My nursing history in a nutshell:
May 2009: Graduated. A real go-getter in college, graduated magna cum laude, was a BWOC, super involved in the college, the department, and my class. Hindsight tells me I should have been devoting myself to getting a job post-graduation, but what's done is done!
Aug 2010: Got a job but only worked 1 month because it was very bad, unsafe; I quit, reluctantly.
Jan 2011: Took a so-so refresher course at the local community college. Also, Spanish for Medical Professionals.
July 2011: Worked two weeks at a residential summer camp. Loved it.
Sep-Nov 2011: Flu clinic nurse. Job location had me feeling a little humiliated but it was a job and money.
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I also volunteered at a free medical clinic but it closed in Dec 2011. I volunteer as a vigil sitter for a palliative care department at a local continuing care community. I do other volunteer work, too. I go to psych grand rounds at a local teaching hospital. I'm currently attending an American Sign Language class at a local school for the deaf in hopes I will be able to make contacts and get hired there as a school nurse.
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I recently answered an ad for a hyperbaric technician job. This is an allied health occupation, not a nursing job. The work setting is a wound care center associated with the local commmunity hospital. I would enjoy this job, as I would get some patient contact and it would have some very technical aspects. I'd recently begun to think of wound care and foot care as areas to explore, and I think hyperbaric technician at a wound care center would dovetail nicely with both of these. The hyperbaric technician job requires attendance at a course to learn about hyperbaric medicine. In the absence of actual working experience I'm all for education!
- To become wound care certified you can do this through study and then by working with a preceptor for 120 hours. There is one preceptor in my state.
- To become foot care certified, there is a similar path by completing a course and getting some practical instruction.
So, my thoughts right now are to take the hyperbaric medicine class. It's coming up in my area in a couple of weeks so I am in decision making mode right now. Then start working on the wound care certification. If I top that off with foot care certification I could perhaps work in a podiatrist's office, or my talents might be useful in a SNF or assisted living facility.
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I desperately need a focus. As I come up on 3 years post graduation, I can feel my nursing education and what I learned slipping away. It's impossible to maintain my knowledge in all areas of nursing. I can take a more heavy duty nursing refresher (3 month program) at one of the nearby Big City colleges, but I doubt at my age (old) and with my history post-graduation, even with the heavy duty refresher, that I would be considered for a hospital nursing job. So, my idea is to pick a specialty area and go for it, become an expert on paper and then hope someone will give me the chance to actually work.
Any thoughts or opinions welcome.
There are very few jobs I would not take. Just about my only restriction is that a job not be hazardous to my health or safety, or to the health or safety of the patients in my care; the first job I had was "all of the above." The other two were seasonal, I did not quit they ended. I am honest with myself. That's why I'm here, asking if it makes sense to get specialized at this stage of the game. I honestly don't know what else to do.
Ha ha, I guess I was hoping a nurse hiring manager would see what I've done and have been doing and say they admire me for my determination!
Your "hopping around from thing to thing," which certainly sounds negative, is my attempt to be open for opportunities, to stay connected with patient care, to learn about areas that have intrinisic interest for me, all of which show that I am proactive in bettering myself. I didn't take Spanish just for kicks, it was because I was working in a clinic that saw lots of Spanish speakers.
Although it seemed at first that your response was not what I was looking for perhaps it is: you said get focused. I certainly do feel like I need to focus. But you certainly sound cold.
Last edit by hotflashion on Feb 10, '12
: Reason: Add content