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Friday, February 18, 2011

Not a Step Back

First of all...  I am not a nurse.  Well, I do have a Vermont nurses license, but I am no longer working as a nurse.  Don't be so shocked.  It really is a good thing and has been a long time coming.  After months of horrible hours, and numerous other reasons I'll choose not to list on the internet for all to read at this juncture, I quit my job.  Thanks to my husband I worked there about a month longer than I had any desire to.  To be honest, I downright hated the job...

Nights spent alone and awake made me feel physically horrible.  Sleeping during the day made me cranky and caused rifts between my husband and I.  Shifts on end without seeing patients made me feel as if my skills had begun to atrophy.  I sorely missed the world of EMS I had left behind and I sorely missed enjoying my job

Now, all that is changing.  Finally.

I am going back to the ambulance.


I have missed it and feel its where I belong.  After months and months of nursing school where we listen to nurses complain about their jobs, their shifts, their coworkers, their bosses (there's a heck of a lot of complaining in nursing), and having my own less than enjoyable nursing experience right out of the gate, I long for the days spent in the ambulance, meeting strangers, and making their days better (or just less worse).  But there's something even scarier...

I am beginning to wonder if I will even like being a nurse. 

No, I am seriously wondering if I will enjoy being a nurse at all.

Trust me, Shawn was not happy when I disclosed that with him.  He sees the dollar signs spent on me the last two years just to figure out 'I don't like doing it'.  I have the fear of what if I am just meant to be an EMT and practice prehospital medicine.  Is that so bad?  If it wasn't so underpaid and under appreciated maybe I wouldn't feel the need to stretch my professional legs for a better paying career. 

In the mean time I will continue my pursuits of my RN that will culminate in just a few short months, but I will be back in the big white box, bouncing down the road, doing the job I love.  So, that's good news for those of you who enjoy my emergency stories, because it looks like there will be a lot more in my future!

27 comments:

SouthernSass said...

It may be that you had such a bad experience, so don't give up on nursing yet. Follow your heart and good luck!

Kristin said...

I, for one, am very proud of you. Yes, small praise coming from a random blog reader, but it takes serious guts to admit that you might hate the career you've worked so hard to educate yourself for. Trust me, I've been there. It's why my college transcript reads like I went through the course catalog, closed my eyes, and pointed at random classes. You're right. You're definitely not taking a step back. You're taking a step in the right direction to have a happy, fulfilling life. And if that means you're riding in the big white box and enjoying your job, that's wonderful!

MarieElizabeth said...

Do what you enjoy, it will make you so much happier. Also, there are so many nursing type jobs out there, you can find one that meets all your needs. Don't give up after the firstone. Either way, you haven't wasted anything, you will always have the nursing education which can be used in many ways.

Tricia @ Saving room for dessert said...

I think it's brave to change your mind. I think I finally found what I want to do but can't get the position. One day! Good luck on the transition. You're a people person, you need to be with people. My son is an EMT but prefers to drive the big red truck :) Best wishes as you move forward!

T Lee said...

maybe a nursing job in the ER would fill all your needs. a hopping job that keeps you constantly working with patients, a huge diversity of ailments and never knowing what the shift will bring. i would be miserbale on graveyard shift, too!! not a step back...just a pause in the walk to figure out how it can all work best for you!!

Regan said...

I think that you are such a people person that you need to actually have a job where you interact with people. I echo the comment about the ER. Whether you have to pay your dues in some other type of nursing position until you can get into the ER, only those in the field knows for sure. But with your time on the ambulance, maybe this will be your opening to get you will be get in there.

Yes, get your nursing degree. You are too close to quit now. And after you have completed it, explore all of your options!!!

Misty Dawn said...

I'm both proud of you and inspired by you. My husband looks at the dollars too, and I always relent and end up being unhappy. You have done what's best for you emotionally, which also plays a part in what's best for you physically. It will all work out for you, I have no doubt.

Hydrant girl said...

Amen sista!! Do what makes you happy, the finances will figure themselves out (at least that's what I keep telling myself!)

Fire Wife Katie said...

The heart wants what it wants, and now you know a lot more about what will make you happy. And being happy at work is the point, isn't it? All the money in the world can't make up for the misery of forcing yourself to walk out the door and go to a job you hate. BTDT!!

Connie said...

ER or trauma nurse. You still get the adrenalin rush and can be hands on but you get the RN pay. Of course, having this baby could change all of that you know ;) Good luck with whatever you decide.

Katie said...

As I a RN, I can relate. everyone is bitching all the time about...well, everything. you just need to find the niche that hits your hot button. I worked in a level 1 ER for a year, and by the end of that year was sooooo bitter about the ER and everything that goes with it, I was ready to burn the place down. But then I would have to decon and treat the people and it just didnt seem worth my time. But then I moved to a different job, that I (gasp!) enjoy. Im using my skills and my nursing judgement in a capacity that suits me. Sometimes nursing is like finding Mr. Right, you have to kiss a lot of frogs. Dont stress, you'll get there.

Jen at Cabin Fever said...

Katie, your comment made me laugh (the burning down and then treating part...haha).

Thank you guys. I am happy, for now, but yes... will have to face the hoops of discovering where I might fit with my RN. I have to at least TRY. The daunting new grad positions aren't too enjoyable though... Ultimately I want to be a flight nurse here, but the requirements are are 5 years as an ER nurse and to be an ER nurse here you need 3 years in ICU nursing and to be an ICU nurse you need 2 years as a floor nurse. You get the idea.. its enough to make anyone run away screaming.

Mel said...

I have a friend who is a nurse and he has similar feelings. He has actually ended up with a job running a home health office. A job where you have to have your RN, but do not have to deal with all the hospital crap. And I am sure there are other jobs too. Even if you don't like being a nurse full time, you will probably never regret having that degree. The knowledge is worth it. If I needed an ambulance I would feel like the more knowledge the people who are helping me have the better. Do what you love! Everyone will be much happier!

Amanda said...

Good for you!

First of all, education is never wasted. EVER. Even if you don't become a nurse, the things you have learned will benefit you for the rest of your life. Secondly, having just graduated this past December I can tell you that currently I'm not all gung-ho about rushing out and finding a job in my new field, either. I happen to think my current job is pretty great for a number of reasons - some of them I really started to recognize as a result of my education. The education I got is still well worth it.
And third, my mom has a Masters in Business Administration. Know what she does? She left a high paying job in her field that she HATED to become a community relations manager at Barnes & Noble. She makes less in a year than I do (and I only work part time), but she LOVES her job. She loves the people, she loves the books, and she loves the events she gets to coordinate. I'm quite sure if you asked her she'd tell you she wouldn't change a thing. My dad went back to school to be a teacher at the age of 40, taught for 5 years and decided he wasn't so sure he loved it. He did something else for a few years and now he's back in the classroom LOVING it again.

Moral of the story, you are SO not alone. Do what makes you happy, you only get to live once. :)

~A said...

I totally understand the "husband seeing the dollar signs" thing. I want to stay home with our kids when Superman and I (hopefully) have them. He's concerned that because I may be making more money, it would be better if I kept working. To which I said, "Nooooo! I don't waaaaant to!" It's frustrating when someone is more concerned about the money than about your dreams.

Rosanne said...

Good for you! Better to figure out what makes YOU happy. If you have to work-you might as well enjoy your job. There's nothing worse than waking up every morning dreading work! I know-I did it for years.

Nolie said...

You need to do what makes your happy.

Amanda said...

Have you thought about working in the ER? I don't know what it takes to get a job in the ER up in Vermont, but in Texas, new grads are accepted in ER all the time. Working nights s really tough, but day shifts are cool. I'm an ICU nurse and had a great day today.

brooke said...

Maybe you just have to give it sometime off or try a different nursing job. Don't let one bad experience turn you off from something you've worked so hard for. My mom's been a nurse for about 35 years now and she worked in the maternity ward and has been a nurse at family practices for a majority of the time.
On the other hand, I know where you're coming from b/c I had what I thought was my dream job, what I went to college for and it SUCKED. It was one of the best and Worst jobs I ever had. I actually got fired from it. But it didn't turn me away from my dream career. Granted I don't due it now just b/c of availablity in my area, but I still dream a little that I'll be able to go back to it one day, just in another setting. I wish you the best of luck and clear thoughts to help you through.

Adrienne said...

A flight nurse sounds like an awesome job! But 10 years doing other things sounds like an excessive amount of time to get there. Wouldn't your EMT experience help you qualify sooner than that? Hang in there. You'll find a way.

I have a bachelors degree and completed a state program to earn a teaching license and I've been happily driving buses and trucks for the last 8 years (speaking of underappreciated jobs . . .) But I don't feel I've wasted time or even money. Things have a way of coming together even when they don't seem to make sense along the way. Use your head but follow your heart!

Country Girl said...

My parents told me that being successful in this life is not about how much money you make. It's about enjoying what you are doing.
You go, girl.

Relevant moments said...

Oh Yes. I was thinking a flight nurse would be a great job for you. There is a lot of complaining in nursing, but I find that's true everywhere, in every profession. The key is to not engage with it. Be the positive. I found my spot in Hospice. It's my place. Slow, engaging, touching, meaningful.
We all have to find our spot. Emergency is not for me

Glyndalyn said...

Yes, flight nursing on the trauma helicopter may be your thing. Finish school. Comsider becoming a paramedic. My spot is ER and PACU but after many years, I, too, am worn out. I am PRN now and that helps. You will make the right decision for yourself and your family.

KERRI said...

Even if the career is not for you, I commend you for finishing your education. I remember when we were starting our family, I found the politics and games to trivial and intolerable. Looking back I realized just how tired I was. My friends analogy of pregnancy is that everyday pregnant you are climbing a mountain. Tack that on to everything else we do in a day and you would think we have superhuman expectations. I am from the West so I like to think those are Rocky Mountains! Enjoy these days... follow your heart and it will all be as it should.

Missie said...

All I can say is WOW!!! You sound so much like I do! I too have had the adventures in Nursing School after already working in EMS...I found myself longing for those calls on the Ambulance, even though I worked in the ER of a Level I Trauma Center. I still long for those days...but unfortunately I am no longer able to perform those duties due to a spinal fusion surgery 15 months ago. :-( I'm so happy that you are following your hearts desire, and I'm sure that it will make you a much happier person! Looking forward to reading more about your adventures! Thanks so much for sharing!

Amity said...

Do what you love!

Dianne said...

Good for you! I've been a Registered Nurse since 1978 and have worked in many different facets of nursing. Some I liked better than others. I absolutely despised 11p - 7a and swore never to do it again! I haven't. Thankfully, I am retired now. You haven't lost anything by the time and money invested in your education thus far. You've gained knowledge and experience. After graduating, you might find an area of nursing that you like - something that definitely involves patient care. I have a feeling you're very good at that. If, in the end, you don't want any part of nursing, that's okay too. It's your life and your decision.

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