I'm almost done with my BSN, only one semester left. I should be thrilled. I'm a perpetual student and I'm finally graduating...with two degrees and a boatload of student loans.
I should preface this all by saying that I've been unsettled with myself and humanity as a whole lately and maybe that has something to do with the way I'm feeling now. Regardless, here goes:
I got into nursing mainly because I wanted a job that I could make a difference with. The prospect of decent pay and available jobs didn't hurt but it wasn't my main priority. I have always found the body fascinating and have no aversions to bodily waste/fluids. Nursing seemed to fit the bill. I enjoy my classes and am always in the top 5%. I don't particularly enjoy clinical but I don't hate it. The only rotation I've felt excited to attend was OB, particularly postpartum. Always have preferred infants over older children and adults even in everyday life! I have been told by many patients that I will make a great nurse. The only problem is, I don't know if this is for me.
Let me expand upon that. I've found that I don't agree with much of medicine. Why the heck do we spend so much time trying to keep someone alive just a little longer with little regard to their quality of life? I know it's not my place to say who wants to live and who does not, but shoot, I can't imagine many people would say lying in a nursing home bed for the last years of their lives is how they want to live.
It's not only that though. Overall I don't feel that the nursing I've been exposed to so far is really "making a difference". In fact, I've come to believe that the idea of making a difference is a big facade.
There really isn't a choice in the matter for a few years at least; I've got to pay off some of these student loans before I decide to embark on anything else but I'm worried that it's going to make me a crappy nurse. So far, thankfully, that hasn't proven to be the case. And, no, my other degree wont help. I need a job that pays somewhat decently for these loans. I don't know what to think or do about it all.
I apologize for such a lengthy post. Any words of encouragement, advice, even reasonable criticism are welcome. Thank you in advance.
Apr 15, '09
Well, life is not nearly as fulfulling as most of us would like, but just think that you will be able to do a lot more and gain more satisfaction in nursing than not in nursing. Imagine yourself as a bank teller or sewer cleaner or something really mundane and you can see the difference. Try finding some worthwhile organization to join where you can donate time, effort, and talent to give you an even greater sense of accomplishment. Volunteer at the humane society, or in a long term care facility, or with troubled kids. Will give you something to look forward to.
Apr 15, '09
Just want to say quickly that none of us checks our questions of morality, philosophy, ethics, spirituality and all that we observe at the door when we become nurses. I used to think I was an oddball at the beginning, because I too, questioned the status quo. That won't go away.
How I could have used a forum like this to work out some of these issues. The spectrum of the nursing field is huge. I'm sure you will get replies that better address your specific situation.
Congratulations on that BSN!! Take time to be proud of that acheivement!
Apr 15, '09
mb20, I know exactly what you mean about being disenchanted with medicine. I find myself disgusted with our whole healthcare system. The way nurses are used and abused like work horses while the big wigs sit back and profit from our hard work really bothers me. They could not run their businesses without us and yet we are the least respected profession. However, I do find some comfort in the interactions I have with patients. When I can comfort someone it helps me to feel appreciated. This is what the big wigs are counting on however which also really bothers me, they are taking advantage of our compassion and our desire to be nurturing. I could go off on a tangent about feminism and how everything we do or value is undervalued by society as a whole but I will spare you and everybody else.
I dont know what the answer is that will make you feel better but I think it lies in pt interaction. You will see that you have the power to maybe not change the world, but just help someone feel better, and it can be rewarding at times. Good luck in your quest and try not to over think things because you can always find the negative in something if you are looking for it, and that will only bring you down.
Apr 15, '09
i am so sorry that you are going through this, but one person can make a difference!! one smile, one pat, one kind word. you can make a difference
i decided to be a nurse years ago when i was in the hospital with a ruptured appendix. i had long hair at the time. well, after laying in bed for over a week, my hair was a tangled, and greasy mess. a nurse who saw my discomfort took time out of her busy schedule to wash my hair for me and comb it out and braid it. did she make a difference? oh yes!!! do i make a difference when i compliment someone, or praise, or smile and encourage someone? yes, i have the power to make a difference as do you!!!! bless your heart.
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