Does the scientist in you feel out of place in nursing school?

  1. I post from time to time to share my experiences and help those that are searching to be in a place in an academic career where they fit in. In my experience, students that love science have a hard time fitting into the psychosocial model of nursing.

    If you love nursing and the psychosocial model, please ignore my post. I'm not doing this to incite anyone to defend such an exaushtive and referenced theory. I am doing this for the students that think they have failed to grasp it because they aren't good students. They don't deserve such torture.

    I have helped persons that were like-minded choose a path towards a medical career. This is the key to your frustration. Nursing is not medical but you are.

    PM me or send to my email. If you want to discuss your possibilities ifor growth n this forum please keep it from being against nursing. This is not what I'm about.

    thehealingart@hotmail.com
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   klone
    I'm confused. Are you trying to sell something?

    I'd love to have a discussion about the topic, though. I'm very science-minded, very introverted, and not a "touchy feely" super-empathetic person, so I am concerned about how well I'll do at being a nurse.
  4. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    No, not at all.

    The reason it's kind of vague is that I have alot of respect for the excellent BB that has be developed here. There is nothing like it on the net. I want to be very careful not to make people that love nursing school feel like they have to defend anything.

    Lets just be guarded of our emotions and make observation.

    I got into nursing because it was presented as a blending of what one would contrast between nursing care and medical care. I wanted to either be a PA or NP because I wanted to diagnose and treat disease. I thought a BSN would be a great foundation for me since there was a blend and I tend to be compassionate.

    Through the sciences like A&P and Microbiology I started to get excited as my application time approached. I could apply what I had learned to case studies and sought out new scientific challenges. I suffered through psychology, though I got an "A" and the other prerequisites. I started nursing school but found that psychosocial theory dominated, even to the point of etiology of disease. There was no outlet for the A&P and Micro that had more than a passing reference for me. That was a warning sign that I did not belong, but I moved on. An seemingly vital portion of the duration of a nurse's training involves careplanning. Careplans are completely alien to anyone so it's understandable that I had trouble understanding the value of their content, however, as my understanding grew, so did my frustration. I constantly tried to apply science, but got scolded for having medical application instead of nursing.

    Then the light went on. I looked into the NP curriculum having a good idea what all the classes were about and the reason for the difference in the way NP and PA training indoctrinates. I didn't think that I could make the leap to medical training with a nursing background, so I simply chose the correct path.

    I'm pursuing a degree in Medical Laboratory Science so I can apply to PA school right now. I came to realize that this education will teach me the medical theory that I need to diagnose and treat patients effectively.
    I have simply come back for those people that are like I was then. There is nobody to talk to because you are seen as a heretic.

    I'm someone to talk to.
  5. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    No, I'm not selling anything. The only reason I post this once in awhile is to give advice to students that are going through what I was. Totally alone in my perceptions thinking there was something wrong with me.

    The use of the term "touchy-feely" is exactly the phrase I used for it.
    Advice: Do not use it at school. Do not expect to be helped through your frustration by confiding it to instructors or other nursing theorists.
    Use it very sparingly in the open forum for the same reasons.

    Keep in mind that the PM (private message) system can be used for our communications. It seems insane, but most consider it heresy to insinuate that the medical-model is a good thing. There may be instructors at your school that will use any posts you make to try to find you out. The moderators here are watching too. It sounds paranoid, but if you intend on staying in nursing just trust what I'm saying

    That being said, let me introduce myself:
    I'm currently working on a BS in clinical laboratory science in a pursuit of a PA degree. I went into nursing because of the way it was presented as a blending of nursing care and medicine, which I had always thought was the same.......by now you know it isn't. I thought a BSN was a great stepping stone to my dream of diagnosing and treating disease. I felt that nursing theory would be an addition to medical training in nursing school but soon found out after starting the curicculum that psychosocial theory dominated everything about it, even the etiology of disease. To a person that prefers the organized structure of science this is not possible. I tried to get "cured" of medical thinking by jumping into careplans but there is no way that will ever be useful to me as a clinician.
    Psychosocial theory applied to patient care dominates the curicculum and is constant throughout all the training. Once I looked at NP curicculum and compared it to PA prerequisites and clinical training I realized I would not be the clinician I hoped to become through nursing.
    I took a bold step and my 7 credits of nontransferable but applied "B" on my perfect GPA and started being happy to go to school again.

    How do you relate to this?
  6. by   RNKITTY04
    Klone,
    I too am not a touchy feely kinda person. My friends actually know not to touch me, unless I initiate first. Sometimes the pt's get a little too close for my likes, but I have learned to deep breathe thru it and so far so good. I am headed to the OR when I graduate and will be very happy there. I like taking care of people I just dont like people in my "personal space" Im sure you will find your nitch also, please dont let this stop you from becoming a nurse. I realize its some sort of phobia but I have managed thru life thus far and have plenty of good friends, my kids are fine (not too screwed up) and my hubby loves me
    Peeps... sorry to have gotten off subject just had to respond to post.
    Last edit by RNKITTY04 on May 12, '04 : Reason: wrong name
  7. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Actualy it's not off subject because it gives an opportunity to compare and contrast the different feelings that the phrase "touchy-feely" brings to mind.

    To me it's a way of expressing the way nursing theory seems to base itself in communicating, social variance, feelings, psychology, subjectiveness. To me that is what the phrase means anyway.
  8. by   klone
    Quote from Peeps Mcarthur
    It seems insane, but most consider it heresy to insinuate that the medical-model is a good thing.
    Add to my difficulties the fact that I'm an herbalist by profession, and have always been a bit leery of the medical model and allopathic medicine. We're conscientious non-vaccinators (for our children).

    Believe me, this has been a struggle for me. I just want to help women to breastfeed. But I realize that I also have to take everything that goes along with that, the good and the bad.
  9. by   wonderbee
    Yes, so far in my experience, the scientist does feel left out. I'm hoping second semester, heavy on pathophysiology, will infuse at least a bit more of medicine and science. Yet, what I like about the nursing model is that the whole person's response to the disease process is the focus rather than the disease itself. There we have the art and the science, albeit so far it's heavier in the art than the science.
  10. by   PennyLane
    Hmmm...maybe it's just my program but we get a lot of science an my University. I love science, at one point I was a bio major, then thought about switching to physics, but ended up in environmental science. Now that I'm in nursing school I find there's enough science to keep me interested and I love the clinical experience. My school doesn't seem to empasize the so-called "touchy-feely" aspect all that much. It's definitely there, but it's kind of breezed over. Granted I'm only halfway through, but I've heard Med-surg, which I'll be doing over the summer, includes a lot of patho, which I LOVED. Lots of other students struggled with patho and pharm, but those were two of my favorite classes so far.

    Good luck to you.
  11. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    By Pennylane edited to reflect the original poster.........which is right above this............sorry Pennylane. It's only been a week off of ephedra.
    My school doesn't seem to empasize the so-called "touchy-feely" aspect all that much. It's definitely there, but it's kind of breezed over.
    Good for you Mel.
    My experience was a mirror image of yours. Science was skimmed and psychosocial anything was stressed. My A&P professor wrote any science topics for them because they were incapable or apathetic. I only know that because I was consulted to give feedback by my A&P prof.

    Still, I look at medical diagnosis and treatment as having elements of caring which would be considered in the nursing theories somewhere. I can't see that it deserves the attention to such detail to become proficient at it though.
    Last edit by Peeps Mcarthur on May 13, '04
  12. by   hobbes
    Peeps,

    I hear where you're coming from and I can sympathize with your experience to some extent. I too very much enjoy science and have a degree in Computer Science. I'm also the type that likes to know the nitty-gritty of how things work and get a bit frustrated when things are left out. So, it was very much an awakening for me when I took the "nursing" science classes at my school. In my opinion, they were the dumbed down versions of what the premed students get. After taking a year of chemistry for nurses, I decided to take the "real" chemistry - for science majors. Wow!! What a difference. This was what I was used to. I did the same thing after taking A&P - not totally satisfied, I took a Physiology class designed for premeds. Again, much more was expected and as a result I learned so much more. What I've learned from these experiences isn't so much that nursing isn't for me, but that if I really want to learn something and understand it, I'm going to have to put in a little extra effort. I want to be the type of nurse that actually understands everything that is going on with my patient even if it's not in my scope of practice to diagnose and prescribe. If nothing else I'll be able to communicate more effectively with doctors and family members. That's just me. There's been times when I've thought about pursuing something else a bit more technical/medical/scientific but each time I keep coming back.
  13. by   EmeraldNYL
    Peeps,
    I have a bio degree and am not what I would consider to be a nursey-nurse touchy-feely type person. But I found my niche in nursing just the same-- I chose to start my career in the most scientific, mentally challenging, and technologically advanced area I could think of-- the ICU. And I am currently applying to CRNA school. I think we need all different kinds of nurses-- the really caring, compassionate, touchy-feely ones, as well as the scientifically-minded ones. That's why there are so many different areas of nursing to choose from-- to each his or her own!!
  14. by   orrnlori
    Quote from EmeraldNYL
    Peeps,
    I have a bio degree and am not what I would consider to be a nursey-nurse touchy-feely type person. But I found my niche in nursing just the same-- I chose to start my career in the most scientific, mentally challenging, and technologically advanced area I could think of-- the ICU. And I am currently applying to CRNA school. I think we need all different kinds of nurses-- the really caring, compassionate, touchy-feely ones, as well as the scientifically-minded ones. That's why there are so many different areas of nursing to choose from-- to each his or her own!!
    I totally agree. I'm not touchy feely either but found my niche and I'm very glad there are nurses who have what I don't have. It's good you've found that the PA position is for you, but you have to realize that most people who go into nursing know what they are getting. The PA position would be fine for me if I were younger because it fits my mind set perhaps a little better than nursing, but I'm too old to start over a third time. I've also worked with some PA's that were really PIA's, acting like they were in fact doctors, which they aren't. So when you get out, remember, those old nurses know an awful lot of medicine to go with their touchy-feely compassion. Learn from them.

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