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Rewarding career.... if you have the strength!
Nursing in general
Member Name: Cattycat
Nursing in general
Date: 11/07/01, updated on 11/07/01 (4299 review reads)
Advantages: Job security, Rewarding, Allows use of intelligence!
Disadvantages: Stressful, Increasing litigation, Unsociable hours
I am a qualified nurse. It is something I always wanted to be as a child. I had the toy trolley, the red cape, the plastic stethoscope, and my younger brother was always the wary patient!
Here I am now, aged 25, having been qualified for 4 years - strongly considering a different career. Nursing has many positive aspects, but for me personally the negatives are beginning to outweigh the positives. I hope you will find this analysis useful, especially if you are considering a career in nursing.
* Can be a highly rewarding and satisfying job. What you do in your daily work can have a huge positive impact on others lives, and most are grateful for it. The feeling you get when someone's condition improves because of your work is amazing - that 'thank you' is worth it's weight in gold.
* A nursing career can be highly varied. The everyday workload for most is different - different people, different problems, different staff. Within healthcare there are so many interesting specialties that you can work in - you are not restricted to one. With such shortages of nurses you can virtually pick and choose which area you would like to work in.
* Although nurses do not get payed fairly in comparison to other public services professionals, the money over recent years has improved. And the potential to earn extra is there if you want it through bank work, agency or overtime. With the shortages you can almost guarantee that you will never be out of work - in this day and age that is a rare phenomenon.
* To be a nurse you have to use your brain and is great if you need high levels of mental stimulation! There is never a dull moment and you have to make rapid decisions and think on your toes. It certainly is never boring!
* Uniforms are provided!! This might not sound a serious positive aspect, but it is great because you don't have to spend time wandering shops looking for suits,
shoes, and accessories! You don't have to spend every morning thinking 'what should I wear?'!!! You have no choice!!!
* The shift work can be a nightmare, or a blessing! I personally find it hard, especially when in a relationship with someone who works mon-fri, 9-5. Most areas will need cover 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Therefore you may have to work Christmas, New Year, Bank Holidays, weekends and nights. And contrary to the opinion of my non-nurse friends - you do not get paid much extra for working these unsociable hours! And most areas need to formulate the shift patterns a long time in advance, so you need to plan 3 months ahead! (Impossible most of the time).
* Stress can be enormous, depending on which areas you work in. With staff shortages, increasing numbers of patients, higher patient expectations and the level of responsibility you have - it can be a high pressure job. Sometimes it makes me feel physically sick and the headaches I come home with are agonising! Some people love the stress -however,I could live without it!
* Fear of litigation is increasingly becoming a reason as to why nurses leave the profession. The public are now more likely to complain about things and follow legal actions. I personally find this aspect difficult to cope with because I know I work to the best of my ability, but I am human and I could easily make an error. In nursing that error could kill or harm - and that frightens me. I often come home at night worrying that I had forgotten something important etc. Insomnia is an occupational hazard for a lot of nurses!
* Nursing can be hard work - physically and mentally. Back injuries although greatly reduced, still occur. Abuse from patients and relatives is prevalent. Nurses are being expected to take on more and more skills, with less time, resources and support.
I am looking to leave nursing eventually, which is a gre
at shame because I have been highly trained to be a nurse and I know I am a good nurse, able to do the job and do it well. Most of the time I genuinely do enjoy it. But unfortunately I am finding it harder to cope with and it often spills over into my private life, putting strain on relationships.
To those who are looking into entering nursing, I wish you well. As I have said here there are many positive aspects to it and for many that enjoy nursing these greatly outweigh the negatives. Not all hospitals, surgeries, clinics etc are the same - I am sure there are many wonderful places out there. I am basing this opinion purely on my experience in a large, inner city hospital.