Okay y'all... giving this a shot for my first thread. I've "lurked" for a while, searched a bunch of threads... can't find something all that close to my situation, so here goes.
Turning 38 in the end of this month. BS in Applied Physics / Computer Software w/minor in mathematics, graduated 2001 w/3.36 GPA (3.39 major GPA). 24 credits of college work since then with As in all classes, to bring cumulative GPA close to 3.5. SAT / SAT II / GRE scores all very high, not sure they'd be necessary, but they're there.
Married, one newborn child, wife (33yo) has always had an affinity for things medical (to the point where people have told her for years that she should be a nurse or a paramedic). She is going to start nursing school
as soon as she can.
I've spent most of my working life as a professional musician. My wife and I have worked primarily as performing musicians for "senior facilities" (nursing homes, assisted living homes, senior centers, etc) for the past almost 5 years and prior to that I spent several years as a private teacher of music lessons. Prior to getting with me, my wife worked office jobs. She has no education beyond high school.
This will be a dramatic career change, for sure! Where I'm concerned, I'm investigating all facets of medicine and want to see which is the best fit, if there are any that are good fits.
So why medicine for me?
1) My wife had three major surgeries in 2015 and there were many times when I was not impressed with the "bedside manner" of the doctors. Obviously they were competent, but they seemed somewhat uncaring beyond that. For example, I had a ton of questions and they didn't seem all that interested in answering them. I can't recall the same being true of nurses... though I haven't kept score, my recollection is that they seemed to be more inclined to answer questions in sufficient detail. I'd like to be able to help people understand these difficult situations.
2) My wife and I have an "end goal" comprising the following, in no particular order:
-ability to travel when we want, and stay put when we want (we've been full time RVers and our next RV is currently parked in our back yard, awaiting transformation from its current incarnation as a school bus... and I've known about "travel nursing" for some time now)
-ability to help people in need (we'd love to be able to do disaster relief, among other things, and I figure that being a nurse will provide not only necessary skills for such, but also enough money to be able to help needy people in other ways even if not medically)
-establishing a "commune" for the purposes of seeding some real change in the world (that requires money, and also it would be a huge draw if we could tell people "there are nurses on site")... okay, I'm a hippie, I admit it!
-providing a good childhood for our son and whatever other children we may have in the future
3) I have the intelligence to handle it. Without bragging, let's just say that I recently saw an infographic on IQ distribution for people in the medical profession (it went on to say "such as doctors", though it didn't specify nurses) and I am significantly above the 90th percentile line. Though I know intelligence doesn't predict empathy nor suitability for any particular career, at least it'd seem to predict that I could hack the requisite education.
4) I'm a rather "young" 38, and I anticipate living a long life. It seems like everyone in my family, on both sides, who doesn't smoke nor get killed tragically lives a life of above-average length. So, even if I can't be a nurse until I'm in my 40s, I'll still have plenty of time.
5) Being a nurse seems to provide the ability to travel, especially if you are a willing to serve "underserved" populations. Those are my people. I've always been an "underserved" person myself, in many ways, and yet I grew up in an area that might best be called "overserved". I know the contrast, and I know what I like. Many years ago, I chose to get out of where I grew up and go to more rural places. So when I read that there is a high demand for nurses in rural areas, I realized that I wouldn't be short on work were I to go into this field. (Not to mention, I could do "travel nurse" work as mentioned before. There appears to be no shortage of such opportunities!)
6) If my wife becomes a nurse, it'd be something we could share, to an extent at least.
7) I've always been a bit of a hypochondriac, and my dad is even worse. People generally fear going to the doctor / hospital because they think they're going to get bad news. I believe I can deliver bad news in a way that people would be more likely to accept, if I ever had to be the one to deliver bad news. Does that mean that they'll like getting it? No, but if you want to get better, you need to hear it. Having been the guy who is afraid of going to the doctor and even more afraid of going to the hospital, and having known people who are worse, I could treat people accordingly.
8) I really want to be respected. Yes, there is a bit of vanity in this for me, but how many people go into a career field entirely altruistically? I've always been the type to work hard and become the best at what I do, and if I do that and still don't get respect (which is the way I have felt for years in my current profession), it's going to burn me out. At least when you're working in the medical field, generally speaking, people come to you or are brought to you because they want you to improve their health... so they're willing to listen to you. Are there some who don't listen? Sure. I've known a few. But they seem the exception rather than the rule. I see elderly people interact with their nurses all the time in my line of work, and the only ones who seem likely to go against what the nurses tell them to do are the ones who suffer from dementia. The others - they might go against what the nurses say, but to my not-so-well-informed mind it would seem that that's the exception rather than the rule.
This is becoming long-winded, isn't it? I'll probably have to break this up into multiple topic-specific threads. If I did become a nurse, I might just go all the way to becoming an NP, even if that means (with new requirements coming into play fairly soon) that I'd have to get a DNP degree. I read that the nursing approach to medicine is significantly different from the physician approach to medicine, with nurses typically able to take more time to talk with their patients than doctors do (true? false?). Obviously I'm a talker, so perhaps that attests to nursing being a good fit.
So what do you think thus far?