Quote from Shadrach
I have been accepted to begin the Nursing Program in the Spring. I have attained a degree in Accounting and Psychology but am still drawn to Nursing. I don't know if I would be a good floor nurse because as I have gotten older my stomach has weakened and the idea of giving a shot freaks me out. Are these fears something that I would overcome during clinicals? Also, I am 45 and the thought of memorizing all those drugs is overwhelming. I have recently attended college and maintained a 4.0 up to now. Anybody out there who has found themselves in a similar position or who can offer wise advise?
I completely understand your fears & anxiety about nursing school. In fact, I'm sure alot of people on this forum can relate.
But as overwhelming as it all sounds, looks, and appears, it is a fact of life if you want to be in this profession. There's no cutting corners, no picking & choosing what areas of nursing you want to study(while a student), no picking what skills you want to learn & do in clinicals. As a student, you need to learn it all just like everyone else has & will. Besides, you might discover you're more comfortable after all.
As far as the "weak stomach" goes, I also had a really bad one prior to nursing school & my job at the hospital. Just about everything(vomit, c-diff stool, sputum, wounds, etc) made my stomach churn. The worst part was dry heaving in front of a patient(as if they didn't feel bad enough already!). Since I couldn't avoid the situations and knew there'd be many more, I had to train myself not to focus on what was happening and instead view it as part of nursing and part of being human. Eventually my stomach adjusted & I became "tolerant" enough that I could walk into a patient's room, deal with whatever was going on, and not feel like I had to run right back out....at least 95% of the time anyways(I just had a dry-heaving spell yesterday at work over something).
Now, do me a big favor and don't use the words "age" and "nursing" in the same sentence. As I used to tell people when they'd find out how old my husband is compared to me, age is just a number!! If you've got what it takes to get through nursing school and pass your Board exam....then why should it matter if you're 19, 32, 45, or even 70?? When I was in school, there were a couple students who were older(40s & 50s) and were doing better than some of those just-out-of-high-school(I think life experiences and having been through some plays a big part in why this is). Also, as an added tidbit, I am currently training a new LPN who is in his early 50s and have several other coworkers who are "newer" nurses and in their late 30's-40s. My point is, focus on what's important and forget about the rest.
If it will help you out and/or ease some of your anxiety, why don't you check into shadowing a nurse for a day at a hospital or clinic?. If that isn't a possibility, see if there's a current student or instructor at your school that would be willing to listen to you express your concerns &/or answer any questions. In all honesty, though, I think you should consider getting a job as a CNA. Not only will it help your anxiety, it will also: 1)give you experience with caring for patients; 2)expose you to things that make your stomach "weak" in the hopes of making it stronger; 3)give you opportunities to observe how nurses function in the real world; and 4)benefit you in nursing school & at clinicals. And if that isn't an option, maybe consider volunteering at a hospital or getting a job as a Unit Clerk, receptionist, or something else that doesn't require direct patient care, but still gives you enough exposure to help you decide if nursing is what you truly want.
Lastly, if this is the only thing you take away from my post, remember that you're not alone. Whether it be as a student or as a professional nurse, we've all been down this road or are currently going down it with you.