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School Nurse Doesn't Like Kids

Nurse Beth   (543 Views | 0 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

18 Followers; 100 Articles; 233,948 Profile Views; 2,023 Posts

Dear Nurse Beth,

I'm feeling conflicted about 2 completely different jobs.
I've been a nurse for a year and a half now. I quickly realized that bedside and making life and death decisions is not for me. I also couldn’t get past working weekends and holidays so I've been working as a school nurse for a few months already.

This school nurse position has been ok so far. I enjoy about 75% of it and it pays well. After doing some self-reflecting, my only problem with it, and I know it's ridiculous and I should have thought about this before I even applied, is that I've never really liked kids. I've never had the desire to work with them and I find myself having a hard time being patient with them when they aren’t sick or injured and they’re just wasting time.

Everyone tells me to keep this job because it pays well, I don't come home stressed like I used to, it has amazing benefits, and it has a dream schedule. I feel selfish though that the biggest thing I like about this job is the schedule and my least favorite is dealing with difficult kids. My thought is that maybe I would enjoy working with high school students more but that’s just me thinking.

A position opened up for an insurance company that would be doing preauthorization and would be work from home which appeals to me very much. It’s all year round and it also pays significantly more. My biggest concern about working for the insurance company is that I would hate being micromanaged. I’m also worried about not taking the risk because I do think I might like it.

Much of what the job entails is something that I think I would enjoy.
Am I just looking at the grass being greener on the other side? I’m in my mid-20s so I feel like now is the time to take chances. I genuinely don’t know what I want to do with my career and I’m feeling so lost because of it. I’ve never not known what to do. I also feel guilty about becoming a nurse and not wanting to do hands-on care. I need some perspective.

Dear Lost,

You are young, you are dissatisfied with your job, and you have a great opportunity. You don't love what you do now, and you'll never know if you might love something else unless you give it a chance.

The guilt comes from comparing yourself to others. Try to eliminate other people's "shoulds" from your thinking. "You should like your job because it has good benefits" "You should like children, everyone loves children" "You're a nurse, you should want to provide hands-on care". Guilt comes from realizing you've done something wrong- you have done nothing wrong. There is nothing wrong with liking a Monday-Friday schedule. Shed the guilt.

Instead choose self-affirming thoughts "I'm a good employee. I'm reliable and any employer would be lucky to get me. I deserve to find fulfillment in my work".

With all the choices available to nurses, you don't have to settle.  You don't have to rationalize staying in a job. That will only lead to you feeling trapped.

You can find the right niche for you. Even better, there is something out there you could be passionate about. Jobs are not permanent. You are on a journey, not a destination.

Along the way in your career journey, you learn more and more about yourself and gain skills in different jobs. For example, if you find yourself in a job where you are being micromanaged, your challenge would be to develop soft skills to manage your boss. Personal growth is a good thing, and comes through adversity and opportunity.

Best wishes in your decision,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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