Everyone Wants to Become a Nurse For Different Reasons

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As nurses we specialize in so many different areas, it's what makes this profession so interesting and unique. My area of specialty came as a surprise even to me.

Everyone Wants to Become a Nurse For Different Reasons

Many aspire to feel that rush or excitement of ER nursing, some want to cradle the precious newborns in the nursery or NICUs. Some want to be super-heros to sick kids. The list can go on and on, and that's the beautiful thing about this profession. Little did I know my nursing specialty was chosen for me even before I graduated nursing school. I say this because it's not one I pictured for myself or even would have considered, but I am so glad it didn't go any other way, I might have missed out on a life-changing opportunity.

As I had said I was in the middle of my nursing program to become a Licensed Practical Nursing. My previous work experiences included years of retail, selling both clothing items and make-up to ladies of all ages and while I loved my job (most days,) I couldn't help but want more in life, and the pay wasn't that great either. I also had experience working as a student aid for a middle school student who due to recent health complications needed one-on-one assistance to help her complete her daily activities during the school day. She's what made me interested in the nursing profession and what encouraged me to apply for nursing school but little did I know my nursing plans were just beginning.

Halfway through my LPN program I began looking for a new part-time job. I wanted something more related to what I was going to school for. I wanted a job where I could feel like I was making a difference to someone but also allowed me the flexibility in scheduling that I needed in order to finish school.

Assisted Living Position

When I was called in to do a group interview at an Assisted Living facility I didn't know what I was in for. I remember pulling up to the facility thinking "Oh, this is cute." A small one level building with gardens along the front walk-way were warm and inviting, what I liked even more were the white rocking chairs that lined the front patio from one end to the other all facing out to see the gardens and landscaping all the way to the busy main street in front of the facility.

The Lobby

Walking in the front entrance I expected to smell that "nursing home smell," you know the kind that hits you smack in the face it's a mixture of stale urine, body odor, and just not pleasant all together. Yeah, never smelled it! Instead I was pleasantly surprised to find a front lobby much like a bed and breakfast or quaint hotel even. The receptionist's desk sat beside the main door and beyond that was a small little nook I later came to find out was the Bistro, where residents could sit enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and light music coming from an old jukebox in the corner or a bag of fresh popcorn from the old fashioned popcorn machine.

Couches and large cushioned chairs scattered throughout the lobby provided a comfortable places for the resident's to sit and chat or just relax. I along with a group of other applicants were welcomed back and taken to (what I now know was the main dinning room,) to interview with the Executive Director, Business office Coordinator, Resident Care Coordinator, and Charge Nurse. After the interviews we were given a tour of the rest of the facility. Walking back toward the lobby from the dinning room you pass the small beauty shop where the ladies have appointments to have their hair and nails done from there you have your choice of taking a right or left turn down the main halls taking a right leads you to rooms 100-118 the assisted living side of the facility also where you will find the spa, and sunrooms located.

Taking a left leads you to the nurse's station. Though not your typical kind as it is an office with windows on all sides welcomed to all resident's and staff no matter the time of day there is always a nurse available. Next is the Reminiscence neighborhood. A neighborhood, that specializes in caring for the memory-impaired residents. Here you will find another smaller dinning room, a main living room with a widescreen television and surround sound system, completed with an entry-way to the back porch and gardens all with walking paths that are fenced in to provide resident's a safe and secure area to enjoy the beautiful weather year-round.

I'm a Caregiver

I couldn't help but love it. So of course I accepted the position to be a caretaker as soon as it was offered to me. My parents questioned my choice of employment but could not argue the fact that it was a paycheck and it was more nursing related then any other job I'd had before. I worked 3-11 shifts three nights a week (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,) I quickly learned the likes and dislikes of my residents and grew to love them as if they were my own grandmothers and grandfathers. I worked well with the other care team members but quickly learned the good and bad parts of Assisted Living facilities.

Short staff, a higher resident to care taker ratio, fall risks, and of course the always-difficult loss of a resident were a few of the hardest things. But the reward of knowing I made a difference to my residents lives made it all worthwhile. I loved hearing their stories what they did, where they were from, who they really were and they loved even more being able to share that with me.

Memorable Residents

One of my absolute favorites was a married couple, he lived on the assisted living side and was fairly independent, she on the other hand was in the Reminiscence neighborhood. She required total care and was dependent on somebody to do everything for her. Though she could no longer talk he came and had lunch with her every single day. Always chipper and always happy to see his wife, whom I found out he met in France during World War Two where he was stationed while he was in the Air Force. They fell in love, married, had two daughters and moved back to the US when he was reassigned they grew old together until her health forced her to be in a nursing skilled facility where he joined her so that he could see his wife everyday. Their story was better then the Notebook and it hit close to me as my now fiancé was currently in the Air Force and stationed out of state temporarily. Seeing life and love like that solidified my nursing specialty for me. I want to continue to work in geriatrics it is far from a glamorous field but I love every minute of it.

New to writing as a nurse I want draw my audience's attention and give them a glimpse about what it is about nursing that is so special to me.

1 Article   9 Posts

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8 Comment(s)

tanmoy

1 Post

I'm a 30 year nurse here and believe me, there aren't many of us. Most nurses (probably 50%, maybe less with the recession we're still in) will be burned out and gone from the profession within 5 years. Nursing is a very unrewarding career. Nurses are given too many patients and too much paper work, then chastised and written up when we can't do all we're supposed to do in 12 hours.

Edited by AN Admin Team

smallnurse10

Specializes in L&D. Has 5 years experience. 94 Posts

Katie I thought your story was lovely. It is great that you have found your calling and love geriatrics. Nursing is stressful, but it is also very rewarding career if you have the right attitude. Good luck in all your future endeavors.

KatiescowLPN, LPN

1 Article; 9 Posts

Thank you! Nursing is absolutely stressful but I feel like once we find our niche it can make even the bad days better :) thanks again for your wonderful feedback and reading my article!

girlvet

11 Posts

Small nurse 10 -

What exactly is the RIGHT ATTITUDE? For some reason that comment bugs me.

heatherstone

4 Posts

As a student, I've realized that nursing is a ton of work that takes a multifaceted approach for patient care. There are so many aspects to giving great nursing care and at times it can get tiring. As a nurse what is your advice on keeping a positive attitude and not getting burnt out?

heatherstone

4 Posts

Also, what advice do you have for a new graduate to get into the flow of nursing care and time management?

KatiescowLPN, LPN

1 Article; 9 Posts

Hi Heather!

Congrats on choosing the wonderful rewarding career of nursing. You are absolutely correct time management is vital to any nurse's busy schedule. The best advice I can give, is expect the unexpected! Whether it's ltc, an office, or a hospital (only to name a few of many places you can work,) one thing they all have in common is it will get stressful and overwhelming at one point or another! I also recommend using a "brain," sheet not sure if you use them in school but it's a great place to write your notes in case you can't chart everything as you go, because in nursing if it wasn't charted it wasn't done. Keep your head up there will be days you will want to pull your hair out and then you will have days/patients who make such a difference to you that you could never dream of working any other profession.

JerseyTomatoMDCrab, BSN

Specializes in med-surg, IMC, school nursing, NICU. Has 10 years experience. 588 Posts

I'm so happy you found a place where you are happy! It's a great feeling.

Just FYI: I used to work at the place you are referencing (not the same location but the same company) Because you mentioned so many "signatures" of that company, just be careful about posting in the future. Your anonymity is at risk due to the multiple specifics you mentioned and while your lovely piece of writing is very positive, if you ever decide to post a "rant" (as many do, and rightfully so!) it will be very easy to tell who and what you are upset about. I wouldn't want you to be disciplined or "looked down on" because you were so open in this post :)

Enjoy the job!