Does this mean I'll hate Nursing?

  1. For the past 3 weeks, I have been in a Nursing Aid class to get some patient experience. I had less than a week to go before being certified and I quit this morning. The instructor said she was floored because I was very good at it. I was working in a nursing home and on a floor that required total patient care. Constant lifting, feeding, toileting etc.....I did my job when I was there, but I hated it. The pay was terrible and I just wanted out. I didn't mind being around the residents and helping, but this total care that had to be done for the amount of money that I was being paid was not sitting well with me. Do you think that this could mean I will not enjoy being an RN? I am starting clinicals in August and now have begun to second guess my decision. Thanks for your input!
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Achoo!
    I think it depends in the area you are working. Were you working LTC?? Maybe a hospital would be a better fit for you. I start my clinicals next week, and I am very glad they will be in the hospital.
  4. by   Rivs
    Quote from Achoo!
    I think it depends in the area you are working. Were you working LTC?? Maybe a hospital would be a better fit for you. I start my clinicals next week, and I am very glad they will be in the hospital.
    Yes, it was a LTC facility.......and I know that I do not want any part of it!!
  5. by   Jill1215
    Hi. I do not think that your one experience is enough to say you will not like nursing. The wonderful thing about nursing is that until you find your "fit" you can try many many many different avenues: schools, offices, hospitals, some vets! I have a friend who is a nurse and works at a dog racing track! She tends to the people who have heat stroke or pass out because they lost all their savings, etc. You will have so many possibilities when you get your license. Do not let this experience turn you off of nursing.

    Do you genuinely care about people? Do you enjoy talking with them and listening to them? If so, I just bet you will find where you belong someday in nursing.
  6. by   Rep
    I agree with Jill. One experience is not enough to get a feel where you really want to be. The beauty in nursing is that there are so many areas where you can try and fit in. So go on with your clinicals and I am sure you will find where your heart belongs. Good luck!
  7. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I don't know too many nurses who like the drudgery of nursing, or who actually do it on a regular basis. Usually it's the aide (PCT, whatever) who does these tasks.

    Also, nursing pays much better than being a nurse aide.

    So your two concerns will not apply to you as a nurse.

    You didn't accidentally get accepted to your program, you worked hard to prepare for it, you applied and you got in.

    You belong in nursing. Go for it! When the time comes, if you have to toilet or feed the occasional patient, or mop up the occasional mess, it won't be a big deal--you won't be doing that exclusively.....

    Congratulations on your acceptance.
  8. by   llg
    I agree with the above posters ... one bad experiene shouldn't scare you away.

    However, you may need to "endure" a few more unpleasant experiences as part of your nursing education and early career as a nurse before you find the "right fit" for you. Are you prepared to stick it out in the hopes of finding that right fit?

    For example, the "right fit" for you might be a job that requires a couple of years of clinical experience before you can get hired for it ... or might require a Master's Degree. Are you willing to work in a job that is not a great fit in order to get the experience you may need for the one you really want? That's a question you need to consider.

    You were unwilling to go for 1 more week to get your CNA license even though you could have worked in a different environment after the program was over. Are you going to be willing to "stick it out" when nursing school gets unpleasant? -- and I can almost guarantee that there will be some aspects of nursing that you find unpleasant.

    There were many aspects of nursing I found unpleasant as a student and many types of nursing I would never want to do. However, I stuck it out even though I was miserable at times. I now have a great job that I love. For me it was worth it.

    Good luck,
    llg
  9. by   angelac1978
    I had an experience similar to yours, except I made it through the LTC portion and actually got a job on a peds/urology unit. I worked with some great nurses who would talk to me about their job and what all they did and the more I saw of it, the more I realized that it was not for me. It just didn't "fit" or I didn't "fit" or something. I got into a rad tech program and have not regretted that decision one bit.

    I agree though, that you shouldn't base your whole perception of a nurse based on what a LTC aide does. There is so much more to it than that. I would continue with nursing school, but if after a semester or two, your gut is still saying no, then you should maybe reconsider.

    A
  10. by   purplemania
    I agree with the advice you have been given already, but would like to add that the tasks you found repulsive are BASIC NURSING TASKS. You might not do them as often, but you will still be doing them as a nurse. There are nurses who think they are too good to get their hands dirty. If you think you could handle those tasks occassionally, with help, then go for the nursing degree. There are many avenues of nursing and you can find a fit, I hope. Good luck in school.
  11. by   JudithL_in_NH
    Aids work so hard and are paid so poorly--it should be a crime!

    As others have said:

    Anywhere you work, you'll do your share of lifting, cleaning, and feeding, but in most environments it's only a *portion* of what you'll do as an RN--it won't be your whole day.

    Is your first semester of clinicals in LTC as well? If so, just be prepared that you will be practicing basic caregiving there, so you'll be doing more of the repositioning, lifting, bathing, feeding stuff there, too. Once I moved on to other rotations, I started being involved in other aspects of care as well--giving meds, doing full assessments, etc. As you progress in school you'll see how your role will expand.

    I wouldn't at all take this experience as a sign you shouldn't be an RN. Being an RN involes much more than the basic caregiving you've described.

    Just never get too proud to make a bed or clean up poop! The best floors I've seen have been the ones where everyone works as a team and the "messy stuff" isn't left exclusively to the aids!
  12. by   Drysolong
    I have two friends, one an RN, the other a Patient Care Technician. They both tell me that I should take the CNA training and work as a CNA. I think this is good advice, which I may take. I am currently finishing up my prerequisites for LPN and hope to be admitted into a program either this upcoming Fall or Winter.
    My friends feel that I need CNA training since I've never worked in the Medical field. Although I have worked in a hospital in the clerical field. I thnk they may also be recommending this because they both entered their training without any medical background and experienced problems. Those problems didn't stop them and they both enjoy their jobs.
    I am the type of person that usually finishes what I start. I can't advise you. However, I know many CNA's, PTC's, and LPN's who work with RN's who they say are very haughty and resistant to performing basic patient care. This does not make for a pleasant work environment.
    Last edit by Drysolong on Jul 1, '04 : Reason: spelling grammar
  13. by   wonderbee
    I work in a community hospital as a PCT. I'm not exactly fond of many of the tasks myself. Several instructors in our program have actually discouraged students from becoming aids precisely because it often has the effect of knocking the wind out of our nursing sails. They have told us that if we do work as aids, be careful about incorrect assumptions.

    I have found that the nurses have more free time and that their jobs require far less patient contact than the aids. The nurse's focus is less task oriented and requires more knowledge and critical thinking. As others have previously posted, the good nurses do share in some of the tasks of the aid's jobs when the situation calls for it. That's the kind of nurse I want to be.

    The bottom line is that if I had to function as PCT for the rest of my life, there's NO WAY!! I always keep it in the back of my mind that this is temporary. There will come a day when I will be able to sit down to chart while others sweat their ****sses off running from room to room.

    By the way, I value my job as a PCT. The exposure to patient care will serve me well in clinical and later as a nurse.
    Last edit by wonderbee on Jul 1, '04
  14. by   klone
    I just finished the clinical portion of my CNA class today, and I know that aide work is NOT for me. By the end of the morning, I was thinking that if I had to shave another face or clean another stoma, I might scream.

    However, from what I've seen of acute care, I know that that is something that would really interest me.

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