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Jun. 19th, 2007

I have been up way past my bedtime the past few nights riveted by Echo Heron books, otherwise known as the most recommended nonfiction nurse books in every nurse community on LJ. The one I am reading is Tending Lives, which is a compilation of different nurses' stories. Everytime I get to the end of one I think, "I'll just read the next one, it HAS to be less intense." Nope.

On my way to work from my incredibly frustrating dentist appointment (no new crown, it didn't fit, and I had to redo the mold, which as you may know is a foul process) I was thinking about how odd it might be considered after my initial career path (fancy private school, obvious college, clear intentions from my upbringers that I was meant for "better" things) for me to contemplate becoming a nurse. I do not once remember anyone I grew up with suggesting they wanted to be a nurse when they grew up, which is odd, thinking back. I've lived in a pretty narrow social framework. Nursing is one of those careers that is on the list of things you might mention in elementary school that has a clear, obvious set of duties: Teacher, Fireman, Farmer, Nurse. Even when I was growing up, these were increasingly remote ideas for an occupation; I can't quite imagine for kids today what it might be like imagining "what you want to be when you grow up". So very many jobs (in America, anyways) fall into one of two, possibly three categories. It seems like today most people (at least in my peer group, which is admittedly decidedly middle class) either sell stuff, program stuff, or manage selling stuff or programming stuff.

Anyways. It's very high on the list of topics occupying my brain this week particularly after an enthusiastic chat with oontzgrrl this weekend. I went to the hospital yesterday to see the newest person I know & zarobi. We went into the NICU where he will hopefully be staying a very short time and visited him for a good long while. I tried to imagine working in a hospital while I was sitting there and while it was still scary-feeling, I didn't have that "no way in hell" feeling at all. I felt like it's about time I challenge myself. I looked around and felt an enormous respect for what all the nurses around were doing. I can't imagine how anyone could ever disrespect the profession!

The new kid looked very healthy, but sleeeepy. Jo looks fantastic, considering everything she has been through! We had a lovely visit until they kicked me out.



( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 19th, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
I've been to the hospital to visit my great-uncle several times in the last month. I am now more than ever convinced that the medical profession was never meant to be mine. The sight of blood makes me faint.
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
I've decided that the physical ick factor is very conquerable, while the emotional dealing with people's major life changes on a regular basis factor is more difficult to imagine coping with.

I just think I can get over my fear of needles. It's all in my head.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
I get the impression from my readings that ER nurses and EMTs have about as much friction as an episode of "ER" would lead you to believe. Which is sad!
Jun. 19th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)
"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed."

Add "I don't want to program anything sold, bought, or processed" and you're all set. :)
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
I've never seen that movie! Maybe I should get around to it.
Jun. 19th, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC)
Do people actually disrespect nursing? I bet they would feel different if one of their loved ones is in the hosptial. I did a high school internship in several hospitals and came away learning that nursing was not for me. I'm not a people person. But you are!
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
I think people feel like nurses are far less skilled than they actually are. Let me put it this way: I may not have known anyone who wanted to be a nurse when I was growing up, but I knew plenty of people who wanted to be doctors.

I had no idea about your internships! I would love to hear about that sometime.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about it and the only other professions I could think of that stood out amongst people I know was lawyers or my bassist, who writes policy analysis. I'd probably be doing the latter if I had busted my ass to be able to afford American University when I was making my decision.

I just once want to hear some 8 year old say "I want to be a policy analyst when I grow up!". Although when I was about 11 I did want to be the ambassador to New Zealend, specifically.
Jun. 19th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
A friend of mine starting saying she wanted to be an actuary in the 7th grade. Started taking actuarial exams in 9th grade, too.
Jun. 19th, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
That's pretty weird.
Jun. 20th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC)
I did mention she was a friend of mine, right? *grin*
Jun. 19th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
nurses do pretty much the same job as doctors, except they work way harder and do way more of the crap stuff. sometimes literally!

not to disrespect doctors, but nurses kick ass.

ALSO ALSO! I got your mix cd yesterday! I haven't had a chance to listen to it, but I'll let you know what I like best when I do. thank you so much, I really appreciate it! and I love the cover.
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
I have read a GREAT deal about feces since I started researching this, so yeah. The only intimidating part of that for me is that you keep reading the words "you can't get the smell out of your nostrils for days". Yikes.

I am glad the mix CD arrived unmolested! I hope you enjoy it and don't already have most of it!
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 19th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
Well, I get the impression that if you are with a patient, and they are pooping on you, you have to deal with the poop. Most of the stories I read were non-standard-location poop situations. Cleaning bedpans is probably more what you are thinking of.
Jun. 19th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
OMG and then there are awful nurses out there who want nothing to do with that stuff. Brian's ex Rosie had to take her HIV+ friend to a hospital last year. Her friend needed an enema and the nurse refused to do it!! Rosie had to do it!! Can you believe that?
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 19th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 19th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
Nurses are in big demand, or so I've heard.

My mom's been a pediatric/neonatal nurse for at least 30 years. The only thing I've heard her complain about is normal office politics type stuff. So there's that.

Apropos of nothing, since both my parents worked at hospitals when I was growing up, I find hospitals to be pretty comforting places.
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC)
Nurses are in big demand, or so I've heard.

The idea first came to me on the metro sometime late in my career at Qwest when I was reading a newspaper article on the nurse shortage over someone's shoulder! But I wrote it off as foolish since I think of myself as squeamish.

So far I have heard only a few stories of people who flat out regret or hate their nursing career, though they may complain about it.
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
Another con: who, having gotten off shift work, actually wants to go back on it? Not me.
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
Well, not all nursing is done at the Emergency Room on in Hospitals. Alot of nursing is done is private offices and specialists offices. I know that my mom, who has worked as a R.N. for 35 years, works for an Opthamologist, works Monday through Thursday (sometimes a Friday depending on the work load), starting around 7:30 in the morning, and the place closes around 4pm at night, sometimes 5pm. All in all, something like that is probably ideal for you.
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
I had somewhat assumed that if you're a new nurse you had to "pay your dues" with the toughest jobs in the toughest places with the toughest patients. I really have no idea, though, so this information is comforting. :) Thanks :)
Jun. 20th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
So, so true. If you're in a hospital, there will likely be shift work; but, as people noted, there's nursing outside of hospitals.

Like Peter Petrelli!

(Note: please, no floppy bangs. :)
Jun. 20th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC)
I could never in a miiiiilllion years hope to achieve the floppiness of bangs of Peter Petrelli. I shan't even try.
Jun. 19th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
If you ever are in need of nurses to talk to - my sister Debbie is a NICU nurse and my mom has been a nurse for many many years - she works in short stay now, but used to float from floor to floor in the hospital covering for other nurses, so she did everything from shock trauma icu type stuff to long term care.

It's funny - in my family, not going into something like nursing or a "helping profession" was a real divergence from the path of the women in my family.
Oldest sister = physician's assistant
Second oldest sister = NICU nurse
Third older sister= psychologist
Even my only niece is planning on getting into the act and she plans on majoring in nursing in college next year.

More than being icked out by the blood stuff, I wasn't sure I was willing to handle a profession where a mistake on my part could truly mean life or death. At the same time, growing up in that environment has led to me often feeling that my job isn't meaningful enough, because I don't help and enrich the lives of others in a fundamental way every day. So I personally have always been torn on the matter but I have an enormous amount of respect for anyone willing to go into the profession.
Jun. 19th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
I feel like my job isn't meaningful enough allllll the time, so... I think you can fall into that without what appears to be an overarching drive to be a caregiver in your family! My family were all salespeople! Well on my mom's side at least.

I might just like to talk to your sister - at least I would like to talk to someone who knows the ins and outs of RN vs LPN and nursing programs and stuff. It gets confusing.
Jun. 20th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
Cool I'll figure out a way to make this happen :)
Jun. 20th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
We have talked about this before...haven't we?
Okay so I work for THE under funded section of the Federal Government that actually works at reducing the nursing shortage in the United States.

I have you funding issues covered, if your willing to work in an under-served area for at least 2 years.


Has a scholarship program which is highly competitive, and will pay for books, tuition, lab fees, etc for every year of your training for an initial commitment of 2 years in an underserved area after you complete training and then 1:1 service commitment each additional year of scholarship.


Take out loans and complete your training and THEN join the program and have up to $50,000 of your loans repaid every year for an initial 2 year commitment to working in an underserved area and then 1:1 commitment for every year beyond the initial 1st year.


In exchange for at least two years service at a health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses, the Nursing Scholarship Program pays

* tuition
* required fees
* other reasonable costs, including required books, clinical supplies, laboratory expenses, etc.
* monthly stipend ($1,202 for the 2007-2008 academic year)
* more scholarship benefits information from the Applicant Information Bulletin
* more fulfilling the service obligation information from the 2007-2008 Applicant Information Bulletin

NURSING INFO: http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/nursing/
MORE FUNDING: http://www.hrsa.gov/help/healthprofessions.htm
Jun. 20th, 2007 09:49 pm (UTC)
Re: We have talked about this before...haven't we?
I don't think we have - before I was talking about getting a social work degree, this is all new with the nursing.

I will study this and get back to you :)
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )


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