sbostonRN 10,814 Views
Joined: Jun 22, '08;
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Good morning and thank you for your advice. My Mother was an RN then an Administrator of Nursing homes so grew up in them. She is no longer here to guide me so your input is cherished. I took your advice and did hours of research. The school that is for profit, is for profit considering the RN program is 47,000 for an ASN. They are listed on the BON website as "Initial" since they are new. I feel like that's a terrible decision.
So with your advice I enrolled at my local county college and the ASN RN program is 9,000 total and some courses being online is a plus. I feel like this route is the most intelligent option. Then I can go back when I want and get my BSN.
A long time ago I took care of a Class IV cardiac. For those of you who don't know what this is...a class IV cardiac patient are symptomatic at rest. They tolerate no activity. Today they are candidate for transplant. Then, they waited to die without the benefits of a portable VAD.
Mr. Jones (name changed to protect his identity) was a "frequent flyer". These are patients we seen again and again for the same diagnosis. He was an intelligent man, had his own business, and was well respected in the little community. He had several Acute MI's (STEMI, NSTEMI for the new name for an old condition) leaving him with an ejection fraction of less the 20%. Over several years I got to be "good friends" with him, his wife and daughter.
The day finally came that there was nothing we could do...he was dying. I was not his nurse that day and my heart was breaking. Each time I walked past his room I saw his little daughter Sally (name changed and if she is reading this she knows who she is. I love you) probably about 6 years old at the time, sitting in a huge chair outside his room. She was pretty in pink, lace and ruffles with her shiny patent leather shoes and lace trimmed socks. She sat on that chair never uttering a word. She watched each and every person who came in and out of her Daddy's room. Her little legs swinging back and forth wide eyed with fear and confusion...tears just on the edges of her pretty little eyes.
My heart broke into pieces.
I went over to that little girl and in my perfectly starched white dress, white hose, white shoes (NO SCUFFS) and perfect cap sat on the floor...knowing if I got caught by the nuns I would be in serious trouble...I said "Hello" and asked that little girl if she had any questions. She turned and looked at me with one tear sliding out of her eye and down her cheek "Is my daddy going to die?"
Sigh...my poor little Sally. "Yes baby he is".
As more tears flowed down her pretty little cheeks she asked..."Was I a bad girl?"
I thought "What the heck?".... "NO sweetheart why would you think that?"
With all the seriousness that a 6 year old could muster she said..."I prayed and prayed to God that he wouldn't let my Daddy go to heaven and he won't listen to me so I must have done something wrong" I thought...Oh Lord NOW what do I say?
"No baby you didn't do ANYTHING WRONG! Sometimes things happen that we don't understand. We need to pray very hard that God KNOWS what HE is doing and wants your Daddy to be an angel in your heart forever...to guide and watch you no matter what" I silently prayed..."Oh Lord please ease this babies pain"
As more tears flowed down her cheeks she cried "But I want him here" Oh man, I don't have kids...I'm only 23 years old. I said...."I know that but sometimes things happen that we don't understand and we have to pray that God give us the answers in our hearts. You need to grow up and became a wonderful young lady and your Daddy will smile in heaven."
"Can I have a hug?" My resolve melted. I hugged her and we both shed a few tears.
Just then, Sister walked by in her black starched habit covered head to toe and her cross around her waist. She gave me one of those withering looks. I KNEW I would hear about it later. So be it....I will deal with it then. As predicted...I was "spoken to" about professionalism even though my motive was "noble" I needed to remember that I have an image of professionalism to uphold.
After a wink and a pat on my hand that was over. Shew, that was close! Sister and I had many more moments of my "noble behavior" but that is another story for another day.
Many years later in that same ICU, I worked with my Sally, all grown up and a Registered nurse....her Daddy would be so proud. I got a letter addressed to me in the ICU from someone I didn't know. I opened it and read the letter. I was stunned. It was from another little girl I had sat on the floor and talked to when her Daddy was going to heaven. Her Daddy fought a good fight. He had a massive heart attack on the golf course at age 42. He made it out of the OR but a difficult post-operative course. The damage was too great...he didn't survive.
Mary (name changed) went on to be a nurse. She was working in a major medical center in pediatric oncology/ICU. She told me the story of the nurse who took the time to stop and spend time with her and explain that it wasn't her fault and gave her a hug. Years had passed and I looked different for the cap was gone. We wore navy blue scrubs and scrub jackets although I still had my white shoes even if they were sneakers. Sister had retired the habit and only wore the veil...was a little more tolerant of my less than orthodox methods of caring by now and we had grown quite fond of each other (I love you Sister).
Mary went on to explain that from that day forward she KNEW she wanted to be a nurse. She said I had changed her life course in a 5 minute conversation out of my busy day and offers a scared sad little girl a hug.
I was stunned. After ALL THESE YEARS...she remembered me.
I realized in that moment that we touched people forever by the smallest act of kindness. That while I may not be able to "save" someone I can affect positive change. I was humbled and honored to be a nurse. We so seldom receive any Thanks for what we do and it seems at time it is a thankless difficult job...it is too easy to believe that we had no power and our efforts are futile and worthless. Well...this proved that I have the power to affect change in a positive way.
It changed the way I looked at my chosen career...forever.
As my co-workers wondered why the pillar of diplomacy and control was (to my embarrassment) was crying...they gathered around me to give support and find out what had affected me so deeply. I told them about the letter.
They wept with me.
All of a sudden my Sally spoke with tears running down her face..."You do realize Esme...YOU are the reason I became a nurse"
"You never told me" I said. "I had NO IDEA Sally"
She said..."My life changed the day my Dad died and I KNEW. In that moment what I was going to be when I grew up. I knew that when I grew up I wanted to be just like you!"
I looked at her and I thought....Her Daddy would be so proud.
Sally and I remain in contact to this very day. She has now finished here Masters and teaches others about nursing and how the little things means to much. Passing on the most important message. Take that time to say...are you Okay?
THIS is why I love being a nurse. THIS is the reason I stay being a nurse. I can AFFECT POSITIVE change in the midst of tragedy. I can affect the outcome of the people's lives I touch in a positive way regardless of administration and budget cuts.
My hugs are free.
Stages of Heart Failure
I can see a printed report. Verbal reports from the E.R. usually went something like " the patient is fine as far as I know- I just picked them up to call report and they look fine from here..." At least with printed report, a format that answers the most pertinent issues is filled out by the nurse that knows the patient. If you have questions- you can always ask. It takes no longer for the floor to pick up the phone and call the ER with questions than it did for the ER to pick up the phone and call the floor with report. The difference is with a printed report, no one is on hold listening to the hospitals' current ad message for 20min while the receiving nurse is tied up in a room with an anxious patient and can't get away. If everything you want to know is on the report fax- no one has to waste time on the phone.
I've been a nurse for a lONG time -- probably longer than most of you reading this have been alive. Had I known what I was getting into, I probably would not have gotten into it. Fortunately, I had no idea. I say fortunately, because nursing has been an interesting and flexible career that has afforded me a nice lifestyle and kept me from being bored. I wouldn't go back and change my mind about going into nursing if I could..
Oh, and I met my husband at work. Another bonus!
If you're considering a career in nursing, make sure you're clear on why you're considering it. I'm not here to cast aspersions on anyone's motives for wanting to be a nurse. After all, mine weren't all that altruistic. I wanted a degree that would enable me to be a sought-after employee rather than me having to face rejection after rejection while hunting for a job. I know that doesn't apply now, but it did then. And my mother, who had always wanted to be an LPN, told me that I should go to school to become an RN because "all they do is sit at the desk and drink coffee and flirt with the doctors while someone else does all the work." It should be noted that my mother's closest proximity to hospital nursing were her two stays in the maternity ward, as they called it then. The fact that she didn't know what she was talking about has NEVER stopped her from having a strong opinion, however.
Some people go into nursing as a "calling." They figure that all they need is a compassion or a desire to help people or a willingness to put the patient first at all times and pour heart and soul into their care. Those things are nice, but a calling alone is not enough. You need to be a good enough student to graduate from a very difficult course of study and then a good enough test taker to pass the licensing exam. You need to be able to memorize drugs and their standard doses, uses and side effects, read and understand written English and be able to make yourself understood both orally and in writing. You need to be able to prioritize, to multitask and to run your buns off for twelve hours straight with only the briefest of breaks. Compassion is nice, but I'll take the nurse who has mastered critical thinking . . . I've worked with both and been under the care of both. In the best of all worlds, a nurse has both compassion and critical thinking skills, but compassion can be faked. Critical thinking cannot.
A strong stomach helps, too, but is not essential. That, too, can be developed. Do you hate the sight of blood? You can get over that. My husband did. But it's not just blood. Sputum is my own personal vomit trigger. I've seen other nurses puke right along with their patients. You'll have to clean up poop and pee and all sorts of other bodily fluids, and you'll have to do it with a smile and without making the patient feel worse about it than they already do.
There are those who go into nursing so they can take care of cute little babies all day, or maybe it's sweet little old ladies. I've taken care of a number of sweet little old ladies, but then there are the emigrants from Hades who make your entire shift a misery, and you have to take care of them as if they were likable, too. The cute little baby who "fell off the table while I was changing his diaper" for the fourth time this month may wind up in your care and no matter what you think of the mother, you can't tell her. If you don't think you'd have the backbone to contact Child Protective Services, consider growing one. Pediatrics is a popular choice because everyone loves little children. Consider the fact that some of your patients may be victims of child abuse, and the abuser is right there in the room with them asking when they can go home. Or that sweet little boy with the big blue eyes may be dying of leukemia. The neonate in your NICU may have been born addicted to heroin and is going home with his mother anyway. No body likes to see this things happen, but as a nurse, you'll see them. And worse. It'll tug on your heartstrings, or it'll rip your heart right out of your chest and shred it. But you WILL see these things or worse, and you'll need to deal with them.
Can't deal with crazy people? Obviously psych won't be for you, but you'll deal with psych patients in ER, ICU and Med-Surg as well. And in Rehab, the endoscopy suite and even in the nice outpatient clinics with the great fountains and real paintings. Not just crazy patients, but crazy visitors as well. You'll also have to deal with people who are drunk or DTing, high on drugs or withdrawing and with people who are just plain entitled, nasty and mean.
Still interested in a career in nursing? Understand that hospitals are open for business 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Working nights, weekends and holidays is a given. I don't understand how so many people manage to make it all the way through nursing school without it dawning on them that they, too, will really have to work an overnight shift, but there are some every year. And there are those who are convinced that they are so special they shouldn't ever have to work those undesirable shifts. Honey, if you're that special, don't take a job in the hospital. (But that's where the money is, you say? Make up your mind. If you want to work in the hospital setting, you take the bad with the good)
If you live in the snow belt, you will be expected to work when it snows. Even if it snows a lot. Every year, there are posts from new nurses who don't feel they should have to drive to work in a blizzard. They have small children or their car isn't good in snow or they've never learned how to drive in the winter. None of those are good excuses, and you WILL be expected to work. If there's a hurricane, bring four days worth of clean underwear and prescription medication, because you'll be at work for the duration. Or you won't have a job. Have a plan for your dog, your children and your elderly parents because part of working in a hospital is coming to work when everyone else stays home. And while I'm touching on that topic, you will be coming to work when the neighbors are hosting the neighborhood Block Party, when your husband is out of town on business and when your kids are sick. Have a plan in place for those times.
We see posts frequently from folks who want to know which specialty requires the least math, or if they really have to be able to do math at all. The answer to the second is "Yes." The answer to the first is less polite. Your patient is 198 pounds and the physician has ordered 2.5 mg. per kilogram of medication per day in two equal doses. How much do you give now? And that's an easy one.
There are the posts from those who wish to choose the specialty with the lowest stress level. My stress level peaks when I'm in the well-baby nursery and those kids start shrieking for what is probably a very good reason, but I can't figure it out. Home Health makes me shudder . . . I remember my Community Nursing clinical as a special slice of hell and hope I NEVER have to enter a patient's home again. A nice calm, code, though is another story. Your mileage may vary. I haven't heard of ANY non-stress specialties, however, and even if there WAS one, you'd have to get through nursing school and acquire some experience before you'd be qualified for a job like that.
If you're the type of person who looks for unfairness or bullying everywhere you go, you'll find it in nursing . . . whether or not it actually exists. Better to go into it looking for smart, helpful team workers who will save your butt when it needs saving and teach you something while they're doing it. You'll find more of those if you're looking for them. And if you cannot handle criticism, get over it. Lives are a stake here, and if I see you doing something stupid, I'll tell you about it BEFORE you can harm your patient. In private if possible, but if not, not. One thing nursing schools don't teach -- and should -- is the ability to handle negative feedback constructively. It's a valuable skill in any career, but it's vital in nursing.
If you've read all this and you still think you'd like to be a nurse, good for you. In the 34 years I've been a nurse, I've been spit at, slapped, kicked, punched, cursed and threatened. I've also been the recipient of grateful smiles, wonderful thank-you notes and boxes of chocolate. I've had horrible days where I couldn't do anything right and felt behind the whole day, and I've had wonderful days when I know I really made a difference to someone. I've worked night shifts, days and evenings and I've worked all of them in the same week. I've worked Christmases and Thanksgivings and Mothers Days and Easter. But I've had my birthday and my wedding anniversary off every year, and not many office workers can say that! When my car's engine needed to be replaced and I had no money, I worked overtime. Lots of it. Can't do that in the office. When I needed to be home with an elderly parent, I arranged my schedule so that either DH or I would be home at all times. Can't do that in an office, either. I worked every weekend when I was in graduate school, going to school full time and working full time. When my then-boyfriend moved out on Christmas Eve, I traded shifts with a nurse whose boyfriend unexpectedly flew back from the Gulf War for Christmas, and when my father knew he wasn't going to make it through the winter, someone traded shifts with me so I could drive 1000 miles to cook him Thanksgiving dinner. Not only would that not be an option in office work, office workers probably would not even think about it as valuable.
I've learned to laugh at things that would make me cry if I didn't, and I've learned to appreciate what I have because plenty of people have less. I cannot imagine what my life would have been if I hadn't been a nurse, and if I had to do it all over again, I would.
Lots of hostility towards the ED. We're all on the same team.
In my ED, we have 30 minutes from the time the provider puts in the admission order to: get a bed, call report, and get that patient to their inpatient bed. If we don't meet that mark, we need to explain why we didn't.
From my standpoint, it is nice to be able to give report uninterrupted, not be harassed over details that are not pertinent to the ED course of treatment (How does the chest pain patient ambulate? Ugh, an IV in the AC? Does the admitting doctor know about the white count?), answer any questions, and get the patient out of the ED to the inpatient setting.
I am not trying to get out of work by getting the patient to the floor. It is likely that by the time I return from the floor, a new patient will be waiting in the room already. A new patient is far more work than a patient who has been worked up and has a dispo.
I realize I'm not going to change anyone's minds here. Everything I've said has already been said before.
tomato tomato, you're out of school 6-1/2 years and still have 40K in student loans. I think that's awesome that you have a great credit score, you own your own home, and are so smart that you qualified for free tuition at any public university in your state. That's the beauty of this country, if you want to spend 100K on something you could get your for free, that's entirely up to you. Please keep in mind, you get out of whatever program you attend what you put into it. I myself went to a private school costing me roughly 40K, but I graduated with zero debt because I took no loans, no interest, I paid upfront. I did not let my school shape me, I took what I learned and shaped myself into the person I am.
There are so many variables to your argument, and quite frankly we're way off the original OP's issue, no university is worth 100K for a BSN, he is going to have a hard time paying that off, you got out at the right time, you have a job, he's facing a poor economy, and less available jobs for those without experience.
The work day started as any typical day on the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I arrived on the unit promptly at 6:30am to gather all pertinent information on my two critical patients. I printed off my cardiac EKG strips, looked up my patients' history, physical and chief complaints and tried to plan my 12 hour shift accordingly. My preceptor walks over to me at 6:42am and in a stern voice says "It is now time for report". Report consists of the off going nurse to give the oncoming nurse a brief synopsis of the patient and plan of care. As a new graduate registered nurse I always found report intimidating but exciting. Intimidating because most of what is said during report I have no clue what we are talking about. It's exciting because I get to learn new things even if it means I have to look up what certain terms mean at a later time.
"Karla who do you plan to see first"? Hell if I know, I thought to myself. "I plan to see Mr. Smith first because he appears to be the most unstable. I want to make sure he is receiving adequate ventilation and is responding well to his cardiac medication". My preceptor nods her head in agreement and proceeds to the break room to retrieve her morning coffee. "Call me if you need anything", she says. I'm only on week 7 out of 12 of my orientation so at this point I realize what I know and more importantly what I don't know. My morning consists of assessments, rounding with the intensavists, administering medications, assisting with personal care, speaking with family members and of course the never ending documentation. Around 1pm my stomach is starts to growl and I realized I haven't eaten anything since 5:15 am. I also feel a strong urge to urinate and realized I have not been to the bathroom since getting up at 4:30 am this morning. I spent all morning taking care of my patients and their family members that I have neglected myself. At this point, I decide it is time for a break and I quickly go to each of my patients' rooms to make sure there is nothing they need so that I can have an uninterrupted 30 minute lunch break. In room six is Mrs. Jones, 89 year old female that suffered many complications from a hip replacement. She is lying in bed, alert and awake visiting with her daughter and son in- law. Mr. Smith is a 40 year old male who is here because he had a massive heart attack. 2 days ago he had coronary bypass surgery and he'll remain in the Intensative care unit until he is stable enough to go on a general medical surgical unit.
As I approached Mr. Smith's bed, my heart skipped a beat and I found it hard to swallow. I found him lying motionless on his bed and he had a bluish hue on his skin. He was dead. I felt for pulse and didn't feel anything so I immediately called for help, pushed the code blue button and initiated CPR. I climbed on top of his bed and positioned myself over top of his chest. With my arms extended downward and hands placed in the center of his chest I began pressing downward, hard and fast. Within seconds (which felt like forever) a whole swarm of physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists where in the room. Everyone worked systematically to attempt to save this man's life. One person was at the head of the bed administering oxygen and breaths via an ambu bag, another person was administering medication, the physician was directing everyone on what to do and when to do it, and here I was performing chest compressions. This was indeed the scariest moment of my life.
With each compression I felt a grating sensation under my palms. I knew that I was breaking his ribs. Then I remembered a CPR instructor saying "If you feel ribs cracking then you're doing a great job. Better to live with broken ribs then to die with ribs intact". After 2 minutes, I felt completely exhausted. I felt beads of sweat form across my forehead and I was immensely short of breath. I yell" Can someone please take over"? A tall skinny, medical resident volunteered and resumed chest compressions. I then began to silently pray to myself for this patient. "Lord, please don't allow this man to die. Not now and not this way. Remember that he has a wife and a 13 year old daughter who needs her daddy" After 10 minutes of CPR, I looked at the cardiac monitor and saw that he was in Sinus Rhythm. "Can we feel for a pulse" shouts the physician. "We have pulse" a nurse responds. Finally, I breathed a sigh of relief.
The charge nurse walks over to me and clearly notices that I'm a bit shaken up. She tells me to take "five" and that a more experienced nurse will be resuming the care of Mr. Smith. I briskly walk over to the bathroom, shut the door and sob. I sobbed uncontrollably for 5 minutes as I tried to wrap my brain around what just happened. I wondered if it was my fault that Mr. Smith died, did I miss something critical? What if we didn't save him, would I have been the blame? Why did this happen, he was up talking just a few minutes prior to him coding. So many thoughts and questions ran through my mind. After my meltdown, I managed to dry my face, straighten out my scrub top and go back to the unit.
My preceptor approaches me and says "Good job in there". I was shocked, yet relieved. "Um, I really didn't do anything". "Yes you did" she replied. "You noticed that he was in trouble and you did not hesitate to jump right in and help". I guess she is right, I thought to myself. If I would have went straight to lunch without checking on my patients then he would have been dead a lot longer and probably would not have been able to bring back to life.
Three days later, I arrive to the unit and prepare to take on another shift as usual. As I walk pass Mr. Smith's room I see his wife and daughter by his side. Mr. Smith looks at me, with tears in his eyes and says "Thank you". With tears in my eyes, I replied" You are most welcome". At that moment I realized that being a nurse is exactly what I was put on this earth to do. I walked away with joy in my heart and a smile on my face.
I think it's v. unprofessional, but I've found over the years that no one really cares what I think about anything.
When it comes to nursing, I respect the profession for what it is, what it has been, and where it is headed. Am I proud to be part of the profession? Sure, in a subtle, I'm proud my hair is long kind of way.
I own no nursing paraphernalia. I do not announce what I do readily at meet n' greets or reunions. I prefer to refer to myself as a Frustrated Carpenter or a Confused Ninja.
Ever since stepping foot into the profession, Nurse's Week has always been a tough pill for me to swallow.
You see, I'm used to flying under the radar. I do what I do because it needs to be done. And that's the truth. I am here because I choose to be. I could be pastry chef or a crotchety stay at home couch warmer content to spend her days writing scathing letters to the editor while snorting Cheeto powder.
But no. In my professional life, I'm a nurse.
And for the record, I'm not a hero. Never have been one, never will be one, don't want to be one. That is way too much pressure. I look at what I do as getting paid to do the right thing. Hey look, you're not breathing. How 'bout some oxygen?
It's nothing special. It's just the right thing to do.
My patients know I exist because when they wake up, their IV sites have mysteriously migrated, the gaping holes in the abdomen are miraculously closed, and, if you are a peds patient, you may have a new stuffed bear friend dressed in scrubs to keep you company.
It took me a while to get used to the idea of never being seen let alone remembered. And now, my thanks comes daily in the form of self satisfaction and appreciation for the little things. When a tubed trauma patient gives me a thumbs up before going to surgery and a middle finger when I assess his pain as he wakes, I'm doing something right. When a surgeon saves an especially naughty joke just for me and tells it with an excited gleam to his eye like a kid on Christmas morning confronted with a gaggle of puppies, I know that my work has been noticed. And when my coworkers creep up to me mid case to bump shoulders, stand close and communicate with sidelong glances and hidden smirks, I know it's all fine.
And those are the things that keep me going.
Not the brunches offered by guilt obligated physicians or luke-warm lunches served by begrudging Nurse Managers. I don't need their approval. I don't need their recognition.
And when the nation decides to herald nurses in random clips on the news, it causes a bitterness to surge unbidden to the fore.
You want to thank me? You want to honor nursing?
To management/corporate leaders: Then lower nurse to patient ratios so I and my brothers and sisters in healthcare can truly do the job to best of our abilities.
To the Government: Offer clinics that can be accessed by all people in a way that makes sense and for once removes the terrible choice of food or healthcare. We send so many resources overseas, which is all fine, but what of our folks here at home? Research more than the Cancer "flavor of the day". For the love of all thing sacred, stop denying reimbursement funding based up on greater, more ridiculous parameters.
To patients/families: Remember that time you called the Nursing Supervisor to complain because I sheered the britches off your child's shattered femur and then had the audacity not to escort you to the coffee shop before taking said kidlet to surgery? Yeah...not cool. Kindly learn what to truly complain about. Better yet, respect the fact I helped save his leg or something.
To the fellow healthcare workers: Treat each other with dignity and respect. Thank each other. Recognize each other. Why do we need a week or a day at all?
My feeling: if you truly need a day to give you a reason or remind you to show someone appreciation, be it your mother, your spouse, etc, then something is amiss, don't you think?
I had a doc try to worm a thank you out of me for a lunch his group provided. My answer was simple, "One sandwich does not make up for a bunch of distressing conversations. You made my orientee cry last week, in case you forgot. Perhaps in the future you can treat us all decently as people and I will thank you. But for now yes, the sandwich was tasty. I appreciate the effort."
He seemed affronted. Surprise.
I let him mull it over as I waddled off, diet soda in hand, to go settle before having to scamper off to another case.
Perhaps my refusal to kowtow and play nice in the sandbox makes me a bad person. I don't know. But I think I'm alright with that.
But I suppose it's time to get to the point, isn't it? Tick-tock, CheesePotato, we don't have all night.
In summation: Thank me as one person to another, for what I have done and not because of the letters at the end of my name. Thank me genuinely and at the moment it happens.
And I shall be sure to return the favor.
Same way you get to Carnegie Hall - - - practice, practice, practice.
"Remove this foley or I'll pull it out myself!"
Do it. I dare you.
Nursing is not the sure thing it once was. You cannot predict the future; you seem to think you will absolutely, positively land a job that guarantees 3 12 hour shifts, and these days that doesn't always happen. And, I'd suggest you shadow a busy nurse on a med surg floor for 12 hours so you have an understanding just how long 12 hours really is. You pull 3 of those in a row (with no lunch, holding your bladder and under the gun to finish charting with no OT) and you might reconsider.
I'm in Public Health Nursing and Case Management and work M-F, 9-5. I went this direction for many reasons, mostly because I tried floor nursing for 3 12's and saw waaaaay too many nurses burnt out, physically destroyed, unhappy, bitter and mistreated by money hungry hospital management. I ran the other way and have a desk job where my patient contact is minimal. I manage and coordinate care for post-op patients and arrange their treatment, working with them, their families, their docs, and all kinds of entities like medical equipment companies, home health agencies, specialists, etc. It pays well, I'm not lifting and running and holding my bladder, I help people, have a great team and cool boss. But it took me 4 years of BSN, and 6 years in the trenches to get here. It has not been easy, and now I'm also in full time school for my Master's because that's what nurses my age in this specialty are pretty much expected to do. So once again, full time work and no life, no free time, because that's how you stay competitive in any business.
Two things: the "majority of your life" WILL be spent at work, you better realize that RIGHT NOW. Unless you are born into money or win the lottery - sorry Charlie, you will spend most of your time working. That's life. 5 8s or 3 12s, doesn't matter. 30-50 hours a week of work is standard for most in the real world. And usually doing something you might be good at or like, but rarely something you truly love. That is the REALITY. Don't let the rainbow-pooping unicorns tell you different.
Also, remember you're not just gonna snap your fingers and have a 3 12s nursing job. Most companies are requiring BSN so let's see: you're 26. You get on a BSN program waiting list that's 1 to 3 years long. Then 4 years of hellish stress, and crushing debt after graduation. Then you will probably work in a nursing home or HH, where most new grads are only able to find work and get experience, for a year or two. Then MAYBE a hospital will hire you to a floor job. And because you'd be new, your schedule might be 4 12s and rotating weekends, or night shift every other night. You'll eat that misery for another year or two until you finally have enough experience and seniority to get that coveted 3 12s you seem to think all nurses just land after school. So you will be around 35 years old and already crispy around the edges, your back and feet shot, by the time you have the degree and experience to have what you dream of.
Sorry to bring the anvil of reality down on you so hard but someone had to say it. If you want to help people and have stable income, go into dentistry, or find another vocation and volunteer in your spare time. Unless what I described above is something you're able to commit to 100% and sounds like your dream come true.
Ok, I've seen many "Sexy Firefighter" Calendars,in fact we have one hanging up in the locker room at work. Now, if I call 911 do I expect the firefighters who show up to strip off and pose or throw me down and ravish me? No! I expect them to put out the fire.
Anyone who knows a nurse, has been in hospital etc knows what nurses do and that we are not pillow fluffing doctor chasers.
To say a sexualized nurse costume is "degrading" is rather reductionist, who does it degrade? If a person is choosing to wear it I assume that they feel empowered by it. I don't get angry when I see a sexy cop, teacher, pilot, sailor. It doesn't make me think any less of those jobs or the people who do them because I have enough brainpower to differentiate between a tongue in cheek fantasy and my profession (which btw I am very proud of).
I'm 58 and plan on working at least 20 more years. My hearing is better than any 20 year old's and I can still run circles around most of the younger nurses who complain they are exhausted after working 24 hours a week. I work at least 50 hours. People should be judged on their performance and their ability to do the job not on their age.
During the early days of LPN school, we were practicing head to toe assessements. I went home that night after school and my husband was my guinea pig. While listening to his heart, I heard the weirdest noise, like I was rubbing my stethescope against concrete!! I called my Doctor friend, and he said get him to ER now! Turned out he had a blood clot, he had emergency surgery to put in a filter and spent 5 days in ICU. Alot of angels working that night!
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