1st year student struggling

  1. I'm a first year student in a BscN program in edmonton I really love the program so far and I'm doing very well in my classes but I cant concentrate on school properly when all I'm thinking about is how I'm going to pay next months rent and eat. I've already applied for loans and I was rejected due to something I have no control over so I spent all my savings from high school on my first years tuition and living expenses. I would ask my parents for help but my family situation is so complicated as I left home when I was 16.

    I'm taking a lighter course load compared to my other classmate so I tried to find something related to Nursing I could do for extra money and I was told I had to wait until the end of second year to apply for Nursing attendant position. I have enough money for one more semesters tution and a few months rent but I need to find something soon.

    So my question is what job could I apply for in the hospital as a student in first year? I don't mind if it's even being a porter (not sure what that entails even). The adviser at my school didnt help so I was told to ask here.

    Thank you
    Last edit by jumper44 on Oct 11, '12
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    About jumper44

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 14; Likes: 10


  3. by   Fiona59
    Are you at the U?

    You can apply for any position in the hospital, but it's not that easy to get in. Look for food services. Portering seems to be a closed shop as you'd be surprized at how many managers have kids who work as porters while going to school. It takes about two months from when a job competition closes to getting hired. That's a short time frame. Right now, AHS isn't even interviewing for competitions that closed in August.

    In all honesty, you have a better chance of getting work at an LTC centre. Try Capital Care and even the homecare agencies.

    If money is that short, you should be applying for anything rather than holding out for a job in the hospital.

    You also need to learn that "even being a porter" is a valuable job in the hospital system. A good porter is worth their weight in gold and has a ton of insight on the patient they are portering that can be invaluable when you are getting a fresh post-op.
  4. by   jumper44
    Hi Fiona,

    I'm at Macewan. What exactly do food services personnel do? I threw out portering because I'd heard a few people have done that before and they said it was extremely physically demanding but I don't mind that at all. I suppose if I want a summer job I should apply to positions in around January then? If I did apply to an LTC center what work would I be doing? I've applied to every business in the area in the past month and most of them are only looking for fulltime staff but I'm still hunting in that aspect. I though being a nursing student would give me some edge in applying to a hospital but boy was I wrong...
  5. by   flyingchange
    Try home agencies like WeCare, Bayshore, etc. or even personal support delivered privately (check Kijiji).

    Jumper, I know how demanding the program is and I really encourage you to talk to peer support or the macewan student support Center not just a program advisor. You can't excel (or even really focus) if you're wondering how to get rent paid. Seriously, get help NOW, the program only gets more demanding the further you get in. First year is a breeze compared.

    PM me if I can help you further.

    Sorry if this formatting is terrible, I'm typing on my phone.
  6. by   Fiona59
    Food Services puts the food on trays and delivers the trays to the bedside. They then pick up the empties. They also chart note the fluids, etc taken in on specfiic patients. At the Alex, food services staff also work the food court concessions.

    I wouldn't call portering "extremely physically demanding", if anything it's less so than nursing. Porters push wheelchairs and stretchers. Nurses assist in the patient transfer. If this sounds too physically demanding, you need to rethink nursing. The most physically demanding nursing I've ever done was seven weeks clinical time and then three years in LTC. I've heard of nurses going home after a 12 and falling asleep in their scrubs and waking up in the same position the next morning.
  7. by   Fiona59
    Oh, and I passed several businesses looking for part time staff this morning. Superstores are looking for weekend staff as are many Timmies.

    Work is work and will keep a roof over your head.
  8. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Quote from Fiona59
    I've heard of nurses going home after a 12 and falling asleep in their scrubs and waking up in the same position the next morning.
    I've DONE this. Mostly though, I fall asleep on the couch with the newspaper on my lap and wake up when the dog decides I need company.
  9. by   jumper44
    equestriRN, could you PM as I'm not able to use the system yet
  10. by   JaneSmithRevisited
    Have you looked for on-campus jobs? How about fast food joints? Movie theatres? Call centres (I heard they're really flexible)? Have you looked into scholarships/bursaries at your school?
  11. by   SurroDoula
    You've already gotten some good advice about finding a job, but I wanted to add something about the program (I'm in third year at MacEwan). You can take some of the courses ahead of time (spring or summer semesters)- look at the prerequisites for each course to figure out which ones are possible, then check to see if the class is offered in the spring/summer continuing ed guide. You can also take two of your electives whenever you want to - one can be 100-400 level, the other needs to be 200 - 400 level.

    This will leave you more time during the theory semesters for working (although clinical semesters could be a bit more tricky, because you have three rotations, and you don't know what your schedule will be until about 2 weeks before each rotation starts). Also remember you have six years to finish the program, so if you are extending your program, talk with an advisor about the best way to spread out your courses. First year is lighter than second year, which is lighter than third year (I'm guessing the same applies to fourth year) so if you need to work, for the sake of your sanity, it might be best to spread out your program in whatever way you can.
  12. by   Dezy
    If you talk to a student advisor they might be able to direct you to some available resources. You can get emergency funding to help your living situation and bunch of other things too. I'm in a similar boat and have heard great things about the resources.
  13. by   joanna73
    I think it depends on your preferences and your program. Obviously, this varies. I took the opposite approach to school. In every program, more or less, first and second years are crucial. These years are the foundation of nursing practise. Assessment, anatomy, patho. You need to learn the basics well. I worked very little during school in my first and second years. Third and fourth year, I worked an average of two- three shifts per week. Remember, you need to eat and pay bills, but this is also going to be your career. I've noticed that many new nurses are shell shocked the first year of working, simply because they don't have a good handle on the basics of nursing. Good luck!