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Am I nuts?


Hey everybody, I'm 34, and a college freshman. Ughhh... anyway what I was planning on was nursing. But that wasn't always a dream of mine. About 10 or 12 years ago, when I first heard of it, I thought surgical tech sounded super cool. I never did anything about it, I just thought it would be cool.

Well about a year ago I decided Respiratory therapy would be great as well so this year I enrolled in a community college to take prerequisites for that only to change my mind to nursing as of about two months ago. Nursing sounds more solid, it will have the most opportunities. But NOW I think I really do want to do surgical technology. I am well aware of the pay difference. So my question to you is AM I NUTS? I feel it may be a better fit because I know I want to be in the hospital and I want to help people, but being the introvert that I am I kind of like the sound of my patients being asleep. Any advice would be great! Thanks!

It sounds like you're a bit wishy-washy. Have you researched the professions and had a chance to meet with anyone who works as a surg tech or nurse? It would probably give you better insight into which would be a better fit for you.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Not all surgical patients are asleep. Not all introverts do well in the OR/surgical services. You can help people as a volunteer in a shelter or soup kitchen too.

It sounds like you need to sit down with a career counselor to review your academic status and figure out which path--nursing, surgical tech, respiratory therapist or other--you are best suited for, no one here can answer this question but you.

As far as your question not sure we're qualified to determine your nut status.... Do you have a preference? Legume? Almond? Walnut? Pecan? Hazelnut? Macadamia? Mixed nut? ;)

Good luck

Lol ok I was just trying to put a little humor in it! And wishy washy is how I feel about it and thats exactly why I posted this to possibly help clear the fog. I know none of you can do that for me, I would just like to maybe hear a little more about personal experiences you have had with one or the other. I am well aware that I should enter in to any of these fields whole-heartedly but not everyone is born knowing their exact path. And by my age it takes some of longer than others. I am not trying to come off as scatter-brained, I would appreciate, love. and devote myself to any of these careers.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

I chose nursing because of the knowledge, variety and my enjoyment. There is potential for flexibility but not nearly as much stability or guarantee of jobs as the media leads society to believe

nalie2, ADN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

If you're aware of the pay difference and still feel passionate about being a surgical tech then go for it. If you're willing to get less pay then it seems like you have a passion for it. I was wishy-washy for a while until I started volunteering at a hospital. Try speaking to a surgical tech to get some insight :)

cayenne06, MSN, CNM

Specializes in Reproductive & Public Health. Has 10 years experience.

Nurses can work in a surgical tech role, but surgical techs are very limited in their career/advancement opportunities. However, it is true that surg techs are lower paid and thus it can be easier to find a job in that specialty as a tech instead of as an RN.

You should research more.... with the changes in medical care.. you need to see where the profession you want to make your career will stand 10 years from now... Nursing is a flexible career and you have variety when it comes to work settings including further education ... you need to do more research before committing.

Good luck..

Dear akcw1981,

When I finally decided on nursing school (as a second career), I had already been in a Radiation Tech program but chose out of it after two semesters. It just didn't seem like a good fit for me. Now, after having gone to nursing school, I wish I had stayed with my initial choice. There are plenty of ways to go in imaging and/or radiation as a treatment for disease, and I just didn't see it.

Now, about the job as a surgical technician. Don't only consider talking to a surg tech, but DO IT. I think you will find, and it is my observation, that it can be quite difficult (and think about where you may fall on the food chain!).

If you are not committed to be a nurse, and I sense you are not, my advice would be not to do it. It's hard getting into nursing school and it's hard to get out. And, it's not the warm, fuzzy place that you might like it to be when you get to your job!

If you were my daughter, I would advise you to take General Ed courses for at least a year, then revisit where your heart and head is at that time. And take a look at the Rad Tech programs....

Good luck, and find your own way!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

34 is not old unless you're a cheese :sarcastic: I'm pretty sure that your birth certificate does not contain any deadlines for learning.

I get the connection you've made to identify OR as a haven for introverts. But, OR staff have to be very assertive as well; that is the one place that a true "stop the line" mentality is alive and well - for patient safety. So staff are expected to speak out when necessary rather than be shy and withdrawn.

But if this is an area that appeals to you, I assure you that OR nurses are a very hot commodity in my part of the world. It takes about 3-5 years to produce a competent generalist OR nurse.... and there is very little turnover. As a result, that specialty tends to be a wee bit (er, um) more 'tenured' than others & they're starting to retire. Hiring bonuses are already out there.

I feel like you know where your passion lies... go for it!!! It's a big decision either way, but go with your gut and what you can imagine seeing yourself doing :)

OR nurses scrub in from time to time. The reason Surgical techs exist is because they do the what OR nurses do for less. FLAME AWAY but it's true.

So as an OR nurse, you will not only be well rounded but also get to do your precious surgical learning as well. Of course seeing how you flip flop constantly I can see that soon you would become jealous of the surgeon and then dream of going back to medical school and one day, in your early fifties, finally becoming a surgical doctor.

Haha, good luck.