considering nursing

  1. Hi,
    I am a highschool junior who is considering going into nursing or a similar profession and have a few questions for you.
    I am drawn to this career because I love people and have the the desire to help the sick and hurting feel better emotionally and physically. I am compassionate and patient so I feel that I would relate well to the patients. One thing that I am concerned about however, is that I don't know how I would react to giving people IVs and drawing blood. I'm sure I'd be able to do it after I've done it for a long time, especially since it is ultimately helping the person, but I can imagine it being hard to stick a needle into a nervous person who really would rather not get this done! Were any of you nervous about giving people needles and injections before nursing and did this improve after a while?
    Also, to get a feel for the demands of the job, do some hospitals let people interested in nursing shadow nurses?
    I have one more question:
    I know that nursing programs are very heavily based on math and science. I am ok at science (pretty good at biology ok at chemistry), and math is not one of my best subjects. Do most colleges have tutoring centers? Can someone who is not particularly gifted at science and math succeed at a nursing program?
    Thank you all so much for your help!
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    About pinkdaisy

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 8


  3. by   MEO82
    Hi Liz,
    I am too new at the nursing thing to tell you about nursing school...but I currently work at a community college and we have so much tutoring available!! I am sure you will find this at most CC's! Hope this helps!
  4. by   Daytonite
    hi, liz!

    i thought about nursing school when i was in high school for the very same reasons as you, but i didn't actually start nursing school until i was 24. i was worried about the needle thing too. when we started studying medication administration in nursing school, we had to pair up and give each other one shot in the butt. well, you can just imagine how many of us were freaking out--and this was back in 1973. i took a syringe home and practiced sticking an orange and injecting water in it until it was so full of water that it was leaking out of all the holes i made in it. when it came time to do my injection on my fellow student my thumb shook so bad and felt so limp i thought i didn't have enough strength to push the plunger down to inject the sterile saline into the other student's butt. i still remember the very first shot i gave to a patient too. but, since then, it's all routine.

    i was so bad at inserting iv's that i took the iv course they gave to lvns and worked my tail off determined to become a master at doing them. and, i did just that. i eventually became nationally certified in iv therapy and worked exclusively as an iv therapist for a number of years. drawing blood is not something that all nurses routinely do. i did a lot of it as an iv therapist in order to save patients from being stuck a second time by a phlebomist. i used to worry about what my reaction to seeing blood was going to be a long time ago. however, that fear got forgotten about and replaced very quickly the first time i saw someone's brain tissue splattered about on the pillowcase his head was lying on after he had shot himself in the head. i almost barfed.

    yes, some hospitals let prospective students shadow nurses. you need to call the hospitals in the area where you live and speak with someone in their human resources department or in their administrative offices. many workplaces allow nurses to participate in bring your son/daughter to work day. that would be a great time to see if you can buddy up with someone who would like to have a kid tag along with them that day.

    yes, most colleges have tutoring centers. the local community college here has free open class sessions for specific math and english classes that are staffed by both instructors and honor students who are solely there to help with learning and homework assignments. there are tutoring centers in addition to that. at the community college level, a math background to the level of basic algebra is all you need. that will get you through basic chemistry and the medication calculation problems of nursing very easily. all community colleges also have remedial classes in math where you can pretty much start from scratch in these classes (1 + 1 = 2) and work your way up to pre-algebra (x + 3 = 10). mastering math and science have nothing to do with being gifted. it has to do with being a good student.

    this is a link to online study advice from alamo community college that i normally post when new college students are having problems with studying and getting good grades. getting good grades and learning is not a mystery. it is a learned skill. you might as well start realizing that you are the one who makes your grades happen and that they don't just happen to you. - strategies for success, an online primer and tutorial on how to study. this is a pretty extensive resource with links on the right side of the page to click into the following subjects: learning styles, note taking, memory techniques, time management, overcoming procrastination, sq3r (a method for getting the most out of reading your textbooks), study tips, critical thinking, preparing for tests, and oral presentations. also, take a look at the faq's (frequently asked questions).

    you know what i've learned after 30 years in the business of nursing? if you can't step up to the plate to learn, face, and overcome your fears and misgivings, then nursing is not the profession for you. professional nurses (i'm not talking about nursing assistants) have to be strong in their resolve. they are problem solvers and leaders. they can't be afraid to step forward and do what needs to be done.

    you are smart to start looking and preparing for a career. enjoy the remainder of your high school experience. it will be over before you know it. the time will come when you wish you could re-live these days.

    as you are working toward making a career decision, here are a couple of internet links to check out nursing: - "ten questions to ask yourself" about nursing and if it might be right for you - this is a career worksheet put together by college (the people who write the sat and clep tests!). this is for those of you who aren't quite sure that nursing is for you and something you can do to help you make that decision. - "reality checks for career planning". this is about remaining flexible and exploring your options as you are still working toward making a decision about your career. - about nursing from - about registered nursing from the u.s. department of labor - about lpn nursing from the u.s. department of labor