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NOT a sulk, for once

I want to be a nurse.

All: With your level of stress? Are you crazy?

I know. The thing is... I want to. Maybe it's my hospital visits over the past year, I don't know. But I have always loved nurses. I've rarely met one that didn't make going to the hospital easier- as a patient or a as visitor.

Of course, a lot of people have told and will tell me that nursing is a crappy, badly paid, largely thankless job. Yes, it can involve cleaning up shit, getting blood on you and heavy lifting. Thing is... I'm not sure I care.

It came to me as a whim one day, and it's kinda stuck...

So well has it embedded itself that once I get a car, I plan to investigate this urge through the magic of Volunteering. Suggestions have been nursing homes (where they often need people to just sit and talk) and the paediatric ward (where they need people to read/play with children). Both options would allow me to see if the concept of working with sick/old people agrees with me. And more importantly still, both give me a chance to meet people who ARE nursing and talk to them about it. I can discover if it really is ME.

So... thoughts? Comments? Does anyone know any reason why I should or shouldn't try this out? Does anyone have any further suggestions?

Or have I gone mad?

Comments

( 10 comments! — Make Remark! )
katiefoolery
Jul. 2nd, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
Volunteering couldn't hurt one little bit. You might find you really hate it or that you really want to pursue it. It would certainly be good to know for sure what you want to do.
chunkymonkey24
Jul. 2nd, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
I know people who've worked at nursing homes and people who are currently sutdying to be nurses. Both absolutely love/d it. My friend doing her nursing degree actually fought a phobia of needles to be able to help people, which I think is extremly brave since I share that fear and have no idea how she did it.
I agree with Bunne in the volunteering can't hurt and will either strengthen your resolve or make you realise it's not for you.
Good luck with it :)
starlingthefool
Jul. 2nd, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
My mom's a nurse - she decided to become one after my dad spent a year in the hospital. All his nurses were a bunch of fantastic people. I don't know about in Australia, but in the US, you're practically guaranteed a job, and there are nurses' unions trying to ensure good wages and decent hours.
I support the volunteering thing. Or maybe you could try and get a job in a hospice, or nursing home, or some other job where you don't need to be a registered nurse (again, have no idea how certification works in Australia).
globox
Jul. 3rd, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
Yup, I was going to mention that nursing doesn't actually suck or have bad pay they just have a really strong union that say they do.
citizen_cam
Jul. 3rd, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
Personally, I think it's a nutty idea. Examine, if you will, the pros and cons:

CONS
*You stress out far too easily for that job. Nurses work long hours and deal with too much shit for you to cope with. Hell, I'm amazed any of them cope.
*Consider what nurses do all day. Ew.
*They don't get paid nearly enough.
*Volunteering would be even worse, 'cos they don't get paid anything.

PROS
*You'd be on strike so often you'd never have to go to work.
drscruffy
Jul. 3rd, 2007 02:30 am (UTC)
I have so much respect for nurses, because they really do get a raw deal sometimes, and yet they just keep on turning up for work. Nursing is a vocation - it's something people are "called" to do. i think that if this is what you want, then it's really wonderful. I also think that checking it out first is a *really* good idea too.
crazedturkey
Jul. 3rd, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)
Your best option for volunteer work is probably Nursing Homes. Paeds is a nice idea, but the reality is that they require you to undergo a fair amount of training, and they don't even often like the people who are supposed to be there hanging around. (AKA the med students on the ward!)

Having said that however, seeing if you can cope with old people is really important, because even if you decide paeds is for you, the bulk of your training as a nurse will be dealing with the elderly (just a facet of the health system).

Stress is as stress does frankly. In my opinion, it'll be just like medicine, as in the main stress will be preparing for exams. In terms of the actual work, sure you might be busy, but you'll be a cog in a larger wheel, and big decisions won't rest solely with you. So what you need to ask yourself is whether you can cope with another four years at uni.

Paid is as paid does. If you like the work, you;ll make enough to live on.

As to the ew factor, well that depends on you. Yes. You will be dealing with bedpans, cleaning the incontinent elderly, showering etc. It's in the job description.

So...if you think that this is something that you really want, then go for it Kayt. I have the utmost respect for nurses, because they do a lot of the hardcore caring. If it's something you want, then stuff worrying about the stress levels. You can make it work :)
flippyfrog
Jul. 3rd, 2007 09:12 am (UTC)
You know what I think about it, but a particular comment on this journal made me respond.

My mother is an intelligent lady, very intelligent and very savvy, and if nursing was such a shit occupation, don't you think after nearly 40 years in the job she would have left by now?

Things my mum mentioned were maybe you should look into were, if you like dealing with teenagers, maybe going into mental health nursing, or social work, or youth work, or become an Enrolled Nurse instead of registered, so you don't have to spend as long at uni or CIT.

Mum also said that you can speak to her any time, if you want. She'll only be able to give you a women's health perspective as it's been a while since she was a general nurse, but she's willing to try and convert more people into the nursing profession. :P
miska_maz
Jul. 3rd, 2007 09:23 am (UTC)
i love that idea kayt! i think its brilliant. i think to be in that job u have to be caring and considerate but only just enough. you cant take everything to heart because it would burn you out and there isnt the 'time/space'. also i think nurses do a brillant job of making things ok when docs are a bit 'careless'... i think ud be great!!! and the volenteering stuff is a great way to start. though it does mean more study - whether it be at uni or tafe. still go for it! :)
rigel_7
Jul. 3rd, 2007 09:42 am (UTC)
I think it's a great idea - if you have something you're passionate about it doesn't matter so much about stress.

I think you should go ahead and volunteer, find out if you want to do this and then go from there.

:D
( 10 comments! — Make Remark! )

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