Published Jun 12, 2009
Hey, all I have posted a few times on here and just need some sort of guidance or advice of some sort. I am enrolled in a BSN nursing program, but the more I think about it I am not sure if I want to stay in nursing. I enjoy working with the patients, but the thought of me possibly catching something from the patients and being exposed to different diseases frightens me. I was thinking of maybe going LPN to see if nursing is even right for me since it's much quicker, but then I thought why go from BSN to LPN. I am really leaning towards going to Diagnostic Imaging or Physical Therapy Assistant. All the resposibilities of the nurse sort of scares me too. Do you all think it would be wise for me to change majors all together or what. I mean I enjoy working with the patients, but I'm not sure if it is quite in the way nurses work with patients. Has anyone felt like this b4? If this matters, I am 22 and already have an associates in another field.
any suggestions or wrong conclusions i may have made regarding picking up diseases?
I've been an ICU and ER nurse for 15 years and I almost never get sick. Of all the times I've been sick it was not something I got from a patient. I was suprised that my MRSA culture just came back as negative-I don't know how that is possible.
nursemike, ASN, RN
I don't think picking up diseases from patients is a major risk. Universal precautions are pretty effective. I also don't think nursing necessarily has to be some sort of calling from God. But I did find I had to be pretty driven just to get through my ASN program, and moreso working as a nurse. I really like what I do, but sometimes it's a strain, physically and mentally. I have to actively work at keeping my own morale up, because it's easy to get frustrated and discouraged. So, with that in mind, if you're already feeling equivocal, it might be prudent to consider something else. At my facility, Physical Therapy Assts. don't get paid very well, but it could be a stepping stone to PT or OT (Occupational Therapy--which actually deals more with activities of daily living). Rad Tech and Respiratory Therapist can be two-year programs and pay just a little less than RN where I work. Respiratory can get a little gross and has some of the same stresses as nursing in emergencies, but in the normal course of an average shift, they look a bit more relaxed than most nurses do.
Ultimately, of course, it's your call. At least you're young, so it wouldn't be insane to stay with nursing and see whether you start liking it better. Actually working as a nurse is harder, in some ways, than school, but also vastly more rewarding, and I truly think anyone who gets through school without thinking about quitting hasn't gotten their tuition's worth. Also, a BSN can be an asset, even if you end up doing something completely different. Still, it sounds like you're leaning toward doing something else, and I can't imagine anyone faulting you for that. Nursing isn't for everyone. Especially like, you know, sane people.
Many jobs and opportunities exist. You can be other than a nurse, as you have already said. The chance of catching a disease is a bit exaggerated. It would not be the worst mistake in your life if you decided to try something other than nursing, then come back to nursing at another time. Could you regret not exploring those other options?
I'm curious how far you are into the program. I have a lot of friends who decided they didn't want to be a nurse after taking Fundamentals. Some dropped out, one even came back later. But the ones who stuck with it through later semesters found that they do actually like nursing.
Like the previous poster, my sister has been an RN for over 20 years. She too says that she's never caught anything from a patient. My instructors also tell me they've never caught anything from a patient, and they worked in the days before the routine use of gloves!
You might also consider that different areas of work harbor different risks. For example, research, psych, or telephone triage would probably be areas where you are not going to be around a lot of infectious organisms, if that is really your fear. Most RNs go into the hospital setting after graduation, and frankly I'd be much less worried in the hospital than in the doctor's office, with all the viruses that walk in there!
eriksoln, BSN, RN
I had a friend at my first RN job who worked as a CNA. She was in shcool for radiology. She had failed out of nursing school twice. She admited, the second time time it happened, it was for the most part because she lost interest. After being a FT CNA for three years and hating every second of it, she got motivated to try something else. That something else was radiology. Just before graduation, she told me she was so happy she failed out of nursing school. Being able to work reg. daylight hours, having no where near half the stress of a nurse and getting paid $2 less seemed like a got deal to her.
My suggestion, if you are not all that into nursing anymore, dont bother going forward with it. Right now you are grasping for straws, looking for a reason to be done with it (lol, I might catch a disease. Thats like an accountant who is afraid of being electricuted by a calculator). Why wait for the field to decide it is done with you like my friend did?
This is really only a decision you can make for yourself. We are total strangers to you and your dreams. I don't think the profession is for everyone, but nursing school only gives you a small perspective of what real world nursing is all about, so you will have to ask yourself if you want to fight it out or not.
Just try to have a clear mind when you decide. Best wishes!
Hello Ms. Lee,
I am the same age as you and I feel the same too sometimes. Give it more time. I hear that there are many things you can with with a BScN. You can do administrative work for the government that is health/medical/nursing related or work in a health insurance company. You don't have take on the role of a nurse just because you had graduated from nursing school.
This is your choice to make.
Wish all the best!
There are many fields/ specialties in which a nurse can go into. Some have very little direct pt. contact. Research may be of interest, or sales. Don't give up, it's a solid career and you'll be needed "UNTIL FOREVER" (quote taken from the movie The Sandlot.)
jollydogg_RN, ADN, BSN
This is just my opinion. I just graduated with my ASN, and am enrolled into an RN-BSN program at the moment.
I feel that somehow, somewhere, someway you were motivated to go to the BSN program. You spent all these years on pre-reqs, spent the time to get into the BSN program, and you're in. I would honestly say stick with it, because honestly, nursing is one of the VERY FEW fields where you can do SO MUCH with one degree. There is a doctor's office.... there's legal consulting eventually, there's just so many options with ONE degree.... like someone said, there's not just hospital work!
No reason to get your LPN for the same reasons you state if you didn't want to get your BSN. With an LPN, you're almost confined to certain areas. Plus honestly, you'll be getting paid much less for doing ALMOST the exact same thing an RN is doing. Thats just what I've observed in a hospital setting.
I was almost like you my last year. Frustrated with nursing schools administration and procedures, fed up with **** poor clinicals, having to deal with professors always being late or changing the schedule for the last minute. Seeemed like a lot of BS to have to go through to do something that would be fulfilling for me. But hell, I spent soooo much time getting in, doing pre reqs... I lost my four year BSN scholarship to a college from ROTC because of an injured shoulder, so for me, turning around that VERY NEXT YEAR and getting in a program all on my OWN merit gave me the confidence and determination I needed to push me through all that BS.
You can do it! Just stick with it. I know about not wanting to work in a hospital setting. I took a job and am in second week of orientation on a Surgical floor.... I know its going to be hell, but at the same time I like to know a lot of different aspects of something when I pick it up, so I know this will be a good experience for me.
Just don't give it up! I know its going to be worth it, and I know you will probably feel the same way too. SOMETHING led you to do nursing to begin with, and its DEFINATELY normal to feel like you do! Just honestly, take it one day at a time. Wake up, and say "I can do this."
If you choose another profession that works in a hospital setting, my fear and concern is you're going to see those RNs and be "Man.... what if..." and thats something you NEVER want to do. I know this from experience.
Goodluck to whatever you choose, and remember its not always about whats quickest and fastest route to do something. Believe me, I know this as well.
Tweety, BSN, RN
All those alternatives you mentioned carry the risk of getting diseases from patients.
Healthy nurses aren't dropping like flies because of their patients, so your fears are really unfounded. Unless you live in a bubble, most all people have contact with other human beings whether you work in an office or have direct patient care contact. Granted one never knows when some strange exotic communicable disease is going to come allow and sweep us all away.
Nurses get the cold and flu just like anyone else. Sometimes job stress wears us down. Get the flu shot. Exercise, eat right, take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually and you'll be fine.
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