Question re: Neuroscience Nursing

  1. Hi everyone,

    My name is Erin, I am 22 years old, live in NC, and am a nursing student(ADN). I actually got into my program last fall, audited due to personal and financial reasons(dang it! LOL), and then THANFULLY! was able to get back in for this fall, even with health problems that arose off and on since primarily March(and escalated into April and May). Anyway, I had ALWAYS known I would go into a healthcare career, and had actually leaned towards pre-med but I struggle with math(it's kind of sad when at the age of eight or nine, you realize that you'll never be good at math/ALWAYS struggle with it) and that was a wake-up call that told me, "You'd better go another route." So...I thought nursing would suit me better. LOL. Having been born 10 weeks early(2#2oz., 10 1/4" long) and faced the common premie problems(and not so common premie problems), I set my sights on Level III NICU nursing and figured I would start out as a Level III staff RN and work my way up the ladder until I was a NNP. I had also given thought to dual degreeing as a PNP as well because of the fact that due to having developed a Grade III IVH and subsequently PHH, needing a shunt, etc., well...I spent quite a bit of time in the PICU as well. However, recent hospitalizations(two)---having gone EIGHT weeks and TWO days shy of FIFTEEN years without needing a shunt revision/replacement---made me realize that I think I like neuroscience nursing and that that would suit me even better. Hmmmm...I LOVE the nurses at the hospital I have gotten to know all over again(although I can't say that I remembered much from my previous hospitalizations, even though I was seven years old when I had the revision that lasted 14 years), and as well as the doctors(although I am most fond of/gravitate towards the residents; one in particular;-P). There is *NOT* *ONE* nurse or even NA that I do NOT like/get along with, and there is particularly a bunch that is on the day shift(well, two are 7-3, females and the other two are 7-7 and males) that I am most fond of and they are a RIOT as a group! One male(Barry)---OMG! Sheesh! He KILLS me! He's the practical joker, singer, puts everyone at ease, etc. and when he and Keith get together..LOOK OUT! April 20th was my first surgery and I had to have a shunt revision(new shunt placed); I had a Delta 1.5 medium pressure non-programmable right sided occipital burr hole shunt(WHEW!) placed. I think I covered all the details...LOL. I have had ALL of my surgeries on the right side, although that could've been a different situation May 10th when I went back in(I still had the same pre-op. sx's with a couple of new ones as well) b/c my surgeon(Dr. Matthew Ewend at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill) had considered placing a left sided shunt b/c the left side of my brain wasn't draining like the right side(he had even said that if the right side wasn't draining well, at least it was draining well enough to do a good enough job, but still...he had reservations). He had even considered doing an endoscopic septum pellucidotomy, but he *did* use an endoscope during the surgery(actually *both* surgeries); he just didn't do the pellucidotomy. He told me June 1 when I went for my post-op. appt. that he suspected that the 14 year old shunt was working(in the May 10th surgery, he just took out the ventricular catheter). All in all, I've had 12 surgeries; 11 of those being revisions/replacements(and that also includes the initial shunt surgery which took place when I was 5 wks. and 2 days old). I developed CP at 2 years of age, but thankfully with EI and PT, it corrected itself. I am also deaf in my right ear(no known cause), and have been deaf since...well...the June 22, 1990 revision(the 14y/o one). I am also a Type II diabetic(since 8/3/04). I think that's all I want to say re: my "personal" reasons for going into nursing(my #1 reason for going into medicine was to "give back" to the medical profession for saving my life/taking care of me---still is;-)). I also wanted to do this b/c I feel I have a "knack" for it, as well as I have an understanding/know a side that others do not(that's something I've worried a little about though---the whole "emotional" aspect/getting too involved, but I have had people---doctors, nurses, etc.---say that it won't hinder me in any way/it won't be a problem; what do y'all think?). I also want to do this b/c I LOVE learning(in general, but esp. ANYTHING/EVERYTHING there is to know about medicine, nursing, science, etc.), and my Dad also had a myriad of health problems(he passed at 10/3/03 at the age of 48 d/t an anoxic brain injury caused by being w/o O2 for 10 minutes which was brought on by cardiac arrest and *that* was d/t ARF)---HTN since '86, NIDDM since '98, metastatic RCC since '99 w/mets to lungs and bones, etc.

    I am most definitely leaning towards neurology/neurosurgery(floor) nursing, and that leads me to my question: is there a forum specifically for those nurses? I have also thought about NSICU nursing(I spent 3 days in the NSICU in May b/c in addition to having my 14y/o shunt's ventricular catheter removed, I also had a left ventric placed). I also have an interest in neurosurgical clinic nursing or OR, but I'm just not sure. *Most* certainly floor nursing or NSICU...who knows...LOL. Anyway, thanks for listening to my story(rambling;-P) and for letting me be here! Hope this finds everyone doing well!

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    About unc005

    Joined: Dec '00; Posts: 35
    PT Retail Specialist; from US


  3. by   jhowirn
    I think there's a forum for pretty darn near everything in here. It sounds like you're well suited to the world of neuroscience nursing from your personal experience. When do you start your new job? I start working on a neuroscience floor August 8, will work there a few months, then train for the nsicu. Can't wait!!!!
  4. by   Munch
    My name is Erin like you! I had Neurosurgery too(though not as extensive as yours) at a large teaching hospital in the great city of New York by New York Magazines 2nd rated doctor for neurosurgery in the tri-state area. He at first made me want to be a doctor but it was the nurses first in the PACU, followed by the NSICU then the Neurosurgery/Neurology floor that made me change my mind and really want to help others in need of care. I don't know maybe it was this hospital that has high expectations because I have a few other health issues and have been to a few other hospitals where I have ran into a few doctors and nurses that were either having a bad day, hated their job, hated me, or were just plain mean. While the Neurosurgery I had was terribly painful, had a few complications(including brain swelling and incision infections) that I had to be hospitalized for(same hospital I had the surgery at even though I had to pass about 12 hospitals to get to it) I wouldn't change it for the world because of the outstanding care I received, from the residents in particular(who sometimes get a bad reputation, even the med students were fantastic to me), it made me a better person and made me want to follow a career path that makes a difference in injured/sick(inducing emotional) peoples lives.
  5. by   unc005
    Thanks sprinkles. :-) Wow! You've been through quite a lot yourself! Glad you are doing well. Take care.

    ~ E ~