I realized that I have been a Registered Nurse for 10 years now. Wow 10 years! As I see how far I have come in my career, it amazes me that there are so many things in this field that you are not shown or taught to you in school. So for all my friends out there who are new to the nursing world here are few opinions and advices that you will realize one day.
1. If your doing this for the money, you will realize really quick that you are not paid enough in what you do. Yeah, you get overtime if your working in a hospital setting, but still not ENOUGH! All of my colleagues I graduated with will attest that no matter how many blood transfusions, medications handed out, admissions, suture removals, codes, call bells answered and any other so called "nursing responsibilities" you will not be compensated a salary that you feel is sufficient to what you do. So if you are in it for the money and you do not enjoy helping people, you will soon find out that nursing may not be for you.
2. Patients in the book are polite, slight agitated or a bit unpleasant. Sure most of the time you will have someone who appreciates what you do for them but always remember that for every good patient there are 6 bad ones to follow. I have dealt with crazy patients that we had to call security every time the call bell rings. Family drama that you can dragged into just because you end up being off a few days and the other staff does not want to deal with it anymore. Patients who are "frequent fliers" will try to manipulate you into getting what they want. As you will see, there are some many other types of patients, just remember that you need to help them so that they can get better and be discharged faster.
3. Older nurses are not as helpful as they say. Depending on the nurse, they will pass everything and anything to you so that they do not have to work. Many believe that just because they have been doing this for so long that they are deserving of this. Don't get me wrong not all older nurses are like this and I'm positive that I will not turn out like this and neither should you. I have worked with older nurses because I've always been the younger one but I've been lucky to have worked with great nurses. Unfortunately there are a few who are not so great.
4. In the beginning, always get your Med/Surg, ER, floor experience, or ICU experience. With this background you get jump into different specialities. At least do one year of any. If you start in a speciality area you might be stuck there for the rest of your career. Always remember that there are so many different specialties and different fields in nursing.
5. Final advice from this topic is this: Always remember that you are there for the patients but find a way to leave it behind once you swipe out. This was difficult for me when I first started. I always ended up thinking "did I hang this medication, did I do this, did i do that" so I had to find a field in nursing that I loved.
Overall nursing is a great field. You find self achievement, satisfaction, and hopefully happiness in the field. There are so many more advices that I can tell you but you will experience it yourself. So just remember this: there is still alot of things you will learn and hopefully you pass it along when you have been a nurse for 10 years.
Any questions or comments?