Nursing Student wanting to go into Community Health...advice? - page 2

by Sammygrll 6,957 Views | 15 Comments

Hello everyone! I will be a soon to be nursing student in just a few months, and have just had the lightbulb moment of what kind of nurse I want to be! I have always been interested in young women's health, sexual... Read More


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    Quote from fayemotuy
    After 10 months of school, I am even more doubtful that I will thrive in bed side nursing!! I am really passionate about public health and social policy instead and was hoping that getting a BSN will better prepare for an MPH later. The community health class we took at school was less than stellar but the concepts that were introduced (disease prevention, environmental health, disaster management) are EXACTLY what I would like to learn more about!
    I feel exactly the same way! I HATE bedside nursing and it's made me doubt my choice to even be a nurse. I majored in public health first as an undergrad and picked nursing for my second bachelor's degree, but all of these bedside nursing clinicals are killing me. I just want to be a public health nurse and I want to know that I made the right choice! Sometimes I think I should've just gone for the MPH and skipped nursing.
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    Pitya,

    I think that nurses can make a positive impact in public health field. For example, what I noticed while learning in the BSN program is that the professors reiterate patient teaching. I think that the majority of patient teaching can be done through public health using nursing knowledge before the patients get really sick and admitted to the hospital (though some diseases, unfortunately still can't be prevented through public health efforts.)

    The bedside concepts and skills we learn, such as trach care, can also be applied to patients seen in the public/community health setting. Straight Caths, for example, are used in a lot of children with spinal injuries for life, post-discharge. School nurses or home health nurses can help with teaching and managing infection control in this case, for example.

    I think that in school, they teach mainly from a bedside nursing POV but there are really many avenues nurses can take with the knowledge.
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    Quote from heatheryk
    I work in the nurse family partnership program. It is a nation wide nurse home visitor program that does education for first time moms. We teach health, parenting, do life coaching and general mentoring for these mostly teenage moms. It's a lot of fun. www.nursefamilypartnership.org

    Checked out this organization because it sounded like something I would be very interested in. Sounded great but then I read the requirements--must have BSN. Oh well, maybe in the future.
  4. 1
    Quote from fayemotuy
    Thanks for the information.

    I am more motivated to finish school knowing that I have options to work in community health post-grad.
    Squirt 2008, did you have to work in the hospital initially before getting hired by the health department?

    After 10 months of school, I am even more doubtful that I will thrive in bed side nursing!! I am really passionate about public health and social policy instead and was hoping that getting a BSN will better prepare for an MPH later. The community health class we took at school was less than stellar but the concepts that were introduced (disease prevention, environmental health, disaster management) are EXACTLY what I would like to learn more about!
    After I finished my ADN, I HATED bedside nursing and was ready to go wok in KMart instead.It was so different than the ideal world of clinicals! Luckily, a friend of mine talked me into going into Home Care and after only 3 months of bedside nursing, I was able to work as a Visiting Nurse at an agency that had a great orientation program for new nurses. This was a Medicare Certified agency, so I was not doing private duty in the home. I had a caseload of patients I managed. I knew I had found my niche. Many times, a brand new nurse can't get a job in Home Care, but some agencies will hire. It depends on the nurse and the agency. I've never gone back to the bedside in 18 years. I went back to school for a BS in Community Health Education, got certified as a Health Educator and have also worked as a Discharge Planner, in a Planned Parenthood clinic, a hospital-based Community Health Dept, as a Public Health Nurse, in a Wound Care Clinic, and in Adult Medical day Care. If you know for sure the bedside is not for you at this point in your career, it's a blessing. Just don't give up on school, and if you have to do some time at the bedside, the experience will be worth it in the long-run. Good Luck!
    serenitylove14 likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from fayemotuy
    Pitya,

    I think that nurses can make a positive impact in public health field. For example, what I noticed while learning in the BSN program is that the professors reiterate patient teaching. I think that the majority of patient teaching can be done through public health using nursing knowledge before the patients get really sick and admitted to the hospital (though some diseases, unfortunately still can't be prevented through public health efforts.)

    The bedside concepts and skills we learn, such as trach care, can also be applied to patients seen in the public/community health setting. Straight Caths, for example, are used in a lot of children with spinal injuries for life, post-discharge. School nurses or home health nurses can help with teaching and managing infection control in this case, for example.

    I think that in school, they teach mainly from a bedside nursing POV but there are really many avenues nurses can take with the knowledge.
    I never read your reply until now! Thanks for replying and although I'm sorry I didn't see it earlier, the encouragement still helps. You're right, every time we talk about patient teaching, I'm thinking, "public health!" I've even thought about being a diabetes educator...I've heard that's really needed in my community. I can't pinpoint what it is I don't like about the bedside, but I feel so much better every time I do anything outpatient or just plain not in a hospital. I went into nursing because I really wanted a challenge (definitely got that along with a ton of stress!) and to have a better clinical knowledge of diseases. My public health degree didn't go into the pathophysiology of diseases and I feel that having "RN" next to my name opens up more job avenues. I mean, I can give vaccines and not just teach about them, I can actually assess patients to some degree, etc. It's exciting, but I can't wait to back into public health. I just need to keep the confidence that nursing school is actually worth it.
  6. 0
    Quote from grianstad
    After I finished my ADN, I HATED bedside nursing and was ready to go wok in KMart instead.It was so different than the ideal world of clinicals! Luckily, a friend of mine talked me into going into Home Care and after only 3 months of bedside nursing, I was able to work as a Visiting Nurse at an agency that had a great orientation program for new nurses. This was a Medicare Certified agency, so I was not doing private duty in the home. I had a caseload of patients I managed. I knew I had found my niche. Many times, a brand new nurse can't get a job in Home Care, but some agencies will hire. It depends on the nurse and the agency. I've never gone back to the bedside in 18 years. I went back to school for a BS in Community Health Education, got certified as a Health Educator and have also worked as a Discharge Planner, in a Planned Parenthood clinic, a hospital-based Community Health Dept, as a Public Health Nurse, in a Wound Care Clinic, and in Adult Medical day Care. If you know for sure the bedside is not for you at this point in your career, it's a blessing. Just don't give up on school, and if you have to do some time at the bedside, the experience will be worth it in the long-run. Good Luck!
    Thanks, I already know the bedside isn't for me, but when I tell people that they look at me like I'm crazy for going to nursing school if I hate the bedside. Today I almost fainted while watching an NG tube suctioning...to be fair, I hadn't eaten in 24 hours, but it was still awful! Interesting that you were a nurse and then got your BS in Community Health Education! What school did you go to if you don't mind me asking? I also have a BS in Community Health Ed from the University of Arizona. Just curious, because I know it's not a very common undergrad degree, but I love it. More than anything, my public health education has shaped my beliefs, values, political judgments, and really my future. I learned so much more about social justice and issues that we never really talk about in nursing school, so I feel more well-rounded with both.


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