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Not a caregiver type, but considering nursing?

Pre-Nursing   (3,781 Views 33 Comments)
by wide-eyed wide-eyed (New Member) New Member

593 Visitors; 10 Posts

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So, the basics: I'll be 30 in a couple of weeks and earned my Bach. in Journalism in 2001. I haven't used it since and I didn't want to become a journalist (long story). My jobs since then have run the gamut from vet tech to custom framer to online marketing to now I work for a major search engine improving their search results. I've enjoyed most of what I've done since graduation and I actually really like my job and it's decent money for what it is, but it's not a career. Although, come to think of it, I'm not sure I'm looking for a career. I enjoy the freedom of working from home and not really having a "boss". I am not married and have no kids (no plans for any, either), so there are no big distractions to consider. My life is wide open (aside from financial constraints).

Every time I think about doing something different with my life, I keep coming back around to nursing--and then dismissing it because I am TOTALLY NOT the caregiver sort. I don't enjoy coddling people or listening to whinging. I really don't want to be back at the bottom of the totem pole cleaning out bed pans. Others have reminded me that I could specialize when it comes time for an internship or whatever it is nurses do similar to residency after the school bit. I would LOVE the school bit and have no qualms about my ability to perform extremely well--school has always come easily to me--but I would be afraid I'd be terribly unhappy when it came time to actually BE a nurse. Part of the reason I keep coming back around to it when considering life options is that nurses are in demand EVERYWHERE in the world, make a decent living, are surrounded by intelligent, educated, motivated people and do good things for others. My first choice would be to practice outside the U.S., and I am even less familiar with nursing in other countries. I am also concerned with the ick factor. I am not comfortable with gore and the awful things that sometimes happen to people.

So, given all that, do any professional nurses have any suggestions or advice? I am not sure this is for me, but I wonder if there are areas I could specialize in that will work to my strengths? Or rather, I think I just don't have an accurate picture of what nurses do on a daily basis and what options would be open to me.

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AprilRNurse has 3 years experience.

3,565 Visitors; 186 Posts

First- it's all a farce. There is no HUGE demand for nurses. There are new grads in my area that graduated LAST summer (09) that are still looking for jobs.

Just because hospitals work short staffed- doesn't mean they are actually looking for staff.

Please do not go into nursing if you don't think you'd like it. While it definately isn't a "calling" for everyone, and it is still just a job to many- if you're miserable- your patients will be also.

And- school always came easy for me too. I graduated HS top of my class, national honors society etc... Nursing school was HARD.

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593 Visitors; 10 Posts

I hear what you're saying about the demand for nursing being a farce, but I wouldn't intend to practice in the U.S. so it's possible wherever I'd want to practice would have more of a demand. There are many countries who will give you bookoo points on your visa/permit questionnaire for being a nurse because they want to attract more quality workers. This is another big draw for me because I desperately want to move to another country but my current occupation (and a degree in a field I don't practice in--a degree is helpful but doesn't really get you far unless you've also been working in that field for the last two years) would make it difficult to earn enough points without sponsorship or a job offer already lined up.

I definitely don't want to be spreading misery around! I am a happy person and I do enjoy making others happy--but nursing is obviously so much more than bringing a smile to someone's face. A small part of my problem is, I think, not knowing what options are open to nurses after school. Doctors do residency and specialize in surgery or oncology or pediatrics, etc. I assume the same is also true of nursing, since a nurse working in those areas will need specialized training and education to do his/her job well. But I don't know for certain? Is that how it works? I feel like I can't accurately gauge whether or not I will like it without knowing more about the job itself. Obviously it would be great if I were naturally drawn to this field and all it entails, but medicine is so broad that I feel certain there's something within the field I would enjoy and do well.

One other consideration: I am vegetarian/vegan and a bit of a "health nut", and I have pretty strong opinions about just throwing pills and chemicals at illnesses. I am a proponent of naturopathy and alternative medicine in many cases. I'm curious if this predilection would interfere with my duties or if any similar individuals have gone ahead into nursing and what their experiences were.

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HouTx has 35 years experience and works as a Manager, eLearning & Clinical Development.

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I completely agree with the PP - We have a sufficient number of miserably unhappy nurses already-- who really hate what they have to do and deeply resent the fact that patients are so "needy". The OP should not even consider adding to this number. Misanthropy and nursing are not a good fit.

I am amused by the OP's idea of not practicing in the US - with very little idea of how complex that process is, or the fact that the economic situation is pretty much the same everywhere. Short of volunteering with medical missions (which I doubt is the OP's intention) this goal is extremely unrealistic.

The real kicker -- OP tells us "I have pretty strong opinions about just throwing pills and chemicals at illnesses". Hubris much??? Health care is not guided by opinions, but by evidence-based practice. I hope the OP decides to careen off into another career fantasy -- reality TV star maybe?

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HeartsOpenWide works as a "Birth Center" Staff Nurse.

2 Articles; 26,379 Visitors; 2,889 Posts

This might be a good example that there is a difference in a ASN and a BSN. In my state an RN has to have her BSN to work in public health which has the most "poop free" jobs. Because there are so many more ASN nurses than BSN nurses, and even less that get their public health license, PHN jobs are reserved for the few that get their BSN and graduated from a school that allows one to get their PHN right after graduation, or those with a BSN that have taken the additional required courses for the license. This might be an option for you.

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593 Visitors; 10 Posts

It was a sincere post, and I don't think there's any need to be rude. If you don't have anything to contribute here but mockery, maybe there is another post on this forum where your wisdom would be better received? I am not a misanthrope and I openly admitted that I am not sure this field is for me. There is a big difference between the self-awareness that one may not be a caregiver type but still wants to make a difference in people's lives and simply disliking all people outright.

The question about naturopathy was also a genuine one--surely there are others like myself who DID go into nursing, and I would like to hear whether or not their opinions about modern medicine influenced the specialty they went into or the way they practice.

Thanks for your thoughts, anyhow.

I completely agree with the PP - We have a sufficient number of miserably unhappy nurses already-- who really hate what they have to do and deeply resent the fact that patients are so "needy". The OP should not even consider adding to this number. Misanthropy and nursing are not a good fit.

I am amused by the OP's idea of not practicing in the US - with very little idea of how complex that process is, or the fact that the economic situation is pretty much the same everywhere. Short of volunteering with medical missions (which I doubt is the OP's intention) this goal is extremely unrealistic.

The real kicker -- OP tells us "I have pretty strong opinions about just throwing pills and chemicals at illnesses". Hubris much??? Health care is not guided by opinions, but by evidence-based practice. I hope the OP decides to careen off into another career fantasy -- reality TV star maybe?

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I'm not a nurse yet but for what it is worth ...

Well, there is very little freedom in nursing as far as deciding what you are going to or how you are going to do it. You might not have a boss right behind you but the rules are very tight as far as scope of practice and your obligations and so on. If you are just meaning work schedule, yes, nurses work 24/7 so there are shifts when you want to work, although they are more available if you want to work weekends or nights.

If your main objective is something you can use to work in other countries, you might look into teaching English.

Otherwise, I recommend shadowing some nurses in different areas of nursing (more than one day each, I've found the subsequent days are much more informative than the first day).

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593 Visitors; 10 Posts

Thank you for this information, I am not very clear on the differences in the certifications and what jobs are available to each. Just based on my past college experience, I would expect the more education, the better the options, yes? Truthfully I am not averse to poop--I have five cats and they are worse than any human could be as far as that's concerned! What I really meant to say is that I don't want to go through the rigors and expense of nursing school and what follows to find that I'm mostly performing tasks that don't require any education whatsoever (like cleaning bed pans). I do realize there is so much more to nursing, but my interaction with nurses has been minimal and infrequent, so I don't know! Primarily only when they were asking questions, taking blood pressure or drawing blood, things of that nature. I have never been in a hospital as anything more than a visitor. Thanks again!

This might be a good example that there is a difference in a ASN and a BSN. In my state an RN has to have her BSN to work in public health which has the most "poop free" jobs. Because there are so many more ASN nurses than BSN nurses, and even less that get their public health license, PHN jobs are reserved for the few that get their BSN and graduated from a school that allows one to get their PHN right after graduation, or those with a BSN that have taken the additional required courses for the license. This might be an option for you.

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itsmejuli works as a Home Care Supervisor.

1 Article; 18,650 Visitors; 2,188 Posts

I have a feeling that nursing is not for you OP.

I second the advice above to look into teaching english overseas.

Google TEFL.

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593 Visitors; 10 Posts

I understand. But I'm curious if you could explain why? What is it about nursing that you think would not agree with me? I have tried to touch on all the factors I thought might be important, but there is a lot I don't know and it's that knowledge gap that leaves me unsure whether or not to progress down this road.

I have also looked into teaching English, but emigration is not my primary concern. It's a big desire, but mostly I would like to find something I love doing that will ALSO be valuable overseas. I have done some research into visa requirements and obtaining perm. residency/green card elsewhere and there are few occupations on those lists that I would be willing to pursue. Nursing was one that I think I might like and would be willing to put time and effort into if it will pay off. Also I suspect I would not be a very good teacher.

I have a feeling that nursing is not for you OP.

I second the advice above to look into teaching english overseas.

Google TEFL.

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1,354 Visitors; 48 Posts

In regards to the natural medicine idea - traditional medicine in America is typically very suspicious and opposed to anything outside the "traditional" sphere (of course, "traditional" is really a misnomer here, because truly, traditional medicine was natural and this clinical/chemical medicine is new). You should not expect to find many working in the medical field who would agree with a lot of natural views. There are some, just not a lot. Perhaps you could consider naturopathy school? If you like the idea of medicine and are curious about the body and how to heal it naturally, and if you also don't really want to deal with "bedside" care, maybe that would be an option for you.

I don't think HouTx was trying to be rude to you - it's just that there are a lot of nurses out there who seem to think they are above cleaning poop and doing those kinds of things, and it tends to grate on people because nursing is truly a servant's profession. Others may define it differently, but to me, nurses are servants to other people, and that is not a bad thing - it is a high calling to serve others I believe. To be able to serve someone in need in a selfless manner is a wonderful thing, and it shouldn't just be a job to those who do it. If it is, those nurses will likely burn out and unnecessarily upset a whole lot of patients in the process.

In my opinion, there are several parts of what you said that make me think you would really not like nursing. 1 - the working from home and the boss thing - you will not only have to go to your workplace, but you will likely have to work long shifts, constantly on your feet, and you will likely always have too much work to do, so forget breaks. You will have a boss and numerous people who act like they are your bosses. :) 2 - not the caregiver sort - you should expect to meet the whiniest, lowliest people ever as a nurse. And you should expect to touch them, feed them, talk to them, etc.

I like that you were open and honest about how you are feeling and that you don't really know what nurses do on a daily basis. Maybe you would benefit from reading the following: https://allnurses.com/nursing-humor-share/what-your-most-20151.html

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593 Visitors; 10 Posts

Thank you so much for your input! This was very helpful. I doubt s/he intended to come across that way, either, and someone with 32 years of experience under their belt has certainly seen all types of fresh nurses come and go and has a feel for the ones who will make it and those who will get fed up. It just seemed like s/he failed to read the whole of my post where I did say I like people, want to help people and make a difference in people's lives--how that translates to misanthrope I can't say. I guess I would also expect someone with so much life and job experience to have learned to deliver their ridicule in a more constructive manner.

Although I have been working at home for several years, I have had normal jobs before! I worked long, hard, dirty hours as a vet tech, wading in worse than poop daily, and without the benefit of gloves, goggles or gowns. I am not above poop! And those horror stories are hilarious! :lol2: Nurses are truly bright lights in the world, I agree with you that it is a servant's profession and godblessya for doing what you do and dealing with the whiny rest of us with grace and compassion! I just think there are some of us out here who may not realize we're where we're supposed to be until we get there, and some who may not enjoy what they're doing to begin with, but like anything else, with perseverence it can become what you love. I don't believe it's necessarily true that because I don't feel like a caregiver now that I would not become one out of a desire to make others' lives less miserable.

I have considered naturopathy school (just considered, not done any research), but I guess my concern there is that there may not be much demand? Do you find many patients saying they'd prefer to avoid taking drugs? Are those patients ever referred to a naturopath or someone who can guide them in that direction?

In regards to the natural medicine idea - traditional medicine in America is typically very suspicious and opposed to anything outside the "traditional" sphere (of course, "traditional" is really a misnomer here, because truly, traditional medicine was natural and this clinical/chemical medicine is new). You should not expect to find many working in the medical field who would agree with a lot of natural views. There are some, just not a lot. Perhaps you could consider naturopathy school? If you like the idea of medicine and are curious about the body and how to heal it naturally, and if you also don't really want to deal with "bedside" care, maybe that would be an option for you.

I don't think HouTx was trying to be rude to you - it's just that there are a lot of nurses out there who seem to think they are above cleaning poop and doing those kinds of things, and it tends to grate on people because nursing is truly a servant's profession. Others may define it differently, but to me, nurses are servants to other people, and that is not a bad thing - it is a high calling to serve others I believe. To be able to serve someone in need in a selfless manner is a wonderful thing, and it shouldn't just be a job to those who do it. If it is, those nurses will likely burn out and unnecessarily upset a whole lot of patients in the process.

In my opinion, there are several parts of what you said that make me think you would really not like nursing. 1 - the working from home and the boss thing - you will not only have to go to your workplace, but you will likely have to work long shifts, constantly on your feet, and you will likely always have too much work to do, so forget breaks. You will have a boss and numerous people who act like they are your bosses. :) 2 - not the caregiver sort - you should expect to meet the whiniest, lowliest people ever as a nurse. And you should expect to touch them, feed them, talk to them, etc.

I like that you were open and honest about how you are feeling and that you don't really know what nurses do on a daily basis. Maybe you would benefit from reading the following: https://allnurses.com/nursing-humor-share/what-your-most-20151.html

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