Jump to content

Considering nursing but is it for me?

Nurses   (3,707 Views 23 Comments)
by AniaK AniaK (New Member) New Member

571 Visitors; 9 Posts

advertisement

I'm 37 years old and need to change professions. Since I graduated high school until I turned 30, I was a legal assistant. At the age of 30 I became a real estate agent. This economy was a rude awakening for me and made me realize how important it is to have good steady employment.

Many years ago I considered nursing but the fact that I'm nervous about the "gross" things that you encounter in the hospital like poop, smelly urine, vomit, bad infections, sores, etc., I never pursued it. Children I can handle, but not so much adults. Additionally, the thought of me inserting a catheter or tracheotomy makes my stomach turn. I always said "I would be a nurse only if I can stomach the gross". Plus, I don't do well when I need to get an injection or have blood drawn. I don't faint or vomit, just turn pale and I need to work on my frame of mind and breath. However, I get acupuncture with "almost" no problem.

Why do I want to be a nurse then? Well, first of all, I would like to have a non-desk job or at least limited. I think I would go nuts if I had to sit at a desk and type all day long anymore. I like varied schedules and varied work environment (if that makes any sense). I like to be around people, I have a pleasant demeanor and I am caring but I'm also strong mentally. Plus, I'm originally from Europe and would like a job that might offer the opportunity for me to do in different countries.

Has anybody felt the way I do about this yet decided to pursue? Have you thought you could never insert a catheter or anything similar yet you did it and found it to be no big deal? Or felt sick to your stomach when encountering the "gross"?

A friend suggested I take the CNA course and get a job to see if I can stomach the worst of it all (I guess CNA's deal with the worst?).

Almost forgot to mention, I don't take drugs as I believe in naturopathic approach to health. Would that interfere with me being a nurse?

Any advice or experiences you'd like to share, I would appreciate it. Has anybody felt the way I do, yet succeeded?

Thank you! Ania

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dthfytr has 30 years experience as a ADN, LPN, LVN, RN, EMT-B, EMT-I and works as a Disabled.

12,223 Visitors; 1,159 Posts

I taught CPR for years. Through personal and anecdotal experiences I learned that most questions like many of yours come from a feeling of not knowing what to do. Seeing somebody go into cardiac arrest is very distressing to the untrained. But teach that person CPR and the next time they see a cardiac arrest, they understand whats happening and do what they've been taught to do instead of standing there feeling helpless and out of control. On that basis I think you could handle the yucky stuff, once you're trained. It's much easier to be on the plunger end of a syringe than the needle end.

You have incredibly valuable experience in the legal field. Add a nursing license and some experience along with connections you've probably made in the legal field and it would seem you could make quite a tidy sum as an expert witness. That's my opinion. I'll bet you'll collect a lot of useful posts. Good Luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2,762 Visitors; 84 Posts

Totally agree with this post. Training and exposure are the key to desensitization. One of the reasons why I went into nursing was because I wanted to change how easily I gross out at the tiniest of stuff. I wanted to have children and realize that I couldn't be a good mother if I got freaked out so easily; the sight of baby puke, adult vomiting, poop, suctioning would send me over the edge etc. I couldn't even eat in the hospital surroundings because all I could about was how gross everything was - I think I was literally worst than the OP! and I think it was taking a toll on me. I couldn't even look at my own poop for crying out loud!! However, because I knew my weakness, I worked on it. My first clinical experience was the worst but the more clinicals I did, more exposure to the grossness desensitizes me a little bit at a time. Can't say I am 100% cured but my squeamishness at things has gotten so much better. I am now a nurse with 2 years extern experience and starting a new nursing job on monday. The nursing experience has made me a much braver and more rounded and tolerant individual. I am still a work in progress but I am ok with it because where I am at is OK. There are other nurses as well who get grossed out sometimes but they hide it well and keep their feelings/reactions under control when the patient is around. OP, if this is what you want to do and you have the money, patience and determination, you can do it. It can't hurt, and at the end if nursing is not for you at least you would have had the exposure and another degree which would make you more marketable; and like the other poster mention, you could combine it with your legal stuff and have a career that you could use anywhere.

I taught CPR for years. Through personal and anecdotal experiences I learned that most questions like many of yours come from a feeling of not knowing what to do. Seeing somebody go into cardiac arrest is very distressing to the untrained. But teach that person CPR and the next time they see a cardiac arrest, they understand whats happening and do what they've been taught to do instead of standing there feeling helpless and out of control. On that basis I think you could handle the yucky stuff, once you're trained. It's much easier to be on the plunger end of a syringe than the needle end.

You have incredibly valuable experience in the legal field. Add a nursing license and some experience along with connections you've probably made in the legal field and it would seem you could make quite a tidy sum as an expert witness. That's my opinion. I'll bet you'll collect a lot of useful posts. Good Luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5,248 Visitors; 446 Posts

I agree with the above posts. Desensitization is key. I still have an aversion to abscesses but am trying to take every patient in the ER with one so I can get over it. Its working, slowly, but working.

As far as having a naturopathic approach, this shouldn't interfere at all if you understand that your patients have a right to their own approach. As a nurse, you will be adminstering medications and drugs that YOU may not agree with. You will need to be able to do this without passing judgement. If you find this difficult you can always look into working at a naturopathic practitioner's office where you would share the same views as the ordering physician

Good luck!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

happy2learn works as a Employed at a Level 1 Trauma Center.

7,751 Visitors; 1,118 Posts

A friend suggested I take the CNA course and get a job to see if I can stomach the worst of it all (I guess CNA's deal with the worst?).

Almost forgot to mention, I don't take drugs as I believe in naturopathic approach to health. Would that interfere with me being a nurse?

If you want to be thrown head first into mounds of incontinence, then the CNA suggestion is a good idea. I would suggest you start off with the smallest shift as possible and work your way up, otherwise it may be pretty overwhelming. Also, in my state, CNA's only work in nursing homes. If you want to experience a wide variety of things, it would be good to become a PCA/PCT and get a job in the ED. There you will be exposed to many different things that may make your stomach turn, but a variety may help you since you have a variety of things you think you have issues with.

I have an issue with poo and vomit. Not the sight either, just the smell. I put Vick's vaporub just underneath my nose and I put Altoid's in my mouth. That solves my problem with the smell.

Your beliefs in medicine will have no impact on you being a nurse as long as your beliefs will not interfere with you administering meds that you don't believe in. If you believe that you cannot administer something that you have an issue with then I would suggest to search for a position in that particular field. Otherwise, you will be surrounded by meds galore!

Edited by happy2learn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

happy2learn works as a Employed at a Level 1 Trauma Center.

7,751 Visitors; 1,118 Posts

I couldn't even look at my own poop for crying out loud!!

I'm sorry, that is funny. It's not funny that your sensitivity level was that high, but it's so funny that you admitted that! I've never heard anyone say that!! I wonder how many people really can't look at their poop, I'm sure it's more than just you.

You were the opposite of my husband! He loves to tell me about his poop - size, color, shape, and the sound it made when it hit the toilet. :lol2:

So I must ask, are you able to look at your own poop now? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement

healthstar is a BSN, RN and works as a Registered Nurse.

1 Article; 22,406 Visitors; 944 Posts

I taught CPR for years. Through personal and anecdotal experiences I learned that most questions like many of yours come from a feeling of not knowing what to do. Seeing somebody go into cardiac arrest is very distressing to the untrained. But teach that person CPR and the next time they see a cardiac arrest, they understand whats happening and do what they've been taught to do instead of standing there feeling helpless and out of control. On that basis I think you could handle the yucky stuff, once you're trained. It's much easier to be on the plunger end of a syringe than the needle end.

You have incredibly valuable experience in the legal field. Add a nursing license and some experience along with connections you've probably made in the legal field and it would seem you could make quite a tidy sum as an expert witness. That's my opinion. I'll bet you'll collect a lot of useful posts. Good Luck.

I have A.red cross & AHA CPR certification and I swear I am so afraid to take action ( in case something happens).The instructor was horrible and it was a waste of money. She had to say sorry 500 times in every step of the procedure because she was telling us the wrong info. She didn't seem confident at all. Those who cared left unsatisfied. Others wanted just to get the CPR certification so they could go on with nursing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

healthstar is a BSN, RN and works as a Registered Nurse.

1 Article; 22,406 Visitors; 944 Posts

I'm sorry, that is funny. It's not funny that your sensitivity level was that high, but it's so funny that you admitted that! I've never heard anyone say that!! I wonder how many people really can't look at their poop, I'm sure it's more than just you.

You were the opposite of my husband! He loves to tell me about his poop - size, color, shape, and the sound it made when it hit the toilet. :lol2:

So I must ask, are you able to look at your own poop now? ;)

ahaha what a conversation,you are hilarious.

Did you teach your husband why the color,shape,size etc is important to know when caring for a patients? Now he is not going to stop.

Now that I am in nursing school I check everything I can to see if there is something wrong. Everything I learn I think I have. I always avoided hospitals even when I was in pain, I would tell myself it's nothing, I am going to be fine, it's just a little pain. Now that I am learning about all these diseases, conditions and risks my bills are accumulating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

happy2learn works as a Employed at a Level 1 Trauma Center.

7,751 Visitors; 1,118 Posts

ahaha what a conversation,you are hilarious.

Did you teach your husband why the color,shape,size etc is important to know when caring for a patients? Now he is not going to stop.

Now that I am in nursing school I check everything I can to see if there is something wrong. Everything I learn I think I have. I always avoided hospitals even when I was in pain, I would tell myself it's nothing, I am going to be fine, it's just a little pain. Now that I am learning about all these diseases, conditions and risks my bills are accumulating.

It's a conversation that happens every day at the same time...:lol2:

No, I didn't actually. He saw it on Dr. Oz. HA HA HA!

Though he has always talked about how it looked, now he knows what to look for and why.

Can't complain. At least he's comfortable telling his wife about his bowel movements....though at times, I'd rather not know how it felt coming out:eek:

Kinda hard to get in the mood after that conversation, I must say ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1,690 Visitors; 137 Posts

This economy was a rude awakening for me and made me realize how important it is to have good steady employment.

Check out other threads... New Grads have no luck finding employment in this economy.

Why do I want to be a nurse then? Well, first of all, I would like to have a non-desk job or at least limited. I think I would go nuts if I had to sit at a desk and type all day long anymore. I like varied schedules and varied work environment (if that makes any sense). I like to be around people, I have a pleasant demeanor and I am caring but I'm also strong mentally. Plus, I'm originally from Europe and would like a job that might offer the opportunity for me to do in different countries.

There might be other careers/jobs other than nursing that can provide you what's your looking for. Unfortunately, poop, vomit, and other gross stuff exists in 90% of nursing jobs. All the none "gross jobs" are either in Administration/Management, Educator or Research, but for those jobs you need experience as a bedside nurse. I'm almost a nurse, 1 more yr to go, and to be honest, I do not see myself doing bedside the rest of my life. I actually want an nursing office job when I'm a little older. I prefer the 9-5 and some weekends schedule but I know that I have to pay my dues as a new nurse and take the shifts no one wants to take, it's only fair.

Has anybody felt the way I do about this yet decided to pursue? Have you thought you could never insert a catheter or anything similar yet you did it and found it to be no big deal? Or felt sick to your stomach when encountering the "gross"?

I force myself to do these things even though it's gross. In school I always ask for the opportunity to do all of those skills. When I look at nasty stuff, I don't gross out too easily. I may cringe but my weakness is my sense of smell. If it smells really bad, I want to run outside of the room. Honestly, poop and urine smell doesn't bother me that much anymore. I've got other smells that make me vomit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

571 Visitors; 9 Posts

Thank you for your responses, that gives me hope!! :-) Yes, I have extensive legal experience, close to 14 years and 6 of those years, I worked in the medical malpractice defense department at a major law firm in IL. I live in AZ and there is a ton of nursing homes here so I'm guessing once I get my CNA, I shouldn't have a problem getting a job, but my goodness, I haven't made $10 per hour since high school!! Well, I guess you need to make sacrifices sometimes to achieve more. For me, it would be obviously a stepping stone to becoming a nurse. I'm not married nor do I have children, so I guess, I can rent a bedroom somewhere while I'm a CNA. Also, what are my chances of getting a job at a hospital? I know that hospitals pay towards college education, which would be the ideal situation for me. I probably would start off with getting an associates degree in nursing and then continue my education if I end up of loving my job. It seems that nursing has so many job options that unless a person really looks into, won't know. I knew I could become a nurse paralegal as we had couple at the firm I worked at or serve as an expert in trials, or be a nurse and select a specialty as listed above- are quite abundant.

What about me going back to school after 20 years, how difficult will be for me? Has anyone returning to school after many years hired a tutor to help them prepare for school? What about admitting exams? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do well on those anymore.

Is anybody here from Phoenix, AZ who can recommend a good CNA course? I've noticed some charge as little as $800 and are only 2 weeks long and some that charge $1,500 for 5 week course.

Thank you sooooooo much for your responses and kind word of encouragement!! Ania

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

571 Visitors; 9 Posts

This economy was a rude awakening for me and made me realize how important it is to have good steady employment.

Check out other threads... New Grads have no luck finding employment in this economy.

Why do I want to be a nurse then? Well, first of all, I would like to have a non-desk job or at least limited. I think I would go nuts if I had to sit at a desk and type all day long anymore. I like varied schedules and varied work environment (if that makes any sense). I like to be around people, I have a pleasant demeanor and I am caring but I'm also strong mentally. Plus, I'm originally from Europe and would like a job that might offer the opportunity for me to do in different countries.

There might be other careers/jobs other than nursing that can provide you what's your looking for. Unfortunately, poop, vomit, and other gross stuff exists in 90% of nursing jobs. All the none "gross jobs" are either in Administration/Management, Educator or Research, but for those jobs you need experience as a bedside nurse. I'm almost a nurse, 1 more yr to go, and to be honest, I do not see myself doing bedside the rest of my life. I actually want an nursing office job when I'm a little older. I prefer the 9-5 and some weekends schedule but I know that I have to pay my dues as a new nurse and take the shifts no one wants to take, it's only fair.

Getting a nursing job can't be worse than trying to get a client to buy/sell a house ;-) Plus, I'm single and no children, I can move anywhere where there is work- any state, any city or any country. I'm pretty sure a lot of people are limited as to where they can work because of wife/husband's work, children or other reasons. So, I guess I'm not too concerned as I will go where there is work.

I don't really want an office job anymore. However, in worst case scenario, I can always go back to work for law firm with the nursing degree as a nurse paralegal. I can get a job at a law firm today if I wanted because of my extensive experience as a legal assistant and add a nursing degree, I would be making quite a bit more money as my value would increase. So, I think perhaps I have a bit more options than other people graduating from college with no job experience??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing 0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×