Student needs input

  1. I am a LPN student, still several months from graduation, but I have no idea where I want to work after graduation. I am pretty sure LTC is not for me. I will be 56 years old when I graduate & probably will not go on for my ADN because I just can't justify spending more time out of the workforce when I will be retiring in 10-12 years anyway and I physically cannot work & go to school fulltime.
    That leaves me with hospital nursing or a doctor's offic/clinic. Most of the hospitals I am interested in working at do not hire LPNs. These are the smaller hospitals, closer to where live. I'd have to drive close to an hour to get to the ones who do hire LPNs. I am leaning toward office/clinic work. I know that they hire LPNs but with the influx of CMAs, are they being passed up over RNs & CMAs?
    Can you give me some insight? I'm not afraid of hard work or off hours - actually prefer working 2nd shift hours. I do suspect that it won't be long & lifting of patients will be difficult.
    Do you think clinic/office work would be a good choice? Do you feel that a couple years in med/surg is necessary or advisable?

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    About midcom

    Joined: May '06; Posts: 435; Likes: 87


  3. by   midcom
    Well, 35 people took the time to read my request. Too bad no one cared enough to offer some advice.
  4. by   Morgan314
    Maybe you got no replies because you answered your own questions which shows that you have put a lot of thought into your situation and show realistic insight into your limitations. Hospital nursing is physically demanding, and you should not feel pressured to take a job in med-surg unless you like that kind of nursing and want to work in that area. You sound definite about LTC not being an option, and that makes me want to ask "why?" Have you ever worked in a LTC facility? It can be very rewarding. Have you considered Correctional nursing? That is not for everybody, but some seem to like it. What about mental-health? public health? home health?
    Where do you live? What kind of work did you do before going to nursing school? What inspired you to choose nursing?
  5. by   midcom
    Thank you for your reply. Actually I don't think I answered my own question. I was just asking for advice; actually hoping for a bit of what you offered. I've been mulling it over in my mind & the problem is that except for a year as a dental assistant, I have no knowledge of what exactly a clinic/ outpatient nurse does and we will get no experience with that in school. I was hoping someone would say, "yes, considering your age & interests, this will be right up your alley and this is why....." When I started classes, I discovered very quickly that I had boughten into the "hollywood" image of what a nurse is, & that coupled with knowing what they did & were allowed to do 35 years ago, when I first hoped to attend nursing school were very different from what I am learning to do. And, by the way, this thrills me. I don't want to be a glorified CNA, and that is pretty much what I had previously thought LPNs were. Oh, that's not a putdown of CNAs by the way. God bless CNAs.

    You asked why I am not interested in LTC. I had horrible experiences at nursing homes growing up and as a young adult. I truly do love old people but hate the facilities. I've done one clinical rotation in a nursing home doing mostly CNA work. It was OK but enough to assure me that it was not the place for me (perhaps it was just the facility, I don't know). In a couple weeks I return for my second clinical, coincidentally in the very same facility but this time doing more nursing, passing meds, caths, charting, etc. It's a good place but it had bad memories for me. It doesn't help that the first room I went into was the room where my Mother died 4 years ago.

    I live in a very rural area. I don't see correctional nursing as an option- no facilities & I don't want to have to learn how to defend myself at work. Call me a chicken! My background is IT- big change from dealing with computer programs to working with people & their health but it's a dream I've had since I was 4 years old when I fell in love with the "fairy princess" who took care of me in the hospital. See what I mean about the misconceptions? And, dang, they don't wear crowns anymore either. My job ended up being outsourced, I was able to retire with severance, & I decided that it was now or never to try to achieve my dream, flawed as it was. I'd give almost anything to have been able to do this 20 years ago.

    The "real" reason I chose nursing stems with my mother. I mentioned she died at that nursing home. What I didn't say is that the only reason she was there was because no one in our family had the skills to care for her during the last 3 weeks of her life when her cancer made it impossible for her to care for herself. I tried. I'd spend my days with her & go to work at night. But the day came that she started vomiting feces & I ashamedly could not stay in the room with her & support her. I fled into the next room & sobbed. And trying to help her care for her colostomy was just as bad. It was then that I vowed to become a nurse, if possible, to get the knowledge & skills so that if anyone in my family needed me again, I'd be able to do it. Of course, if it is my MIL, well, that's a different story. Does that sound like a dumb reason to finally become a nurse? I don't know. I am looking at hospice down the line. In our area they are now starting to hire LPNs but only after they have had 2 years experience. I saw what hospice could do for a family as well as the patient. I guess I should consider home health nursing. Maybe what I observed when Mom had them is not the norm.

    But I still consider clinic/outpatient but don't know what to expect. Are my expectations also hollywoodized or outmoded? I don't know.

    Well, this is long & I have to get to school. Learning to do caths in lab today. Thanks again for responding.
  6. by   Morgan314
    Thank you for your response to my response!! WOW, you are someone special for sure. You certainly have my greatest respect and admiration. I am sorry for the loss of your mother. I can imagine how helpless you must have felt in that situation. Do you have any other options for doing clinical in a facility other than that one? It may be traumatic for you, or you may find comfort and healing as you learn to provide the care that you would have given your mother.

    I know what you mean about that hollywood image of nurses. Growing up, my idea of a nurse was the starched white dress, white hose, white shoes, and the white cap. I never gave much thought as to what a nurse did except to punish little children by giving them shots. I knew she was really a witch who only wanted to let me know that she knew about the naughty things I had done or had thought about doing, and how she must have really enjoyed hurting little kids because she would smile the whole time and be real nice to my mother all the while. Then as I got older, several of my friends' mothers were nurses, and my image of a nurse changed as I began to see them as queenlike. These were women who always kept their homes clean, served healthy foods, had a good sense of humor, and were usually bright and clever. And they could all play the piano. I wanted to be a nurse because they seemed to be above all women.
    When I went to college, a girl in my dorm encouraged me to go into nursing because she had seen me empty the pee pot of a paraplegic on our hall, knew I had worked as a NA, and thought I should become a nurse, & go home with her to Africa where her parents were missionaries. She said they needed me. That was encouragement enough. How impressive is that: a missionary nurse to Rhodesia. BUT, the reality of it all hit hard once I got into the nursing program and I learned that there is a whole lot more to it. I hated every minute of it and asked myself every day "what are you doing here? and what will you do when all this is over?" I hated the hospital and hated being around sick people. So, I had to find a nursing job where people are not sick. One of my first jobs after graduation was in a rest home, and I loved it. When one of our people got sick, they went to the hospital and came back when they got well. I enjoyed the people so much, learned from them, entertained them, and appreciated them. All I had to do was pass meds to 89 residents, check v/s, and feed the ones who couldn't feed themselves. Wonderful job, but paid only $5/hr so I had to move on to better pay in a nursing home. After that, I worked on a psych ward in a local hospital and fell in love with psych nursing. I'd found my home. Left there to run a detox unit, then moved on to outpatient. I found my place in an outpatient mental health clinic and love every part of my job.
    Picture your ideal job and make it happen. It may not even exist now, but you can create it if you find the right place. My current job did not exist until they hired me. The psychiatrist had worked for 20 yrs without a nurse, and when I arrived, he didn't know what to tell me to do, so I invented my own job. You can do that too.
  7. by   midcom
    Thank you for your thank you! And I'm going to take a lesson from your experience. Find what appeals to me & if necessary, make it happen.

    And after today, I pity the first people I have to cath! I intend to spend the weekend cathaterizing a teddy bear here at home. At least I can't hurt him.
  8. by   txspadequeenRN
    There are plenty of opportunities for LVN's in the office setting. I have read many ads that specifically ask for LVN's rather than MA's. So I think the office is definitely a option for you. Have you thought about maybe a urgent care center they have different hours of operation and weekend shifts. You could try rehab hospitals they hire LVN's. How about a retirement community they hire LVN's as well. Good luck to you in your search...
  9. by   love for nursing
    I am just a student also. How about talking to some one in a doctor's office near where you live(preferably an LPN) to get there ideas. I know the doctor's office I go to only hires LPNs and all of them seem to love their job.