Question for Nurses...please help!

  1. hi everyone...i am a 21 year old single mom to a 19 month old little girl. i was originally wanting to begin a career in nursing, however i was turned away from it. i thought it was something i really wanted to do but during a routine band-aid change at my grandma's house, i realized i might not have the stomach for it. all my grandma wanted was for me to change a few of her bandages and as soon as she pulled the old ones off, i felt my gag reflex kick in...this gives me a great deal of compassion and respect for all the nurses out there!
    now, i am thinking of two other choices which were second and third on my list, should nursing not work out (or the wait list was too long!)
    its between rad tech and respiratory therapist. both with an associates degree at my local community college.

    my question is, because you are all nurses, you clearly have knowledge of these careers and their job outlook and duties. if nothing else, i hope someone can at least provide some perspective. i understand respiratory also deals with some bodily fluids and such, so i am just looking for a bit of advice, basically job outlook info.
    pay, i hear, is well for both...not amazing but definetly something you can live on so that isnt really a concern.

    any help/advice would be greatly appreciated! thank you all in advance for helping me!

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    About Ryenn'sMama05

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 1


  3. by   SaraPedRN

    I have only been a nurse for 2 years, but I will try to offer you a bit of advice. Certain aspects of nursing you have to have a stomach for, that is for sure. In nursing school, I almost passed out when starting my first IV. That was the only time though. Unless you are a VERY squeemish person, once you get familiar with all that goes on in a hospital, it might not bother you as much as you think. Plus, the rewards usually outweight the gross-out factor. <--- In my experience anyway. I find my work with kids very rewarding.

    I don't know much as far as pay scales go for Respiratory Therapists and Radiology Techs.

    Respiratory Therapy - You are right, be prepared to deal with mucous, mucous, and more mucous. If this is something that you can't handle respiratory might not be for you either. In the PICU, our respiratory therapists are responsible for administering respiratory treatments, help managing the kids on ventilators, lots of suctioning, some tracheostomy care. We work pretty close with our RT's. At the last hospital I worked at, I made a few trips to the ER to help with trauma kids. The RT's there worked closely with the doctor's during intubations. Nurses help with all of the above as well.

    Radiology Techs - I appologize that I don't know more about this dicipline. The most contact I have with them is when they come around each morning to get the chest x-ray's on the kids. Radiology Techs have minimal patient contact in our unit. There might be more down in their department, but it is much less close-patient contact than nursing or respiratory therapy.

    Nursing is a challenging and demanding profession. We hear frequently about the "nursing shortage", and I ran into a lot of people in my nursing school that were just in it for the money. They didn't last long. If you do decide to go into nursing, make sure you are going for the right reasons, and be prepared to study, study, and study some more. If you love to learn and continue learning everyday, nursing is a great career. I can't speak much about the other 2 professions you are considering because I have gone through neither of those programs.

    Best of luck with your choice!

    Maybe some other forum members have more extensive advice