Am I crazy?

  1. So I've just finished up two days of 12 hour shifts on PostPartum as a Nurse Tech. Three days of training and I was ready ... and it was amazing and exhausting and gratifying and frustrating and wonderful!

    My question is ... I start my ADN program in August and want to work L&D or PP or MBU ... but all of the nurses who work at my hospital are already trying to talk me out of it! They say "why do you want to become a nurse" or "why do you want to work on the maternity floor ... why not a real floor like med surg" or "are you crazy"? So I'm starting to wonder ... am I?

    Because I loved the feeling of being on the floor and helping patients .. yeah, the paperwork sucks, but it's necesary. I loved bathing new babies and seeing the look of awe on the father's face. I love bringing a new baby to mom and seeing the look of love on her face. I love answering breastfeeding questions ... seeing a baby latch on well for the first time and the relief on the moms face. I love all of this. I know there will be bad days.

    So why the negativity from the nurses? Isn't it all worth it in the end? I'm leaving a job where I make $45k a year to go into nursing for less money. Because it's where I WANT TO BE!

    Thanks for letting me vent .... back to daydreaming about beautiful babies and moms.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   NICU_Nurse
    Hey! Tell 'em to hush up. ;>) I worked as a tech on PP also, and LOVED every minute of it. It most certainly *is* a real nursing unit, and it's one I would work on in a heartbeat should I choose not to work NICU any longer. You're talking to a bunch of burnt-out, frustrated people whose words of 'advice' should be taken with a grain of salt. There are bad days, and there are absolutely reasons to complain, but they're not EVERY day, I promise you. It's possible that PP is not where these nurses want to be, possible that they're having personal problems and venting their frustration in this way, dealing with under-staffing and full patient loads with little help from administration. These are all real issues in nursing today, but they are only a part of what it's like to be a 'real' nurse. The feelings you get working on this unit are the same feelings I get working on my unit, some 18 months after I graduated. I still consider myself new to nursing- a year and a half does not make me the authority, but I do know enough to consider the source when asking for advice. I get the same flak from people I've worked with on my own unit, nurses who've been at my facility for 20+ years and hate every minute of it. They count down to their retirement like it's the end of a lifetime in purgatory, and while I can understand that personally they may actually feel this way, it doesn't mean I also have to feel that way. Know what I'm saying? You and your reasons for wanting to work on this unit, or a unit like it, are your own. Don't forget that! ENJOY your time there. You are present at a very special time in the lives of these families. You will be a guest in their memories forever, and it's a very unique opportunity (and one familiar to almost every nurse in one way or another!) to be cherished.

    When my mother had me, her first born, she still remembers how the doctor (who had to be called from a golf tournament to deliver me) was angry and not kind to her in the least. She was terrified of me- this little baby, this little ruddy stranger who was completely dependant on HER. She STILL tells me the story about how this one nurse stopped what she was doing to come into the room when she heard my mom crying. She told her that it was okay to touch me, that I was stronger than she thought I was, and showed her how it was okay to love me and stroke my face and basically started off that crucial bonding process in a way my father's speeches and attempts hadn't done. I'm 26!!! I've heard this story a million times. It makes me cry. It was part of the reason *I* wanted to be a nurse. It was part of the reason my mother went to nursing school about a year after I was born. Now, my mother worked in a post-surgical cardiac unit from the very day it was built at her hospital. She opened that unit and gave over 20 years of service to those patients and their families who had a new shot at thier lives thanks to surgical intervention. She taught them how to live again. She touched people in ways I'll never understand, and even years later, old patients would recognize her, and say, hey! You took such good care of me. Or, families would see her and say, Hey, I remember you! You cared for my father in such a loving way. He passed away ten years after that surgery and still talked about you! Because of that nurse's actions, my mother had a daughter who grew up to be a nurse. I went to nursing school and now I work with preemies and sick infants in our NICU. I teach mothers how to hold and feed and bathe their babies- things they'll be doing long after they've left the hospital. I teach them all about their babies' bodies and habits and how to nurture them and how to save their lives (CPR). In nursing school, I held a grown man who had mandibular cancer in my arms and let him cry because he was so disfigured facially that his own family couldn't bear to look at him when they spoke to him. I brushed the hair of an old woman in a LTC facility who hadn't spoken a word since her stroke, but who cried silently and smiled up at me and my classmate as we softly brushed her hair and rubbed lotion on her dry, cracked skin as if she were in a spa being pampered like a queen.

    What you are doing is important. Don't allow anyone to devalue that for you. It's hard to see sometimes, because small moments seem to get lost in the huge world we live in. Those small moments, however, will leave a lastimg impact on the people you touch, though. Nothing can replace that.

    Good luck with your job. We share the same daydreams.

    Kristi
  4. by   mark_LD_RN
    the main thing is to do what you love SC RN. Do NOT let anyone discourage you from your dreams. i did the same as you I left a high paying secure goverment job to become a nurse and make half what i used to. but i now love what I do. don't be fooled by what people tell you, L&D ,OB, and PP are real floors. let some of them try it and see! it has many rewards and many very negative things about it you will have to deal with. and you will use your nursing skills and judgements in L&D, we do more than wash and hold babies. things in L&D can go bad really fast and it requires good skills,confidence and quick thinking,as well as critical thinking skills

    remember only do it if you really want it, and most of all it requires kindness,compassion and patience. good luck.feel free to PM or email me if you like
  5. by   NICU_Nurse
    Originally posted by mark_LD_RN
    we do more than wash and hold babies
    Whaaaa? Since when?



    Just kidding.
  6. by   Rapheal
    Some of my peers from nursing school went straight to OB when they graduated. They knew what they wanted, and that was that. If you feel OB is for you, then go for it. As for people trying to encourage you to not pursue nursing, well that is another story.

    Nursing is hard both physically and mentally and many times your efforts will not be appreciated. Sometimes they are greatly appreciated. If you search your heart and feel that this is what you should be doing, then do not let anyone stop you. You know yourself better than anyone, so if nursing is what you want to do then as a nurse (a new one at that) I say welcome.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I went to OB straight out of nursing school. Nursing is a 2nd career for me. The flexibility of scheduling and the rewards of my work are amazing. NO REGRETS HERE 6 years after graduation. You need a think skin if you are gonna survive in nursing. Grow it now and do not listen to naysayers if your heart says otherwise. I wish you the best!!!!
  8. by   mother/babyRN
    Do what is right for you as ultimately, it is your life. Ask but don't tell them to not keep harping on it. It is their opinion of nursing these days...They are entitled to their opinions but they are not entitled to attempt to make you feel badly for wanting to pursue something which is important to you.
  9. by   SC RN
    Thank you so much for all of your replies ... I guess I know I'm not crazy for wanting to work OB but gosh it was getting a little unnerving there for a while!

    Mark, glad to hear someone else has left a high paying secure job to go into nursing. I know it seems crazy to other people but no money can make up for not being where I want to be ...

    Kristi, thanks for taking the time to write your story ... it gives me hope!

    Everyone else, what can I say? This board is wonderful when it comes to nurses supporting nurses ... you guys are great!
  10. by   illeniccup
    SC RN--You are certainly NOT alone in leaving a higher-paying job to go into nursing--I can't WAIT to leave mine! I have been told I was crazy, foolish, and basically stupid for wanting to go into nursing. The mother of my sister-in-law literally bawled me out at a restaurant a few weeks ago for wanting to do so, I kid you not! (She's been a lab tech for many years, so she knows what's up, of course!)

    I, like you, get discouraged at times, but then I remember that L&D nursing is where my true interests lie...I could spend hours on this bb alone! I may have to wait a while longer before I can afford to quit my job, but I'm pretty sure it will be the right thing to do in the end. Good luck to you!
  11. by   CVnurse08
    I must thank you for encouraging SC RN because it has also encouraged me. I too have faced much opposition from people who think I am "crazy" for wanting to be a nurse, not neccesarily in particular areas like L&D but in general. So thanks for the encouraging replies ~ they have encouraged more than one person.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    you are NOT crazy...

    ok maybe a little insane

    rofl JUST KIDDING!!!!
  13. by   Merry1
    After 13 long years of being discouraged from being a nurse I will wear the scars(mentally) for you guys who are currently walking a mile in my old old shoes. When you are called you need to respond, follow your heart and instincts, they rarely lead you wrong when other people will for whatever reasons they have. Maybe they are testing your resolve in their minds but what they are really doing is planting the seeds of self doubt. Shame on them. I have broad shoulders and a strong mind, give me your doubts if you need to, you ain't heavy...
  14. by   Dayray
    Nursing is so dynamic you either love it or hate it ...only time will tell. Burnt out nurses dont bother me nearly as much as the fact that they stay in areas they don't like.

    As far as Maternal child not being a "real area" nothing could be further from the truth. It takes nerves of steal to stand kne high in blood with 2 patients (mother and baby) lives hanging in the balance.

    I worked the ambulance, ER and a littel in ICU "the real areas" I've been in countless feild codes and pealed people off the pavent, before coming to L&D and I can tell you nothing has been as challanging as L&D yes we useually have good outcomes but it doesnt happen on its own. Potiential crisis is avoided by good nursing judgment on a daily basis. If you truly want to experance the a full range of emotion and to go home felling like you really made a differance don't let them talk you out of working maternal child. When they tell you its not a real area just tell them "yeah all I do is wash babys and teach breast feeding" when you get your OB rotaion in ADN school they will se what you really do and then they will wonder how you deal with it all.

    GL in nursing and look at how many Maternal child nurses you have here that love their jobs =)

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