Doubts about Nursing

  1. 0
    Hey everyone,
    I'm an EMT who recently got accepted into nursing school. Our local nursing school is very selective and I'm proud to have gotten in, however, I'm beginning to become depressed about the course content. I spent a year learning how to keep people alive in EMT school, and now it seems like I'm going to spend two years learning how to watch people die. Would someone please tell me it gets less depressing from here? I don't mind learning how to care for the dying, but I don't want to continue in this field if that is 100% of what I'll be learning.

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  2. 31 Comments...

  3. 1
    Ok I dont know what an EMT is but I can tell you that in nursing school so far, I've learned about caring for those that are sick, learned about the body and how it works, I've learned a bit about communication skills and the list goes on but we only had one brief session on grief which was really about the five stages as far as I can remember. Anyways even on clinicals I havnt seen anyone die yet, even though I know a couple of patients did pass away. Alot of people I cared for went home happy and healthy again. Others were elderly and I cared for them, trying to maintain their dignity and to empower them as much as I could. Sometimes this was sad but its life. I've never thought of nursing school as learning to care for the dying! I love nursing school, its fun and even though I've cried at home a couple of times after clincials, I've had more happy times than sad ones. The way I think of it is learning to care for those who need my care whether they have an acute illness, chronic illness, are elderly or dying
    LostEMT likes this.
  4. 1
    Where are you doing your clinicals? If you work in a hospital, most people go home. When you really think about it, we are all dying or getting closer to death every day. So what? Just work on "being with" people wherever they are in their disease process.
    butterfly134 likes this.
  5. 0
    You're not alone...imo.
    Most EMTs that I've crossed? Either don't care for nurses or don't care for the course.
    We have a few in my course. According to them, nothing that we do makes sense.
    They're very skilled, though. They already know how to do most things in our clinical settings...
  6. 0
    First year clinicals are in the local nursing home. I realize that everyone needs someone to be supportive as they're dying, but how healthy is that for us? Getting emotionally attached to several thousand people who subsequently die over even just a few years of a career as a nurse seems really bad for our own emotional health. Where is the benefit? I realize that we're supposed to do this, because it's the right thing to do. But is it pure martyrdom? I'd like to know before getting into it.
  7. 1
    I can totally see where you're coming from. We've had all our clinicals in the hospital and I'll only be working in a nursing home for 4 weeks, which I haven't done yet. Some people have the gift of dealing with dying people on a regular basis. It's interesting to here the people in my nursing program who want to eventually work in hospice care. I think that's awesome but not for me. I like it when people are able to leave a facility in better shape than when they came in. So no, nursing isn't all about watching people die. You just happen to be practicing in that place right now. Keep your head up and get help with coping for yourself. I'm sure others in your class feel the same way.
    butterfly134 likes this.
  8. 2
    I am also an EMT, transitioning to nursing school. I am a certified EMT-Intermediate, and I run with a volunteer agency in my hometown. I too left classes this week feeling very downtrodden, and wondering if I had made the right decision. I'm not so much concerned about helping people die, I get that part of the work, but I am concerned with the lack of challenging coursework in the program. I enjoyed being challenged in my pre-med and EMT courses. Pathophysiology, chemistry, biology, etc. In EMT school, it was SO much information in such a short time, and was structured in a "do or die" format that weeded out the less able, and forced you to really think, and learn. My nursing coursework, as it has been laid out to me, is SO basic and boring, I'm wondering how on Earth I'm going to stay engaged enough to be AWAKE in class. I don't feel I will be challenged at all this semester, and it's incredibly frustrating. I am also getting a taste of the more limited scope of practice I will have as an RN (MD's orders to give O2 via NC?!?!! REALLY!?), and I'm not liking it at all. I'm wondering if I'm ever going to be able to exercise my own clinical judgment again without directly consulting the physician. I know that as EMT's we work off protocols, and established standards, but I really feel like the autonomy I have as an EMT is going to be missing as a nurse, and is going to frustrate me to no end. I chose nursing over medical school, in large part, due to the lighter schedule, because I have 2 children I'd like to see for the next 10 years, and over Paramedic school because in my state you have to dual certify in fire, and I have no interest in it, and now I'm wondering if I shouldn't have put in the extra 2 years to go to PA school. I'm giving nursing school a chance, because I believe once I get out of school, and into the ER or ICU, I'll find some more autonomy and feel more challenged, but I must admit I came home crying today because nursing school just wasn't what I expected. The admissions process was so rigorous, I expected the coursework, and other students, to be more up to par. So far, it's like they are dumbing everything down for the 18 year olds, and I feel lost, bored, and unchallenged. Here's to hoping we BOTH find greener pastures ahead.
    That Guy and LostEMT like this.
  9. 0
    I'm only a student as well, so maybe some of our more experienced AN nurses will chime in too....but...

    I do see where you are coming from. LTC can be really depressing. It takes a special nurse to be able to handle the grief that goes along w/ caring for those patients. But are we only trained to watch/help people die? Seriously silly? Of course not!
    Consider all the many different areas you can go into: ER, Ortho, Peds, OR, OB/GYN, Med/Surg, Cardio...the list goes on. Thankfully, death is not an everyday occurence in most areas. And while not always avoidable, seeing the successful cases can I'm sure help to balance out the bad outcomes. (Though they may never leave your heart. )

    Anyway, that's my . I wouldn't get discouraged just yet. You can make a great nurse and help SAVE a bunch of lives.
  10. 1
    Quote from LostEMT
    I spent a year learning how to keep people alive in EMT school, and now it seems like I'm going to spend two years learning how to watch people die. Would someone please tell me it gets less depressing from here?.
    People leaving this world need the same type of dedicated and skilled workers as the people entering it.

    That being said, I don't know of any nursing programs that practice hospice care only.
    CBsMommy likes this.
  11. 1
    The goal of nursing school is to provide nursing students with a wide base of knowledge on various aspects of nursing across the life span and to prepare them for the NCLEX examination certainly NOT to teach you everything you'll ever need to know to be a nurse. Just because you graduate, pass the NCLEX, and put the letters R.N. after your name doesn't mean you are done learning.

    Good nursing schools also provide students with a variety of clinical experiences in many different areas.

    There are many areas of nursing that are more restorative rather than "watching people die" Orthopedic rehab for example.
    CBsMommy likes this.

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