Deciding to become a nurse is a big deal and will require a lot of commitment. With many career choices, you only learn what it is like once you are in it. There are going to be moments of doubting your decision. Many people believe that it is too late to turn around at this point. A lot of work goes into getting your degree and it is understandable. It is important to do your research before the time.
When you are a nurse, it is not always as glamourous as presented on television. There are clinical research nurses who learn this early on. It is a matter of being prepared for the real situation. Being a nurse is more than just focusing on medicine. Nurses are some of the most hardworking people out there. You really have to obtain a passion for this job. There is no easy route, but it is one of the most rewarding career choices. If this is what you want to do with your life, you need to consider the following points.
- Beyond medical care
Having to reheat a patient’s food or changing the program is just some of the joyful tasks a nurse has to do. Medical care is the priority, but it goes beyond that. You are going to wear a lot of hats when tending to patients.
- Mistakes are unavoidable
There are going to be moments when you slip up, but you need to move on quickly. You won’t have much time reflecting on your mistakes. As long as you are not intentionally making these mistakes, you need to forgive yourself.
- You can’t save everyone
That nursing capstone project will not prepare you for the moment your patient dies. In fact, it can be the 30th time and it would still be difficult. Nothing in nursing school will get you ready.
- Telephone duty
If you thought you spent a lot of time on a telephone when you were younger, think again. You are going to have to liaise with a lot of other departments and sometimes this can take up hours within your day. You are going to have to develop a level of patience in this regard.
- You’ll get fit
I don’t mean this in the intentional way, but you are going to be on your feet a lot. Nurses don’t really get much downtime on their shifts. You are constantly running between patients and your admin duties.
- The family doctor
There are going to be moments when you want to start a medical writing service for friends and family. You are going to receive so many calls for advice on ailments, bruises and bumps. Be prepared to become the family doctor once you graduate.
- Bladder schedule
You have to start training your bladder from early on. There are not going to be a lot of toilet trips happening. Nurses are so busy that there is no time to empty your bladder on a regular schedule. It definitely has a negative effect on your body.
- Good memory
There is so much you have to remember when you are a nurse. From the time you gave the last set of meds, to lab results will be your responsibility.
- It’s a lot more work
When you first look at your schedule, it might look attractive. You are going to find out that the schedule is a lot more summarized than the actual job. It is long hours and requires you to be on top of your game at all times.
- Male nurses
There seems to be a stereotype about female nurses being the only ones. This is such a misconception and there are a lot of male nurses out there. It’s great to see that this stereotype is quickly fading away.
- Lots of opportunities
This is one of the big benefits of being a nurse. There is a lot of opportunities for upward mobility. You just need to work hard and be at the right place at the right time. Your capstone paper says a lot about your future goals and this is one of those careers when it is possible to reach those goals.
- Be diverse
We are so busy running out day to day responsibilities that it causes us to lose focus. You need to become an expert in as many fields as you can. Be the one to call on when something out of the ordinary happens.
- Time management
You are going to have to become an expert at managing your time. If you don’t, you might miss important tasks. You also want to give yourself some downtime to recuperate when not working.
- Family work balance
There will be moments when you have to work on weekends or late night shifts. This can be hard on a family. You are going to have to prepare your family before starting this career and find a balance.
- Be proud
A lot of times nurses feel disrespected when compared with doctors. It is important to know in these moments that you are just as respected. You studied hard to get here and that is not to be underestimated.
- Emotional obstacles
We get so attached to our patients and this can make us invested in their recovery. Although this is a beautiful thing, there are times you can get over invested. Do the best that you possibly can and then you have to let it go. This can really affect your mood if you aren’t careful.
- It can get chaotic
The fantasy you have about what nursing would be like could possibly be unattainable. There is going to be chaos and you need to be able to work well under these circumstances.
- Maybe it’s not for you
Be honest with yourself and what your ideal life looks like. If nursing is not a passion of yours, it might just not be for you. That is perfectly okay and you need to accept what you are willing to do and what not.