New Nursing student,is Public Health the way to go? HELP!!!

  1. Hi everyone,

    I've just started a second degree fast track BScN program. Most of the work so far has been in class, but we just started our clinical placements. We are in the maternity section. I love seeing the babies, but when i had to clean a dressing(for a c-section patient) i found myself feeling disgusted. I'm just wondering is there anyway to completely avoid the physical side of nursing(i.e, administering dressing, viewing operations).To be honest im not really interested in seeing the physical inner contents of a person's body. It was suggested that i go into Public Health, as it deals mainly with education. Can a public Health Nurse ompletely avoid the physical side of nursing? Is Public Health my answer, or am i in the wrong career?
    •  
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   snrnstudent
    I am surprised that i have had 92 visits but not one single reply. did i say something wrong? PLEASE SOMEONE RESPOND>>>IM DESPERATE FOR GUIDANCE!!!!!!
  4. by   danu3
    Quote from snrnstudent
    Hi everyone,

    I've just started a second degree fast track BScN program. Most of the work so far has been in class, but we just started our clinical placements. We are in the maternity section. I love seeing the babies, but when i had to clean a dressing(for a c-section patient) i found myself feeling disgusted. I'm just wondering is there anyway to completely avoid the physical side of nursing(i.e, administering dressing, viewing operations).To be honest im not really interested in seeing the physical inner contents of a person's body. It was suggested that i go into Public Health, as it deals mainly with education. Can a public Health Nurse ompletely avoid the physical side of nursing? Is Public Health my answer, or am i in the wrong career?
    Not in nursing school. You have no choice. After nursing school, maybe... probably after a few years of experience.

    You can work for insurance or drug companies on top of my head. Or go into law and nursing, or computer and nursing. Go into management. Go into case management. Get a Ph.D. and create more nursing theory for others to learn You can become a writer for nursing journals. You can before a medical searcher (you'll need to get a master in Library Science, you got your medical side already in nursing so you are fine).

    Take a look at a book call "Majoring in Nursing" by Katz, a good short book and the author hates blood as a nurse.
  5. by   angel337
    I think the reason you probably haven't received many responses is because from time to time you will see a thread started by a nursing student with a topic similar to yours regarding bedside nursing. more than 90% of nurses begin their careers at the bedside, so it is difficult to understand why some people go to nursing school assuming they may be able to avoid "the dirty work". I do believe you may be able to find a non-bedside nursing job, but usually that will only happen after at least a year of patient care experience. I am interested in doing public health eventually because it was my favorite rotation in nursing school, but I know that the hospital experience will help me. I work ER and the experience is invaluable. reevaluate why you want to be a nurse and ask yourself if you are willing to make several steps in order to get the career you ultimately want. good luck.
  6. by   Jayla
    Quote from snrnstudent
    Hi everyone,

    I've just started a second degree fast track BScN program. Most of the work so far has been in class, but we just started our clinical placements. We are in the maternity section. I love seeing the babies, but when i had to clean a dressing(for a c-section patient) i found myself feeling disgusted. I'm just wondering is there anyway to completely avoid the physical side of nursing(i.e, administering dressing, viewing operations).To be honest im not really interested in seeing the physical inner contents of a person's body. It was suggested that i go into Public Health, as it deals mainly with education. Can a public Health Nurse ompletely avoid the physical side of nursing? Is Public Health my answer, or am i in the wrong career?
    As a PHN I can tell you it's true that PH deals primarily with education and social work--sometimes I feel less like a nurse than a social worker. But there are physical assessments that need to be done, which on occassion involve a nasty looking umbilical cord or a terrible rash, dirty diaper, etc. Not to mention vaccinating screaming, terrified children and babies (not a job for the squeamish).

    My personal thoughts are: as a nurse, you need to be willing and able to meet ALL of your patient's needs--emotional, educational AND physical (and sometimes spiritual). If you are so turned off by the physical aspects of nursing, perhaps you should choose a career that doesn't require you to involve yourself in physical care...such as social work or education. The only nursing job I can think of that would not involve "physical" contact would be phone triage, and you won't get that kind of position without acute experience first. Just my 2 cents.
  7. by   snrnstudent
    Thank you to everyone who has replied. Your advice is appreciated.
  8. by   nursechick182
    Have you thought about newborn nursery? Or perhaps a Level II nicu? I think the yuckiest part of babies is changing meconium diapers (which beats child or adult poop ANY day) and sometimes they spit up when they eat (but if you take proper precautions-gloves, positioning blankets across your lap when you feed) it's not that bad. The only somewhat "bloody" part of it is getting the babies admitted after birth (which most of the cheesy stuff should already be wiped off them) and then assisting with circumscisions, which usually are a pretty quick procedure. Also, have you thought of school nursing??
  9. by   cutesyrn
    I am currently a Public Health Nurse working in the area of community nursing doing home visits and have entered this field straight from graduation...So far my experience has been that for the most part there is no hands on procedures such as the dressing changes you mentioned, however as an effective nurse, you do have to assess your patient's condition and perform a physical assessment as part of a comprehensive assessment. Consequently, if a patient has a physical complaint such as discharge from the site of a c-section, you will have to take a look at it and refer the patient appropriately.
    Keep in mind though that a public health nurse can work in many settings, and you may find a job that is strictly case management and education, you should look at your local health department job posting and read the descriptions to better get an idea of the kind of jobs a public health nurse can have in your area... Good Luck...
  10. by   Quickbeam
    I didn't respond because I'd not be an effective PHN/CHN without my 20 years of bedside care. I don't agree with the assumption that PHN is where you go if you don't want to touch anyone. I don't mean that in a snarky way.

    In my region, PHN/CHN jobs are hard to get and pay is low. Almost all want or expect some years of hands on care. I'm frequently an interviewer and we'd not hire anyone who had no bedside experience. I'm sure that varies in other areas.

close