incontinent patients, etc. I think people really need to think about what they are getting themselves into. Also, if the economy was good, would they still want to do nursing? I think in a couple of years or so, the economy will get better and the tables will turn, yet again, with employers and nursing jobs (or any other job).
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    On our first day of lab and clinical our first semester the instructors went around the room with the ''why do you want to do nursing'' schpeal, and everyone had all of these cute little stories "When my ___ had ____ the nurse was so nice and really made a difference"
    Or, "When I had my ____ the nurse was really nice and made a difference". One guy said he was in it for the money, big surprise that he didn't make it. Another one was ''I took care of my dying ___ and wanted to help other sick people"
    My response was, "I figured why the hell not?"

    Seriously though, obviously I want to help people, it's nice to be appreciated while you're helping people (sorry, but people don't appreciate convienence store cashiers as much as they do nurses, and they catch much more flak from the customers)

    Nursing is an awesome career (so they say), with endless possibilities. Before nursing, I wanted to become a Physical therapist, but that is a PhD and there is 0 opportunity for advancement after that. 7 Years of school for 60K a year with no promotions in sight? That's when I tried CNA

    Honestly though, I became a CNA on a whim, got hired at a local hospital, now I have been working as a CNA for 2 yrs, 3 months and I realized that I CAN handle the sights, the smells, and the sounds, and everything else.

    Also (I guess i'm pompous here), I think that i'm smart enough to make it in the medical field. I loved anatomy and physiology. I love changing patient conditions, and being aware of any changes. Not only that, but then you need to consider what these changes mean.

    Long gone are the days of nurses being an 'ignorant helper' to the Docs.

    But ill stop my tirade here, and get back on focus.
    By helping people I want to ease their minds of anxiety (fear of the unknown especially), ease their pain whenever possible. I want to help them (indirectly) by preventing complications (pressure ulcers, DVT prophylaxis, Incentive spirometry, Finding a DVT before it becomes a PE), I want to advocate when the patient needs someone to be on their side (we all know families may have their own motives), and Docs don't see the whole picture.

    If everything goes picture perfect, I will graduate in one year (with my ASN), relocate to South Florida, get a job in a hospital (Med Surg unit or higher acuity - maybe a PCU style unit? Honestly I don't know where my passion lies - . After that, I will get my BSN, start considering higher education if anything sparks my passion.

    Also, I love working holidays. Unfortunately, my family is spread out currently, and when I move to Fl it will be even more so.
    I love working christmas because if the Pt's don't get to be home, why should I?
    Last edit by blackvans1234 on Feb 21, '13
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    I'm in veterinary medicine. I get the "I just love animals" all the time. It's interesting how things change when they realize that there is more to the field then just "loving animals".

    Fuzzy
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    I'll take a stab at this one since I am in the process of applying to Master's entry nursing programs. My ultimate goal is to become a nurse practitioner so what I say will be more focused towards that.

    Yes, broadly speaking I want to help people. I think every single career and job has some aspect of helping people though-whether it is a coworker, boss, or customer. I want to go into nursing because of the specific kind of helping I want to do. I want to help people when they don't know how to help themselves. I want to help them learn how to prevent type II diabetes and manage it if they have it. I want to help patients through their ailments, but in a way that doesn't turn them into the ailment. I personally have felt many times when going to the doctor that they are treating my asthma, not me. I appreciate that nursing focuses much more on the whole self, and I like having autonomy in what I do (when I am competent of having such autonomy, I know that it's still a long way coming for my nursing career!), therefore I think becoming an NP fits my way of helping people. I want to help other people realize that they are not only what their disease tells them they are and maybe, just maybe, I can help people learn that they don't need to go ask their doctor about putting them on Abilify. And then the wonderful thing about all this nursing business is that I can go on and help other people if someday my time is up in the patient world. I can decide some day that I want to go into teaching or research and still help many people. I can't think of many other professions that have so many options. Nursing for me wraps up a bunch of things I want to have in my career. My desire to help people in nursing might not be that clear yet, and I know it will only evolve once I get into the field. But, for now that's what I've got, and hopefully that is a good answer.
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    I'm in nursing school right now, and my motive was not the generic "helping people" -- not directly, anyway. Like HouTx, I wanted to do something meaningful. I want to feel like my life, my work, has meaning and purpose. I'm 29, and I'm sick of having meaningless jobs and feeling like I'm making no real or lasting contribution to society.

    I also am drawn to nursing because I want to be good at something hard. Everything worth having in life requires hard work. Expertise in nursing is not going to come easy, and I like that. I want to someday achieve expertise. (It's a long, long way off, I know.)

    The reason I thought of nursing in the first place (which I think has a place in this discussion) is because 1. there are a lot of doctors and nurses in my family, and while I would have liked to be a doctor honestly, I started late and I can't wait 8 years to be making money; 2. I love the natural sciences, and I am always fascinated by healthcare issues.

    And lastly, I want to be happy. And to be happy, I need to feel good about myself, and proud of myself. One's lifework has a huge role in self-esteem. I guess it ties in with my first point, but I need to feel like I'm doing something worthwhile in order to be happy, and to feel good about myself.


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