Potential Nurse, but scared to do it? - page 2

Hi, I am a 17 y/o female. A senior in highschool from CA. I am applying to colleges with BSN nursing as my intended major, but I don't know if I truly can handle it as a career. I am terrified, to be honest, of the job. I am... Read More

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    I started out working as a CNA/HCA in a LTC facility and a little over a year ago made the switch to working in a hospital. I did my practicum in the ICU and since have held a position on a medicine unit but have had opportunities to pick up shifts on various different units....ER, Cardiac, NICU, L&D, Rehab, Anti/Gyne. Some units, especially in the ER & ICU I was super nervous about the what if's. As a CNA/HCA we are responsible for doing CPR and there's always that fear of a code being called but after seeing a few codes (while doing my practicum) I was amazed at just how well everyone jumps into action and works well together. As for the rest I can understand those fears, some of which I share, but again the experience I've gained thus far has helped to ease some of those. And I will say that ANY experience you get as a CNA will definitely help you along the way. I cant say enough good things about the LPN's and RN's that I work with who worked their way up from a CNA. Gives some perspective. Not to say that the nurses who didn't aren't good...it's just different.

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    Hi! If you are genuinely interested in the career and there are positives for you then of course you can do it. I was scared to do nursing too, I was scared even before I applied to school about the whole process, clinicals, etc. Fear isn't something that should stand in your way, it can also be seen as a motivator. With a four year bachelors program, you will have a pretty long time to slowly become adjusted to these 'uncomfortable' things. But if you really want it, you will work through them. I remember the first day of clinical, when I had to just TALK to my first patient, and interview them. I was kind of terrified. And I remember my first code two weeks ago, as an RN, after which my patient died. I was also terrified. This kind of stuff comes with the territory. No one comes into the field an expert. It is a lot of work, emotionally draining, but also challenging, invigorating, and rewarding. If you want it, you can have it. Good luck!
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    Your fears are natural. I am 40 and changing gears and getting into nursing and I have the same fears as you do, in fact, those fears are what held me back from doing nursing sooner, which now I regret. So here I am now taking the plunge, wish I would have started sooner though. But I know that I really like to help people and that urge has grown with each passing year.

    My advice to you would be to shadow a nurse (or a couple), get a nurse mentor, volunteer at a hospital a couple days a week. Really get in there and try to get an inside insight on nursing before fully commiting to a nursing program. There is no harm in going into college as an undeclared major the first year(usually the first 2 years are spent fullfilling your general ed requirements anyway) and then declaring nursing as your major once you have had time to explore nursing more.

    Good luck!
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    Just to echo PPs:
    1) Your fears about the profession make total sense and you're not alone! I think that those are things that never go away, and they are part of your motivation for being thorough and careful. We all make mistakes, and we all most likely WILL make these kinds of mistakes that we are afraid of. That's what school is for: getting down and dirty and having our judgment questioned by professors and instructors who have been there, done that. I hate being wrong, especially when it hurts someone else, but think of all the good we'll miss out on doing if we give into that fear.
    2) It might help a lot to get more experience in direct patient care. You said you mostly hung out with the unit secretary at your last job/volunteer experience if I'm remembering right. I used to work as an admin assistant at an inpatient hospice unit and thought I was learning a lot. I got my CNA training and started doing nursing assistant work at the same place, and everything was sooooo much different! There is no substitute for doing the real thing. As a CNA, you'll probably be helping an RN, or at least witnessing an RN, doing a lot of their everyday tasks, and that puts you in a better place to decide whether it's for you. Plus, it puts your ability to deal with every kind of sight and smell and situation with grace and compassion. If you can continue to be pleasant to a patient and family who has been running your butt off all day, you can probably have faith in your ability to do this nursing thing.

    Good luck in your decision!

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