brandy1017 28,767 Views
Joined Jun 30, '02.
Posts: 1,994 (67% Liked)
I think it is foolish to not be interested in making a decent wage. Women tend to be underpaid relative to men and part of it is our own willingness to work for less and not being used to negotiating over pay. It makes no sense to work for less just because you "care" that is actually not caring about yourself and your family enough! Women tend to make less than men, live longer, have higher medical costs over the years, take time off of work to care for family so need money more than men! Save your caring above money to your off time when you can volunteer for a cause you believe in.
I admit negotiating with your current employer might not pay off, but chances are if you do so with your next employer it will raise your pay. That is your best chance to earn more money. Money brings security, freedom, the ability to save for the future, enjoy hobbies or vacations, as well as help your family or give to charity. I doubt men would put money on the back burner. Why do you feel you have to prove yourself worthy of being a nurse by not wanting more money?
I worry about my many low paid coworkers and how they will manage, short of having another source of income from a husband or boyfriend. I also wonder why so many don't try to better themselves as you are finally doing. When I say this I mean going back to school thru a low cost tech program, not wasting time on an overpriced, useless bachelors degree. I feel sorry for all the youngsters that have fallen for the BA/BS trap finding themselves indebted with a useless degree and many worse off financially for making the mistake to get a degree due to the student loan debt trap that follows!
I've only heard of drug testing once you are given the offer, but there is only a short time limit you have to do the drug test. I don't think you could wait a week, that alone would be suspicious.
Also as previously mentioned, you could be drug tested as a nurse if you have a work accident/injury. Some places reserve the right to do random drug testing like the military.
I understand many people don't think pot is a serious drug, but unfortunately if you get busted you would regret it and find it difficult to work as a nurse and be under the board's rules. It is very expensive I know someone who went to rehab and the urine drug test was $200 and it would be coming out of your own pocket for a long time. Plus there would be stipulations on your license making it really hard to get a job!
It doesn't matter whether you truly had a drug problem or not you would be treated as guilty. Sadly even some nurses with simple mental health issues have been treated as if they were drug addicts and/or alcoholics and put thru the same thing even though they were drug free!
I can tell you my story. I lived with depression and anxiety for many years and regret not taking medicine sooner. I did have a wonderful therapist thru nursing school and my first couple years of nursing who was a godsend. She was wonderful, and got me thru the worst of it when I was just began working as a floor nurse. I was not prepared for the stress and anxiety and overreacted afraid to make a mistake by missing something. I would be the person that would call the Dr for every little thing, rather than miss something. The Dr's were wonderful and didn't seem to mind. I did even save a couple lives thru my quick thinking to call one patient a missed PE diagnosis and another an early bleed from heparin.
Eventually I felt it was time to let go of my therapist, but still struggled with depression from personal problems and regret not taking meds sooner. Like you I was very resistant to taking an antidepressant. I tried SSRI but didn't like the side effects migraines for me, daily after I started them. There are other meds out there that don't cause migraines.
I no longer suffer with depression, thank God, but there were many years I cried every single day and it was a shame I should have gone on meds sooner and like you I used sleep as an escape. I also used exercise as an escape as well, you truly get a "high" from exercise even walking, not just the runner's high.
In my experience my problems were both personal past abuse issues and also stress from the job. Even though I'm a great nurse thru time, experience, diligence I lacked confidence in myself and stayed in the same nursing position. Over the years I've witnessed the worsening of nursing conditions at my job and heard from others the sad state of nursing in most of the hospitals in my city. When the stress finally got to me to the point where I was losing my temper at work and having impulse thoughts of wanting to walk off the job and quit, I finally starting taking meds to help me cope. The meds are working, I am happy with my life other than my job. I tolerate it and I'm counting down the days till retirement.
My only personal regret is not taking action to either quit my job and get out of the hospital setting or moving on by going back to school and getting my NP. I'm now in my 50's and have less than 10 years to go to retirement. It doesn't pay for me to go back for NP between the high cost of student loans and the short time I have left to work. I was even encouraged to be an NP by one of the Dr's, not listening to him is my biggest regret!
I implore you to seek out help and be willing to take the meds and give therapy a try, the combination can really help. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to be on meds or therapy forever. Give it a try, don't be like me and go for years crying every day rather than be willing to try meds!
Overall I'm happy, I definitely enjoy my time off from work and have a good life. I no longer cry. I also don't exercise to excess like in the old days. The only thing that even meds doesn't change is I don't like my job and hate floor nursing. It really sucks and talking to other nurses most feel the same if they are honest. I would quit now if I could afford it, and envy family and friends that were able to retire early thanks to smart choices of getting govt jobs! To cope I write down the good days to remind myself that it doesn't always suck at work and try to focus on the sweet patients and families that make my day. I also savor the times I truly make a difference in the lives of my patients!
So my advice to you is take care of yourself, give meds and therapy a try and if the floor nursing is getting to you; I suggest you make a change, either trying out clinic, office or case management or going back to school for NP. But don't continue to suffer in silence. Sadly I have literally witnessed several nurses break down and lose their jobs over the stress of floor nursing. Even those of us that continue to work I believe the majority suffer emotionally and physically from floor nursing. It is really not worth it! There are other options out there! I think it is truly the rare person that thrives in hospital nursing especially as the conditions have deteriorated so much over the years!
PS Pets make wonderful companions and will really raise your spirits!
I don't think biology is very marketable. Have had a couple bio grads working as CNA's and going back to school to become RN's just to make a decent living. Think long and hard on medical school. Read up the many youtube blogs of med students from the student loan debt to the stress before you make this decision. I've come across some who have over $200,000 in debt or more. Even have watched a couple about people who failed out of med school and then had a ton of student debt with no realistic way to pay for it. Also check out Kevin MD to get an idea of what Dr's are dealing with and their many struggles. There is a high rate of depression and sadly suicide among med students and doctors which is a serious health crisis that is being overlooked!
I would advise the RN route and then plan for an NP unless you really are driven to be a Dr and want to become a specialist.
I have to say being a Dr is truly over rated. There are many downsides to consider, the long slog of school, passing your boards, getting chosen for a residency program. Student loans accruing interest from day one, while you are not able to work in school and residency pays very little. So even while you may make good money at the end of the road, the student loan interest has had a chance to capitalize and your loans have grown exponentially.
What I find most unbelievable is even if you succeed in passing med school you are not guaranteed a residency, not everyone gets one. Over 90% do find a residency, but just the fact that some 5% or more don't is shocking to me! One you tube video a person failed med school because she couldn't pass a school board type exam that her college said you must pass before they would let you actually do your boards. How could she pass her school work but then be held back over one test! All that money to waste and left in limbo. Personally, I think I would be suicidal if I found myself in that position.
I do recommend reading up especially the first hand accounts of med students that blog on you tube. It is fascinating and offers real first hand knowledge and insight into the whole process both pro's and con's. Kevin Md has many good articles about working as a Dr. These may give you more insight if you really want to pursue medical school.
You tube also has some stuff on nursing as well so check it out! Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
Since you know what you want and it is not easy to come by do you have any connections from your chemist days to get a foot in the door. I just watched some inspiring Ted talks on Youtube about getting the attention and response from hiring managers. Check out Why your job applications are getting ignored by Jean-Michel Gauthier and another one How to land your dream job with one email by Edward Druce. They offer a couple different ideas about getting noticed to help get the job you want. There are others on youtube that I haven't viewed. Maybe they will give you some ideas to help you find the job you are really interested in.
Since you already are familiar with the healthcare environment you have a bridge to build on. If you like wound care you could go on to become an RN and work in the field. Our wound care specialist has a Masters degree, but I believe you could find work in a wound care clinic, possibly even now as a tech. Wound care is part of floor nursing and home health care as well as the clinic option. It is not a favorite part of my job, but I'm able to do it and do my best for the sake of the patients.
You are smart that you are considering all your options. I was not aware of the many healthcare jobs out there other than nursing. Perhaps I would have been better suited for an allied health position. Nursing has been very hard for me stress wise and I've witnessed the working environment, staffing levels and expectations deteriorate over the years. I like many others have gone on medication to deal with the stress and while part of me feels weak for doing it the other part of me wishes I had done it years ago to help me cope.
From a purely practical economic viewpoint, nursing has enabled me to pay my bills, buy a house, travel a little, and save for retirement. I come from a lower middle class working family without a college background or the necessary social connections to get a good paying job in this world where who you know matters more than what you know. There are moments when I enjoy my job and feel a connection with my patients, but there are too many times of being overworked and over stressed to recommend nursing generally. However with your background you could probably succeed and maybe even thrive.
Many students are able to work while going to school. If you decide to do it check oud your local community college for an ADN RN. It could save you thousands of dollars. Stay away from for profit colleges and from private student loans. Take out the least govt student loans. Once you have your ADN you can then go on to a low cost RN to BSN option, there are now many online degree programs. Western Governors University is among the cheapest option out there. If you are lucky your employer will help pay something toward your BSN.
I'm a licensed psychologist working for a federal agency. I've been thinking about lack of job flexibility as I get older, with plans to work a long time because I'm in great health and have no reason to stop. I've also developed a great love for working with mind/body condtions (board certified in biofeedback and lots of experience now with chronic pain, insomnia, and all kinds of stress-related disorders), and I've begun to really thinking about a career change to nursing. If I got into school in the next couple of years (and truly left my other career behind), I'd have an Associates and be starting as a new nurse in my late 50s. It's a late start and a big pay cut. But I think I'd love the work (probably in a local hospital setting depending on what opportunities are there) and would be in it for the long haul. I've been a psychologist for 22 years. Any thoughts? Will a brand new baby nurse get hired at age 57 or 58? Can I keep up with this younger generation (whom, by the way, I deeply respect and find to be so very smart and resourceful)? Will I even get a chance to try?
I wouldn't recommend nursing. You've got a good gig with great federal benefits, why throw it away to be overworked and stressed to the max and end up with more student loans. Flexibility? Why because 12 hour shifts? I can't think of any good reason to give up what you have now.
I'm not interesting in rehashing all the negatives, read thru my many posts and those of others. If you are smart you'll stay where you are. You can always volunteer at a hospital or nursing home if you feel the need to make more of a difference.
I would suggest you consider alternatives such as ultrasound tech which pays as much as or more than a nurse and has much better working conditions, you only take care of one patient at a time and more likely to have regular hours with weekends and holidays off. Nursing really is a grind, most places have 12 hour shifts. Sadly the nice thing about it is you are at the hospital less often, but 12 hours is a long day and you don't get overtime for over 8 hours. Day shift tends to be very busy and you may rarely get a break let alone a full 30 minutes for lunch. Personally, I wouldn't recommend nursing to anyone. I feel I have PTSD from all I've been thru with this job and they really work you like a mule!
You can find an ultrasound tech program at your local non-profit community college. It allows you to get good pay, regular hours and not be overwhelmed with all the responsibilities that are pushed on nurses. I think it is a hidden gem in healthcare! Do some research about ultrasound tech there are various specialties from OB to cardiac.
Other options include physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, or respiratory therapist. Physical therapist requires a Masters so lots of school. Occupational therapists are being negatively affected by the low reimbursements of medicaid which will only get worse in the future. Respiratory therapists have to deal with secretions, contagious diseases and ability to suction and intubate patients, put a tube down their throat to help them breathe. I wouldn't want to do that myself. Don't know much about speech therapists. There is also lab techs, phlebotomists that draw people's blood but that is a low paying job. XRAY techs also a somewhat low paying job. Medical assistant in a Dr's office with pay starting around $10/hr so another low paying job.
Personally I think ultrasound techs have the best job around for both pay and working conditions. That is what I would recommend instead of nursing to anyone!
[QUOTE=Beve57;9499623]There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that you have made a difference. I love helping people. Would do it over again with no regrets[/QUOTE
But we kid ourselves and do a disservice to ourselves when we equate nursing as the only way to care for someone and that we should just go along and put up with the bad working conditions because we care when it is harming our own mental and physical health. While you didn't mention this problem, others have. For awhile we were allowed to order hover mats which are wonderful and greatly protected our backs, but since the corporate takeover these were taken away from us, yet the patients aren't getting any smaller.
Honestly, people can lighten the spirits of others in many other jobs such as retail cashier, waitress, secretary and housekeeper, all these jobs involve caring for others and with a positive and friendly personality can lift people's spirits. We have a couple wonderful people from secretary to housekeeper to CNA whose kindness and personality lift the spirits of patients, families, and coworkers alike. I just wish they were better paid and more appreciated for their efforts!
Im not stressed lol....ok i guess I could have worded what I truly meant better. As far as bedside nursing goes, what is it about it, that makes nurses dislike it the most? From what I gather it is the patient to RN ratio
Unless you want to go into a specialty you are probably better off staying with NP. The student loans alone should be less than medical school. The cost of grad student loans are much higher now because there is no longer a grace period while in school so the interest is capitalizing from day one and the loans are growing during school. Medical school requires a residency which depending on the specialty is years longer during which your student loans will continue to climb!
If I had answered this question 15 years ago - or even 10 years ago - my answer would have been ABSOLUTELY NOT! NO WAY! Then I "retired," worked a couple of silly, low paying jobs to buy my dogs food. Not long ago, I went back to work as the only RN in a low-pressure senior clinic environment and love it. It's only about 20-24 hours a week, but after 35 years, that's all I need or want. Could I make more $$'s with a couple of hospital shifts? You bet! Do I care? Nope.
I think we put too much pressure on ourselves in our early career days. Most of us want to work the fast-paced, stressful ER'S and ICU's. We work the overtime shifts. Hospital admin, doctors, patients and their families are hard enough on us but we tend to add our own stressors. We are bullied by some of our peers and some of us are the bullies. Think of it...those of you with 10-15 years under your belt. When was the last time you reached out to sincerely help the less experienced nurse? Or those of you with less experience and maybe struggling or feeling insecure in a particular area...have you ever reached out to a nurse whose skills you respect and admire and asked for help? For mentoring?
I really think we could more easily love our chosen profession if we loved and respected ourselves and each other just a tad more.
I think the backlog is not because of a lack of nurses, rather city and state govts not being willing to spend the money required to process the evidence. There is a complete breakdown of social service funding in city, state and federal govts. An unwillingness to spend the money necessary to maintain everything from public infrastructure such as bridges and roads to public education, child protection etc all to give tax cuts to the rich. The only thing govts are willing to spend money on are police, prisons and the military to fund wars. Ironic that there is money for prisons but not to process the rape kits, maybe it's just another example of mysogyny and sex discrimination since women are the majority of rape victims, they can't get any respect in this country. If it were a man's problem I think this wouldn't be the case! Just my opinion.
A lot of you who resent going into nursing act like it's too late to get out. Get out now before you become any more of a plague to this profession.
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