Hey, I saw that you said that you had loads of reasons why you became a nurse and not a doctor? Would you possibly mind sharing some? I'm 17 and still unsure whether to pursue a nursing degree or a medical degree (I'm a UK student) Thanks a lot!!
Well I kind of share them all the time, haha. It’s a big part of my blog. I’ll try to hit the big ones…Note that this is in no way saying that nursing is a better career, an easier career, that med school is a bad choice, etc. This is just a list of my personal reasons for becoming a nurse and why I like being one because I was asked.
- I like hands on care with my patients. I like being the one to calm the babies when they cry, feeding them, doing procedures, watching and assessing for changes, getting patients up and walking with them, titrating drips, untangling lines, drawing labs, advocating for them, being there when they need someone ….etc. I like being at the bedside. I’ve heard nursing referred to as “blending science and compassion,” and I agree with that statement. I feel that way when I ponder the intricacies of a baby’s heart defect and the choices the health care team is making in treating it, but also listening to the story of the family and the choices they’ve made and difficulties they’ve gone through. The nurse is really juxtaposed between both worlds.
- I like talking to and educating families. Doctors do educate…but they tend to go way over the heads of the patients and their care takers. I like staying in the room after the doctor leaves and answering questions. I like being a mediator between the health care team and the real world the patient is going home to.
- I like having a really flexible schedule. I only work 3 days a week. I pick my own shifts. I don’t take call. I don’t sleep at the hospital. It’s very easy to pack up my bags and go on a trip without having to worry about what’s going on at work.
- I like that I get to wear cute scrubs!
- If I work overtime, I’m paid hourly and compensated more for my time.
- I didn’t have to spend 8 years in school and 4+ more years as a resident. If I ever want more education, though, that is still an option.
- I don’t have heaps of debt and I make good money.
- I have no interest in diagnosing and prescribing.
- I can work in pretty much any area I choose without having to invest myself in a specialty. I’ve already worked with 3 completely different populations in the 2 short years I’ve been a nurse. Even right now, though my main unit is peds cardiac, I’m also being cross trained for peds emergency. I can pick up extra shifts on the mother-baby unit, the NICU, PICU, the floors…I have a lot of options for where I work.
- I can go home and do things besides think about work. While I do think about work a lot (because I enjoy it!), I don’t go home and spend hours and hours reading cardiology journals like our intensivists do.
- One of our intensivists told me a story about how he went to Disney World with his wife and daughter while he was a fellow…and was so exhausted, he slept on the benches while they went on all the rides. That has never been and will never be my life.
I’m sure there’s more but that’s all I can think of for now haha.