If you could do it all over again.....

  1. You all work in the healthcare/hospital field, so.......

    Recently I visited the ER dept of my local hospital and the triage nurse asked me what immunizations I had been given. When I commented that I was trying to get into the local nursing program at a CC, he said, "It is not too late to change your mind, you know".

    I get that sort of response from alot of nurses in fact. So.........the question I never get to ask is...

    "So, if you are so against going into nursing, and if could do it all over again, what would you do??"

    What positions within the healthcare field would you decide to go into if you could do it all over again and why? Or, have you seen nothing in healthcare that appeals to you so you would stay completely out of it?

    I want to know, with all your experience in healthcare and different positions, which would you choose now?


  2. Visit Curious1alwys profile page

    About Curious1alwys, BSN, RN

    Joined: May '04; Posts: 1,242; Likes: 287


  3. by   UM Review RN
    I'm happy where I am. A lot of nurses make that comment because it weeds out those who aren't really, positively, double-darned sure that they want to do nursing.
  4. by   Tweety
    It's a toss up. I'd probably stay in nursing if I could go back and start again. (I would definately go earlier than I did and get the BSN). Or I might have been an accountant or pharmacist. This is providing when I go back in time I have more financial resources than I did. LOL

    Sometimes I joke around when I meat nursing students, "change your mind now and run from nursing!". I'd like to think some of the people you meet that are saying that to you are not really serious. But I realize I demean the profression when I do and need to stop. I have a friend who wants to go into nursing at the age of 50, and I've been very encouraging to him.
  5. by   Sadie04
    If I had it to do over again, I would consider PT/OT.
  6. by   Antikigirl
    Okay...I wouldn't have put it that particular way, I may have asked you why you wish to be a nurse and start from there!

    Even I, when I started, had a very serious image of being a professional in charge of my own career, to be helpful, to be in a field that is stable, and to be very respected! Well, they are all true...just not in the way I ever though! It is certainly not as cut and dry as that...it is a career that has potential to excel tremendously...but at great costs for some (and we aren't talking just money either!). It is far from easy, and I don't think it ever does become routine or easy!

    Working with people has its up side for sure, but it also has some serious soal sucking downsides that one must realize at face value! And most people coming in don't have any clues about that beyond..."yeah, it must suck to see dead people...or sick kids". And if you don't find your own personal satisfaction niche in the career quickly..you will see these down sides via depressions and dissatisfaction more than the more positive and really..that will take your spirit away quickly and have you burning out fast! That is certainly something they didn't print on my brochure for RN school!

    It is also very tough to go through RN school! It is a 100% time consuming commitment for years...and most people have very limited perceptions of the truth behind that along with higher expectations of themselves at first! After a few months folks start to realize..."holly cow what in the heck did I get myself into!!!!!!!". People will battle that feeling throughout nursing school, but actually with family/friend/fellow students support that one can be quelled rather easily one stressed out moment at a time!

    There is also matters that are typical with working with people that is less than pleasant. Take any job you have had working with people, remember those things you hated about it...you have those same things in nursing but add to the pot the fact that most people, by the time they get to your are ill, dying, have freaked out family memebers with them, are confused and scared, feeling powerless and helpless or down right solid depression or denial, add in a dose of having to work with Docs (that can be a full post on its own! LOL!), and lots of legal issues surrounding malpractice or neglect and the constant fear that no matter how hard you work, someone can put a friv lawsuit on you....you may be getting the picture now, and the reason why that particular nurse said that to you!!!!!

    I would try as hard as you can to find a program or ask some nurses if they have a 'shadow program', which is where a nurse can take you along with them as they work for you to observe a day in the life! I would do this IN HOSPITAL since this is where you will start in the first place, and can be a very good look into a nurses role! This will not only give you an insight I wished I had had, but will show you the challenges you will be taking on after years of even more challenging schooling! Better to see what you are leaping into than having your eyes closed and a prayer before leaping!

    But don't dispair, there are also wonderful things about nursing...one of the rare careers where you can switch around to different practices, can teach, can help form policies for the practice, can even become a Nurse Practitioner if you wish. There is no limit if you work VERY HARD in what you can do in our field! Also, the happier side of working with people does take on a much larger satisfaction rate then it may have in other jobs you may have had! Money is good dependant (much more than working other jobs, but not as much as some either!), and YOU can make a change in someones life that will effect them for the better...and when you get those, well, simply awesome!!!!!!

    Think about why you wish to become a nurse...list about three...then add them to this post. We nurses or others may shed some light on those and why they are good/bad or indifferent!

    Oh yeah, if I had to do it all over again...veterinarian big time, I actually would rather have gone with my years of knowledge and works with Birds/Reptiles and other mammals (I started working with animals at a very young age and was on my way to be a vet, wow...did my path switch with a offer of a grant for RN school huh?!?!?). Or I would have gone for my BSN (I have an ADN) and focused on my masters to teach!!!!!! I love teaching!!!!
    Last edit by Antikigirl on Jan 17, '05
  7. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    I would have gone for my RN first (when my daddy was willing to pay for my college!!)
  8. by   Dixiecup
    I would go into administration right from the get go. But that's just the sort of thing I like to do. I hate bedside nursing. Got into nursing basically for job security and I got it! Still trying to do administration but I'm not quite where I wnat to be yet.
  9. by   nursemike
    When I was starting school, a number of "older" nurses (i.e. about my age) advised me to forget about nursing and get into "computers, or something like that." Sheesh! I would rather dig ditches!

    If I had it to do over, I'd have started a bit earlier. Not a lot earlier--I wouldn't give up some of the times I had in my previous career--but it would be nice to already have a couple of years of nursing experience, which I would if I hadn't hesitated a bit after I knew this was what I wanted to do.

    No job is perfect--that's why it's called "work," and some people would complain if they worked in a pie factory. Only you can know whether you are driven to do this--it will test you--but if you are, don't waste too much time worrying about it. If nothing else, if you find down the road that it doesn't suit you, after all, you'll have a big advantage if you want to get into something else,
  10. by   Mommy2Katiebaby
    #1 reason for being a nurse - you will ALWAYS work. You might be sticking suppositories into nursing home patients, but there will be heat in your house and food on your table. And even if you quit for awhile you'll be treated as a valuable professional when you come back. I just returned to nursing through an agency after 12 years of not working in hospitals and my supervisor calls me routinely to see how a given shift went, if I was treated well by the facility, etc.

    #2 reason - flexibility. You can do hospital, LTC, rehab, public health, home care, hospice, or all kinds of office / admin stuff. Academic and research positions are available, too. You also have schedule flexibility - nights, days, weekends, etc.

    Reasons NOT to be a nurse - if you don't learn to say the word "no," you WILL burn out. As in no, I can't work extra tonight, no, I can't follow that order, Doc, no, I won't allow myself to be taken advantage of, and no, I refuse to put myself last. You need to take breaks and vacations, you need to exercise, you need to sleep, you need the chance to use the potty during your shift LOL. This can result in much hassle and changing of jobs if you run into unsupportive administrators who won't allow you to live your life, but it's worth it to do that and eventually you'll land someplace that works for you. But those early "getting experience" years can be very tough.
    Last edit by Mommy2Katiebaby on Jan 17, '05 : Reason: Hard to type with my toddler in my lap.
  11. by   mattsmom81
    In 20-20 hindsite: I would have chosen radiology and specialized... in ultrasound and MRI. Or I would be completely out of healthcare and go into library science or business or...whatever, anything else...LOL! This career can suck the life and health out of a decent person...the system uses and abuses our 'goodheartedness' to overwork us and devalue us.

    No I could not in good conscience recommend nursing to anyone I cared about, because over the years nursing has evolved into something I no longer care to do, for many reasons.
  12. by   Antikigirl
    "No I could not in good conscience recommend nursing to anyone I cared about, because over the years nursing has evolved into something I no longer care to do, for many reasons."

    You are not alone, and I too will not recommend nursing to anyone I care about! I know my friends/family..and see things in their lives that would be missed or even distroyed by the demands for nursing as it is currently in my neck of the woods, and now via this forum...in many different places!

    Does that make me a bad nurse, or a downer on nursing...no! Just being in the particular field for a while gives you insight as to what it takes, what it gives, and what sacrifices are expected to you physically, socially, spiritually, mentally, personally, and to your family and friends...and I see how that may not work with my friends/family or even other staff I work with wanting to go into nursing! I would rather spend my time showing others what the reality of what Nursing is..something I wished someone had done for me way back when! I would have followed my dreams, and not taken a new goal I thought I could do.

    I don't teach or explain only the down sides of nursing, but the positives as well! They are there, and somedays you have to remember those with teeth clenched in order to make it though the rough spots...so those are vital to know and respect! But so many schools, incentive programs, and other nurses sing the praises of nursing without the reality of the down sides because of the supposed "nursing shortage" nationwide. Someone need to be real, and teach that it isn't all helping and smiles at the end of the day..it isn't all 'I am a nurse and I help people every day, and I am respected because I have a career in the health care industry!'...nope, sometimes its more like "okay now what was it I really did today, there were just so many folks my head is spinning?" or "not a single thank you today...gee I feel respected and helpful..NOT" and a lot of "now why did I pick this career again???".

    For many nurses isn't yin and yang anymore..things are seriously out of balance..there is more black than white...and white is so typically grey! Lawsuits have us all scared of our own shadows, make us second guess ourselves much of the time. Patients switching mindsets to Mc Donald style nursing care where they can get it hot and now, or even Burger king where they can have it their way with no respect to the nurses trying to help them with a dose of reality! More and more nurses, who are always at the front line get the brunt of patients misunderstandings, frustrations, and anger towards healthcare today...and boy do we get an earful! And family members yelling at you about every single detail like they are experts because they watched ER, and we have to bow or curtsy and say thank you because admin mandates a "the customer is always right' attitude! All these and more tend to overshaddow the good of what we do or try to do...and leave us feeling exausted and afraid to care out of loosing the caring person you are, or once were!

    I too will not suggest nursing towards anyone I care for (unless it is their absolute dream...then I will tell them how it really is, and support them through it all!)...it is a career where you can find yourself drowning between declining respect and more and more demand. I don't want that to happen to my friends/family..and they too don't want it happening to me, and want me out of it so I can be the fun loving free spirit I use to be (I fear that has been lost forever and it makes me cry!).
  13. by   cannoli
    radiology or ultrasound tech
  14. by   cannoli
    radiology or ultrasound tech