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Frustrated, feeling prejudged...

Posted

Specializes in Neuro/ ENT. Has 15 years experience.

Ok, I have spent the last 10+ years with a focus on self improvement. I am big on open mindedness. I m big on education and learning. I am big on patient care. I am big on never thinking I know it all simply because I may have already done this, that or the other. There is no limit to learning. I will never know it all and embrace the idea that I will still be learning new things everyday even when I am several decades older and more experienced.

I know that working as a Medic is not the same as working as a nurse in a facility. I know that not only are things done differently in many ways, but the atmosphere is different. I also know that there is a stigma atached to student nurses who were previously worked or are working as paramedics. I understand this. I have worked with many a medic with bad attitudes and this idea that they know everything... they almost put off this vibe that they think they are gods. However, I have also known some incredibly amazing medics who are not this way. They are professional, open to learning new things and do not think they know all there is to know.

Yet, I just had a very disheartening discussion with my mother, who is a nurse as well as a nursing instructor. I had mentioned working as a PRN medic two days a month while in school just because I miss taking care of patients so much. She suggested working as a tech. The only thing about that is this: if I am given the choice between being able to practie my skills (IVs etc) or not, I would rather go ahead and take a job that allows me to continue using my skills. There is nothing wrong with working as a tech or a CNA (as I have done both for many years), and I would be happy to accept such a job if this Medic opportunity wasn't available to me.

My mom says that if I work as a medic through nursing school, I will be less likely to get a job after I graduate bc there is a "risk" to hiring medics as nurses. I asked her if I could see the study that shows this. She is unaware of one. However, she had a student once who flunked out and several others who almost flunked out "bc they were medics first".

My first thought was this: they flunked out or didn't do well in school, so it makes sense they would have a harder time being hired. However, what about a former medic who excelled in both classes and clinicals? Would those nursing students still be "risks" to hire? She said yes, they would be. I asked "Even if clinical instructors have nothing but good things to say about me in my evaluations? Even if I show an ability to follow instruction and work as a team like anyone else?" Yes, I would still be a risk to hire. At this point I felt like I was smacked in the face. Simply because I worked as a medic, I am not as good as or better than the rest of my cohort no matter how well I do in school... even if I graduate top in my class and come with excellent recomendations from clinical instructors and preceptors... I am a risk. This does not seem right to me.

There are a lot of really crappy students out there. Students who don't study, don't accept responsibility for their own actions, are rude to instructors and patients. Yet they will be conisered above me just because I worked as a medic? This just can't be right. I can't be the bottom of the heap solely bc I worked as a medic. Like I'm irredeemable. As if I even should need to be redeemed. I am flabergasted (spelling?).

This seems very closed minded to me. I would appreciate thoughts on this.

Okami_CCRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

I think the message your mother was trying to convey was that working as medic closes you off to the nursing model of practice.

Working as a tech or nurse's aide lets you see the nursing process at work and you would have more nurses available to you when you have questions or concerns. You will have the opportunity to practice actual nursing skills like therapeutic communication, safe patient handling, how to get someone out of bed/chair/commode/bedpan. These are all skills believe it or not.

I agree with your mother in terms of finding a position as a tech just to get your feet wet and be able to network to acquire a position once school is finished and you have passed boards.

There is nothing wrong with working as a medic as along as you can differentiate the roles and understand that the nursing model is what will drive the care you render to your patients, that is why working as a tech may be more beneficial. However, we are all adults and make our own decisions, so do what you believe is best for yourself.

brandiep1982

Specializes in Neuro/ ENT. Has 15 years experience.

I think the message your mother was trying to convey was that working as medic closes you off to the nursing model of practice.

Working as a tech or nurse's aide lets you see the nursing process at work and you would have more nurses available to you when you have questions or concerns. You will have the opportunity to practice actual nursing skills like therapeutic communication, safe patient handling, how to get someone out of bed/chair/commode/bedpan. These are all skills believe it or not.

I agree with your mother in terms of finding a position as a tech just to get your feet wet and be able to network to acquire a position once school is finished and you have passed boards.

I totally get this. I have worked as CNA as well as a tech for many years. My mom is saying that no matter what, even with this experience as well as doing well in school, I will have a hard time getting hired just bc I alswo worked as a medic.

Miss Infermiera2b, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Oncology. Has 2 years experience.

I get your mom's point, but I don't really agree that "no matter what" you'll fail if you're not a CNA/tech. I think that's stretching it a bit. Like a previous poster said, as long as you understand the nursing model and are able to adjust to that, I don't see a problem.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

I have never heard anyone verbalize this problem with medics.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

I'd heard it to be true reg. former paramedics, and also reg. former teachers, former holders of non-nursing advanced degrees (the latter experienced myself) and, God forbid, nurses returning to bedside from leadership/administration.

It is totally about culture of the place and ability/necessity of the place to use one's unique skills and knowledge set. While I do understand that transferring patients and managing bedpans are skills which need to be learned and mastered, putting in IVs appear kind of much more important and deficient in real life. How many nurses do not know how to put patient on a bedpan, and how many units do not have at least one RN with strong IV skill every shift?

OP, you will do better if you can find which particular units you have chance to get into during school clinicals are friendly to former medics. ER is an obvious choice but there might be something else. Your professors and your school alumni association are your first line resources as well as social networks. When you find such a place, do what you have to do to get your clinicals there.

Miss Infermiera2b, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Oncology. Has 2 years experience.

I also don't know if this is related to your mom's attitude, but I have seen some EMTs or paramedics get a liiiiiittle bit of a fat head when they start nursing school. Not at all assuming that you're that type of person, but just make sure that you don't act like a know-it-all when working together with the other students and that should help :)

I have quite a few students in my class that started working in the medical field before they started nursing school. Techs, medics, EMTs, so on and so forth. They all start out thinking they know everything and are just going through the motions to get the degree. I assure you that while they have knowledge, they got knocked off their feet really quick.

I do believe, as others have said, that you're facing a stigma with starting as a medic. As long as you keep your knowledge to yourself and don't flaunt that you "already know all of this", you should be just fine.

I am in no way saying that you have that kind of attitude, it's just what I've personally experienced.

brandiep1982

Specializes in Neuro/ ENT. Has 15 years experience.

I also don't know if this is related to your mom's attitude, but I have seen some EMTs or paramedics get a liiiiiittle bit of a fat head when they start nursing school. Not at all assuming that you're that type of person, but just make sure that you don't act like a know-it-all when working together with the other students and that should help :)

Yes! This is a very good point!