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Negative Nancy?

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by NurCe-45 NurCe-45 (New) New

I recently talked with a longtime nurse about my past career path. I worked for a behavioral school as a teacher, where students came when they were not capable of functioning in a regular school environment due to emotional disorders. It was quite a traumatic experience in that we had to restrain students, often multiple times a day, in order to prevent them from hurting themselves or others. We maintained a school full of students that should likely have been hospitalized without the use of medicines, and only the use of our bodies as restraints.

On top of this, in the years prior to working there, I lost a brother (he was a drunk driver), was abused by a stepparent, had an 11-week premature baby, filed bankruptcy, got a divorce, and moved to a town where I knew no one.

All this to say, by the end of my 3rd year at the behavioral school, I had a mental collapse. Over the next two years I was in intensive therapy and finally got meds right. It’s been 6 years and although I can’t say I’m 100%, I can say my life has completely turned around and I’m a class away from applying to Cizik.

When I spoke to this former nurse about my nervous breakdown, and the fact that my areas of interest were ER, NICU, and psych, she told me I wouldn’t be able to handle it. She said, “Everyone wants to go into surgery, or ER or psych and no one ever stays bc it’s so hard and it’s so stressful...”

I am realistic and understand what is on TV medical dramas is not how things go down. But I do think with my life experiences comes a sense of understanding and empathy that will help in whatever area I choose to work.

Do you think her assessment is correct? Do you think that my “reaction to working in that behavior school tells <me> how well <I’ll> do in psych or ER?” Her direct words.

Edited by Rose_Queen
remove real name

Quote

Do you think her assessment is correct? Do you think that my “reaction to working in that behavior school tells <me> how well <I’ll> do in psych or ER?” Her direct words.

Really hard for us to determine this since we don't know you but man she sounds toxic. I will tell you, though, that many of us do not recommend choosing a specialty that hits close to home (in your case psych or NICU) because it can significantly impact your objectivity which can put you at risk for more emotional trauma or boundary issues. I guess you'll really never know unless you try.

Just in general, statements like this from other people are inherently colored by their own personalities, perceptions and life experiences--including their own subconscious life satisfaction or lack thereof.

(Keep in mind that the above is also true about people who feel fulfilled with their life experiences so will recommended their choices or their job to everybody.)

It is rare to find someone who knows the role and knows you well enough and is neutral-minded enough to offer a nuanced opinion or recommendation.

As to your direct question: Of course it's very possible that your past experiences could benefit you in nursing. I think it's probably fair to say though, that everyone's life experiences end up being some combo of benefit and challenge in the work they're trying to do. As long as you accept that and believe that you can handle the challenge part, you're good.

Good luck to you!

1 minute ago, Wuzzie said:

Really hard for us to determine this since we don't know you but man she sounds toxic. I will tell you, though, that many of us do not recommend choosing a specialty that hits close to home (in your case psych or NICU) because it can significantly impact your objectivity which can put you at risk for more emotional trauma or boundary issues. I guess you'll really never know unless you try.

That makes total sense - although NICU would be less close to home since it's been 18 years and really those nurses were just inspiring. We saw and experienced a lot in the 12 weeks we were there, but I don't feel the PTSD with that as I did with many of the other issues I experienced.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

The previous posters' advice were spot on.

I just want to add that it might be in your best interest, given everything you've disclosed here, to ask the moderators to change your username since it appears to be your full name plus you mentioned the name of the nursing school you are interested in.

Just now, JadedCPN said:

The previous posters' advice were spot on.

I just want to add that it might be in your best interest, given everything you've disclosed here, to ask the moderators to change your username since it appears to be your full name plus you mentioned the name of the nursing school you are interested in.

Oh my jeez - you're correct. Need to delete stat

Sour Lemon

Has 11 years experience.

Most people who make statements like this one are simply trying to carry on a conversation. It's the first thing that popped into their head while they were speaking to you, not necessarily a well thought out assessment that considers all relevant information.

That doesn't mean there's no truth to it, though. The "mental collapse" may be signifigant depending on what it entailed, how long ago it was, and everything that's happened between then and now. It's definitely something to explore, even with regard to licensing issues you may face.

You are wise to get your real name and picture off this site ...and any other site where you talk about such personal struggles or work/school in general. Turn yourself into a sour piece of fruit or a tree, like magic. 😉

34 minutes ago, JadedCPN said:

The previous posters' advice were spot on.

I just want to add that it might be in your best interest, given everything you've disclosed here, to ask the moderators to change your username since it appears to be your full name plus you mentioned the name of the nursing school you are interested in.

Is there no way for me to delete this post?

Posters can't delete their own posts unless you edit it to be a bunch of x's or periods or such. That is the quicker way while you wait for a moderator to delete the entire thread. No telling when that could occur as moderators aren't always on the site. You need to go to the site map and find the area to contact the admins to request the thread be removed. You can change your name on your own. Do a search and you can find the instructions, they've been mentioned many times.

"Support Desk" is an option under account which you can reach at the top right hand corner of your screen.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Moderator note: Posts that showed @NurCe-45's real name as quotes have been edited so that the name has been removed.

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 12 years experience.

The advice I would listen to:

Boundaries are important. If you feel in your job that you're sliding maybe you need another job. Experience is important. Your first job - your goal is trying to safely transition into practice. Whatever job will support that is a good job.

But nobody gets to tell me I can't. I am the one to decide what iI can do.

I look longingly at the ER but there's no way I can make snap decisions in the time required. I do have great time management. My husband started in the ER and as a consequence does somewhat struggle with time management (because a lot of the ER time management is "what is worse and when is it about to crash.")

An ER in a rural area may well have a different pace than an ER in downtown Bigtownville.

You may not be able to land a job in NICU but L&D or pediatrics may work. We don't have a crystal ball to see what the market will be like when you graduate.

Bottom line: you're doing your due dilligence. Your life experience may well make you an excellent nurse. Best of luck.

7 hours ago, Sour Lemon said:

You are wise to get your real name and picture off this site ...and any other site where you talk about such personal struggles or work/school in general. Turn yourself into a sour piece of fruit or a tree, like magic.

So against my nature in the past, but I've really turned that around. Again, great advice.