I used to work in Adult Oncology outpatient. I am now inpatient and with peds and cancer. So I just finished my training about 2 weeks ago. Because of my previous experience with chemotherapy I felt I was able to sink in smoothly only on that department (medications) everything is else is completely new to me. Outpatient vs. Inpatient. Most chemotherapy is given in an outpatient settings especially for adults. People come in for treatment and leave that same day within hours. Some treatments are given once a week, or three times a week. Or even once a month depending on their cancer. Outpatient patients are for the most part healthy enough to go home. Yes they are sick, they have side effects and you have to teach a lot. Give them information, teach family members and pts on just about every topic: cancer treatments, side effects, medications, what to do when they have a fever, when to call the doctor, when to go to E.R. and so forth. Its a fast paced environment. At times I felt overwhelmed, but its always rewarding at the end bc you get to teach a lot. pts call you and trust you, especially when you give them a lot of information.
Inpatient setting you get to see a full picture at the tip of your hands especially with children since the family is always involved. You get to know pts very close and personal bc you are treating their complications from the chemo. You give chemo also, but you're monitoring them closer bc of side effects that led them to stay in the hospital. Bc I started with adults, switching to peds was challenging on many levels. One of them, which I have to be honest about is how to talk to kids. How to get their attention. Its a different language. I take myself back into my past in my own seven year old shoes and I imagine how I would want a nurse to talk to me, what I would like to hear the nurse say to me and in what tone of voice. I feel like you have to be childlike and animated no matter what peds setting you're in. Bc I don't have kids, I imagine how I would treat my kids, or how I would like my child to be treated if they were sick. With children you have to zoom in closer and understand the picture. Its scary. but then again any setting in nursing is intimidating.....but once you got the hang of it and you learn more you gain confidence and you're able to bring more to the table.
Nursing in general is challenging, besides all those qualities that depicts a nurse: loving, caring, patient....I honestly believe a nurse needs to be TOUGH/Strong... You have to be able to put up with a lot. From family, to patients, and even death. You have to be able and willing to face any challenge. You're allowed to cry and share how you feel but you gotta be tough, you have to be able to move on. You can take you're experience bad or good learn from it.
Nursing school is challenging, and even then after you're done with school it gets more challenging. There's is a tremendous amount of scientific knowledge involved. If you're looking into programs make sure you go with a B.S.N because a lot of well known hospitals are hiring bachelor degree nurses only, that's how they keep their magnet status. Usually take 4-5 years to complete from beginning with pre-reqs to finishing the program. You can take 1-2 years to complete your pre-reqs, and full bachelor nursing program is 3 years
I was 16 when I decided I wanted to go to nursing school. I graduated from H.S. went straight into my pre reqs tooks me 2 years, and was admitted to a nursing program. Finished about 3 years ago. I'm a nurse. You're never too young or too old. Set your heart&mind on it stay strong and do it!
Nursing is rewarding, but some nurses are underpaid. And I could give you digits and numbers on how much we make, and you may think "wow, that's good money" or that's fair. But in reality, at least speaking from my experience nurses deserve more. we do so much in health care. we could never be over paid. And If we do we deserve it.