Should I become a Nurse?
- 0Feb 18, '13 by bobt89Im coming out of the military this summer and was looking into jobs into healthcare. More specifically I was looking into becoming a nurse or a doctor. I was leaning more toward the nursing side because I want to be more involved in the human element, but also want to more ICU type work. I have idealistic view of trying to help people and that is what is ultimately driving me into health but from what Im reading online the work environment in nursing is absolutely abysmal. Are the working conditions that bad to deter me from perusing a nursing degree and if so what are so other alternatives? Im still researching into this and Im relatively uninformed but the amount of disgust over the job is starting to scare me.
Thanks for your help
- 0Feb 19, '13 by alrighThenI do think that nursing is a great career. In a few years you can be earning a livable wage and with the GI Bill you are in an ideal position to pursue a nursing education. The public generally respects nurses. There are many fields available to nurses. The portability and flexibility that comes with nursing jobs are unbeatable.
Like any workplace, there are politics to deal with and loads of redundant and dull paperwork/documentation. Healthcare is a business and it is disappointing to realize that the bottom line is all about profit. You will likely put in your share of nights, weekends and holidays. Saying 'no' to overtime becomes hard at times because you will think of the difficulty of working shorthanded once you have experienced it for yourself. Caregiver role strain and burnout loom at times over the heads of even the most balanced and health-conscious of us. It's the nature of extending an inherent compassion for humanity to the field of work we have chosen.
That said, I believe that your desire to help others puts you at the front of the crowd who want to enter the field. If you have no previous healthcare experience it would be wise to test the waters first before committing to a program. Maybe work as a tech or CNA/GNA or spend a couple shifts shadowing a nurse in various settings. If you have a family I can imagine that there would be much to consider when contemplating whether or not to enter this field.
I honestly think it's great to be a nurse. I can't imagine doing anything else. After the blood, sweat and tears I can see meaning in the work I do and for me it makes all the difference.
- 0Feb 19, '13 by rumwynnieRNYou'll just have to decide your poison. Of course if you look on here, you'll see many of the members venting, but this is a nursing forum. We have to vent to people who will "get" it. It doesn't mean there aren't those of us who love our jobs, but on that same note, that doesn't mean there aren't numbers of us wanting to leave. I just passed boards a few weeks ago, but I come from a family of nurses, many of whom gripe about the changes in the field, how the patient population has changed (patients who drink too much, patients who ate too much, patients who had too much tylenol, patients who smoked too much, etc), and how the new nurses need to learn and not just repeat what they've seen in the book (they gave me that speech too).
I see why you like the ICU -- I think that was my favorite clinical, but I think you might want to check some of your idealism, not all. If by "idealistic" you want to make someone smile, brighten their day, etc., you probably will, but you'll probably also remember the one patient who just had to have his morphine while you were in the next room running a code or the family member who could've sworn it was YOUR fault their loved one was crashing when it was probably the previous shift's responsibility that stuff went down.
There are some units where I can see it being more cutthroat than others, but that really depends on where you are. You can find that in any hospital across the country, or really, across the world. I will say that I've seen more units be more supportive of each other than units that are toxic, but the toxic ones (so I've seen) really stand out. That's also heavily dependent on the person in question and the personalities you come across.
I hope you make the decision that's right for you. Doctors have their own way of dealing with people, but I found while some nurses are catty, some doctors are just snooty or *******. Then there are the awesome ones