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What to do?!

Nurses   (1,351 Views 13 Comments)
by EstOyLista EstOyLista (Member)

776 Profile Views; 23 Posts

im at the point in my life where I have to decide what it is I want to do. For the longest time I've wanted to be a nurse which turned into nurse practitioner, but now I'm thinking why not MD? The reasons that come to mind are the hours, the long hours of not just med school, but residency and the rest of my career, I don't know that I can do it. However the maneuvers (like trachs, intubation, ect) MD's use are something I would like to practice on a daily basis, the diagnoses ect. The money is a plus but I like being the decision maker and the person 'the buck stops at'.

However I would like to have a life and be able to see my family or friends and working 50 hrs a week is do-able, 60+ (doctors hrs) im not so sure.

As a NP the education requirements are ever-changing, as a doctor, they have to be re-certifyed every so often which is ok but the requirements pretty much stay the same.

Im very confused as to which is better for me, i know as a doctor i will have a ton of responsibility as i will as a NP. the different medical models dont bother me as much because I feel both are easily interchangable.

One of my biggest concerns with being a doctor is the math involved. I'm not as good as i should be but everything else i learn pretty easily. The years of school isnt a big issue (sort of) because itll be only 2 years longer then if i was in NP school. As far as specialty areas go Im torn between OB-GYN, Emergency Medicine, Neonatal/Perintal and Family Practice.

I would love to double specialize but im not sure how plausible that is

anyway, ive done enough talking. help me out please!!

Thanks

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344 Posts; 4,257 Profile Views

I am not really seeing where there is a 2 year difference....

OK, BS is 4 years, if you already have one, you still have to pass the MCATS, which will take time and maybe a refresher class.

Then, med school is 4 VERY intense years of study.

Residency, assuming you get matched for your first year of residency, for OB is 3 years of 60 hour weeks, every third night call plus rounds, being up for 36+ hours at one time on those days you have call (up on day one, there at 6am to see pts before rounds, on the unit most of the day writing orders, dealing with problems, then on call all night, and you are probably there until sometimes 5pm.) I think ER residency is 3-4 years, neonatal requires you do a 3 year peds residency plus a 3 year fellowship in neonatology. Plus, after residency, most specialty areas have a fellowship.

I am all for persuing your dream. But, I have heard residents say they wished they had never started the process..... after getting the BS and medschool, then begining residency, while all of their friends are out getting married, having babies, enjoying life, their life revolves around the hospital...

2 of my neighbors are residents and they are NEVER home. SOme of my neighbors joke with the spouse saying they dont think hes really married or that he has a woman living with him.

If you REALLY want to be a doctor, you can get past the math, may require more work, but anything is doable if you want it bad enough. But, before you put all of that time, effort, and lets not forget the money (friend of mine's husband has a mortgage payment sized student loan bill each month...and he is making 45,000 a year as a surgical resident, $ is pretty tight) make sure you are willing to put in the time and willing to give up the next 10 years of your life to follow your dream. It is sad to see someone who regrets their decision but cant turn back because so much money and time has already been invested. But, if being a doctor is what you want, then all of that wont matter because you will be happy.

The benefit to nursing and NP route is that you have an opportunity to become a nurse and try out different areas, decide what you like, and then further your education and become an FNP or NNP or WHNP.... you can even work in an ER and an np. I used to think I wanted to be an NP. Turns out, I like working my 2 days a week, being at work and taking care of my 2-3 babies (I am in NICU) and getting to know the patients ad their families, having to worry about my few patients, not 8-10 pts. I dont have to worry about insurance reimbursements, only that I give my pts quality care for the 12 hours that i am with them. you might find that knowing the buck does not stop with you is actually a relieving feeling!

Whatever you decide to do, good luck.

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

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There are two doctors in my family. One has his certification in family practice and the other in internal medicine. I was around when they were both going through medical school. Medical school and the residency and any fellowship that you might decide to do on top of that is HELL. You have no family life. Your life is all about studying. During residency both had to conduct a research project and publish a paper. This was a requirement to earn their doctorate in medicine and consumed a lot of their time for a year. On top of that, there is no guarantee that you are going to get a residency (the clinical component of medical education) in a state of your choosing. You basically are going to go where there is a spot in the specialty you want. It may be halfway across the country. Residency is famous for requiring you to be on call every 3 days. Many residents end up being awake for 36 hours straight in each 3 day cycle. There are no days off. You work 7 days a week at a contracted rate (yes, you sign a contract) that works out to a lot less than what an RN makes. When you do finish your residency and fellowship 4 to 8 years after your 4 years of medical school, you have to find a job. Most docs do not set up their own practices these days because it is too costly. What with Medicare and the various insurance companies setting the fees for what a doctor can charge, Medicare dictating all kinds of rules for billing, and hospitals having very strict requirements for an MD to qualify to get, and keep, a position on staff, it's not as glamorous a life as you might think it is. One of my doctor relatives is NEVER home. And, when he is he is constantly interrupted by phone calls. The first time I heard him cuss out a nurse (this was after he hung up, he did not yell at her on the phone) who had called him I was shocked because he has always been pro-nursing. The other one works for an HMO. While he has weekends off, he has a quota of patients that he MUST see each and every day and he has strict parameters and guidelines within which he must stay when ordering medications, tests and other treatments. He also has extra-curricular community activities connected with the HMO that he is required to fulfill as part of his contract (yes, another contract).

When I was a nursing student I had a boyfriend who worked as a technician with a couple of docs. He was invited to their homes for different things and we got pretty friendly with their families--the docs were never home because they were busy working. If they did happen to be at home, it was guaranteed that they would be interrupted by a phone call from the hospital or a patient.

If you still want to go to medical school, consider a school of osteopathy. They, at least, treat their medical students more humanely than the AMA schools.

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

2 Followers; 4 Articles; 14,602 Posts; 101,308 Profile Views

Financing medical school is not a problem. If you are smart enough to get yourself admitted into a medical school, the school will make sure you get the loans to stay there. You take the MCAT in your junior year of college. You declare the medical schools you want to apply to on your MCAT application. If you get high enough scores on the MCAT, the medical schools will be contacting you. You will, of course, need a near 4.0 GPA. However, if you don't score well on the MCAT you can kiss med school goodbye. There are no waiting lists. If you don't get in one year, you go through the application process again the next year. FYI, many applicants have majors in Chemistry and Physics because of the pre-requisites required for medical school. And, we knew of many who had their Masters degrees in Chemistry as well. You need to know that trying to get into medical school is one of the fiercest competitions you could ever enter.

You can get information about medical school and the application process on these two websites. All applications for American medical schools are submitted by hopeful students through one of these two organizations:

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21 Posts; 1,085 Profile Views

Another downside of being an MD is that when you choose a specialty, you are pretty well stuck in it unless you go back to school for more training for board certification.

In nursing, you are free to change areas at will. Sure, you may have an orientation period.

But if you are in OB and choose to go to ICU, you can. If you are in rehab and want to be in public health, you can. (Etc, etc)

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first_lobster has 4 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU.

38 Posts; 1,833 Profile Views

It just sorta seems to me that if you are this wishy-washy about going to med school, then it probably isn't the best place for you. being a physician is getting harder and harder. you mention 60+ hour weeks? My husband is an ob/gyn...try100+ hour weeks. he's been up since 0800, and is still at the hospital now (0020) waiting to section a pt. he does this 6/7 days per week. And oh, yeah...I make more per hour than he does. As hard as medicine is getting, you need to really be dedicated from day one, not wishy-washy.

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23 Posts; 776 Profile Views

im definetly seeing the benefits of being able to change specialty areas as a NP, thats the main reason why I decided not to do physician assistant. The hrs, like I said above are a major issue, because id like to have a life outside the hospital. As far as being an EM NP, are they mostly just doing fast track things? I don't see too many job listings for EM NP's, (I mainly just search online)

Out of curiousity to the woman who said she makes more money then her husband who is a doctor, whats your job? I always figured doctors made the most of any medical profession.

Call me crazy but the techniques that doctors use (mostly in traumas) are something id like to, ordering lab tests, preforming BSL maneveurs, making/clearing airways, suturing, administering/prescribing meds, making diagnoses, ect. that is what i want to do, wether its as a doctor or NP thats it, being in a fast paced enviroment where i have to think on my toes is my dream.

The only thing i have to figure out is in which profession is that most prevalent.

The only major turn off im facing with NP is the DNP I'm ok with being grandfathered in but as far as having to go back to school if i chose another job would suck...when im done with school, i want to be done. (atleast with the major stuff)

Thanks guys

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Megsd is a BSN, RN and specializes in Neuro.

723 Posts; 5,889 Profile Views

Out of curiousity to the woman who said she makes more money then her husband who is a doctor, whats your job? I always figured doctors made the most of any medical profession.

On making more than her husband per hour, the key is "per hour." My BF is a firefighter and works 24 hour shifts, 2-3 days a week. Per hour, I will make at least 4 dollars more than him when I finish school. But I will work 36-40 hours a week and he works 48-72 hours a week, so when we get paychecks, he usually makes more than me. If her husband is working 60-100 hours per week, he is getting paid for more hours than she is, hence he probably makes more money. But per hour, she makes more.

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979 Posts; 8,157 Profile Views

Ya know when my eldest son told me he wanted to be an architect, I said, well this is a very competitive thing, everyone wants to be an architect but the market won't take all the graduates. So show me your portfolio. He didn't have one. OK, so have you ever drawn up some floor plans for your dream house? No. At least one exterior picture of a building? No. OK, have you ever visited a building because you were in love with it and wanted to see every part of it? No. Then, I said, you won't make it, because you're just not hungry enough to have the staying power it's gonna cost.

So you can ask yourself some questions right now and see for yourself if you're hungry enough to be a nurse, doctor, whatever, hungry enough to stick through the bad times, the discouragements, the sacrifices. And when you find the thing you're hungry enough for, that's what you go for, not what the Department of Labor says has the best outlook in the next decade or two.

I'll tell you I sure wouldn't have made it through RN school if I hadn't been totally hungry to be a nurse, because they invented every excuse for me to quit, as they will for you.

It doesn't matter if a field looks like it has no commercial potential. Previous to this, I was hungry for music. I knew it because I played at least 4 hours a day and listened a lot more than that. And it fed my family for almost 3 decades.

Just get in touch with your hunger and let it guide you and you will succeed. And if you don't have the hunger for anything identifiable, go for something easy. Life is too short to waste on dropping out of things.

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marilynmom is a LPN, NP and specializes in Adolescent Psych, PICU.

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How much experience do you have working in a hospital actually seeing the day to day life of a resident or fellow? I think that is important. I wasn't sure if you are an RN now or a student or what exactly is the reason I ask. I just think it is a good idea to get some good solid hospital experience seeing what the different types do (RN, MD, NP, resident, etc). I'm not sure where you getting a 2 year difference though....some of the residencies are 3-7 years long after medical school and then a fellow or whatever. Resident is still kinda like school because they have to pass tests, etc. This is all far more than 60 hours a week. We need good Dr's just like we need good nurses though!!

I am eventually going to be a flight nurse because you can do all those things, on a daily basis, you mentioned (intubations, etc) and talk about making the money and being a decision maker :)

We have both NP and CNS and PA in our hospitals ER's here where I work just FYI. We also have them in the ICUs. I still think the flight RN's have the most fun :)

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23 Posts; 776 Profile Views

i meant as far as medical school, its only two more years. but yea, i realize i have some choices to make. most likely i will try and do some shadowing to get some first hand experience.

as far as being hungry for a certain profession, im not quite sure but if i had to guess itd have to be nurse. i say that because the title isnt as important to me as the responsibilities itself, and which ever job entitles that is the one im going to strive for.

thanks again

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