becoming a nurse

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Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 06:16 pm
becoming a nurse
Hi everyone!

I am new. My name is Katrina and I want to be a nurse. I feel like I have wasted years of searching for meaningful and challenging work and have just now realized I would love to be a nurse. The challenge first is I have to upgrade some high school Chemistry courses. I just took a biology course in university and did well. I'm 25 and been studying business since I was 19. Go figure.

Any advice?

How many days a week does a nurse work on average?

I always read that a nurse's job is rewarding and challenging however hard. In what way do they ever mean it??

Can anyone share their daily struggles or enjoyment of being a nurse.

Thanks! Smile
 
mdroe01
 
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2005 04:58 pm
Hello Katrina!
I dont know if I can answer many of your questions, but we have something in common...we both want to be nurses! I am currently enrolled in a BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing) Program at a State University. I know it is a lot of hard work but in the end, it is rewarding to see the difference you can make in the care of a patient. Hang in there and let me know if there is anything I can share with you, as far as info, etc.

Melissa
 
Ginger Snap
 
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2005 01:02 am
Quote:
How many days a week does a nurse work on average?
See that is the advantage of being a nurse. You can work as little or as much as you want. Acute care (hospitals) tend to do 12 hour shifts, and therefore, the work weeks can range from 12-36 hours/week. Clinics, long-term care facilities, and jobs in the insurance industry tend to work 8 hour days, so the hours can vary from 16-40 hours/week.

Quote:
I always read that a nurse's job is rewarding and challenging however hard. In what way do they ever mean it??

Some examples of the challenges:
    You come to work on your unit and discover that there is a high volume of patients, with a lot of needs (something we call acuity). Some of your co-workers called in sick, and your supervisor can't find a replacement. You still need to provide the best care you can even though your workload is heavy, and keep your composure at the same time.

    Most jobs in nursing require working odd hours, and/or long shifts. Forget about having weekends or holidays off. And don't always expect to leave when your shift is over.

    While many patients can be very grateful for the care they receive, it is not uncommon in certain settings to work with some of the less desirable people on the planet. Hospital ERs can be a magnet for some of these folks, so you have to develop a thick skin.

    There are lots of interesting places to work, where you can learn a great deal. There are also lots of places that are fast-paced, and intense (think NBC's ER), so you have to learn to handle a lot of stress and think quick on your feet.

    Expect to be part of a lawsuit or investigation by the board of nursing at least once in your career. We live in a very litigious society and people who are unhappy with the results of their care are always looking for monetary rewards or revenge.

    There are many career paths in nursing, so anything you could do in the business world can be done in nursing (healthcare is, after all, a business)
 
Wildflower63 1
 
Reply Mon 18 Jul, 2005 12:41 pm
This is something you have to really want to do. The nursing program at the university I went to was more like boot camp. They bragged about their 99% first time pass rate for the NCLEX. That, I quickly learned, was because they failed about half of the students out of the program. The rest got sick of being verbally beat up and quit. I finished with a fraction of the people I started with!

At the time, I was floored at they way we were treated, horrible! Get this, I actually got into hot water for asking too many questions. What? I got a 'fail' in my very first clinical. I was in tears! I worked so hard on the back up courses and did fine. I had never had a problem with any professor being upset about a student asking questions. You do get another chance on the second of two clinical rotations per semester to improve and pass. Every program probably does differ, but that was mine!

You see what I mean about why people often quit tough RN programs? If you aren't completely determined, that fail, on my first clinical, could have blown me out of the program if I didn't figure out how to wise up.
I didn't understand their ways, at the time. None of us did. The problem with asking too many questions is because of the fact that you will work for a facility and you have to answer your own questions correctly, the first time.

You have to be able to remain calm, not cry, and never make excuses or try to defend yourself. You thank your professor for constructive criticism, while looking them in the eye, showing no emotion, and tell them you will work on the problem they have to say about you, no matter how unfair you think it is. You walk out the door, with your head high.

This is the reasoning they will fail you out, if you behave any differently. You are going to have to call doctors, with a problem. They will act like jerks. You need orders for your patient and can't let them get to you. You will be chewed by distraught family members and you can't react. You are going to deal with very scary circumstances and you can't show fear, walk away, or any type of emotional behavior. You are there to support your patient and do what needs to be done quickly, with a cool head. It isn't fair to your patient to do anything else.

This will be you, on both ends, in time. You are the nurse. You don't have time to ask someone else to solve your problems for you, in an ugly emergency situation. You can't make the wrong decision without harming your patient. You are trained in nursing school what to do for emergency procedure. Any nurse is correct calling for another nurse to aid her immediately. All nurses have to delegate and expect it to be done immediately and correctly. Your nursing assistants aren't stupid, so use them.

You are the nurse and have to make fast judgment calls that have no room to be incorrect. That's why I got in trouble, in school, for asking too many questions. That is also why you cannot emotionally react. You have to be strong, for your patient. That is why I was treated so harshly in nursing school.

Nursing isn't a job. It's more than that. If you think that you are going to find some sort of intrinsic reward, every shift, you are mistaken. A good shift is when you are staffed and nothing bad happened. The usual shift, something happens bad, someone is running too high of a temp and you better do something about it or could be worse. A bad shift cooks your brain, making you feel like you have been beaten with a ball bad when you clock out.

Your job never leaves you. You always will have thoughts of your patients. There are some days, to far and few, when you actually clock out, feeling good about helping someone and know you made a difference. That's what nursing really is and decide carefully about this type of career choice.

You aren't going to have a problem if you need to polish up on some of the required classes, like chem. Many college students are what they used to call 'non-traditional', meaning not kids right out of high school, but working adults with families. Like we really remember high school algebra! Most universities have classes, which cost the same, but don't count towards a degree that will quickly put you worthy of any college class.

You sound like nursing is really something you want to do. Be ready to fight for it. That's my advice. It isn't easy, but worth it, to the right people.
 
sriblanc
 
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2005 09:46 am
That was very insightful and helpful to anyone wanting to become a nurse. I've been told many times how difficult nursing and nursing school can be. Thanks.



Wildflower63 wrote:
This is something you have to really want to do. The nursing program at the university I went to was more like boot camp. They bragged about their 99% first time pass rate for the NCLEX. That, I quickly learned, was because they failed about half of the students out of the program. The rest got sick of being verbally beat up and quit. I finished with a fraction of the people I started with!

At the time, I was floored at they way we were treated, horrible! Get this, I actually got into hot water for asking too many questions. What? I got a 'fail' in my very first clinical. I was in tears! I worked so hard on the back up courses and did fine. I had never had a problem with any professor being upset about a student asking questions. You do get another chance on the second of two clinical rotations per semester to improve and pass. Every program probably does differ, but that was mine!

You see what I mean about why people often quit tough RN programs? If you aren't completely determined, that fail, on my first clinical, could have blown me out of the program if I didn't figure out how to wise up.
I didn't understand their ways, at the time. None of us did. The problem with asking too many questions is because of the fact that you will work for a facility and you have to answer your own questions correctly, the first time.

You have to be able to remain calm, not cry, and never make excuses or try to defend yourself. You thank your professor for constructive criticism, while looking them in the eye, showing no emotion, and tell them you will work on the problem they have to say about you, no matter how unfair you think it is. You walk out the door, with your head high.

This is the reasoning they will fail you out, if you behave any differently. You are going to have to call doctors, with a problem. They will act like jerks. You need orders for your patient and can't let them get to you. You will be chewed by distraught family members and you can't react. You are going to deal with very scary circumstances and you can't show fear, walk away, or any type of emotional behavior. You are there to support your patient and do what needs to be done quickly, with a cool head. It isn't fair to your patient to do anything else.

This will be you, on both ends, in time. You are the nurse. You don't have time to ask someone else to solve your problems for you, in an ugly emergency situation. You can't make the wrong decision without harming your patient. You are trained in nursing school what to do for emergency procedure. Any nurse is correct calling for another nurse to aid her immediately. All nurses have to delegate and expect it to be done immediately and correctly. Your nursing assistants aren't stupid, so use them.

You are the nurse and have to make fast judgment calls that have no room to be incorrect. That's why I got in trouble, in school, for asking too many questions. That is also why you cannot emotionally react. You have to be strong, for your patient. That is why I was treated so harshly in nursing school.

Nursing isn't a job. It's more than that. If you think that you are going to find some sort of intrinsic reward, every shift, you are mistaken. A good shift is when you are staffed and nothing bad happened. The usual shift, something happens bad, someone is running too high of a temp and you better do something about it or could be worse. A bad shift cooks your brain, making you feel like you have been beaten with a ball bad when you clock out.

Your job never leaves you. You always will have thoughts of your patients. There are some days, to far and few, when you actually clock out, feeling good about helping someone and know you made a difference. That's what nursing really is and decide carefully about this type of career choice.

You aren't going to have a problem if you need to polish up on some of the required classes, like chem. Many college students are what they used to call 'non-traditional', meaning not kids right out of high school, but working adults with families. Like we really remember high school algebra! Most universities have classes, which cost the same, but don't count towards a degree that will quickly put you worthy of any college class.

You sound like nursing is really something you want to do. Be ready to fight for it. That's my advice. It isn't easy, but worth it, to the right people.
 
Wildflower63 1
 
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 08:33 pm
Sriblanc, thank you for listening.
 
Neznu
 
Reply Sat 30 Jul, 2005 10:20 am
Meaningful and challenging work
Razz I have to say "dito" to wildflower63s response to nursekatrina.

I have 7 sisters and three of them and I are nurses, which adds up to four ( I enjoy working problems like these out) and my granma-ma was a delivery nurse... so it's not just a JOB it's in our blood....
I can't think of anything else I'd rather do....well maybe Nascar!!
that's alot like nursing...your on your own, but you have a pit crew to call on when you need them!!
Or maybe a plate spinner in the circus....that's usually what I say when asked how are things going? and it's getting ugly...
"I'm spinnin them plates as fast as I can!"
Work has to be fun for me or forget it!!
Yeah, I know we have pts in serious circumstances that we are responsible for, but I just help them to get thru and they say "laughter is the best medicine"....plus its fun hooking pts up to all kinds of stuff!

So now onto daily struggles and environments:
I don't really struggle too much as I just go with the flow, and try to brighten someones day (or mine) so when it gets ugly...we all take a little time to debrief and go on....
Also get in touch with your inner chi (voice) and relax-breathe....your not going to struggle if you don't want to...so make the choice to relax and flowwwww....get in the zone...this helps on any floor you work not just acute care.
Forming relationships and trusting other nurses can be a challenge too, if you let it....my advice is to do your work, be resposible for what you do, ask for help (nicely), give help when needed and not always asked for....trust and be "trustable" but be smart if somebody does something that causes you not to trust them then don't and move on...(you can take this to the bank, don't go back and forth, you will only cause yourself a lot of grief and sleep) believe me I have crossed many paths with nurses who thought they could do me wrong,....and I moved on and they were still "eat up with it" and guess who came to who with hat in hand?
Learn how to read when someone is having a bad day vs. someone that has a bad attitude, this skill will carry you far in relationships on the job. It also helps to humm a silly tune to yourself like "Always look at the brightside of life!"
OK it's took me 15 yrs to gather all this (and more...yes there is more where this came from!!) and a couple of minutes for you to get it .... so use what cha can......from the sisterhood in texas..peace out Very Happy
 
 

 
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