Oh, where to precept? For that matter, which career?

Nurses Career Support


So I am one of those people who went into nursing school based on the idea of holistic care only to be rudely awakened by the busy-ness on the hospital units, realizing that there is barely time for holistic care. That has led me toward an interest in home health, home hospice, nursing home care, or (possibly?) NICU. Unfortunately, my school does not expose us to these environments.

I am also very curious about mental health, as I have always been very interested in psychology, and actually think I'm pretty good at figuring people out and helping them in this area....I will begin our mental health rotation soon, but cannot say for certain if I will like it. I'm not sure what the *nurse's* role is in mental health. That is, is there more emphasis on the nurse providing emotional/mental support (in addition to the medical care, of course), or is the focus on medical treatment like it is on so many of the hospital floors?

Long story short, I'm beginning to think that I would have been happier working as a Home Health Aide or Home Health CNA! LOL. I love the idea of spending time with patients and helping them emotionally and mentally in addition to physically. Nursing (at least in the hospital setting) really isn't what I'd pictured. I'm too far in at this point and hope to find an area of nursing that is rewarding and fits my personality.

Where would you recommend I pursue a career? And where should I precept with this career goal in mind? I can choose ICU, Detox, Med-Surg, or Maternity. Thanks for your help!

I would recommend a good look at home health. I wasn't able to get into a hospital, but I did ltc for 14 months. I loved taking care of the pts but hated how little time I had with them and to investigate what was going on with them. There was barely enough time to get their meds to them let alone actually talk to any of them.

I've been in home health for 5 months. I love it. I have time to actually talk to my patients, to not only focus on their health problems, but to teach and to help them emotionally.

I don't think a brand new grad should necessarily go into HH, but I find it to be really rewarding and it may be something you like based on what you have written.

Thanks so much for the feedback! If I do go the Home Health route, where do you suggest I do my preceptorship? Also, I *love* the idea getting a job in a nursing home/assisted living facility to get that experience required for a home health job. What kind of LTC did you do?

I also think you would like the one-on-one time that you get in a home health setting. Not sure that Psych would be a good option because it can be very emotionally draining and many times you see little to no progress with patients, but you will get a feel for the environment during your rotation. I would precept in Med-Surg if I had the goal of going into home health - you'll gain some great general knowledge and have exposure to many different types of illnesses.

Hospital or LTC/rehab experience is good for HH. I actually did my preceptorship in HH at the company that I now work for.

I was supposed to be on a MS unit at a hospital and that hospital decided it was no longer going to allow student nurses, they had to scramble to find placements for 5 of us. I didn't learn a whole lot doing my preceptorship in HH compared to what my classmates did in hospitals and LTC, I did get to see some things they didn't though, like wound vacs.

If you know of a local HH that you would like to work for you could see if you could do it there and work hard to impress them. For the learning experience you won't be able to beat the hospital, especially on a MS unit or other where you'll see a wide variety of pts.

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