Is being a nurse really that bad? - page 2

Now don't get me wrong, reading the posts here has really made me want to become a nurse. But then I keep hearing about the instructors, tests, and all the stuff you have to memorize. I'm just... Read More

  1. by   Zee_RN
    Originally posted by ICUBecky
    i double that <sigh>
    Make that a triple.
  2. by   Agnus
    You don't need to be able to say why you want to be a nurse. You only need to want it. Is it as bad as it sounds?
    Yes and no.
    When I was only a student and I came to this board sometimes I would get so disgusted because, at times, it sounded like everyone here was so negative, unhappy etc. I would think why don't they just get out of nursing if they hate it so much.
    Then I became one We are nurses and many of us would not be anything else. Everyday is an imense challenge. Take yesterday.
    It was about 4 thirty and one nurse came to me, as she saw me banging my bead against my hand and pretending to whimper. She sincerely asked ,if I was ok. I smiled and said to her, "it is just my 'sundowners' kicking in." Sundowners is a syndrome where sometimes (mostly confused elderly) become adgitated and/or, more confused in the late afternoon.

    I had a very bussy 2 days and I was very tired. By this time of day it was starting to wear on me. Challenging situations that happen toward the end of the day are harder to deal with as you are not at your best. A little thing can become huge.

    Every day is like this sometimes. Our hours are long we get exhausted. I love nursing because it is a challenge. I love what I do. I also VENT a lot, a necessary and healthy thing to do. This board is a safe place to do that. Sometimes I just come her to find out I am ok because someone else had a worse day than I did.
    I was once married to a police officer who vented at home. I would tell him to quit his job, as he hated it so much. He loved what we was doing. He only needed a release valve. I did not understand that. I try not to vent at home. Sometimgs I don't always stick to that though. There is no way someone who has not been there can understand, and your family does not want to hear you being unhappy and doesn't want to hear all this negative stuff.
    The nurses on ths board kept saying I would understand once I became a nurse. That did not make sense to me.

    Now after a long hard day I come here to let all the stress of the day drain out. This sight is a soothing balm.

    Nursing school is very very tough. It can be fun too. My job is tough and it is fun. Both school and work demand long hours. When you are tired nothing is fun.

    You will get through if you want it enough. I have a tendency to want to tell prospective students that you have to want it more than anything, literally. I don't though because you either do or do not, and saying it will not change that.
    often we think we do want something that bad but when push comes to shove we are willing to give up.

    So bottom line you can do it if you want to. Is it as hard as med school? I never went to med school. Is it one of the very hardest things I have done? Yes. Does it matter how it compares to med school. No. Med school is touted as hard and I am sure it is, but people get though it. People get thought nursing too.
    You only have to want it enough which ever you choose.
    Last edit by Agnus on Jan 28, '03
  3. by   Spidey's mom
    I too never thought about becoming a nurse, didn't have a driving need. Not sure exactly how it happened.

    I will say that I distinctly remember crying about the stress of nursing school over the dinner dishes one night thinking "I'll never be able to do this" and my husband coming in and putting his arms around me and telling me "I believe you can and I'll help". I think every career move and school experience has its own special stresses. Nursing does not have a corner on that market.

    Please remember that this board is used mostly to vent freely and so tends to sound more negative than reality (at least I hope so).

    I'm not sure why the animosity regarding docs. They do go to school way longer than nurses and have their own special stresses (the hours alone with no sleep would kill me

    They may not do the physical labor with our patients (that is our prescribed role after all). But they do work hard. Our docs take turn in our hospital from Friday at 5:30 p.m. to Monday (and sometimes Tuesday) at 8:30 a.m. They sleep in a doc's lounge and are on-call all weekend for the ER. That is not exactly conducive to a good family life . . . not to mention exhausting. They also have office hours and see 40+ patients a day. I don't agree with the "us vs. them" mentality. There are good nurses and bad, good docs and bad, good administration and bad . . stereotype isn't healthy.

    Nursing has afforded me the privilege to see birth and attend someone while dying, to help someone attain renewed health, to build great friendships and to make more money than I ever have in my entire life. I'm glad I became a nurse. It wasn't and isn't always easy though. But then who ever said life was supposed to be easy? I used to be a "glass half-empty gal" . . .now I'm choosing to be a "glass half-full" nurse. Good luck, work hard, take care of yourself and surround yourself with people who will encourage you and put their arms around you as you cry and rejoice with you when something amazing happens. Best Wishes my dear.
  4. by   MOMMY
    We have come a long way since Florence nightengale, however the consept is still the same If you want to hug someone because they are crying, hurting or just need a little boost then no matter what is thrown at you, you will make a great nurse. School is hard no doubt about it, But so are many other field that require study. Just remember if you do not know, ask! what better way to learn.
  5. by   Agnus
    I don't think it's animosity against MDs. It is just that the question that "it couldn't be harder than med school" is a question that is difficult to answer well. The very question lacks insight into the nurses situation. I think we sigh at the question because it is one of those that you have to have the experience to understand the answer. then once you experience it you do not need to ask.
    Med school and nursing school are different as medicine and nursing are different. They both are hard. Only it is med school and medicine that carry the presteige so they get credit for bing a challenge. It is elitism.
    it almost feels like, "you are only nurses." Only someone who did not know what being a nurse entailed would say this. Or a very arrogant person. I am sure we assume this person simply does not know. So it is not taken as arrogance.

    We do resent being compared to physicians. The presteige may be greater but we work and study as hard and in debth. Our knowlege base is very deep and broad. These are two different fields. Nursing is not a subordinate profession to medicine. Anymore than the also presteigeous profession of accounting is a subordanent profession of law. They are completely separate. We do not study medicine. MDs do not study nusing.
    Last edit by Agnus on Jan 28, '03
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Funny, I decided to look up the word "prestige" . . . .it comes from "conjuror's tricks, illusion". It means "standing or estimation in the eyes of people". I agree that medical school and nursing school . . ..doctors and nurses . . ..are all different. We each bring our own education and expertise to the table. Your message seems to say two things . . . . we shouldn't compare docs and nurses and then you go on to compare them.

    I don't assume because someone says that medical school is harder than nursing school that it is a cut to nurses. It is merely the facts. My thought was she was just trying to gauge the negativity that is sometimes expressed about how hard nursing school is. Boot Camp is hard too. Being a soldier is hard (sorry, Iraq is on my mind). Lots of jobs are hard. I do not think you can elevate nursing above everything else, which is kind of the impression that is given here. We all (nurses) walk around with halos on . . . Well, I've met a few nurses who epitomizes the phrase "nurses eat their young". We are far from perfect. And so are docs. And soldiers. And teachers . . . etc.
  7. by   Agnus
    Sorry I did not mean to lift nursing above other professions or even above medicine.
    I don't know if medical school or nursing is harder. I have only been to nursing school and I know how hard it is. I am very sure that medical school is hard too.
    I don't believe I compared them. They are different.
    It is a given medical school is at least 4 years post graduate study. I will not begrudge any physician that he had long schooling and that it was tough. I have great respect for physicians and get along with them.
    I was commenting on the nurses who responded with "sigh" to her question. I was trying to explain my interpetation only of what that sigh might have meant.
    Do you disagree that medicine carries more presteige and that part of that is because of the challenge of medical school?
    Do you disagree that nursing does not enjoy the same prestiege and poeple are unaware of our challenges?
    Do you not agree that those outside of heath care generally (not always) think that nursing is somewhat like being a doctor's helper?
    These are only retorical. I use them to explain my point.
    I am not in a nursing vs MD mode. Sorry if it struck you that way.
  8. by   researchrabbit
    I wouldn't say that nursing school was hard. It was INTENSE.

    As long as you have time to study, you will learn the classroom stuff. As long as you keep your eyes open, your head cool, and your mind open, you will assimilate the clinical experience.

    I didn't have any problems with passing nursing school. I didn't have any problems with my first degree (languages). But you know what? I could never get a degree in does not stick with me. Not math, either; I can get the concepts but can't add, subtract, multiply or divide worth beans (the person who invented calculators has my eternal gratitude).

    What I am saying is that if you like nursing and your head works that way, you will not find it impossible to learn the subject matter.

    It helps a lot if you are creative and able to see both the details and the big picture.
  9. by   Agnus
    Now languages that is my down fall. Math is a problem too but I have learned to learn math. Don't ask me to sing either, or you'll be sorry.

    We have our own talents and strengths. I found school hard in the sense of going on little sleep. I tended to agonize over every paper every care plan so I spent more time on these than many of my classmates. I did well on them. But maybe I did not need to over do like I did. I do not regret it though because I learned more that way. Some of us must put in more time than others to get the same knowledge. I had a classmate who was straight A. Said school was not difficult thought we were all exagerating. Poo Pooed our views to the contrary. Perhaps she had a gift. She felt if you found it hard it was 'cause you were not studying. Excuse me I think she go it back ward. I got As too but I had to work for mine. I had a family that I was responsible for and supporting. She did not. Anyway just another angle on this
  10. by   cwazycwissyRN
    I thought nursing school was so interesting that it made up for how tough it was. I thought it would be much better if there were no tests involved. ha That way one could concentrate on learning instead of passing tests. What you are learning you will use. As far as nursing it's self,,,There are so many areas of nursing a person can get into...the field seems limitless. I love the challenge that no matter how much you think you know, there is always more to learn. Certainly not a career that can become mondain. If it does, you can move to another area of nursing. BUT good luck with the politics
  11. by   nursbee04
    I'm in nursing school now, and it's more overwhelming than it is hard. I agree with cwissy, its the tests that ruin all the fun!! There is a lot more to nursing than most people think, and a lot more responsibility than most realize -- I haven't even graduated yet and I can tell you that. Nursing school is intense, but you can do it!!

    Also, you don't need to be able to tell anyone why you want to go into nursing, you know thats what you want to do, and that's what's important.

    And pleeeaaase don't say "can't be as hard as being a doc"
    That makes me cringe!!
    Nursing is a different world altogether.
    (I know you didn't mean anything bad by it)

    Good luck with your plans!!!
  12. by   jfpruitt
    Although I am not a RN yet, I will be soon LORD willing. I have to admit, when I started this journey 2 years ago, I was totally deceived. I already had a BS in biology with numerous classes in human anatomy, physiology, chemistry, biochem, etc etc. These classes were tremendously hard and I thought nothing could be worse. I thought nursing would be a breeze and I'd kinda do it to open up more opportunities for me in the job market. Man was I in for a HUGE surprise. The material itself was not that difficult considering I have seen it all before and had been working in the medical field for several years, HOWEVER, the VOLUME is overwhelming. It's just a whole different ball game. Not only do you have to know what COPD, Cancer, etc is but you have to know what to do for it, how you do it, meds, etc etc. When I was a Biology student, it was pretty much memorization. Well, in nursing, you can't just memorize your way through. You have to actual remember what you have learned and apply it. The other big problem I've encountered is just time management. I did not have the option to quit work, so, I work Full Time during the day and take evening courses all night 5+ days a week. So, needless to say, I have little free time. Some people in my class do not work and they are still very much overwhelmed. So, the best advice I can say is 1) Don't Work 2) Don't Memorize . I have made it through and will hopefully graduate in May, but it has not been an easy road. I'm hoping the rewards will outweigh all the negatives I've encountered along the way. One thing I would also like to add is that I have a whole new respect for RNs. Not just because I'm going to be one soon, but because I had no idea how hard it would be and had no idea how intelligent you have to be in order to keep all these facts in your brain and apply it. I really wish there was some way we could change the worlds perception of RNs b/c I feel that many do not realize what is involved. And is it harder than being a MD????? Well, I guess that is a matter of opinion. Funny enough, 10 of my closest friends just graduated med school in May and they couldn't tell you HALF the stuff I could about the body. Yes, they may know how cancer proceeds through the body and the chemistry behind it. But they are very clueless about treatments, etc. Half the time, they are asking the RNs what to do. That has just been my experience with new MDs. We once played 'medical' trivial pursuit and I beat them all. So, its all in perspective. Ok, I've gone on a tangent here, but good luck in your decision!!!
  13. by   Agnus
    You said what we could not, because of your unique prospective. Thank you very well said.

    I agree the material is usually not that hard. My friends who tried memorization did not do as well.