Am I Nutz?!?!

  1. okay forum buddies!

    I have a very deep and philisophical question to ask of you....

    I am becoming convinced, for some unknown reason, that I should pursue a career as a registered nurse, and move to the U.S.

    Here's my bio:

    I'm a 40 year old straight male. I've been involved in construction and housing related fields for most of my adult life, and am currently a private building consultant. My business means little to me, from a satisfaction point of view - I could take it or leave it.

    I have no idea if I can handle the type of work that I imagine nurses deal with on a daily basis.

    It may be a seed of immaturity on my part (your analysis may differ) but I'm a bit apprehensive to make my desire for this career change known to my friends. I know, it's not like I'm having a sex change or anything, but...?!?!

    Can I handle the type of work that nurses deal with daily?
    Should I pursue this career change?
    What are some of the "right" reasons for becoming an RN?
    What are some of the "wrong" reasons for becoming an RN?
    I have been suggesting to my friends that I would like a total lifestyle change - career, move away, etc. etc. I've never been married, so the "Pack up and move" issue will be very easy for me.

    I'm really looking for some encouragement and support, but most of all truth and heart felt honesty.

    Thanks gang!!
    Last edit by Alexander on Apr 11, '03
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I don't think you are nuts at all. It's hard work, but if nursing is what you want to do, then I say go for it!

    Why exactly do you think nursing is what you want to do? Do you know anyone that is a nurse?

    It can be very difficult and frustrating, but also very rewarding.

    The fact that you are a man has nothing to do with whether or not you will be a good nurse. I personally have never seen any discrimination against male nurses, but I have read on this BB about some that have received discrimination because of their gender. So you do have a chance of encountering it.

    But I have to say, that if you are embarassed now, of being a guy and fear that ppl will think you are gay or less masculine or something, you probably had better do some serious soul searching.
  4. by   Pab_Meister
    Hi Shandylynn!

    Okay, that seems like a reasonable place to start...why nursing ...why not nursing ...hhmmm...as vexing as sand in one's underdrawers!

    I have to say, in response to your theories, no, I couldn't care less about what others think - sure some will think I'm gay, but I really don't think I'm the type to let other peoples insecurities affect my happiness, or my career choices. Less (than) masculine? I'm 6'2" and work out 5 times a week...so again, others people's insecurities are their problems. Descrimination? Well, that would be a first for me!! I'm not too worried about it. Soul searching... asking this question on this forum is a part of that "soul searching" process...if I'm going to get involved in nursing, I'd like to have a good "heads up" as to what I'm in for.
    Yes, I know several people who are nurses - my best friends wife, my (male) cousin, a guy who used to work for me part time (moved to California - he came back), and the only woman I have ever wanted to marry (moved to Florida - never came back). The one's I'm still in touch with rarely talk about what they do, though they all have one thing in common - they bring the stress of their job home with them. Can you relate? Is nursing a career that you can leave at the doorstep on your way out of the hospital?
    What would a typical "day in the life" of a nurse entail? I'd be more interested in working the night shift, say 7p to 7a.

    Thanks so much, Shandylynn, for your thoughts...keep 'em comin' everyone!!
    Last edit by Alexander on Apr 11, '03
  5. by   Hidi74
    I wish I could answer all your questions but since I am still a student....I guess all I can add is good luck, WELCOME....and stick around here for a while and you will learn sooooooooo much!

    As far as your age or whether people will think your gay ( which they won't).....who cares, pursue your dreams and the ____ w/ what others think!!!!!!! :wavey








    :chuckle
    Last edit by Hidi74 on Apr 13, '03
  6. by   ShandyLynnRN
    Originally posted by Alexander
    I'm 6'2" and work out 5 times a week
    Wanna move to Oklahoma???

    I find that I can usually leave work at work, and not bring it home. There is so much that nursing entails. I don't know if I would be able to tell you what you want to know. But here's a try: I go to work at 6:45 PM. 20-30 minutes for report. Then count the narcotics. Then there are patient assessments and meds to pass. Treatments such as wound care, etc after that. Then charting everything I did. Then more meds, reassessment, more charting. Calling doctors if something in my assessment is off, such as a high blood pressure or unrelieved pain. Taking and noting orders. More meds, more reassessment... assuring care plans are being followed and teaching is being done. Checking charts to be sure all orders have been noted and followed through. Checking medication sheets to be sure that everything is on there and timed correctly.

    That is when I have med/surg patients. I'm sure I have left something out.

    When I have an antepartum patient or labor patient it is much different. Especially if they are one on one for magnesium therapy or something like that.

    What you do will depend a lot on the place you work, the shift you work, and the area you work in.
  7. by   maeyken
    Hi Alexander,

    Why move to the US? We need nurses here (in Canada) too! Does it have anything to the "only woman I have ever wanted to marry"? Not trying to imply this is the reason, just noticed a connection.

    As for right and wrong reasons to become an RN, those are individual, and there's no one right or wrong answer. Repeating Shandy Lynn's question, "Why exactly do you think nursing is what you want to do?" I think when you give your reasons, you'll be able to look at them and see if they are realistic expectations to have. Is it just a vague feeling, or are there specific reasons for your interest in nursing?

    I'm becoming a nurse b/c at the end of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and medicine had always fascinated me. That, and I didn't wanna take science in university! Now that I'm in school, I love it, and I'm pretty sure I'm in the right place.

    To me, wrong reasons to become a nurse would be having unrealistic expectations of what nursing will fulfull for you. Things like "I wanna make lots of money", "I wanna have good hours", "I wanna have an easy job"... things that just don't happen! (at least not from what I can tell)

    Can a person leave their job at the hospital? I'm not sure yet. So far so good, but I just had clinical placements once a week. I think this is very individual as well. Some people are just better at it than others. Think about this in relation to other things in your life. If you've had a bad or frustrating day, does it keep you up at night? What about your current business- do you carry that home, or leave it at work?

    Curious about your "couldn't care less what others think" attitude, when you state your reluctance to tell friends about your interest in nursing. Is it only strangers' opinions who you couldn't care less about? Maybe you're more insecure than you want to admit(?)

    I'd suggest talking to some of the nurses you know... ask them about their jobs. Ask people you know if they can see you as a nurse. When I tell people I'm in nursing, they often say, "I can sooo see you as a nurse!"

    So, in summary, some questions:
    Why exactly do you think nursing is what you want to do?
    What are your expectations of nursing? What do you think you will gain by being a nurse? What will nursing fulfill for you that your current job does not?
    Why are you hesitant to tell others about your interest in nursing?
    How long have you been considering this?

    Good luck in making a decision!
    ~ maeyken
  8. by   Pab_Meister
    Great stuff so far, gang!! Keep it coming!!

    Maeyken, I'm going to answer your questions first.

    In regards to "the only woman I have ever wanted to marry", it was actually her that first suggested I do this, about 6 months ago. When she did, I thought she was nutz! But she had planted a seed. And that seed germinated. I started thinking, "why not me?". Slowly, I became fascinated with the idea, and fascinated with health care. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to know about it. I've done a complete 180 with my thinking. Then we broke up, but I still couldn't get this nursing idea out of my head! I found myself searching the web for info about this career, which is how I came across this forum. So, no, I'm not looking at nursing as a way to mend a broken heart, though I can understand your making a possible connection.

    Why nursing? I have become absolutely fascinated with the health care profession. I'm too old/dumb/not enough$$ to be a doctor. I've looked into other health care professions, but their just doesn't seem to be the same opportunities as there are with nursing.

    My expectations/gains/fulfillments? Job satisfaction and personal satisfaction. The opportunity to help others who are at an unfortunate time in there lives, and the opportunity to be a team player. To fulfil a need to be in a health care related field. A year ago I would have thought I was delusional if I had said any of this!

    Hesitant to tell others? I've told my mother, who is a retired health care aid. She couldn't be more proud of me! I've also told my best friend who's wife is an RPN (LPN in U.S.). He thinks I'm going through a mid-life crisis, and that nursing would be a mistake for me, that I would hate it, blah, blah, blah. He's usually not negative about things, either. He really surprised me with his response. I'm beginning to wonder how well he really knows me.
    As for telling others, I dunno. I guess I just remember what I thought when ever I heard that some male I know was becoming a nurse - what an idiot I was! Now it's me!! I'm laughing at myself right now!!

    How long have I been considering this? Only a few months - why?

    Why move to the U.S.? Personal reasons, but not to chase any particular woman. This isn't about us, or about her, this is about me. I also want to get out of this frozen Arctic tundra I call home. I love palm trees.

    ShandyLynn - Sure!!! ;-)

    Hidi74 - no truer words spoken! Ta h--- with what they think!

    You guys, er... um... folks are the greatest! Thanks so much for your candid opinions!!

    Keep them coming!!
  9. by   Sleepyeyes
    Originally posted by Alexander
    okay forum buddies!

    I have a very deep and philisophical question to ask of you....

    I am becoming convinced, for some unknown reason, that I should persue a career as a registered nurse, and move to the U.S.

    OK...putting on the Dr. Phil cap for a minute:

    Can you answer these questions first?

    What is a nurse?

    What does a nurse do?
  10. by   Sleepyeyes
    Actually, it might be a better question to ask (although a lot longer):

    What do you see yourself doing when you are a nurse? Lead me through what you think your shift will be like.
  11. by   Pab_Meister
    Good morning Sleepyeyes / Dr.Phil!

    Okay, what do I see myself doing if I become a nurse:

    I have some insight for this response, since I dated an RN. I see myself as working 3-5 12 hour shifts per week, and sleeping through much of my time off. While on shift, I imagine the worst! 12 hours of - and pardon the language, I want to make it sound horrible - cleaning up s---, p---, vomit and blood. Sticking syringes the size of knitting needles into peoples arms and arses. Having to deal with arrogent doctors screaming at you at the drop of a hat. Patients who may or may not be in a semi-delirious state screaming for attention. People who's every breath depend on my ability to make split second decisions under the worst possible circumstances. And at the end of the day, I walk out of that hospital and wonder what in the world I was thinking by becoming a nurse! A few more steps, I jump into my Porsche,and have forgotten everything that has transpired during my shift. Okay, so I made the last part up. Am I close?
    Last edit by Alexander on Nov 11, '03
  12. by   Pab_Meister
    Hi Maeyken! I just re-read your response, and I would like to address another concern of yours. "Maybe you're more insecure (and I'll throw in immature) than you like to admit"

    Okay, what's the test for this?

    To be perfectly honest, I am a bit insecure, I suppose, about making this transition. I have no idea how I became so fascinated with this, or why I am pursuing this so vigorously. I suppose this has something to do with my insecurity. Maybe this is just a phase I'm going through...but why does this feel so right?
    I'm going to write the placement test for college soon. I am really struggling with this...Am I nutz??
    Last edit by Alexander on Apr 11, '03
  13. by   Sleepyeyes
    Honey, you about nailed it insofar as what the job entails--on the negative side.

    You also have to get through nursing school, during which you will magically transform from a normal person with a generous portion of common sense, to a complete blithering idiot who can't function without looking it up first.

    I say, go for it. You have nothing to lose and you may have a wonderful career to gain.
  14. by   2banurse
    Alexander, the good thing about nursing is that there are MANY different avenues you can go through. You don't necessarily have to do bedside nursing your whole career. My former supervisor, is the coordinator of a Continuing Day Treatment Center and an RN. This is for an outpatient psychiatric population that receive many different types of therapy throughout their stay. I think I saw him more in shorts and sweats then in normal street clothes, and believe me, he was very much straight.

    I think that you should speak with your male cousin more about his experiences. He'll probably give you more insight being a male in a female-dominant position (although I really hope this changes), I think that as long as you are a good nurse, it doesn't matter what sex you are.

    good luck with your decision!
    Kris

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