Would you do it all over again? - page 2

Today's the first time I've come across this site. I'm considering a major career change, and looking to possibly get into the field of nursing. I am curious as to how many people who post here... Read More

  1. by   KatieD
    FIRST OF ALL, Thank you ALL for the very honest responses! I am probably going to start out by being a PCT in the local hospital here (as soon as I decide where I'm going to fit that into my schedule). I want to get some background, and be sure this is what I want to do. I am positive that I want out of teaching, as I can't afford to stay in it. I enjoy working with people, but can't afford the professional development with no compensation for it.

    I'm not sure I made myself clear on why I wish to get into nursing. I suppose the main thing that made me think of nursing was my son. I had thought of other things, when I initially decided to get out of education. However, my mind kept turning back to all the people who've taken care of my son during his 7 months of life, so far. I have asked many people if they truly enjoy what they do... and all nurses so far have said yes. In fact, the only one I did not ask, is the one we had a negative experience with, and I believe her actions spoke for her. (A syringe with pain meds was slammed down in front of me to give to my son, with hardly a word spoken, just 4 days after his open-heart surgery, and after he'd lay in my arms screaming in pain for 2 hours while I waited on her to bring it.)

    I realize the hours are long, and difficult. I realize it's emotionally trying. I think the people who've compared it to what they think teaching is, don't realize that I put in 10 hour days just at work, not to mention the paperwork I bring home. The weekends are not free of work, neither are holidays. I am just not in the classroom doing it, I'm at home with it. I bring home the emotional trials, as well, only not with life and death (unless it's in an abuse case where our hands are tied, and the abuse is allowed to continue by the mixed up system we have).

    I know it won't be an easy road, but I enjoy a challenge, and I desperately would like to help others. I especially would like to be a able to watch out for newborns, so that they aren't given discharge papers, and then just an hour later, they are barely being kept alive, because no one noticed the signs of the heart defect. Even the American Heart Association doesn't do much for heart defects, the #1 birth defect. So, I guess this is just one more way that I'd like to do my part to help people.

    Perhaps I have a glorified idea of what I'm getting into, but I sincerely hope not. I guess only time will tell. So far, though, it seems as though only one person who's responded would not do it over again if able to go back in time. I think those are pretty good odds. You won't find that in the education system, not in this state, anyway.

    Thanks again, to everyone, for your honest replies!
  2. by   Tiara
    KatieD, wanted to make sure you didn't misunderstand me! In my other post, I said I would not work full time as a nurse when I had little children again. I would become a nurse again because I love nursing. However, I would find a way to work part time or even only weekends as I think it is too exhausting to work full time in a hospital when you have the responsibility of young children. I wanted to clear that up!
  3. by   Tiara
    KatieD, wanted to make sure you didn't misunderstand me! In my other post, I said I would not work full time as a nurse when I had little children again. I would become a nurse again because I love nursing. However, I would find a way to work part time or even only weekends as I think it is too exhausting to work full time in a hospital when you have the responsibility of young children. I wanted to clear that up!
  4. by   shannab
    Katie

    When I read your post I thought for a moment I'd written part of it myself. You see, I am also a teacher who has recently decided to leave teaching in order to become a nurse.

    I was thrilled to see so many positive replies in answer to your question: Would you do it again? I've been scanning this site for awhile now - and have read a good many more negative comments about nursing than positive ones it seems. But I'm glad to know the cons going in.

    I've been searching for the equivalent teachers.com site where we can gripe about our current profession but haven't found it as yet.

    Yes as a teacher we have great office hours with weekends and summers off, but there is a rather dramatic shortage of teachers now - just like in nursing. And if current teachers are leaving (when they have such great hours and holidays ) doesn't that make you think the apple is rotten inside.

    We're told to never say that we went into teaching for the hours. I didn't, but if I stay that will be the reason why. That's not right. Many of the long terms teachers I've worked with are just marking time. I don't want to become like that.

    You spoke of money. I found a site that compared salaries. I compared teaching to nursing in my area. I will actually take a slight pay cut as a nurse. You mentioned the prof. development cost surrounding teaching. I believe most states require nurses to continue their educ. as well. My husband is an RN. His annual license and the cost of his CEU's are much more in the long run than my required Master's degree was for teaching.

    Money is not why I'm making a switch. Due to your son I don't think yours is really money either. If you're like me, you feel a bit defensive as to why you would make such a major life change - so you try to come up with as many reasons as possible.

    I don't think nursing will be the end all. I know there are pros and cons to every career choice. The bottom line for me is I absolutely cannot stand the thought of being a teacher for 20 more years. Every now and then I get a glimmer of what I do like about teaching, but most of the time I simply feel as if I'm engaged in a losing battle - against students, parents, and administration. Have you seen the new show - Boston Public? I hate it.

    I'm really excited about my decision to become a nurse. It's what I almost did in the first place. Good luck to you. And best wishes to your son in his recovery.
  5. by   JenMarie
    I was interested to read this post. I am an RN, but I am opting to go teaching instead. Some people I have talked to think that I am doing it for the wrong reasons.

    I have always wanted to make a contribution to society and I think that I do make a small contribution as a nurse. However I also want to be appreciated and employed for who "I" am. I have always found with nursing jobs that I am only employed because I am a nurse. I agree that the same will happen in the field of teaching, but personal attributes will be also important.

    I hate the shiftwork, the politics and the lack of autonomy in nursing. I am sure many of these things will occur in teaching too, but as far as nursing goes I am burnt out.

    What is it that you hate about teaching to want to make a change?
  6. by   KatieD
    First to JenMarie... There are MANY reasons I'm not liking teaching right now. I'm not sure what state you're from but Ohio just re-did the standards and it is even more difficult to get a child services who needs them. Their IQ has to be lower than ever before. Along with that, they've put in the 4th grade guarantee (which will be changing, and it will be similar to that for EVERY grade level, but only newer teachers are affected)... but your job is on the line for things you have NO control over. Also, with what I'm paid, and with no tuition reimbursement, I can not afford to get my master's in the required time, for teachers. Then there's always the fact that you're hired on "who you know" and not "what you know". I could go on and on... there are so many reasons that it's not for me. I, like ShannaB, know plenty of teachers who are just biding their time. THey're retiring ASAP, and taking cuts in retirement pay just to get out of the system.

    ShannaB... like you, there are so many reasons I am interested in nursing, the first of which is the interest I've taken since my son was born. We joke that we did 'do it yourself nursing' for a long time, with all the care he required. Thankfully, now, other than his scar, you'd never know he had a problem... although he'll have open-heart surgeries throughout his life, unless enough research is done that it can fully correct his problem.

    As for the money... I know I won't make much money in either field ... but money was not my motivating factor, or I would have NEVER been a teacher, especially in this area! My 1st year teaching, I made enough to pay rent, my car payment, and I had $100 bucks left for the month... to divy up between food for the month, gas, electric bills, etc. I didn't get into teaching for the money, and that's not why I'm interested in nursing. However, being paid for the hours I work is a motivating factor. I get tired of putting in 10 hour days (plus time at home that I'm doing work for school) and being paid only for the required 6 3/4 hours. Also, many other professions (nursing included... depending on where you live) offer tuition reimbursement. They have that here, and that was definitely a helpful bonus to the fact that it seems like something I'd enjoy doing.

    Well, it's off to start my day... hope ya all have a good one!
  7. by   el
    After reading all the posts and considering the original question I am struck by how amazing we nurses are.
    Most nurses are really unhappy with the healthcare system of today, we work like dogs to say the least. Ours is a job as physical as it is mental. I know nurses, who have literally had to pull over on their way to or from work so they could vomit because of the stress of either what they were facing or what they were leaving. The key point is after they vomit, they continue on to work.
    Politics, forget it, I often think that the hospital I work in is similar to adult high school. It is definately beneficial to ride the tide of popular managerial opinion, and never tell a Manager the impossibly obvious idea that "You can't run a Hospital without Nurses, why do you keep trying?" Been there done that, it doesn't go over well. However, commit to going to work and doing your job the best you can and you will be fine.
    As for the job, there is nothing like it. Keep a gratitude journal, you will find joy in a single touch, or a mili-second of eye contact with one of your patients that can sum up everything you and they are doing. You will earn respect from peers if you are true to your patients and yourself and them. My job makes me crazy at times, it enrages me, and it enlightens me. I would not change it for the world.
  8. by   KatieD
    El, Thanks for the thoughts. I like the idea of the gratitude journal.

    In an earlier post, someone asked what exactly I dislike about teaching... I found something in my e-mail that I think is a nice answer to the question:

    Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning.

    Not only that, I'm to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, behaviorally modify disruptive behavior, and observe them for signs of abuse, drugs, and T-shirt messages. I am to fight the war on drugs and
    sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for guns and raise their
    self-esteem.

    I'm to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair
    play, how and where to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook and how to apply for a job, but I am never to ask if they are in this country illegally.

    I am to check their heads occasionally for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of potential antisocial behavior, offer
    advice, write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships, encourage respect for the cultural diversity of others, and oh yeah, teach, always making
    sure that I give the girls in my class fifty percent of my attention.

    I'm required by my contract to be working, on my own time, summer and evenings and at my own expense towards additional certification, advance certification and a master's degree, to sponsor the cheerleaders or the sophomore class and after school I am to attend committee and faculty meetings and participate in staff development training to maintain my current certification and employment status.

    I am to collect data and maintain all records to support and document our building's progress in the selected state mandated program to "assess and upgrade educational excellence in the public schools."

    I am to be a paragon of virtue larger than life, such that my very presence will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority. I am to pledge allegiance to supporting family values, a return to the
    basics, and my current administration.

    I am to incorporate technology into the learning, but monitor all web sites for appropriateness while providing a personal one-on-one relationship with each student. I am to decide who might be potentially
    dangerous and/or liable to commit crimes in school or who is possibly being abused and I can be sent to jail for not mentioning these
    suspicions to those in authority.

    I am to make sure ALL students pass the state and federally mandated testing and all classes, whether or not they attend school on a regular basis or complete any of the work assigned. I am to communicate frequently with each student's parent by
    letter, phone, newsletter, and grade card.

    I'm to do all of this with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a 45 minute or less plan time, and a big smile on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps in many
    states.

    Is that all?

    And you want me to do all of this and expect me to do it without
    praying?
  9. by   reg06
    Wow, what a great set of posts everyone.

    I think about nurses and teachers and I really believe they are some of the most important people in our society. What is so amazing is the people who offer little improving humanity, like athletes, business people, CEO's are the people who are paid the most and glorified. While the nurses, teachers, childcare professionals are compensated the least. Isn't that so wrong?

    What are the priorities in our country? Obviously, improving the human condition is not on the top of the list. Is it any wonder why we have a wide range of problems including environmental destruction, crime, alcohol/drug abuse, domestic violence and so on?
  10. by   KatieD
    It is a very scary situation, Reg06. It says a lot about our society, and why other countries look at our society in disgust. The things that are the most important in life, are looked upon with the least respect. Things that really shouldn't matter so much are put up for all to see, and people worship these lesser aspects of life.

    When a person on welfare can deliver child after child.... and never pay a dime toward the bills...... and in the same city, a hard-working person who goes to work every day, and tries to live life the right way spends years paying off the birth of one child. Meanwhile, the welfare recipient is rewarded with even more money, as a gift for having yet another child they can't afford. It really says a lot about priorities!
  11. by   shannab
    Good evening folks:

    Truly nursing and teaching are frighteningly similar to each other. I've had 2 different teaching positions that have literally caused me to be vomit I was so stressed out. Katie's list of teaching expectations was right on the nose. I guess the straw for me is that I just can't take the hypocrisy of it anymore. It's like that story of the Emperor with no clothes - remember, everyone knew he was naked but no one fessed up. All teachers and administrators know that what we're expected to do is impossible. Surely no one really thinks we can do all those things? But we "play" along.

    In Ky, ALL - not most - but ALL students are expected to be in the top categ of Distinquished by I think 2012. Each year's new class is expected to do better than last year's class. Come on - - who are these people who make these rules??? It's mathematically impossible. It cannot be done - just like I can't grow wings and fly myself to the moon. I'm tired of pretending.

    Get this - if a school does not continue to improve each and every year - the school gets put on probation. A state expert comes in and even has the power to fire people. Excuse me - but I've been doing my job. I cannot absolutely guarantee that my students will do better and better each and every year. Not to mention that my county only has about 23 different languages in the school system! (Sorry, just call me "teacherdude!" I'll try to shut up! Feel free to e-mail me if anyone wants to cont a discussion on teaching)

    JenMarie - are you still in New Zealand? I'd love to hear how nursing and teaching compare there to here. Also, what made you go the opposite direction as Katie and myself.

    What I'd like to know about nursing is ...was it Reg?...mentioned the vomiting over stress. Give me specifics. What's your major stress point. I'm used to not being paid much or not at all for my services. Good grief, but I'm used to excessive paperwork. I'm used to not being able to go to the bathroom. I'm used to gripey people - those over me, co-worker, or patient. I don't mind the pressure of time. I just want to feel legitimate - like I'm actually doing what I'm being paid to do. How do you nurses feel in the way of being legitimate?

  12. by   goldilocksrn
    I am concerned for those that are leaving nursing for teaching and teaching for nursing. They are truly frighteningly similar. You can't get the appropriate services for you customers/students/patients, you have too many patients/students, the pay isn't too hot for a college graduate, no reimbursement for educational requirements. I see this as leaving one bad profession for another.

    [This message has been edited by goldilocksrn (edited January 11, 2001).]
  13. by   nurskelli
    Hi KatieD
    I have enjoyed reading the stream that your original question began. It is almost 3AM and I got off of my 3-11PM shift at 2AM, I am usually too wound up to go to bed right away. I work with Medicare pts. I love my job. I never dreamed that I would work with this population, but I am quite into it. The baby boomers parents are aging and together we face the situation of our aging parents, oh the pathos of it all. as I read the posts so many things came to mind. First of all, I had no idea what I was getting into when I started nursing school. It was some childhood dream. When I was two years into college I decided that I didn't want to be a "professional" but rather a full time mom, and bagged the whole thing. I enjoyed "mothering" to the fullest, even homeschooled for 5 years. it was great. I had the kind of teens that made you wish you had more (only had 3). I was always a little wistful about nursing, then I realized that at 44 I could go back to school and be an RN in 3 years, now I've been a nurse for 3 years.

    I wouldn't have done it any differently, those wonderful years with my kids were the best, and they went by so fast. And now I am a nurse, but I really had no idea what a nurse was. I only knew I wanted to help people, and this was the "helping" job I was attracted to.

    The posts you have read tell the whole story so well. It is frustrating. It is hard. There is politics. And there is never enough money and staff to do the quality job that "State" requires you to do. But you keep on because if you don't who will meet the need? Who will give the meds, who will hold the hand, change the IV, catheter, dressing. Who will be there for the family when the end is near. Who will say, "hearing is the last to go, tell them what they need to hear, and that you love them."

    Somedays I feel like a failure, somedays I feel like a nurse.
    One last thing, this applies to the work we all do as teacher or nurse. When I went into nursing I was most frightened by the responsibility I would carry. I have become facinated with the word "courage". It takes so much courage to make a society. To fly planes, design bridges, protect society from danger, to teach the children, and to be there to give the meds, to assess the patient, to call the doctor when needed. In this society we all play a part, but some of us lay our lives down. We cope with our fears and frustrations and serve. And we are amazing. Gosh I love being me, I am so glad I do what I do and that I have chosen to give what God gave me to others. Hey Katie, seize the day, and give what you have to things that last, like your little guy. Please be the most "there" mom you can be.


    Originally posted by KatieD:
    El, Thanks for the thoughts. I like the idea of the gratitude journal.

    In an earlier post, someone asked what exactly I dislike about teaching... I found something in my e-mail that I think is a nice answer to the question:

    Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning.

    Not only that, I'm to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, behaviorally modify disruptive behavior, and observe them for signs of abuse, drugs, and T-shirt messages. I am to fight the war on drugs and
    sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for guns and raise their
    self-esteem.

    I'm to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair
    play, how and where to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook and how to apply for a job, but I am never to ask if they are in this country illegally.

    I am to check their heads occasionally for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of potential antisocial behavior, offer
    advice, write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships, encourage respect for the cultural diversity of others, and oh yeah, teach, always making
    sure that I give the girls in my class fifty percent of my attention.

    I'm required by my contract to be working, on my own time, summer and evenings and at my own expense towards additional certification, advance certification and a master's degree, to sponsor the cheerleaders or the sophomore class and after school I am to attend committee and faculty meetings and participate in staff development training to maintain my current certification and employment status.

    I am to collect data and maintain all records to support and document our building's progress in the selected state mandated program to "assess and upgrade educational excellence in the public schools."

    I am to be a paragon of virtue larger than life, such that my very presence will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority. I am to pledge allegiance to supporting family values, a return to the
    basics, and my current administration.

    I am to incorporate technology into the learning, but monitor all web sites for appropriateness while providing a personal one-on-one relationship with each student. I am to decide who might be potentially
    dangerous and/or liable to commit crimes in school or who is possibly being abused and I can be sent to jail for not mentioning these
    suspicions to those in authority.

    I am to make sure ALL students pass the state and federally mandated testing and all classes, whether or not they attend school on a regular basis or complete any of the work assigned. I am to communicate frequently with each student's parent by
    letter, phone, newsletter, and grade card.

    I'm to do all of this with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a 45 minute or less plan time, and a big smile on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps in many
    states.

    Is that all?

    And you want me to do all of this and expect me to do it without
    praying?

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