Discouraged from pursuing Nursing... - page 2
Hello all, I have found this website's forums and articles extremely helpful over the past few months, however, now I am posting myself with hopes of receiving some insight from practicing Canadian... Read More
Jul 13, '12In the province I am in, you have to have to be an RRT or RN, have a bacherlor's degree with 3-5 years of critical care experience.
Jul 13, '12I grew up with two working parents. My father worked two jobs he hated. Although I never knew this until I grew up. My mom worked a dead end min wage job. My dads ft time job was very stressful and he suffers the health consequences now. The job also provides crappy benefits so he can't get a massage for his sore back and high BP, or orthotics for his achy feet. My parents worked because that's what you do to pay your bills and keep your children warm and feed . There is no enjoyment, no satisfaction for most of the working world . They call it work because that's what it is.
I know an X-ray tech who hated it and is going into nursing. Today I had to stay with a pt in medical imaging and the techs did not look like they had found the secret to happiness. They were running around busting their butts. I do not think the grass is greener on the other side. Mot big hospitals MI departments run 24h, and need to be staffed 24h. So there is shift work there too.
I have been hit, spit on, kicked, grabbed, kissed on the lips, called rude names, yelled at, threatened, been told I would be sued, blamed for pts deaths, lunged at.....on and on I could go. I have gone 12hours without eating or urinating only to quickly run to bathroom and began my hours of charting past my shift. I have gone home crying, had nasty/lazy/incompetent/mean co-workers and days where I cannot do anything right, gone home and told my family I'm quitting in the morning.
However I have also been hugged, been the shoulder there to cry on, thanked, had pts/family say "Daisy! I';m so happy you X's nurse today" I've held hands, gotten thank you notes and cards, had families find me working on other units when the pt passed to thank me for what I did saying that made a difference in their life., and all I did was my job.
The bad days are bad!!! If they were all like that then I'd say run. But the good moments are really good.
Some nurses have more bad then good days, personally I think that's when it's time for something different (just a new unit). If you stay too long in one place, you'll burn out. I only see myself on my unit another 4 years, as much as I like.
What I am trying to say with this rambling post, is that there is no perfect job. All you can do is go after what you think will make you happy. My mom let someone talk her out of going into nursing. A decision she still regrets 35 years later.
Jul 14, '12I'll give you my honest opinion, if I could do it all over again I probably won't choose nursing. I'm 22 years and a new graduate nurse (just finished at the end of April!) from a university in Toronto, Ontario. The job market is pretty bad right now, I've been looking for work since February while I was still completing my last semester.. figured it would be better to start earlier. No luck so far... I would say that more than 75% of my classmates are still unemployed at the moment. Maybe when you graduate in 4 years, the job market could change but right now there's no nursing shortage at all.
It's not easy being a nursing student, at clinical placement the other nurses basically "eat their young" and it doesn't get any easier after you graduate. I have had to endure physical and verbal abuse from patients. You mention you worked in customer service? Well, at least when there is a difficult customer you can call security. Nursing is not what it used to be, workloads have increased and the general environment is not the greatest. I have had days when I had a full patient load, and all shift I was doing bed baths, changing diapers, transferring patients and bringing them to the washroom, and on top of that ... this specific unit I worked on made the nurses take out the garbage too.. that's right, we had to tie the dirty linen and diaper bags and bring them to the dirty utility room. The hospital tries to cut costs this way.. making the nurses do more work like this. Sometimes I don't feel I'm utilizing all my medical/nursing skills or knowledge at all, just doing bed baths all day..
This is my own personal experience, it hasn't been the greatest. I always wanted to be able to help people and make a difference in people's lives, but on bad days it really makes me question if being a nurse is the way to go. Everyone's experience is different so maybe you'll have a better one than I did. I HIGHLY recommend you volunteer or work in a hospital/nursing home first.. see what it's like to take care of a patient and see the work environment for yourself.
Best of luck in whatever you do.
Jul 14, '12The advice to try working as a CNA/NA before committing tois very sound. I did it, primarily to find out if I would make it, to learn skills (including understanding the system, coworkers, etc.) and to make sure that I wasn't blowing it changing careers. For me, that was the right path. I'm about to take my LPN boards, and enter year 2 of nursing school. However, results may vary for different people. I recently talked with a 3-year (excellent, well-regarded) CNA who had gone into it to become either a nurse or a firefighter-paramedic. He learned that it wasn't the right path for him, and will be moving on to become an electrician instead.
Now, about nurses having to dispose of garbage, perform personal cares, etc. I work in a large hospital with several critical care and med-surg units. The nurses here (especially ICU nurses) participate personally in bed baths, cleanups, and, yes, throwing out garbage. It's hardly the major focus of the RN's day. That in and of itself should not deter a person from nursing if it's the career they want to take up. However, I do think that stepping into nursing without spending at least six months in some other sort of entry-level capacity may result in a big investment (time, $) in a career that is a bad fit. (I say six months because you spend the first three just trying to make it through each shift before you get the hang of things.)
One more note, and then I'll shut it. . .every career, every job, has some sort of downside. I've worked in the insurance and mortgage industries, and while they usually don't involve dealing with poop, each career has had its low points. Like one poster said above, you can't judge a job solely by the bad days, or no one would ever want to go back to work. So, think a bit for yourself, and if nursing is the right fit for you, you'll find a situation that works for you. But, don't expect it to be handed to you. It will require effort and networking on your part - before you ever even get into school!
Jul 15, '12Really, you guys have been physically/verbally abused? I'm pretty sure every hospital has zero tolerance for that kind of stuff.
There are other specialities out there besides bedside nursing. Try OR nursing the pt is asleep the entire time = less stress.
Jul 15, '12Quote from NovoThere's a huge gulf between having a zero-tolerance policy and enforcing a zero-tolerance policy. I've seen situations where nurses have been verbally abused and denigrated by patients or family members following which the nurse has spoken to management about it. The manager's response is generally, "Well, you know they're under a lot of stress so I think you should cut them some slack." And it has ended there. There has to be an overt and flagrantly-obvious breaking of some law for anything to really be done. I've been kicked, pinched, scratched, head-butted, spat upon, gotten in a head-lock, shoved, backed into a corner and a few other unpleasantries. None of which were actually dealt with by management. Our unit has an unwritten policy of putting patients with volatile family members into isolation rooms with the doors closed, to minimize the impact on the other families. How is the nurse supposed to defend him- or herself when they can neither be seen nor heard by anyone outside the room? When this safety issue was brought up it was met with a sneer. "Those things don't happen here." Tell that to my coworker who was backed into a corner by an angry man who towered over her and outweighed her by at least double.Really, you guys have been physically/verbally abused? I'm pretty sure every hospital has zero tolerance for that kind of stuff.
Jul 15, '12Quote from NovoEvery AHS facility I've ever worked in has those signs. They are signs.Really, you guys have been physically/verbally abused? I'm pretty sure every hospital has zero tolerance for that kind of stuff.
There are other specialities out there besides bedside nursing. Try OR nursing the pt is asleep the entire time = less stress.
As Jan pointed out, it's up to each UM to enforce it. Most don't.
One Charge I had refused to deal with a family that was verbally abusive from the minute they arrived. Fortunately, every nurse who worked with the patient documented it in their charting. Which saved us when the family tried to sue us for asssorted things a year later.
A friend on another unit called a "code white" on a patient. They were told it was "OK" to do this had they tried absolutely everything to defuse the situation because the patient wanted to sue Security for abuse. Nobody calls a code white for the hell of it, and security doesn't go around assaulting patients. Again documentation saved the day.
It doesn't matter where you work, you don't know what the patient or their family is capable. In recovery, they can come around swinging. When I worked in the OR, I was almost jumped by a family who had hung out by the doors demanding information from any human being leaving the OR, Gang bangers as so much fun. There is a lot of lateral abuse in the OR. Nurse on nurse and some surgeons don't have the best of behaviours. Dementia patients often abuse their caregivers but we are often expected to accept it as part of the disease.
Jul 15, '12If I had it to do over again I would do it in a heartbeat. I have had plenty of bad days over the years, but so many good ones too. Some of my favourites? The three year old who came up to me the day her dad was discharged after his kidney transplant with a box of donuts and said "Thank you for taking good care of my Daddy". The pt who tells anyone who will listen that he has the "best nurse ever". The wife of a pt who died on my shift who thanked me for taking care of him and who told me that he was glad I was his nurse that day, because he didn't want to die on a day that a stranger was looking after him. The other nurses I have made friends with over the years. The ICU doctor who showed up on the unit one night and said "I knew you'd have this under control, but thought I'd come see if you needed some backup." The doctors who remind me that they value my contributions to pt care. The son of a pt who everytime he sees me thanks me for the care I took of his mom and will tell any mutual acquaintances about the difference I made for her (he and I attend the same groiup of churches, so we have a number of friends in common. And I didn't realize it was his Mom when I looked after her.) The manager who encourages me to learn and grow - and yes, is willing to pay for the workshops and give me work time to study. The (same) manager who absolutely will NOT tolerate her nurses being abused (I've always said she reminds me of a mama bear watching out for her cubs). And now working in an outpt clinic, seeing pts come into clinic for their q6month follow up healthy, working, enjoying their time with families and friends, and remembering those same pts when I nursed them through their transplants so many years ago and remembering how sick they were. I started working on a unit where nurses did not eat their young and learned a lot from some wonderful nurses along the way. I think I have been very lucky.
Long shifts, demanding pts, demanding families, bad smells, too much work and not enough time, arrogant doctors, snarky lab techs/pharmacists/RT's, that was and is all there too. But I truly love what I do and would absolutely do it again. To me the good definitely outweighs the bad. I work with a great group of nurses and allied health professionals, and a great team of doctors. I have a manager who will listen to her staff, and try to find solutions to our concerns if she can. I truly think that I am where I belong.
However, nursing is not for everyone and it is very draining and one is easily burnt out if it is not where they truly want to be. Getting some experience in a health care setting would, as other have said, be a valuable insight into whether this is really for you. Whether you choose to pursue nursing or not, good luck with your choice and I hope you can look back on it 25 years into it and be as satisfied with your choice as I am with mine.
Jul 16, '12Thank you for your post.I was starting to feel like the odd man out.True I have only been at it for 6 years and I may feel different later but right now I love what I do,in spite of the ups and downs.I love my job and I love the girls( and guys) I work with.The doctors for the most part treat us well and my charge nurse is a gem.I love getting to know my patients and being told they are happy i am their nurse that day.I love the heart felt thank yous from the patients when they are well enough to leave.I love looking around the table during report and being happy i am here working with these people.Nursing is so much more than just my job, it's who I am.
Jul 17, '12I was a nursing assistant for three years an LPN for two and I am now in my second year BScN. I was absolutely built for nursing, love what I do. My previous LTC experience was priceless, every branch of nursing is honorable.
Aug 30, '12I think you should follow your heart. Ive been an RPN for six years, and an RN for one year. Although there are many things I do not like about nursing, it is still the best decision I ever made. The options once you are a nurse are endless... and really it is such a rewarding career, I would not choose anything differently. Go for it.
Aug 31, '12I've been a nurse for 2 years. It's what I chose to do, after having worked in other fields. I'm not discontented by any means (although I do despise overtime...so I quit working overtime), however, if I had to do this over...I would pick physio therapy, recreation therapy, or dental hygenist. You're helping people, and making more money with better hours, for a lot less stress.
Aug 31, '12Wow, finally found my way back to these boards!
I want to thank all of you that were so thoughtful in your responses and apologize for not responding right away. I have read through all your postings for a second, third, fourth time and have taken all of it to heart.
So, here is where I am at now. After some long and hard consideration on my part I withdrew from my college courses for September as I thought business/administration/health administration was a path I would like to explore and was still leery about entering a nursing program. I started a full time office job in Inside Sales/Office Administration and was hoping this would not only help me gain valuable work experience in Administration but to also help me gain insight into my future career path. Although the pay is decent and this is a role I could see myself filling for a few years to come, I am realizing this is not the 'career' I envisioned. Perhaps monotonous office work is not for me - I crave human to human interaction and can see in a few years time I will not feel fulfilled. I am realizing about myself now that I need to feel as if I am contributing to something larger and helping others (especially in the community in which I live.) So in a roundabout way, this has all led me back to nursing.
Although I have set myself back a semester from withdrawing from my courses, I see this as an opportunity. My main goal right now is to get some volunteer experience in a health care setting to see if this is REALLY what I want to do! I have hopes to volunteer through this fall and if I still feel the same way, I will start to enroll in college to complete the BSc Nursing pre-reqs in January.
Thank you all again and I would love to hear any other ideas, comments, or insights you may have. Or even personal stories on your journey to becoming a nurse would be great to hear. If I do enter a nursing program then I will be 25 or 26 when I graduate depending on how long the pre-requisites take me to complete. It's sad to say I feel far behind my other siblings that have already completed their bachelor's degrees by the time they've reached the age of 22. Perhaps I am just a late-bloomer! :-)
Edited to add: I should also mention that I have been researching many other career options in the health care/social services field. A few that had initially interested me that I had looked into - Social Worker, Youth Protection Worker, Counselor, Midwife, HIMT, Nursing Unit Clerk, and probably a few more that I cannot recall right now. I will continue to do some research on the various fields and perhaps try to gain some volunteer experience. It is true as many of you stated though that every career has its pros and cons. My mother manages a treatment center for youth and is employed by the health authority, and my sister is completing her masters degree to become a clinical counselor. So as you can see I have been largely influenced by those close to me and realize that I too want a career that is just as fulfilling! Anyways, I will stop yapping now. Maybe I will update you all once I have some volunteer and real world experience in the health care setting to see if I am still feeling as optimistic!Last edit by mimi26 on Aug 31, '12