Is it worth it?

  1. hello to all the nurses in the land.

    i know im a only a student and thats why i wanted to ask all of you.
    in school i know there is an "idea" of what nursing is that probably was a driving factor in many of our reasons for becoming a nurse.
    i want to know if you think you are allowed to do that. can you care for the pt. as person or as a number. are you trying so hard to keep up that all you have time to do is chart and admit and so on? do any of you actually sit down with pt.s for more than a quick 5 minute once over or do you actually get to do nursing diagnosis based on psychosocial aspects and have heart to hearts and have a soda?

    most importantly...would you do it again? are the rewards worth it?

    please share you thoughts. they mean more than you know.
    thank you.
  2. Visit nursing4me23 profile page

    About nursing4me23

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 7

    4 Comments

  3. by   Altra
    To answer your title: is it worth it? IMO -- YES!

    However, you will find real-life nursing different than nursing school, and you have to find your niche where you're most comfortable.

    I think of myself in the ER as being at the "beginning" of the continuum of care. Medical stabilization and/or safety from an unsafe situation is the primary focus in the ER. Other than helping the students I occasionally precept, I haven't seen or thought about a nursing dx since graduation, although the basic idea behind about a half dozen nursing dx's are inherent in the care I give. My world is about a lot of assessment, a lot of diagnostic testing, a lot of procedures, a lot of meds, and then moving on to the next crisis. I don't set "goals" for my patients other than to maintain VS and other parameters like blood sugar, or that they are either discharged to home or leave my ER still alive.

    Someone who works in rehab, just for one example, might be viewed as being at the other end of the "continuum." They might see the final outcome of my ER patient whose left leg was traumatically amputated. By the time that nurse sees the patient, he/she is medically stable -- the major threats of hypotension & infection have passed. That nurse will ultimately see the patient's adjustment to a prosthesis and his/her re-learning to walk.

    In between, that patient will have been cared for by med-surg and probably critical care nurses too.

    Each of these "stages" of care are critical in their own right. But it takes different sets of skills and different states of mind to provide each type of care.

    So, in my view, the fact that my real-life experience as a nurse doesn't really much resemble the 30-page care plans of nursing school addressing every aspect of the patient DOES NOT make nursing less rewarding.

    I hope this is somewhat helpful in answering your question. Good luck to you!
  4. by   Daytonite
    I think that in my younger years as a nurse I was pre-occupied with learning how to be a nurse. However, I've always tried to spend time with patients. It was driven home to me when I worked on a unit that started taking on alcohol detox patients. It also meant that we got sent every nut and patient with a behavioral problem. It didn't talk me very long to realize that these patients needed more than physical nursing care. I started pulling up a chair, even if it was for only 5 minutes, and listening to them. What a difference it made. Many were more cooperative, felt that I cared and you can't buy that kind of trust. Ever since I've kept my ears open and always taken a couple of minutes to talk with patients, especially if they seem to want to talk. I see this as a nursing procedure as important as starting an IV or putting in a foley catheter. My past is full of "no breaks". I feel it was worth it. I would want someone to listen to me if I was in the position some of my past patients had found themselves. I could tell you stories.

    I can only advise that you don't judge other nurses if they don't share your same view or practice the same courtesy of this kind of giving to patients. Everyone handles the stress of their job differently. In the first years of being an RN I felt like I was under considerable stress. It subsided as I became more experienced and confident in what I was doing. Many nurses struggle with the physical skills required of them for some time. They don't realize, or they forget, that listening and talking with patients is also a skill that must be honed. I can tell that you will probably not be one of them.
  5. by   nursing4me23
    yes that helps
    thanks!
  6. by   Nur_1996
    It is worth it! Though the last years I have done many types of nursing, Peds, Nursing home, school nurse, camp nurse and now a prison nurse. Just this weekend when taking care of a inmate in his 40's with a cardiac problem. I did more than just a assesment on him, I took the time to listen, and to help him think about his future, regarding some lifestyle changes he needs to make after serving his sentence next year. In a hostile enviroment I felt good that maybe I can make a difference in someone's life. My stories are too numerous to list ,the many people at all walks of life I have had the privledge of taking care of. My patients teach and inspire me, that is why I am a nurse.

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