Discouraged from pursuing Nursing... - page 2

by mimi26

4,533 Views | 26 Comments

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 nurses. I am 20 years old... Read More


  1. 3
    I suggest your go get trained as a healthcare aid and start working. Get some hands on experience in healthcare and see if you really like it before committing to school.

    I'm in Alberta, I can think of many jobs I'd rather do than nursing. There's endless opportunity in the oil and gas industry. If I wasn't 50 I'd go to school and be a geologist or hydrologist, I love the sciences. Or go to school and study speech therapy or prosthetics or cardiac perfusionist.
    joanna73, Daisy_08, and Fiona59 like this.
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    Question: Don't you have to have critical care experience as an RN or RRT to become a Cardiac Perfusionist?
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    I've no idea for Canadian, just watched open heart surgery while in clinicals and thought that would be an interesting job with great pay.

    I was educated in the States, I just did a google search for American training, no need to be a nurse and the average wage is $110k. Nice
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    In 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.
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    I 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 canít get a massage for his sore back and high BP, or orthotics for his achy feet. My parents worked because thatís 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 thatís 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 atÖ..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 Iím quitting in the morning.

    However I have also been hugged, been the shoulder there to cry on, thanked, had pts/family say ďDaisy! Ií;m so happy you Xís nurse todayĒ Iíve 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 Iíd say run. But the good moments are really good.

    Some nurses have more bad then good days, personally I think thatís when itís time for something different (just a new unit). If you stay too long in one place, youíll 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.
    novajones, joanna73, Katrin, and 1 other like this.
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    I'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.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    The advice to try working as a CNA/NA before committing to nursing school is 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!
    Katrin likes this.
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    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.
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    Quote from Novo
    Really, you guys have been physically/verbally abused? I'm pretty sure every hospital has zero tolerance for that kind of stuff.
    There'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.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    Quote from Novo
    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.
    Every AHS facility I've ever worked in has those signs. They are signs.

    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.


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