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Do you like being a nurse?

Nurses   (57,019 Views 47 Comments)
by Nurseinthemaking20 Nurseinthemaking20 (New Member) New Member

2,870 Visitors; 169 Posts

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beckster_01 has 6 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

16,414 Visitors; 499 Posts

I like it. Some days I look forward to work, other days I'd rather stay home, but that's pretty normal ;) The key is going to be finding your "niche." Now first of all, be warned that you MAY not have much of a choice in where you start, depending on the job market. The market is fine where I live, I pretty much had my pick if where to start. The ICU/ED is a little harder to get into, but they do hire new grads, and had I really wanted to start there I probably could have.

If you have options I would pick a floor job with a "general specialty." I'm talking step-down/PCU, or a Cardiac floor. University hospitals are nice to work for, I could have done neuro, trauma step-down, transplant, oncology, you name it. In each of these areas you will experience patients with all sorts of complex medical histories. I started in cardiac/vascular, and became proficient in caring for patients with renal impairment, electrolyte imbalances, neuro changes, lots of skin care, and of course psych issues.

Look at it this way, med-surg is a specialty too, so don't go into it if you know you won't have a passion for it. No matter what area of nursing you go into, you will probably experience most of the disease processes that you learn about in school. As for your other question, did school prepare me? Absolutely not. 95% of what I needed to learn I learned in my last semester (my capstone experience) and on the job. School prepared me for the NCLEX, but not much can prepare you for nursing except for nursing.

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436 Visitors; 3 Posts

For everyone out there, do you like what you do?

Yes, I do. Nursing is a second career for me and I do love it.

For all those people out there who dreamed of being a nurse, is it what you expected?

Yes and no. I thought I would have much more time to devote to patient education and counseling and, on a busy med/surg floor, there really isn't time for much of that. However, the bedside care portion is exactly what I expected.

I also really want to know, how stressful is your job?

It truly depends on a variety of things. We max out at 6 patients so if I have any less than 6, it feels "easier". The psyche of the patient also comes into play. If the patient is emotional and needs a lot of support, it's not necessarily stressful, but it is time consuming. Having multiple admissions in a shift can make it stressful too because there is a lot of paperwork. So, in short, I would say if I got 3 admissions, had needy patients and had a full patient load of pts, it would be stressful. However, if it was a shift where I had 4 "easy" patients with no admissions, it would be non-stressful. On the other hand, sometimes 2 patients can have you running in circles :)

After nursing school do you feel adequate enough to take care of your patients safely?

No. No. No. LOL. Nursing school prepares you to take the NCLEX, NOT to take care of patients. But that's why you have a preceptor, a charge nurse, etc. A clinician my first year of nursing gave me the best advice. She said, "take note of who your resources are at the beginning of every shift." And by that, she meant - which of the nurses on duty is your "go-to" person, who can you ask a question of when you are uncertain, etc.

Do you like going to work?

Yes. I learn something new every shift and also find that I teach something new to someone (patient, fellow colleague) at every shift.

I guess I'm trying to get a grasp of what life is like as a nurse.

It's different every day, you always learn something new, no situation is the same even if they "seem" similar", expect diversity, be able to make decisions quickly, think on your toes. You've got to be smart and be able to descipher information quickly but you also have to be able to find some way to relate to the patients so that they trust you. Being a patient is a very vulvernable position to be in and patient's will look to you for guidance and reassurance.

I really want to be in a career helping people and no I am not trying to have an easy job, I am a very hard worker.

Well, this is good because you will help people, nursing is not an easy job and you need to be a hard worker to be a good nurse.

Basically I am spending a lot of time stressed with school trying to stay on top of things while trying to work and I have at least another two years of being stressed with school.

Try to find ways to manage your stress. Stress doesn't ever go away, it just changes.

When I finally get done with school I don't want to have to worry about being stressed at work all the time.

If you are anything like me, you will be more stressed as a first year nurse than in school. School was stressful - yes. But it doesn't compare to the stress of taking care of actual live people and not just some textbook example. In school, a C is passing. In real life, it's 100% and that weighed very heavily one me.

Good luck.

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2,870 Visitors; 169 Posts

Just want to say thanks everyone for the responses! They were very helpful.

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1,962 Visitors; 37 Posts

Oh shoot... jumping on this thread late. I was frustrated about my work so I came here and searched for how people like their job as nurses...

I am currently working in a post acute/rehab/nursing facility. I feel like most patients are more post acute than anything. A few are long term care. Nurses take care of 26-ish patients per shift. Pretty rough and busy all the time. A quarter of the patients were pain to deal with, but there are some nice ones too who'd brighten you up. We use paper charting, push a med cart around with MAR in giant folders. I got this job as a new grad, with no prior experience in health care. They gave me 3 days of training and threw me in. I could have asked for another week of training but from what I've heard, everyone there was pretty much trained in 3 days, so I sucked it up. I'm at my 4th week and I had lost 6 lbs in 2 weeks. It's stressful as hell. I'm stressed out every day and I'm not even the type of person who stress out a lot.

I miss the posh med-surg floor I was trained at-- pyxis for meds, computer charting on walking stations, 5 patients per nurses. Well I'm waiting to hear back from the VA hospital (they use pyxis and computer charting, yay). My interview went pretty well... so, pray for me please! It's pretty hard for new grads to find jobs where I am.

I wouldn't say I don't like nursing in general though. I had a professor who had told us story of how she found a job that suits her. She actually rotated around in a few different departments within a big hospital system before finding something she was really good at and really enjoy. She encouraged us not to get discouraged by a couple of unpleasant nursing experiences, there are so many niches in nursing, you shall find something you like.

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stickit34 has 5 years experience and works as a Nurse Practitioner.

2 Likes; 5,391 Visitors; 108 Posts

I've only been a nurse for a year, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. I really don't like nursing at the moment (I'm on a busy med-surg floor). Literally all I do is push pills, tiptoe around difficult patients to avoid getting written up for the stupidest stuff (one tech got fired because she woke up one person "too abruptly") and the work environment isn't the most welcoming. However, I never wanted to be on med-surg for long, my ultimate dream was to work in the OR and eventually become an FNP. In the process of getting out of this position.

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SirJohnny has 8 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

7,523 Visitors; 394 Posts

stickit34:

- Sent you a PM ... please check your mail.

Thanks!!!!

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nurseling works as a RN.

1,480 Visitors; 24 Posts

You can be stressed at ANY job. Stress really is a STATE OF MIND is what I discovered. It's all about how you choose to look at things. In the real nursing world, I discovered that people complain a lot. Don't play into the complaining. It will only wear you down. Look for the positive in all situations if you can and you will do very well.

I recently got my RN license and have been working on a very busy med-surg unit for about 5 months. The first 3 months were really the hardest. I was overwhelmed with the amount of information that was thrown at me. During my time off, all I wanted to do was sleep and watch tv, but now that I'm getting used to it, things are really looking up. I love the work that I do. I'm learning so much everyday. Working nights still takes getting used to because I also work days, so the switch can be a challenge, but it's not so bad and the pay is pretty good.

Other than that, I have to say nursing really becomes what you make it out to be. If you keep telling yourself that your job is really stressful and feed into venting and complaining, it will be a rough road is all I can say. Keeping positive is the key. Other than that, I swear by exercise, meditation, healthy diet and drinking lots of water, which helps ease the journey and actually makes my work so much more rewarding..

Self care as a nurse is sooooo important. Anyway, just remember when you're a new nurse you are never "alone", even when you're done orientation. You have the support of the whole team that is there looking out for you. Be a team player. Offer help where you can and believe in your own ability to learn. There is a lifetime of learning as a nurse. Enjoy the ride!

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nursetobows has 1 years experience and works as a RN.

410 Visitors; 2 Posts

No, I do not like being a nurse. I would go so far to say I am 85% of the way to hating being a nurse. My first 2 - 3 years I hoped this would get better but NOPE! I wish I wouldn't have wasted all my time and money going to school to be treated like a replacement.

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Muser69 has 42 years experience and works as a Staff nurse.

1 Like; 5,383 Visitors; 176 Posts

No. Hate it. 9 months til retirement. I am the ultimate burn out.

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TU RN has 5 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

7,243 Visitors; 454 Posts

I've been a nurse for (almost) a year and have made some realizations.

The first year is the hardest. I would analogize it to a rollercoaster. For example: I was scared ****less the first month, and confident again at the third. Deeply depressed and looking for a way out of healthcare for months 5 and 6, and with renewed confidence at month 7. Right now at month 11-12 I am at a new low. An existential crisis, so to speak. While I am told I'm good at being a nurse, the high stress, lack of structure, and long night-time hours have pushed me to limits I never knew possible. My once, ever-positive demeanor has been weathered down to nothing.

Working in the hospital is very stressful, regardless of your area/level of acuity.

Med surg seems to take the cake as far as lowest RN satisfaction and ICU nurses seem to be more fulfilled in their work, but you'll find dissatisfaction (and satisfaction!) in every area. For example, I work in stepdown and feel quite burnt out.

It seems many nurses who have left the hospital to work in offices, insurance companies, research, management, etc. are glad of it. Does minimal face-to-face patient contact make a happier nurse, or is it something else that afford these individuals such satisfaction?

The greatest realization I've made is that every person is different. So are our hopes and destinies. Some people have created plans at young ages and stuck through them through their lives. Truly inspiring individuals they are. Others have varied their "specialties" in nursing so many times and found happiness, while others have had to change careers to get there. Some have had multiple career changes.

There aren't stars in my eyes or rose-colored glasses in front of them (not sure if there ever were), but I think every nurse has at least some very small component of selflessness which drives us to persist in difficult/trying/miserable situations longer than the average person. At some point you have to drop that and pursue your own happiness at whatever cost lest you be ruined. You'll find your own way, so far that's mine.

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wanderlust99 has 10 years experience and works as a RN.

13,380 Visitors; 793 Posts

No. I'm in the ICU. You can only turn patients and clean up poop so much before you break. Yea I know we do more than that, but sometimes it doesn't feel that way. Everything else has become second nature to me, so it's not that exciting. I did a short gig in the PACU but found it boring. I've grown to hate nursing so much I don't even care to go back and get my masters. I initially wanted to become a NP but now that doesn't interest me at all.

Not sure what else to do. Right now, I'm doing it to make money only and seeing the country as a travel nurse. It could be much worse. So for the opportunity to easily obtain work and travel, I am very grateful for nursing.

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