When to choose a specialty - page 2

by aliciat22 2,573 Views | 18 Comments

I am just starting nursing school and I am already very anxious to get started:) I am a planner and I have been doing lots of research on specialties. I am curious when most students decide on a specialty, because right now I... Read More


  1. 0
    I agree with loriangel 14. A good friend of mine went into nursing because he had a son who was severely disabled. He always said he wanted to work pediatrics, but when he did his clinicals he was bored out of his mind. He actually LIKES med/surg tele pts because of the variety of diseases and situations that come up in a day. My brother is a great nurse, but works at a slow pace. He learned quickly that he'd better figure out an area to nurse in that would be suited to his personality and ended up in dialysis. He doesn't mind the acuity of the patients, and he likes that he only has two at a time and never has to do any of the admission/discharge paperwork that med/surg nurses do. Me? I'm hoping to go into trauma nursing. Severe blood/guts/codes don't bother me, but dealing with the same patient for more than six hours at a time can make me crazy. It's all about figuring out where your personality fits within the scope of nursing. I think it just takes time.
  2. 1
    You specialize in whatever you get a job in!!! Some markets (like Boston) are impossible. You are lucky to get a job in this area.
    Luckyyou likes this.
  3. 0
    I am currently in a telemetry / icu stepdown position. I wanted ER or ICU when I graduated but quickly realized that I couldn't be too picky. My job requires I float so I've experienced many types of nursing. I honestly would love a surgery center job I think. I love IVs and it was my favorite rotation in nursing school. The best thing about nursing really is the variety and diversity you can experience once you're experienced.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
  4. 0
    I went into nursing school thinking I wanted to work either peds or L&D. I've never worked in either of those areas- I absolutely hated them during clinicals! I didn't figure out where I wanted to work until my last semester, when I finally was exposed to the OR and fell in love.

    Keep in mind, however, that right now, finding a job in the specialty you want may not be possible when you graduate. You may have to take a job in a specialty that isn't your favorite, but will get you experience and an "in" to get into the job you truly want.
  5. 0
    Quote from Sweet_Wild_Rose
    I went into nursing school thinking I wanted to work either peds or L&D. I've never worked in either of those areas- I absolutely hated them during clinicals! I didn't figure out where I wanted to work until my last semester, when I finally was exposed to the OR and fell in love.Keep in mind, however, that right now, finding a job in the specialty you want may not be possible when you graduate. You may have to take a job in a specialty that isn't your favorite, but will get you experience and an "in" to get into the job you truly want.
    I am considering being an OR nurse. But once I have children, will it still be convenient? What I mean is, suppose that I work the day shift. I know that surgeries take an extreme amount of time. That means I will have to stay instead of leaving when it is time for me to get off right? I feel like once I have kids, who require being picked up from school and looked after, OR nurse will not look so satisfying.
  6. 0
    Quote from brenay
    I am considering being an OR nurse. But once I have children, will it still be convenient? What I mean is, suppose that I work the day shift. I know that surgeries take an extreme amount of time. That means I will have to stay instead of leaving when it is time for me to get off right? I feel like once I have kids, who require being picked up from school and looked after, OR nurse will not look so satisfying.
    That depends a lot on the facility and how they staff. Some facilities will staff all shifts (24/7), especially if they are trauma centers. Others may have various shift lengths. Mine offers 8, 10, and 12 hours shifts. If you work day shift (7-3), you may be relieved at 3 and allowed to go home. Not all surgeries take an extreme amount of time. Yes, teaching hospitals that have residents and such may take longer because of the teaching process, but there are also non-teaching facilities out there where surgeries are done much faster. (Example: my father had his appendectomy at a teaching hospital. Routinely, that surgery requires about 2 hours in the OR at that facility. I work in a non-teaching facility with primarily surgeons with decades of experience. Our appy patients spend about 50 minutes in the OR on average.)

    However, most facilities also have call requirements. What this means is that if there are many rooms running and subsequent shifts do not have adequate personnel to staff all surgeries, the call people are required to stay as well. However, you would know your call schedule ahead of time and would be able to make arrangements.

    Call requirements vary from facility to facility and specialty to specialty. At my facility, one specialty only covers call on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Another specialty covers a lot of call- 11 people to cover from 3pm to 7am with three on call at a time (my specialty- can be overwhelming when it's a crazy period, but then there are some slow times that make up for it), and then the vast majority of the OR staff take one 8 hour block of call per week (can be second or third shift). However, where you potentially may work may have a completely different call setup.

    Something I highly recommend if the OR interests you is to shadow. However, when you shadow your focus should not be watching the surgery- it should be watching the nurse and learning what they do and are responsible for. I will say that we've had many nurses think they want to work in the OR because they love to watch surgery. Then they get an eye-opening experience when they learn just what an OR nurse really does.
  7. 0
    Quote from brenay
    Wow. I never thought of the points you made. Thanks! I'm open to whatever happens now! So you don't know what specialty you want to do? Not even a little bit?
    Not really. The things I've considered I ended up not liking. I thought being a school nurse would be awesome - great hours, cute kids. I did some clinical time with a school nurse and oh my goodness, it was TERRIBLE. I was so incredibly bored, I can't even express it.

    We haven't done any critical care, ED, or OR stuff yet and I'm getting the feeling that's where I'd probably enjoy being
  8. 0
    I would have preferred to work in icu. My experience in south Mississippi is that most hospitals required 1-2 years experience before hiring into icu. After nearly 6 months working on a medical surgical floor I believe I would enjoy working in the ER. By the way, I would have never chosen med surg. This was the first position I was able to find as a new grad. I couldn't be without a job while waiting for the perfect job.
  9. 0
    I'd love to work in the ED when I first start out, but I could imagine that could take a toll on you after many years. I would love to eventually be a nurse educator and help students through their clinicals.


Top