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Am I crazy?

Nurses   (3,120 Views 27 Comments)
by stacey914 stacey914 (New Member) New Member

1,088 Visitors; 17 Posts

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Hi Everyone, I am new to posting although I have been reading posts on all nurses since I came across this site. I am 25 years old and will be starting school next month to become a nurse (2yr ADN program). I have worked in healthcare since I was 19, mostly as a phlebotomist but also as a CNA. I am very acquainted with the healthcare setting and feel like I know what I am getting myself into. With that being said, I feel like I might be crazy to think I can actually handle a career as a nurse. The reason I say this is because of some things that have happened in my life recently. Let me explain:

About 19 months ago both of my children were diagnosed with a rare genetic condition (not obvious at birth). There is no cure and it is terminal. My oldest son (4 in December) started showing some signs of regression at about 18 months old after developing normally up until then. He now can no longer walk, talk, eat, etc. We immediately tested our then 6 month old son and he was also diagnosed. With this condition, it diagnosed before symptoms present, (which usually only happens in situations like mine when an older sibling is first diagnosed) then you have the option of doing an umbilical cord blood transplant. It does not cure the condition but it can delay onset of symptoms and slows down the normally rapid progression of the disease. At 8 months old (May 2009), our younger son had the transplant. He did exceptionally well with minor complications until about 6 months post transplant when his issues became more serious. 3 months later, 3 days shy of 18 months old our sweet baby boy passed away. Tomorrow will mark 6 months without him:( My 4 year old is currently stable, smiles all the time, and even attends pre-school for 3 hours a day. The thing is with this condition- he could have 3 months he could have 3 years. He will most definately, (unless they come up with a cure) not make it to his early teens.

While this is a lot to deal with, the grief is and always will be there, I feel the need to do something. I left my last job when my son started his treatment and I am ready to start picking up the pieces and get my life back together because the reality is that life goes on without him. Let me also say that if my almost 4 year old developed ANY issues that I would drop out and put nursing school on hold-He is my #1 priority. Now that that is all out, Nursing is something I have always wanted to do. I actually started nursing school at 19 but was working full-time also and wanting to "just be 19" and then the kids came along and life happens. Now is the first time in my life that nursing school is an option again. I feel like eventhough my circumstances are rough that I can make it through school and do good at it. I am not a half-asser- I either give it my all or don't even attempt it. My problem is my heart is in pediatrics. I just wonder with my history is it something that I could REALLY do. Could I handle it? Who knows maybe I'll get into pediatrics and hate it and find a passion for something else. I've thought about even looking into being a flight nurse which I know would entail experience in critical/intensive care which are other fields I am also interested in. I guess there is really not a point in this post- I am just kind of thinking out loud. Your opinions would be greatly appriciated on this matter though.

Another thing that I really worry about is the job market in my area. There are several nursing schools around so there will be lots of competition. I plan on furthering my education past ADN but with my situation, it could take me a long time to get to that point.

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8,365 Visitors; 839 Posts

This is a really tough thing to give advice on; the emotions are intense and very personal.

If your son only has 3 months to 3 years, you have to ask yourself how much you want to be there. Nursing school takes up A LOT of time. You'd need to be prepared to sacrifice a lot of time with your family.

Working in pediatrics will be difficult for you, but if turns out it's where your heart is, you'll be able to work there eventually if it initially proves to be too difficult at first.. You never know, you might enjoy the OR or find you don't really like peds.

As for the job market? You say you have a good grasp on what it's like now, so you have an idea of what you're getting yourself into. No one can say what it will look like when you graduate.

Good luck!

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ijuanabhappy has 3 years experience and works as a School Nurse.

16,559 Visitors; 381 Posts

Hello Stacey,

I first want to say that I am so sorry for your loss.. I can't imagine what you have been through and what you are going through. My heart goes out to you. You seem like a very strong person.

I just finished a two year ADN program at the age of 41. My children were a little older (14, 11, 8), but the last year was really rough and I was not available in their lives like I felt I should have been. If I were in your situation, I would cherish every moment with your son, and I pray you have as much time as possible with him. You are very, very young and can always go to nursing school at a later time and it will only take two years. But right now two years with your son is more precious. That is only my opinion and what I would do in your situation. Nursing school will always be there. But it does take a lot of your time and presence away from your kids and family.

As far as whether you should go into pediatrics, that is something only you will be able to decide, and it won't be now. You will know in time but keep it as an option.

God bless you, Stacey... I wish the best for you :)

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558 Visitors; 6 Posts

My heart sank to hear that your kiddo died on you... I think a parent should never have to suffer thru there child dieing first before themselfs. I truely am sorry for you loss. I am 24 now and am also a phlebotomist and a CNA and am in LVN college. Your situation is unique situation. Im sure few and most likely non of us on here have never experenced your situation before and can only give you encouragement to put your mind to it and maybe you can even find your life may become so much better knowing that you have done something you wanted with your life.... No one said it would be easy and I agree with you that your venting on here because your scared and need support maybe so im going to say you have our support and we and I are all here to help as much as we can because thats what we do best! My sugestion to you is to think about any and every bad and good situation that could come in your life...Reality situations not over fantisize...but real bad and good things that could come, even things that could stop you and things you need to look for to progress you....then with all the marbles in place eather do it a little and finish it later or do it all right now and see the benafits. There is a saying " Success does not come without sacrifice." The same can be for life. Life is a strange thing no matter how bad things get if you look in a different angle there is always a light. Follow what your heart and mind tell you. And remember that the only way for you to fail is for you to have never tried your best even if you didnt go all the way you still did your best and in my book that is true success!!!!

Andrew Caraway

CNA/Phlebotomist

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regularRN works as a RN.

6,830 Visitors; 400 Posts

I agree with ijuanabhappy - time spent with your child is precious. Studying is all consuming - no time for anything else, and even when it seems like there is, school is always on one's mind. There is plenty of time to go to RN school in the future. Spend time with your son now. I don't think you'll regret it.

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5,662 Visitors; 344 Posts

I am so sorry for your loss...

With the experiences you have been through, and your desire for nursing, I think you could make a great nurse!

There are a lot of nurses out there that lack empathy, it's just one of those things you can't teach...so knowing what some of these families are going through, it sounds like you would be a very empathetic nurse.

Having said that, the medical field is far from perfect, and I think you should think about how certain situations may affect you (a patient has serious life threatening reaction to staff error, etc)

If you have a passion for serving others, and a desire to be a nurse, and think you could deal with above type situations, I say Go For It!!

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1,088 Visitors; 17 Posts

I understand your position when you say to spend this time with my son BUT while I enjoy every single second that I have with him I feel like if I sit home with him for the next who knows 3 months, 3 years, 6,7,8 years that I will become depressed and unmotivated. I already feel that I have become lazy and feel the need to be a part of society. I know I can fulfill that need though working part-time or volunteering but why not do something that I have always wanted to do? If he were to become ill, I will most definately put school on hold. I just feel like if I don't have something to focus on (outside of taking care of him) that I will sit at home depressed and feeling sorry for myself. That is something I want to avoid. I understand that school will be more than a full-time job but then I look at it like this- if his Dad was not in the picture I would have to work full time to support us.

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8,365 Visitors; 839 Posts

I understand your position when you say to spend this time with my son BUT while I enjoy every single second that I have with him I feel like if I sit home with him for the next who knows 3 months, 3 years, 6,7,8 years that I will become depressed and unmotivated. I already feel that I have become lazy and feel the need to be a part of society. I know I can fulfill that need though working part-time or volunteering but why not do something that I have always wanted to do? If he were to become ill, I will most definately put school on hold. I just feel like if I don't have something to focus on (outside of taking care of him) that I will sit at home depressed and feeling sorry for myself. That is something I want to avoid. I understand that school will be more than a full-time job but then I look at it like this- if his Dad was not in the picture I would have to work full time to support us.

You're the only one who can make that call. Regardless, I think it's absolutely a great idea that you find something to make you feel productive. Check out your local nursing schools and talk to some academic counselors there. They should be able to give you a clear picture of what to expect so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Good luck! And if it turns out that nursing is not right at this time, don't get discouraged and find something to do that makes you happy!

Don't ever forget your own needs.

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ijuanabhappy has 3 years experience and works as a School Nurse.

16,559 Visitors; 381 Posts

I understand your position when you say to spend this time with my son BUT while I enjoy every single second that I have with him I feel like if I sit home with him for the next who knows 3 months, 3 years, 6,7,8 years that I will become depressed and unmotivated. I already feel that I have become lazy and feel the need to be a part of society. I know I can fulfill that need though working part-time or volunteering but why not do something that I have always wanted to do? If he were to become ill, I will most definately put school on hold. I just feel like if I don't have something to focus on (outside of taking care of him) that I will sit at home depressed and feeling sorry for myself. That is something I want to avoid. I understand that school will be more than a full-time job but then I look at it like this- if his Dad was not in the picture I would have to work full time to support us.

I totally understand where you are coming from. And Fribblet is right... you need to take care of yourself too. This is a very personal decision and I think talking with a counselor is a great idea. I just wouldn't want you to ever feel any regret, as I have felt regret before regarding time spent with my kids (on a smaller scale) and I know your situation is very different and I don't mean to compare the two. It is very understandable that you need to get out, get away, socialize, feel like you are doing something... and you should. If you are in better spirits, you will enjoy time spent with your son that much more.. so it is very important to take care of your needs. Good luck to you and I wish you the best!

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1,690 Visitors; 137 Posts

Like one allnurses member said on another thread "there's never a right/good time." If this is what you wanted for the longest time, you are going to strive for it and achieve it... but it has to be one your own terms. No decision is without sacrifice; this is reality. But at the same time being a nurse is not the be-all end-all, family is more important.

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chevyv has 20+ years experience and works as a Behavioral Health.

16,848 Visitors; 1,644 Posts

Nursing school will always be there. Family is so important. I guess I would rather miss a few nursing opportunities than miss my baby(ies). I agree with other posters though, it is your decision as well as your families to make together. You can never get those minutes/years back so just realize that before going all out. Maybe part time would be better. I went part time and still worked my butt off and was able to spend time with my children. There are so many ways to achieve your nursing dreams. I wish you the very best!

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Rabid Response has 5 years experience and works as a RN.

7,681 Visitors; 309 Posts

I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine what it must feel like to lose a child and to anticipate the loss of another.

I think that you should begin the process of applying to nursing schools now. You can't know what the immediate future will hold for you or your son, and it's not fair to either of you to put your lives on hold while waiting to find out what will happen with his health. I am of the opinion that it's better for a child to spend six waking hours a day with a happy, balanced parent than 16 hours with a depressed, unfulfilled parent. Kids are happier (and healthier) when their parents are happy. When I was a child my mother dropped out of graduate school to be with me during a difficult illness (not as severe as your son's, of course) and, while I have always been grateful and no one has blamed me, I always felt as though it was my fault that she never pursued her dream of getting that graduate degree. My mother was not as happy as she might have been, and I was unhappy for her.

Also, I think that nursing needs you. Nurses and doctors who have dealt with healthcare from the patients' side of things always bring a much needed perspective to their practices.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck.

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