(Closed) Any nurses out there? What is your job like, and do you enjoy it?

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Pros:

you get to make a real difference in people’s lives

it’s constantly interesting and every day is truly different

you work with some great people

you learn heaps

the shift work can help you be more flexible if/when you have kids

the support you get from your colleges is amazing I have bonded with my workmates like no one else and there is always someone to help if you need to unload

you meet some amazing patients, relatives etc, I’ve met lovely people and heard some great life stories

it helps you build confidance I’m an incredibly introverted socially anxious person outside of work but my collages don’t believe me because at work I’m assertive and outgoing but it really is learned behaviour and a ness city in this job

Cons:

its hard, backbreaking work, I have chronic back pain as a result of my work and sometimes I am so tired after a shift I can barley move

people can and will treat you like crap, more and more these days people try to treat nurses like servants 

you will be assaulted, i’ve been hit, kicked, punched, strangled, biten, scratched mostly by people who are confused and don’t know better but it doesn’t mean it isn’t painful and scary

you will at some point feel so useless and hopeless that you can’t do more for your patient you will break a little inside 

It can be very gross but it’s not really the wee and poo they don’t bother me there is a world of body fluids you have never heard of and most of them have been in my mouth

people will die, I have come across nurses who have never wrapped a body of been the carer for a patient when they have died but we have dedicated pallavitve care beds so I have seen more death than I care to think about and all of the pain that gets left behind

 

i can’t comment on the schooling as I’m in Australia and I believe that it is very different here however I will say it really does take a special kind of person to be a nurse it bloody hard but if you stick with it it will be worth it

Post # 4
Member
2127 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

Hello. Adult nurse here, with a specific interest in women’s health, sexual health and hopefully one day neonatal medicine.

I’m from the UK though. I think the NHS is a tough organisation to work for. The patient:staff ratio scares me an awful lot, and many of my days are tiring, exhausting, and I’m rushed off my feet for very little pay.

All that said, I love it. I’ve helped babies come into the world, I’ve held those who were dying, I’ve cared for families and those who have nobody, and I’ve met some amazing, brave and courageous people. I’ve seen some things that I never imagined I would (blood, guys, gore, limbs hanging off, way too many smelly bodily fluids to name a few). I’ve also been left broken hearted for those who have their life stolen away from them.

I went to a prestigious and well known nursing school. It was hard. In practice I had a reputation I was proud of. I exceeded my expectations. I loved it because before I started, people had doubts in me. I proved them wrong.

However, I found the academic side very hard. I struggled. I failed some things, had to retake them, took a lot of time out for illness (hurt my hip, then broke my back) which set me back, and I was diagnosed with anxiety.

I would recommend finding out as much as you can about your school and comparing it to courses elsewhere. I was thrilled to get into an amazing school, but it was a lot harder than others. We spent twice the number of hours in a classroom as another local school, and our essays and thesis were three times as long.

You are at a perfect age for it though and you sound interested. It’s encouraging that you want to know both the good and the bad before you make your decision. Good luck. 

Post # 5
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Hello! I’m a progressive care (ICU-step down) nurse! I also worked med/surg/oncology for about a year. I love nursing. It is very hard but very rewarding. And the great thing is there is so much you can do as far as specializing. ive has good luck finding nursing jobs quickly. I started my first job a week after finishing school. Nursing school is definitely demanding but manageable if you’re good at studying. You learn so much but honestly you learn much more once you’re oit of school and working on the floor. You’ll meet so many people, some you’ll love caring for and others not so much. its very hard work but you’ll never be bored and it makes you feel great to help others ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 6
Member
47430 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I love my job! I worked as a float nurse, ER nurse and Telehealth Nurse.

I went back to school after I left my first husband. I found nursing school fairly easy, but I had two things in my favor. I loved and was good at math and science. I also had credit for all the required non-nursing courses from when I first went to university before I was married, so I only had to take the nursing theory and clinical courses. If you are thinking of entering nursing, I encourage you to take as many courses as you can ahead of time. Just make sure they are accepted at the Nursing School of your choice.

I won’t repeat what the pp has said, but one of the biggest advantages to me is that there are an infinite variety of nursing jobs: acute care with about 20-30 different units; long term care; community and public health; school nursing;occupational health;nursing administration; informatics; and self employment- e.g. midwifery, footcare, diabetes etc etc etc If you get tired of one area you can transition to another.

You also develop many skills, including critical thinking skills, which are transferable to other jobs, should you need a career change entirely.

Post # 7
Member
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Hello! I have been a nurse for 4 years – used to work with post-surgical patients and now with endoscopy procedures. I will probably become an OR nurse hopefully in the next year. Nursing is a great profession, but it does have its goods and bads.

 

PROS-

You will definitely learn something EVERY day on the job. You see patients at their absolute worst, and when they heal and are able to walk out of the hospital, it is an amazing feeling that you helped them. If you get tired of one thing, there are like 50 more things you can do. You learn to appreciate life and loved ones in a different way. You have a variety of shifts to choose from – nights, weekends, days.

CONS-

You encounter people at their worst – they can be mean, demanding, abusive, etc. Some shifts are absolutely horrible that leave you either wanting to cry or laugh. Your feet will hate you, your back will hate you, your body will hate you from working a long shift. Patients will die, and the first one that happens, you will probably cry all the way home (that is something I never get used to). You may have to work every holiday – hospitals never close. 

 

Becoming a nurse was the best decision that I could have made for myself. Nursing school was very hard, the hardest thing I have ever done. It is like trying to learn a new language – I pulled a lot of all-nighters going over med-surg material, creating care plans, practicing skills, etc. I would never want to do it over again, but if I went back in time, I would not change my decision. Hopefully that helps.

 

Post # 8
Member
5 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Hi! I’m currently working in Quality Control and Informatics for a large health system. 

Nursing school is competitive to get into and stay into. Because nursing is a secure field, everyone is trying to get into it. Therefore you must maintain the highest grades possible. It’s not enough just to pass a class. The hardest part about nursing school is time management and prioritization since you’ll  have so much going on between classes, clinical, writing care plans, and learning skills.

It’s definitely worth it though and nursing has so many sub-specialties that you won’t get bored.

Post # 9
Member
1552 posts
Bumble bee

I’m an RN on a med/surg unit in a hospital, and I work 12 hour night shifts.

My first year working was very hard on me. I shed a lot of tears and wished I could quit. It was hard to focus on the lovely patients when some of them were so mean and difficult. I would get a serious feeling of dread in my gut whenever I had to leave home to go to work.

Fast forward another year, and I’m actually quite happy with my job! I’ve established great relationships with my coworkers and we support each other through thick and thin. I’m now comfortable with making serious decisions for the well being of my patients and I’m able to stay calm in emergency situations. My best nights are my “routine” nights when nothing crazy happens. There are also very sh*tty nights, like when you’re caring for 8 patients at a time, one is confused and combative, another is having trouble breathing, some old lady is on her call light every 30 minutes because she has to pee, and some jerk thinks you’re some kind of servant who will do everything for them, even if they are perfectly capable of doing things themselves. But those nights don’t happen all the time, and when they do, you know the next shift will likely be easier. I work at a wonderful facility where everyone jumps in to help the person with the crappy assignment. Of course, not all hospitals are as awesome as mine ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pros:

You get to help people get back on their feet when they’re at their worst.

You see something new every day and are constantly learning new things.

When you have a rough shift, you feel like a champion when it’s all over.

If you work 3 12-hour shifts in a row, you can get several days off afterward ๐Ÿ˜€

I make very good money!

Cons:

Long hours on your feet, and some shifts you don’t even get a break.

Dealing with death and family members.

Risk of exposure to bodily fluids, risk of being hit by confused (or staight up crazy) patients, risk of hurting your back…lots of risks. But you will be trained on how to prevent all of these. And take it seriously, there is nasty stuff out there.

Patients who don’t appreciate anything you do for them, who feel entitled above everyone else, even if they’re not very sick. People who are repeatedly readmitted because of bad lifestyle choices and they just don’t learn from them.

Oh, and one more thing.  I noticed you said you are a nice and gentle person. I think that is wonderful. But keep in mind that you can’t always be nice and gentle as a nurse. It’s a job that requires assertiveness, especially when dealing with difficult patients, cranky doctors, and emergency situations.

Post # 10
Member
1552 posts
Bumble bee

Oh, and nursing school. It can be difficult to get into for some people. My school only accepted the 40 or so top-performing applicants each semester. I was very buckled-down, so I got in on my first try. Nursing classes are not like other college classes. Often times, there will be more than 1 correct answer to a question. You have to choose the most correct answer. The amount of material to cover for each exam is immense. It can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding because you’ll find out you can accomplish more than you had originally thought.

Post # 11
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Hello!

I work in Informatics Nursing. Awesome field to work in. I was clinical for nearly 4 years and somehow lost my passion for the clinical aspect. I always enjoyed data, auditing and research so I was able to find my perfect job! There are so many different avenues to take in Nursing. Clinical is not the only option.There are many wonderful Nursing Admin areas such as Public Health, Quality, Law, Research, etc. the list goes on. As you take classes and do clinicals most will figure out which areas they want to stay away from and which they enjoy. Good luck! 

Post # 12
Member
33 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I work in the Float Pool for a Major Inner CitY Level 1 trauma center and I’m also a SANE Nurse. I love my job. however you have to have a wicked sense of humor and take things with a grain of salt. the patient population I work with are usually highly entitled and unappreciative of the work we do for them. However I love my job! I never have a day when I hate being there. The hours are long and it’s back breaking work but i work 3 days a week and that keeps me sane! I’m constantly learning new things and since I float I stay out of all the political drama that you find in any workplace ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Post # 13
Member
4843 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Go shadow a nurse or nursing students before commiting. 

Post # 14
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

HI there! I’ve been a nurse for 2 years and have worked in the medical field for 3. I’ve worked in ortho, developmental disabilities, surgical intensive care, and in 2 days I’m starting a new job in the PACU/recovery room. All in the US.

I think that going from no medical background to nursing school is a difficult transition because you are literally starting from scratch and learning how to approach situations in a different way. I got a BSN and I did great academically in school, but the emotional stress of nursing scool really got to me. I wanted to get more experience than school could offer so I took a job as a tech during school. I would recommend doing this if you can, even part time. Before you invest a lot of time and money in school you can see if you actually like the nature of the work. Taking care of people is physically and emotionally draining in a way that no other job can prepare you for.

my favorite parts about being a nurse are: learning and expanding my knowledge, educating others, advocating for my patients, forming relationships, and the sense of fulfillment and purpose I get from the work. Also working 3 or 4 days a week is nice!

my least favorite parts: I’m very sensitive and stuff gets to me really easily, patients and family members can sometimes be very disrespectful and downright nasty, it can be very exhausting sometimes.

All in all its worth it. Happy nurses week everybody!

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by  kclRN.
Post # 15
Member
368 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I am a tele med-surg nurse at a smaller hospital.  I have been a nurse for 4 years.  I have an associates degree and I am currently enrolled in an online BSN program with plans to get my masters in Informatics.  I would agree with all that has been said before hand by previous posters. 

Pros:

Nursing is such a special profession.  You get to see sides of people they usually don’t share with everyone.  I love learning new things every day and making decisions that can directly improve my patient’s care.  I like talking with the Drs. and picking their brains on tricky cases.  I love the variety in the profession.  I look forward to switching specialties soon and learning all about a new specialty.

Cons:

The first year of nursing is incredibly tough.  The amount of stress nurses deal with everyday is mostly unmatched in other professions.  The healthcare system can be especially frustrating here in the US.  I feel a lot of my time is dedicated to documentation instead of patient care.  Also it sometimes feels as though you are expected to never make a mistake (such as with documentation) things like not giving a pneumonia vaccine during admission can lose a lot of money for the hospital (and they will surely make sure you don’t forget it).  Also family members and patient’s can be incredibly difficult at times.  Dealing with death on a regular basis takes it’s toll. 

All in all, most days I am very happy in my chosen profession.  I am proud to be a nurse and I am proud of the work I do for my patients.  I work at a facility which I am proud to be at and I have incredibly kind supportive and intelligent coworkers.  Nursing is a calling more than a profession and I would also recommend shadowing a nurse prior to jumping into nursing school.

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