Thank you both for your thoughtful responses and taking the time to write back. I have always wanted to be in healthcare. I started out as a unit secretary in the 1990's and did that for about 6 years. At that time, employment was more part time then full time. I was a secretary right when computers were starting to be utilized and managed care came on the scene. This was long before HIPPA, leaving us had to write out the doctor orders on the med sheets and chart them in triplicate. Long story short, I ended up in customer service that somehow led to computers. I worked in that field for about 18 years and ended on a high note making comparable wages to a nurse. But, there has always been something missing and I keep feeling that my calling is in service.
In the computer field, there is a missing human element. I remember one of my co-workers had pancreatic cancer and one day, his wife dropped him off to have lunch with us. Our management told us we could visit for a few moments but work was more important. For whatever reason, I realized then that I wanted to make a difference. I stayed late that day to finish my work because I couldn't walk away from my co-worker who clearly needed to feel part of something. I know too, just by reading many of these posts that profits in health care and budgets are sometimes prioritized over staffing levels. Basically, a business is in business to make a profit.
Yet, I see through all that bureaucracy, something more tangible, beautiful even. At the heart of any healthcare organization is a nurse and his/her assistants. I really want to be part of that but I'm getting this nagging feeling that it's not the right field for me. In society, we are told that age is just a number but for me, that's not true. I have a 22 year old and a 6 year old whom I had at 46. I didn't bounce back and it took a year to heal from my c-section. In any case, I took the last 5 years off work and that's a death sentence in computers. Add age to that and it's an uphill battle to get a job and definitely not one where I can make top wages. So, for the past year, I've been working as a substitute teacher and I enjoy that, but the wages are not the best. My husband encouraged me to take a CNA class so I could go back to work while working on Nursing pre-requisites. I would like to work in healthcare but realize my limitations as well. I completely understand what a nurse does and it's not for the faint of heart. And, I ask myself the type of person I would want to be cared for in a hospital. The image that comes to mind is of someone who is proficient, caring and on top of things. I hate to admit this but I don't think I'm strong enough to be that person.
Still, I loved being with the patients and enjoyed cleaning them up and making them the best bed that I could. Yet, the workload in long term care was too much. I don't want to hurt anyone or hurt myself either. Which leaves me, with some training that I could use or forge ahead anyway into nursing school. I am at a crossroads and unsure what direction to take. I've been reading these forums for a long time so I thought I would ask for advice. Thanks again for reading