Do you ever question yourself if you can/want to do this?

  1. Hello...
    I was just wondering if you ever question yourself. I have wanted to be a nurse for many years and for one reason or another keep ignoring the fact. I'm afraid to start, I'm afraid I won't be smart enough, I'm afraid I won't have enough time to study (3 kids and a wondreful husband), I'm afraid I will hate the bloody parts of it, I see an open wound on one of my family members and my stomach does a flip flop.

    I am a very spiritual lady and feel that it is my calling to do this, I want to be the one beside a person when they are dying and ask them if they know the lord, the desire for this is soooo great, I want to be the one who comforts an ill peson with lots of tlc. I have cried several times because I think about how much further I could be if I would have only stuck w/ my schooling 2 yrs ago, but I also got cold feet then.

    For the ones of you who are already LPNs, did any of you have issues w/ open wounds etc before starting school? Or for the ones in school now, is it any better? Did it get easier with time. We had a plane crash here in our city a week before Christmas where 4 people were instantly killed and I made the comment to my DH that I was praying for the ones who have to clean up the body parts that were laying around, that there is no way I could do that, he made the comment of..."And you want to be a nurse", that kinda made me mad!!!!!!

    So what's your input on your nerves. I'm sure if I would have ran a search on this I could find many posts but just wanting to see if anyone new had an input.

    Thanks in advance.
    Amy
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   pagandeva2000
    Well, I have had fears of all sorts, and still have them, however, you adjust. There are so many branches of nursing to get into, that you may be able to avoid some of the things that make you squeemish. In nursing school, they told me to acknowledge the things that turn me off. For example, some don't care to deal with pediatrics, alcoholics, etc.

    Time management will be a major issue; because they shove so much at you at one time, and it may be very true that you may have to place your family to the side; maybe begin to assign them chores to assist you, especially if you are currently working as well.

    Nursing is not all about wounds, however, (especially as a practical nurse), you have to be trained to do dressings, and many of pressure ulcers are unsightly and smelly. There are venous stasis ulcers that can be distressing as well. I am not turned off by it, but there are many that are. But, if the empathy and the compassion is there, you may learn to adjust. What I keep in mind is "What if this were me, or my family member"?. You may also find that in spite of the best intentions, you may lose patience or become irritable. No matter what the Nightingale image was, we are human and have frailties. It doesn't mean you are less than a nurse, it means that you can accept that at times, we screw up. Good luck in your decision.
  4. by   Jules A
    Quote from emndarmic
    I am a very spiritual lady and feel that it is my calling to do this, I want to be the one beside a person when they are dying and ask them if they know the lord, the desire for this is soooo great, I want to be the one who comforts an ill peson with lots of tlc.
    Hi Amy,
    Have you considered volunteering with your church to visit ill/dying parishoners? That might be a great starting point for you in helping you decide if nursing is your cup of tea. The thing that sticks out from your post, other than the possible squeamishness which imo is problematic, and again this is my opinion and how I was trained but it is not our place as a nurse to ask a patient if they know the Lord. Certainly nurses can take cues from the patient, ask if they would like a Pastor to be called etc. but it is so important to remember that this is about their needs and desires, not always what we think would be beneficial for their experience. Best of luck with whatever you decide. Jules
  5. by   linzz
    I must agree with everything the other posters said, it is all true. I did my schooling when my kids were in school full time and it was easier but not a lot easier as they still needed before and after school care. I also found that they hated me gone for the 12 hour shifts whereas I liked them better than doing 8's but it's not like you get a choice when you work.

    I also found that time management during school and after is a huge thing. You will be very busy. The other thing that can stink about nursing is that often you will not have time to sit with dying patients for very long. In a perfect world, family will come in. This is often hard to come to terms with. I too have a strong belief in my faith and this profession will test that over and over again.

    I think that nursing can be rewarding but that is mixed with acceptance of lots of reality as nursing esp. in LTC is very much related to the almighty $$. Good luck in your decision.
  6. by   emndarmic
    Thank you so much for all your input. I have been thinking in terms of HHC or maybe hospice so I would have more time to sit w/ patients and tend to their needs (I'm hoping anyways) . What I mean when I say lead the person to the Lord is if they would bring it up, I guess I wrote that wrong in my post,your right, I wouldn't want to be intrusive and ask them, that's not very professional is it? My aunt was a hospice nurse for many many many years and is retired now, she is also a christian woman, she has had many patients ask her to pray for/with them, I want to be that light that shines through to patients even if it's just one person. Maybe my presents in a room could make a big difference in someone. But like you said..that is up to the patient not the nurse to bring that up. I guess alot of my beliefs is from being a Pastors daughter in law for many years too, I love people and just want to make a difference.

    Thank you all again for your help, you are such nice people on here.
  7. by   Fiona59
    My mother talked me out of nursing school in my youth due to what she percieved to be my squeamishness.

    It is totally different with a patient. They are not my flesh and blood, and the professional distance is easily maintained.

    In palliative work many patients have family at the bedside when they leave this world. I've entered a room and found the patient dead. I've held hands with the patient as they've died with their family in the room. I have never felt it is my place to discuss their feelings about the creator unless they bring it up.

    Patients families will remember you for the care you give their loved one not their spiritual care. It's the simple things like finding a popsicle for a patient who is fed up of plain ice, making sure they have a newspaper and reading them an article, one patient thought I was great because I let him listen to his bowel sounds with my stethescope, (he went on to become a military medic, our unit got a postcard from him from basic training, we had to search our collective memory to realize who it was from). It's being there to wipe faces after projectile vomitting, help walk them to the toilet, turning them every two hours, the grunt work of nursing.
  8. by   lynnmarie62
    I was in the RN program 2 years ago. I had thought that I wanted to be a nurse. I wasn't happy in the program, I felt like I had made a mistake. I am now in the social work program and loving it. I am a Certified Medical Assistant as well. My plans are to be a medical social work and work in a hospital or in hospice. Have you ever thought about pursuing social work. While I was reading your post, I wondered if maybe social work would interest you based on what you posted. Good luck on whaterver you decide.
    Last edit by lynnmarie62 on Jan 5, '07
  9. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from emndarmic
    Thank you so much for all your input. I have been thinking in terms of HHC or maybe hospice so I would have more time to sit w/ patients and tend to their needs (I'm hoping anyways) . What I mean when I say lead the person to the Lord is if they would bring it up, I guess I wrote that wrong in my post,your right, I wouldn't want to be intrusive and ask them, that's not very professional is it? My aunt was a hospice nurse for many many many years and is retired now, she is also a christian woman, she has had many patients ask her to pray for/with them, I want to be that light that shines through to patients even if it's just one person. Maybe my presents in a room could make a big difference in someone. But like you said..that is up to the patient not the nurse to bring that up. I guess alot of my beliefs is from being a Pastors daughter in law for many years too, I love people and just want to make a difference.

    Thank you all again for your help, you are such nice people on here.
    I was going to mention earlier that it may not be considered to be appropriate in nursing to introduce our personal religions to clients, because we are to be holistic and attentive to the needs of the client. There is a whole cultural piece that is discussed in nursing school regarding this. We do take cues from the reaction of the client and can introject if they are willing, and many nurses will go from there. No matter what, you can make a difference simply because you care. I agree with the other poster that suggested that you do that aspect by volunteering through church. Many churches send volunteers that come and pray with clients that request them, and they are a wonderful asset to nursing because we do coordinate with social workers, dieticians, pastoral care, etc.

    Have you considered volunteering at a hospital to pray and tend to patients? Sometimes, they bring books, hold hands, hold babies, etc? You would be able to see what nurses do and determine if it is for you.
  10. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from linzz
    I must agree with everything the other posters said, it is all true. I did my schooling when my kids were in school full time and it was easier but not a lot easier as they still needed before and after school care. I also found that they hated me gone for the 12 hour shifts whereas I liked them better than doing 8's but it's not like you get a choice when you work.

    I also found that time management during school and after is a huge thing. You will be very busy. The other thing that can stink about nursing is that often you will not have time to sit with dying patients for very long. In a perfect world, family will come in. This is often hard to come to terms with. I too have a strong belief in my faith and this profession will test that over and over again.

    I think that nursing can be rewarding but that is mixed with acceptance of lots of reality as nursing esp. in LTC is very much related to the almighty $$. Good luck in your decision.
    I have to agree with you...that there really isn't time to sit with the dying, or even with a person that vomited over themselves. This is an unfortunate side of nursing that television does not speak of. I felt guilty plenty of times when I have to rush through care because there are just too many patients. I work in a clinic and just the other day, I had a stroke patient come in with expressive aphasia. I had to teach her about taking her doses of Coumadin, and she really frustratated me, because she just didn't get it. The social worker was not around, and I sat with this patient for at least one hour, the clinic backed up because of this (and I was only there to relieve the regular nurse). The regular nurse came back and she saw what I was doing and told me that the client has a sister that would help her, and to write down the regimen, and the patient always took it home to her. WHat a relief...because unfortunately, in the real world, we can't do this all the time. I hate saying this, but I hate to see this woman coming (and she is there often) because I have to find the TIME to go over things with her that I don't have. We have supervisors that will come and tell us to hurry up, and then, at times, depending on who the charge nurse is, may even threaten to write you up or make your life miserable because you have to keep the flow moving. This is why we value supportive staff and volunteers. They really take up the slack for the things that we really want to do, but can't.
  11. by   JohnBearPA
    Quote from Jules A
    Hi Amy,
    Have you considered volunteering with your church to visit ill/dying parishoners? That might be a great starting point for you in helping you decide if nursing is your cup of tea. The thing that sticks out from your post, other than the possible squeamishness which imo is problematic, and again this is my opinion and how I was trained but it is not our place as a nurse to ask a patient if they know the Lord. Certainly nurses can take cues from the patient, ask if they would like a Pastor to be called etc. but it is so important to remember that this is about their needs and desires, not always what we think would be beneficial for their experience. Best of luck with whatever you decide. Jules

    :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat:
  12. by   NatlovesFifi
    I too am wondering if I am going to be able to do this. I've been waiting for another LPN class to start this fall as I missed the one last fall. I'm 43 and I've always wanted to do it and always thought I could. I started CNA training about 6 months ago in LTC and thought I would work in LTC until I finished nursing school, but the 2nd day of training and the first room we went in to a man had been lying in his diahrea for some time and it stunk so bad. I could not handle the smell and had to leave the room. I didn't complete CNA training and felt very bad about myself. I even gave up the idea of becoming a nurse, but I keep coming back to it. I'm thinking I would want to work in a health clinic or home health, and most likely will be using my nursing skills in the mission field. I would also take every opportunity to say to my patient something about Jesus like "Jesus Loves You". Sometimes we don't have to say a thing but people will see him through us and notice there is something different and peaceful about us.

    I'm curious as to how your feeling about it these days and would love to chat with you about it because it sounds like we're in the same boat.

    Paige
  13. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from paigeypoo63
    I too am wondering if I am going to be able to do this. I've been waiting for another LPN class to start this fall as I missed the one last fall. I'm 43 and I've always wanted to do it and always thought I could. I started CNA training about 6 months ago in LTC and thought I would work in LTC until I finished nursing school, but the 2nd day of training and the first room we went in to a man had been lying in his diahrea for some time and it stunk so bad. I could not handle the smell and had to leave the room. I didn't complete CNA training and felt very bad about myself. I even gave up the idea of becoming a nurse, but I keep coming back to it. I'm thinking I would want to work in a health clinic or home health, and most likely will be using my nursing skills in the mission field. I would also take every opportunity to say to my patient something about Jesus like "Jesus Loves You". Sometimes we don't have to say a thing but people will see him through us and notice there is something different and peaceful about us.

    I'm curious as to how your feeling about it these days and would love to chat with you about it because it sounds like we're in the same boat.

    Paige
    Believe it or not, you get used to the offensive smells. This was probably your first encounter with it, and yes, it is a turn off...I mean, we don't wear that scent as perfume or lotion...

    What you are also speaking of is non-verbal communication, which goes both ways. You may instinctively know if the patient will be tolerant of discussing religion and the patient may instinctively trust you because of the aura you display.

    Home care will bring these scents or other things to you that are messy. I have a pediatric trach patient and each time she coughs up that stuff, it still repulses me, but, I do it. Nursing may be your calling, but we have to remember, the advertised image and the real deal is major. Our uniforms are messy, we are tired, there are a great deal of things that we don't know and won't until we get experience. As some suggested to the OP, consider volunteer work in the field first. Ask questions. That is the best time to walk in not knowing and not responsible for the outcomes. Then, see how you feel. Good luck!

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