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Nurses - Tell me about your jobs!

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#1 alex

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    Posted 26 June 2008 - 10:39 PM

    I'm hoping any nurses here on the forum can help me out here.

    I've always kind of considered nursing as a career option for myself, but am having a hard time getting info from people who are currently nurses or have been nurses in the past. I know alot of people in the process of going to school to become a nurse, but I'm looking for some inside info.

    Tell me whatever you want about your jobs! Your likes, your dislikes, a day in the life of, advice, funny stories, anything you think might be of interest to somebody seriously researching this as a possible future career! I want to get as much information as I can before I commit to going back to school for 4 years... especially since I flip-flop almost daily on possible career choices (I have ALOT of ideas, ranging from nursing, to civil engineering, to event co-ordinating... LOL I'm a woman of many interests, what can I say!)

    #2 Kat81

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      Posted 26 June 2008 - 10:48 PM

      My BFF graduated nursing school last December. She is currently working as an RN in California. She LOVES her job. Seriously. She said it's very stressful at times and hard when you watch someone suffer and can't do anything about it except lend a soft voice and a kind touch. I have never seen her so happy though. She is working the night shift which is hard on her but other than that she never complains. I don't know much about it. I have thought about going into that field too but I don't think I could handle it. I have a really weak stomach.

      #3 KirstenRN6

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      • 220 posts

        Posted 26 June 2008 - 11:41 PM

        I have been an RN for a little over 5 years now working in the ICU. I LOVE being a nurse! It's very rewarding. For the past 3 years I have been working as a traveling nurse, doing 13 week contracts at hospitals all over the country. It has been such an awesome experience! I feel like I am on a perpetual vacation, living off of someone elses dime. My travel companies pay for my housing, furnish the apartments, and pay for my utilities. Not to mention a nice hourly salary to go with it.
        All in all, you can't go wrong with being a nurse. You can have a job in an instant almost any where in the country with the current nursing shortage. I say go for it!

        #4 ohiobride15

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        • 156 posts

          Posted 27 June 2008 - 12:04 AM

          Im not a nurse but a respiratory therapist. I work at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland Ohio. I work very close with the nurses there. They all seem to love thier jobs. We work in the cardiothoracic icu there so we work with very specialized patients. Its a very fast paced environment with something new everyday. There is always an oppurtunity to learn something or help someone out. I think being a nurse is a very rewarding career. Im sure you would love it. It is a lot of work though so know that going into it.

          #5 JHarwood2Be

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            Posted 27 June 2008 - 09:14 AM

            Wow! There are so many areas of nursing. I have been a nurse for 5 years. I did liver and kidney transplant nursing for 3 1/2 years and labor and delivery for 1 1/2 years. Both have been rewarding in their own way. I also work nights, but I am more of a night person and I like the extra $$$. I work 3 12 hour shifts, considered full time. I can go out of town for a long weekend and not have to take any days off which is great. I also like that I do my work during my shift and leave it at the hospital. There is so much that you can do in nursing. If you get burned out, you can completely change your specialty. Good luck with your decision!

            Oh here is a forum you can check out for all things nursing related. You'll read the good and the bad! allnurses.com - #1 Nursing Community for Nurses
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            #6 amandalovesryan

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              Posted 27 June 2008 - 09:54 AM

              I love my job! For the most part! I have been a nurse for 3 years. I work on a icu step-down floor. Our pts are sometimes on ventilators with tracheostomies. This is the hardest but most rewarding part. Some of our pts never get better and leave with their trachs. Others, who you think are not going to make it, end up leaving without the trach and going home. it is amazing! Some of our pts are there for a long time and you get attached to them.
              One of the worst parts of the job is when you are helping to clean an incontinent pt for the 10th time that shift and the pt is mean to you. it is one thing if they have dementia and do not know what they are saying. if they are flat out rude to you and you have been busting your butt to keep them clean, i want to scream!
              there are so many amazing things about this job, i met a ton of great friends, i learn something new every day, i make amazing money, i get to learn about people's lives 80 years ago. you do not have to go to a 4 yr school. there are programs with hospitals that are only 2 years long. there are also some excellerated programs that are only 18 monts. I say go for it. you can always find work!
              My favorite type of vacation, a relaxing one!


              #7 ~Kate~

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              • 329 posts

                Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:27 AM

                Originally Posted by amandalovesryan
                you do not have to go to a 4 yr school. there are programs with hospitals that are only 2 years long. there are also some excellerated programs that are only 18 monts. I say go for it. you can always find work!

                not in Canada However, there are 2 yr programs (straight - no summers!) for those who meet the undergrad prereqs, so if you have a science undergrad or even a few yrs of uni science like anatomy and physiology, you might consider this option...the programs are called CTF (compressd time frame) programs...at UofT and UWO for sure if you want to stay in Ontario! I got my 4 yr RN degree from UWO - the program was fantastic, and I have lots of friends who did the CTF program, so I can tell you more about that if you're interested.

                In ON, we also have the new grad initiative, so all new RN grads are guaranteed full time employment for 8 months at least after graduation. However, with our nursing shortage, you could work anywhere, anytime, so this isn't really a big concern. If you want to stay in northern ON, there are lots of great northern incentives, so more $$$$ :)

                Anyway, I love nursing - the profession is amazing and there are unlimited opportunities in so many areas.

                Good luck with your decision - I know it is a big one!!! Kate

                #8 CarrieRN

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                  Posted 27 June 2008 - 04:53 PM

                  I have been a nurse for almost 2 yrs and have been working in the medical ICU/Coronary Care Unit. I went back to school after the airlines went down the tubes.

                  I do enjoy my job. I like working just 3 12-hr shifts a week. It is a hard job though (and since I have only worked ICU, I don't know if it just because of the high-stress ICU environment or not). I never realized how much cleaning up of incontinence I would have to do. Nursing is rewarding though. A lot of times in ICU, you are really helping families cope with things. And for the cardiac patients and some of the younger respiratory distress patients, you do see them get better.

                  The rough part (emotionally) is the fact that we get a lot of end stage cancer patients or end-stage COPD people who aren't going to get better. Or people who are in semi-vegetative states and ventilator dependent who are still full codes. I am a real big advocate for quality of life and for allowing people to die when it is their time. There are a lot of family members who want everything possible to be done for their loved one without realizing exactly what that entails for the patient. That can be very stressful because sometimes it feels unethical to prolong this patient's life and suffering.

                  That being said, not all units are quite so intense and there are so many opportunities in so many different areas. The pay is good and the job security is amazing.
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                  #9 amandalovesryan

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                  • 933 posts

                    Posted 27 June 2008 - 08:00 PM

                    Carrie, totally agree with you! It bothers me when people are in vegetative states and the family will not make them DNR. It breaks my heart.
                    My favorite type of vacation, a relaxing one!


                    #10 ~Jamie~

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                    • 39 posts

                      Posted 27 June 2008 - 08:24 PM

                      I have worked on a busy general Medical floor in a hospital for 5 years before moving here to Florida. Now, I am a home hospice nurse. What a change! I love things about both jobs, hate things about both... Hospital was nice because every day was totally different... I really believe I learned about 20 different things every day for those 5 years. It was nice being around lots of nurses and doctors to discuss things with. It was extremely stressful, though. We ran the whole 12 hr day, and rarely got a chance to sit down. Tons of computer charting. Lots of unhappy- non compliant people... All you can do is try your best to keep a happy face, and be sincere, and not stress out to much later on what you could have or wish you would have done to change them.
                      Home Hospice is the most rewarding job I've ever had. Majority of the patients and families are extrememly grateful for everything you do. To know that you helped someone be comfortable and calm at the very end of their life, and to make this frightening sad experience for families actually be a good time is an awesome feeling. It seems kind of loney, though at times, since in home care, you are pretty much by your self. I miss being around other coworkers all day. I also feel like I am losing a lot of my nursing skills. I cant remember a lot that I used to know...
                      Hope it helps!

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