Lonely school nurse in Japan needs help!!!
- 1Feb 23, '10 by mr.briceI'm Japanese, born and grew up in Japan, went to the US at age 14 and then had to go back to Japan 3 years ago because my visa ran out and could not find a job/visa sponsor. Luckily found a job at an international school as a school nurse.
I'm currently working as a school nurse at this international school (about 300 students K-12) in Japan for 2 years.
Recently, I came to a point where I don't know what I'm doing or what I should be doing as a nurse.
I feel frustrated deep inside and I can't seem to get rid of it
I feel left behind and I also feel extremely lonely being the only school nurse in school.
I don't have anybody to share or talk to about nursing and I often feel choked up in my office.
I don't have a clue as to what I should do to keep up with my nursing and keep my confidence as a RN.
My husband is an American but we have no plan on going back to the States right now.
It is difficult for me to keep myself up with license renewal, CE and CPR/AED renewal.
I feel like I can do more for this school but I don't know where to start.
My Japanese is not good enough to get involved in the nursing community over here.
There's not many people out there with similar cases like mine.
But I feel like I'm on the edge and needed to share.
- 0Feb 23, '10 by Kooky KorkyYou mention keeping up your licensure, CEU's, etc. By whom are you licensed? Presumably by Japan, right?
Aren't there lots of school nurses in Japan? Maybe no others at your school, but someone hired you and surely there are other school nurses in Japan.
Sorry, I don't know names of states or regions there but there must be many nurses in Japan, just as in America. Why not see about connecting with some other nurses, no matter their specialties.
Also, you might want to get involved in some other activities. You sound quite sad and lonely and I wonder if there's anything there like EAP (employee assistance program) or other counseling that you can seek out. Or maybe you'd like to get involved with a religious group or cultural or hobby group(s). Sounds like you need some fellowship and some friends. Homesick, perhaps? Are you in touch with family or old friends?
That must have been pretty hard, being sent away from basically the only country you've ever known for most of your life. Huge adjustment you must make.
I'm glad you came here to share and hope you find friendship and understanding here as well as in "real life" close to your new home and work.
By all means, master Japanese language, learn the history and culture. Vitally important.
- 1Feb 23, '10 by Flareok, first take a breath. You are not alone. Like others have said, we've made our own community online here in the school nurses section of this forum.
The life of a school nurse is very different from that of a unit nurse. You are by yourself and have nobody to help you make a decision when it comes to the tough calls. Some of us are fortunate enough to have colleagues in other schools nearby or in the same district to bounce ideas off of, nut at the end of the day most of are in our offices alone.
The office traffic can go from nothing to a quite trickle to mass pandemonium in the blink of an eye. Our job is to stay cool, prioritize your patients and give the appropriate treatment. (in between the 75 other tasks for the day like meds, glucose checks, writing health plans and so on...)
For the quiet times i like to catch up on some CEU's online or page through a nursing journal. I haven't worked on a hospital unit in a couple of years, but i've been known to take summer positions from time to time on units. This helps keep my skills sharp. I'm also on the volunteer first aid squad - this also keeps me a little sharper when it comes to pre-hospital emergencies, which we tend to see since we're not in the hospital
Your best idea to start with is to come up with a list of ideas and goals that you would like to achieve. Look locally and online to see how to achieve them and of course check out the school nurse section here on this forum:
you can ask us anything or just vent if you need to. We're here for you.
- 0Feb 23, '10 by mr.bricewow, thank you all for your kind comments
there are good and bad days at work
it doesn't help that this school that I work at has no "governance" system in place
and things are very screwed up
WASC accreditation team is coming next month so I was thnking about asking them for some advices.
I got the school nursing: a comprehensiv text today from amazon.co.jp
so I will start reading this.
Japanese health system is very different from the US so it is hard to implement good ideas that I come up with.
I have to renew my CPR cert. next winter and I think I have to fly back to Oregon to do this. I Oregon license is not accepted to work as a unit nurse in Japan. I pretty much have go back to college and take nursing course for 4 years or apply for nursing school.
I will definetely check out the school nurse section here! See you there!
and again, thank you all for the support!
- 0May 24, '10 by joyeeRNHi there,
I am currently residing in Japan too and have found it difficult to find ANY volunteering work since my Japanese isn't great. I'd love to volunteer at your school with you if that is possible at all? I know it's a long shot, but I'm trying anyways! Let me know what you think... I'm not sure where the international school is located but I live near a bunch of them in Minami Azabu.
Hope to hear from ya!
- 0May 25, '10 by forresterMake yourself important!
You seem to have enough time to pursue an online Master's degree (and then a doctorate) for example. Maybe doing some work in public health would be a good thing to look into. Look into becoming a specialist in some area via online education or certification.