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confusedstudent2195

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Hey everyone! (i posted this in the premed thread, not sure which forum is more relevant to my issue)

I am currently in the clinical portion of nursing school. I am in my first semester, after prereqs where we are learning what nurses do, assessment, etc. This has caused a debate in my head. While learning about the nursing duties I find myself more and more wanting to do what the doctor does that my nursing professors talk about. I am not necessarily as interested in the patient care aspect than I am in the actual medical diagnosis, why the patient is sick, and I love microbiology. The patient care is not where my interest seems to lie, basically. Next semester we actually get to go to the hospital and assess real patients and I was thinking I should stay one more semester to see what it's like in the "real world". My peers say it gets better and they all absolutely hated first semester and were like "what the F am I even doing?".

So what I'm trying to figure out is should I continue the nursing route and try to become a PA if it's not for me or should I continue with nursing to become an M.D.? What are the pros and cons of both? Has anyone does these routes?

Or should I just say forget nursing, change major and decide PA vs MD route down the road as I continue my undergrad?

I am 20 with a 3.79 GPA. Finances aren't an issue because I would rather do what I ultimately will love than be miserable/wishing I did more with my life. Shadowing is easy to say but not the easiest thing to get accomplished with the demands of nursing school.
 
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deleted6669

you are already basically 1/2 way through. finish nursing school then look at NP, CRNA, PA, AA, MD, and DO. good luck whatever you decide.
 
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frenchyn

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Hey everyone! (i posted this in the premed thread, not sure which forum is more relevant to my issue)

I am currently in the clinical portion of nursing school. I am in my first semester, after prereqs where we are learning what nurses do, assessment, etc. This has caused a debate in my head. While learning about the nursing duties I find myself more and more wanting to do what the doctor does that my nursing professors talk about. I am not necessarily as interested in the patient care aspect than I am in the actual medical diagnosis, why the patient is sick, and I love microbiology. The patient care is not where my interest seems to lie, basically. Next semester we actually get to go to the hospital and assess real patients and I was thinking I should stay one more semester to see what it's like in the "real world". My peers say it gets better and they all absolutely hated first semester and where like "what the F am I even doing?".

So what I'm trying to figure out is should I continue the nursing route and try to become a PA if it's not for me or should I continue with nursing to become an M.D.? What are the pros and cons of both? Has anyone does these routes?

Or should I just say forget nursing, change major and decide PA vs MD route down the road as I continue my undergrad?

I am 20 with a 3.79 GPA. Finances aren't an issue because I would rather do what I ultimately will love than be miserable/wishing I did more with my life. Shadowing is easy to say but not the easiest thing to get accomplished with the demands of nursing school.

If you know for sure RN is not what you want to do then I will say to stop right now and start taking your preq for medical school.

If you don't mind to finish nursing school and work for couple years while taking preq then go for it. One benefit though is you have a bit of health care experience as a nurse working with physicians. To my experience, medical schools like that as long you can convey your reasons too. LMK if you have any other questions:)
 

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I'm a new grad RN BSN who wishes that I could have realized earlier that medicine is what I ultimately want to pursue.
 

MyNameWasUsed

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You stated: "I am not necessarily as interested in the patient care aspect than I am in the actual medical diagnosis, why the patient is sick, and I love microbiology."

This is a huge red flag. Even as a PA, NP, MD, DO, PT, whatever you need to be interested in patient care. It is okay to be more interested in one aspect of medicine than another, but to say you aren't interested in patient care might be a sign that you shouldn't pursue medicine. At best be neutral about it. As for you actual dilemma, I would say quit nursing school and do your prereq for PA or MD school. You seem to be interested in the solving the problems such as examining a patient for symptoms and interpreting their images or lab results. If this is the case then you might be interested in a career as a radiologist but even as a rad you'll need to perform patient care once in a while.
 

W19

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@MyNameWasUsed I think OP meant that he/she is not interested in bedside nursing... At least that is how I understood it.
 
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MyNameWasUsed

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hmm i guess that's reasonable. I wouldn't like bedside nursing either...
 

pamac

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You are probably going to hate bedside nursing. To the Pre Nurse with no experience as a CNA that has seen firsthand what nurses do, you probably do think that nursing "assessment" is a big part of nursing. Assessment takes up very little of my time, and performing all the tasks that need to be done takes up the lion's share of my 12 hour shift. Depending on where I'm working in the hospital, the rest of my day consists of charting nonstop, running errands, answering phones, navigating through distractions, detours, and basically not being able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Your work will be a lot like being a waiter or waitress, with none of their freedom. You will walk down a hall with supplies to do a task for a patient that needs to be comoleted before the patient can go to a CT durring a very narrow window (or else they won't be able to get it for 5 more hours) and another nurse or aid will come out and ask you to help them move a 400 lb patient that just fell, and nobody else is around. You will know that helping them will take up to 20 minutes, but it can't wait. Your task with the patient going to CT will take 20 minutes on its own, but it's less critical than lifting the fluffy patient off the floor surrounded by their own feces. You also know that you'll be getting a patient back from surgery that is having trouble dealing with coming out of anesthesia, and will need vital signs every 15 minutes and possibly a blood transfusion. Since you have 3 patients at that moment, everyone thinks you have it easy, so even if you complain, it won't get anywhere because they all have 5 of their own, and they are all nowhere to be found because they are running their own patients to the bathroom or passing meds. And it's lunch time, and one of your patients needs you to take their blood sugar and give them insulin, but they also want to pee before they eat, and need help to do so because they use a walker. And no, they tell you that they absolutely can't wait to pee, they need to go now, because you "promised" them 20 minutes ago that you would get them up. And their family members are in the room, and also heard you tell them that 20 minutes ago before you had to leave the room to take a phone call where the rad tech told you to hurry and get the patient ready to go to CT. While you were on the phone to CT, the post surgical nurse called to give you report on the patient you are getting. That is the cliffs notes version of a typical day shift on a medical floor. ER, ICU, and the other units have their own sets of scenarios just like this one. And, yes, everything has to be done right, or you get an email at the very least, and a sit down conversation with a supervisor at the more extreme end if it's not. So in that scenario, everyone is going to be dissapointed at you, and several will probably tell you about it. The patient that needs to pee, the patient that will miss their window to get to CT, the doctor that wants to see that CT ASAP, the nurse that is waiting for you to come take their post operative patient from them because the patient is tanking and they want you to have them before it gets more serious and their own flow gets messed up. Even the patient on the floor is mad because you seem like you don't have time to help them up, and sound impatient when you were helping the aid. And in the middle of this, a doctor slipped an order for a medication in and wanted it given right then.

That's not an exaggeration, that's a typical scenario that is close to what I live every day I work. In the ER, it can be a patient's family member that is asking why you aren't waking up their sleeping 95 year old mother to give her pain medicine (you gave her some already and that's why she is asleep). They were at a hospital across town once and were treated faster so they know you can do better, and tell you exactly that. Meanwhile you were helping with a code in another room where the patient is dying (since the doctor is in there and many of the other nurses, you opt to stay out and make sure the rest of the floor is covered), and you have a new patient that is a baby with an allergy, and another patient that is a drug addict that keeps hitting the call light for sandwiches for her and her friends, and pain medicine for her 10/10 stomach pain (she tells you that it's stupid that you won't give her anything to eat, not even Sprite, which helps her stomach). She also has been to another hospital in town where she was treated much faster and given more of the pain medicine she says she needs. But don't worry, she tells you they know you are busy, and they wouldn't mind it if you needed 5 more minutes to go fetch pain medicine (and don't forget the sandwiches for her friends!). But they also tell you they really want to leave as soon as possible so they can go do some stupid BS that they tell you is really important. AANNDD.... Your coworker is at lunch and had asked you to watch her patients. There are 4 of them, and they are all asking for pain meds, and to see the busy Doctor that is in the code, and ask how long Til their results get back so they can go, and how do they use the tv remote, and "when can I have a snack, I'm starving?". Oh man... And a provider comes along and says "i know you aren't this persons nurse, but will you grab something for me?" Of course the answer to the last one is no, but you actually feel bad about that one because the doctor is one of your favorites, and you hate to not help out. And X-ray is here to pick up your patient with the stomach ache, but they are puking now and need some nausea medicine before they can go to get scanned. And the baby with the allergy has a brother that just crapped his pants literally, and they would like some help. So just like on the medical floor, you have a lot of things to do, and you can't really do everything the way you'd like to. It's almost as if you are set up to come up short, no matter what you do. And again, that's the cliffs notes version. And that can go on for an entire shift.... 12 and a half hours.

As a nurse, you run errands. You assess for brief moments, and then you move on to documenting that data and then dealing with tasks. And you have to do that while doing the same thing in several other rooms at the same time. A nurse where I'm at has up to 6 patients depending on time of day, level of acuity, and staffing. Frankly, it can be brutal. If you are more of a "thinker" and less of a "tasker", you may want to think really hard about making a career out of nursing. But at this phase, it might be worthwhile to finish out nursing and then move on. It sets you apart, gives you some options. It's a good tool to have in the bag. But the job really doesn't change much as you go, you just become more efficient and polish your delivery.
 
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confusedstudent2195

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You are probably going to hate bedside nursing. To the Pre Nurse with no experience as a CNA that has seen firsthand what nurses do, you probably do think that nursing "assessment" is a big part of nursing. Assessment takes up very little of my time, and performing all the tasks that need to be done takes up the lion's share of my 12 hour shift. Depending on where I'm working in the hospital, the rest of my day consists of charting nonstop, running errands, answering phones, navigating through distractions, detours, and basically not being able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Your work will be a lot like being a waiter or waitress, with none of their freedom. You will walk down a hall with supplies to do a task for a patient that needs to be comoleted before the patient can go to a CT durring a very narrow window (or else they won't be able to get it for 5 more hours) and another nurse or aid will come out and ask you to help them move a 400 lb patient that just fell, and nobody else is around. You will know that helping them will take up to 20 minutes, but it can't wait. Your task with the patient going to CT will take 20 minutes on its own, but it's less critical than lifting the fluffy patient off the floor surrounded by their own feces. You also know that you'll be getting a patient back from surgery that is having trouble dealing with coming out of anesthesia, and will need vital signs every 15 minutes and possibly a blood transfusion. Since you have 3 patients at that moment, everyone thinks you have it easy, so even if you complain, it won't get anywhere because they all have 5 of their own, and they are all nowhere to be found because they are running their own patients to the bathroom or passing meds. And it's lunch time, and one of your patients needs you to take their blood sugar and give them insulin, but they also want to pee before they eat, and need help to do so because they use a walker. And no, they tell you that they absolutely can't wait to pee, they need to go now, because you "promised" them 20 minutes ago that you would get them up. And their family members are in the room, and also heard you tell them that 20 minutes ago before you had to leave the room to take a phone call where the rad tech told you to hurry and get the patient ready to go to CT. While you were on the phone to CT, the post surgical nurse called to give you report on the patient you are getting. That is the cliffs notes version of a typical day shift on a medical floor. ER, ICU, and the other units have their own sets of scenarios just like this one. And, yes, everything has to be done right, or you get an email at the very least, and a sit down conversation with a supervisor at the more extreme end if it's not. So in that scenario, everyone is going to be dissapointed at you, and several will probably tell you about it. The patient that needs to pee, the patient that will miss their window to get to CT, the doctor that wants to see that CT ASAP, the nurse that is waiting for you to come take their post operative patient from them because the patient is tanking and they want you to have them before it gets more serious and their own flow gets messed up. Even the patient on the floor is mad because you seem like you don't have time to help them up, and sound impatient when you were helping the aid. And in the middle of this, a doctor slipped an order for a medication in and wanted it given right then.

That's not an exaggeration, that's a typical scenario that is close to what I live every day I work. In the ER, it can be a patient's family member that is asking why you aren't waking up their sleeping 95 year old mother to give her pain medicine (you gave her some already and that's why she is asleep). They were at a hospital across town once and were treated faster so they know you can do better, and tell you exactly that. Meanwhile you were helping with a code in another room where the patient is dying (since the doctor is in there and many of the other nurses, you opt to stay out and make sure the rest of the floor is covered), and you have a new patient that is a baby with an allergy, and another patient that is a drug addict that keeps hitting the call light for sandwiches for her and her friends, and pain medicine for her 10/10 stomach pain (she tells you that it's stupid that you won't give her anything to eat, not even Sprite, which helps her stomach). She also has been to another hospital in town where she was treated much faster and given more of the pain medicine she says she needs. But don't worry, she tells you they know you are busy, and they wouldn't mind it if you needed 5 more minutes to go fetch pain medicine (and don't forget the sandwiches for her friends!). But they also tell you they really want to leave as soon as possible so they can go do some stupid BS that they tell you is really important. AANNDD.... Your coworker is at lunch and had asked you to watch her patients. There are 4 of them, and they are all asking for pain meds, and to see the busy Doctor that is in the code, and ask how long Til their results get back so they can go, and how do they use the tv remote, and "when can I have a snack, I'm starving?". Oh man... And a provider comes along and says "i know you aren't this persons nurse, but will you grab something for me?" Of course the answer to the last one is no, but you actually feel bad about that one because the doctor is one of your favorites, and you hate to not help out. And X-ray is here to pick up your patient with the stomach ache, but they are puking now and need some nausea medicine before they can go to get scanned. And the baby with the allergy has a brother that just crapped his pants literally, and they would like some help. So just like on the medical floor, you have a lot of things to do, and you can't really do everything the way you'd like to. It's almost as if you are set up to come up short, no matter what you do. And again, that's the cliffs notes version. And that can go on for an entire shift.... 12 and a half hours.

As a nurse, you run errands. You assess for brief moments, and then you move on to documenting that data and then dealing with tasks. And you have to do that while doing the same thing in several other rooms at the same time. A nurse where I'm at has up to 6 patients depending on time of day, level of acuity, and staffing. Frankly, it can be brutal. If you are more of a "thinker" and less of a "tasker", you may want to think really hard about making a career out of nursing. But at this phase, it might be worthwhile to finish out nursing and then move on. It sets you apart, gives you some options. It's a good tool to have in the bag. But the job really doesn't change much as you go, you just become more efficient and polish your delivery.

Thank you for taking the time to shed some light on the perspective of nursing! I did end up choosing to change my major. My patient care comment was a little misinterpreted , what I meant was that I want to practice medicine rather than nursing. My interests and what I really like aren't in line with the job of a nurse. I feel like the jobs of a doctor interacting with a patient and a nurse interacting with a patient are very different and I feel more inclined to want to do the job of a doctor. I've learned a lot just in one semester of nursing school. It was strange because the second week of the semester I started questioning things and had a gut feeling that I didn't want to do nursing and I believe (hope) I'm correct.
 

pamac

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Something funny happened last week... Pretty much the same scenario elements I described above happened to me, just like in its fictionalized form I provided. Started my shift rough due to conditions beyond my control, worked like a madman and kept everyone alive. While I was busy doing that, I didn't smile enough and got dinged... Chewed out in royal fashion. Something about a hospital turns patients into people that are more picky than any member of the worlds billionaire elite. And power tripping nurse managers.... Everyone has an opinion of how you can do your job better, and it rarely comes down to what's really important. Now, our job as nurses is to be hospitality workers above all else. My explanation of how I attended to everyone's needs and kept some real sickies stable weren't as important to my boss as.... Getting a patient their 3rd (literally) sammich! No kidding. They got their sandwich, but I wasn't exuberant enough, and someone sensed (and by that I mean they could not refer to anything I actually said that was out of line) that I came across as if I wanted to be somewhere else (helping the sickest patient possibly). And that was all it took for me to have a conversation about the important things in nursing. Nursing has been good to me and paid the bills well, but i feel like everyone should have an exit plan.

I heard a physician complaining that there aren't enough nurses that want to stay in bedside so that he can have good care provided for his admits.the patients these days that are coddled by administration are literally terrible to deal with when you slap a call light in their hand. No fun to have 4 or 5 sick friends to hang out with for 12.5 hours at a time. At least one of them is going to treat you bad, and if you are unlucky enough, 3 of them will.
 
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confusedstudent2195

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Sounds like a rough day (days, shift?, job?) Seems like a lot of people's priorities are skewed when it comes to the job that nurses do. THREE SANDWICHES? Sometimes I'm lucky if I've got the appetite for one. Reminds me of the restaurant business almost (sos)
 

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There are lots of Healthcare Jobs to choose from...lots of specialties...but it never hurts to have something to fall back on while working your way up.

For instance: I'm a surgical tech with associates degree, working on BSN, planning on masters NP. All along the way I have a good Healthcare job to fall back on.

I have one son heading off next year to begin pre-med bachelor's degree with desire to work as surgeon. He has minimal job experience and will finish pre-med with no professional job training...if he gets into medical school that's great, but if not then he has no job possibilities with his bachelor's of Science or very little and he must begin to explore other options with little income and loans coming due...and if he makes med-school he will need to have some income but with no training it will be difficult...and maybe no Healthcare experience unless working entry level as orderly or something.

Next son in line also would like to be a surgeon, (all my surgical tech stories have enticed them to medicine) but this son is willing to go a route I've advised that allows him to stair step his way a little: get associates degree in surgical tech and make sure you like surgery while getting real experience in different specialties and making about 30k a year when you're only single and 20 years old too...then continue your bachelor's in science as a pre-med, all the while gaining excellent first hand surgery experience and with plenty of income. If med-school doesn't pan out (it is highly competitive folks) then you have a profession and good income to fall back on while you determine another route...maybe PA with that pre-med bachelor of Science.

There are ways to get where you want to be in Healthcare that aren't "all-or-nothing" leaving you with limited income and options. This was just my example as a surgical tech. There are plenty of two year options like rad-techs, occupational therapy assistants, CNA, Associate RN, etc...that allow one to work and train their way up in Healthcare so you always have something besides the fast food industry to fall back on

Just my two-cents
 
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confusedstudent2195

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Thank you!

I will end up having to take a gap year if things go as expected and you just gave me an idea of what to do during it (potentially). Since I am interested in surgery it would be valuable to see how things pan out and potentially get a surgical tech certification or something of the like. As of right now I am working in a hospital in the UR office. Not clinical work, but at least it's something.
 
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deleted480308

I'd say finish the nursing (AA or bachelors level) then make the call to chase either higher nursing/PA/MD/DO. I know more than one biology major working odd jobs because they didn't make it into med school
 
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confusedstudent2195

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I'd say finish the nursing (AA or bachelors level) then make the call to chase either higher nursing/PA/MD/DO. I know more than one biology major working odd jobs because they didn't make it into med school
I ended up changing to a kinesiology major with a concentration in exercise science, not as odd as biology if things go south, but I realized/feel like I should be totally dedicated if I stayed in nursing and I just know that I won't be and that my GPA will definitely suffer in the program if I wanted to pursue something else. I guess we'll see how it goes! Nursing just seems like such an important job in and of itself that I don't want to use it as a stepping stone.
 
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BSN2014

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I ended up changing to a kinesiology major with a concentration in exercise science, not as odd as biology if things go south, but I realized/feel like I should be totally dedicated if I stayed in nursing and I just know that I won't be and that my GPA will definitely suffer in the program if I wanted to pursue something else. I guess we'll see how it goes! Nursing just seems like such an important job in and of itself that I don't want to use it as a stepping stone.

I don't think you finishing the program and then pursuing your MD should be considered using nursing as a stepping stone.

I was in my last semester of nursing school when I realized that I wanted to be a doctor. That didn't keep me from graduating, passing my NCLEX-RN and becoming a nurse anyway. I even worked for a little while as an RN after I graduated. I wanted to take care of patients, which I was trained to do as a nurse. I gained valuable insight and experiences, which reinforced my goal of becoming a doctor.

However, it sounds like you've already changed your major. I wish you the best of luck in your studies.
 
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deleted480308

I ended up changing to a kinesiology major with a concentration in exercise science, not as odd as biology if things go south, but I realized/feel like I should be totally dedicated if I stayed in nursing and I just know that I won't be and that my GPA will definitely suffer in the program if I wanted to pursue something else. I guess we'll see how it goes! Nursing just seems like such an important job in and of itself that I don't want to use it as a stepping stone.
No major is so sacred that it can't be a stepping stone. They offer classes you pay tuition, that's not some celestial arrangement. And given that you need a backup in case you are one of the many don't matriculate to med school...and I mean MANY. Pick the major that is most strategic for you and do it. Absolve yourself of this moral high road mentality to major picking....there is not a moral component to it
 
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confusedstudent2195

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A lot of the exercise science majors have jobs available with cardiac rehab, exercise physiology research, and many other interesting things! I'm hoping to use PA school as a back up plan, but since school has started I'm so much happier and have received a lot of support and uplifting from the faculty in this new department whereas our (I'm speaking for my own!!!!) nursing program sucked the life out of my friends and I. I made good grades but hated most days of it. There's an internship semester at the end of my major that leads a lot of people into jobs so that's nice! Also a cool internship may look nice to medical schools I'd like to think!
 

blue0rchid

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and there's also physical therapy (exercise related)
 

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You are probably going to hate bedside nursing. To the Pre Nurse with no experience as a CNA that has seen firsthand what nurses do, you probably do think that nursing "assessment" is a big part of nursing. Assessment takes up very little of my time, and performing all the tasks that need to be done takes up the lion's share of my 12 hour shift. Depending on where I'm working in the hospital, the rest of my day consists of charting nonstop, running errands, answering phones, navigating through distractions, detours, and basically not being able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Your work will be a lot like being a waiter or waitress, with none of their freedom. You will walk down a hall with supplies to do a task for a patient that needs to be comoleted before the patient can go to a CT durring a very narrow window (or else they won't be able to get it for 5 more hours) and another nurse or aid will come out and ask you to help them move a 400 lb patient that just fell, and nobody else is around. You will know that helping them will take up to 20 minutes, but it can't wait. Your task with the patient going to CT will take 20 minutes on its own, but it's less critical than lifting the fluffy patient off the floor surrounded by their own feces. You also know that you'll be getting a patient back from surgery that is having trouble dealing with coming out of anesthesia, and will need vital signs every 15 minutes and possibly a blood transfusion. Since you have 3 patients at that moment, everyone thinks you have it easy, so even if you complain, it won't get anywhere because they all have 5 of their own, and they are all nowhere to be found because they are running their own patients to the bathroom or passing meds. And it's lunch time, and one of your patients needs you to take their blood sugar and give them insulin, but they also want to pee before they eat, and need help to do so because they use a walker. And no, they tell you that they absolutely can't wait to pee, they need to go now, because you "promised" them 20 minutes ago that you would get them up. And their family members are in the room, and also heard you tell them that 20 minutes ago before you had to leave the room to take a phone call where the rad tech told you to hurry and get the patient ready to go to CT. While you were on the phone to CT, the post surgical nurse called to give you report on the patient you are getting. That is the cliffs notes version of a typical day shift on a medical floor. ER, ICU, and the other units have their own sets of scenarios just like this one. And, yes, everything has to be done right, or you get an email at the very least, and a sit down conversation with a supervisor at the more extreme end if it's not. So in that scenario, everyone is going to be dissapointed at you, and several will probably tell you about it. The patient that needs to pee, the patient that will miss their window to get to CT, the doctor that wants to see that CT ASAP, the nurse that is waiting for you to come take their post operative patient from them because the patient is tanking and they want you to have them before it gets more serious and their own flow gets messed up. Even the patient on the floor is mad because you seem like you don't have time to help them up, and sound impatient when you were helping the aid. And in the middle of this, a doctor slipped an order for a medication in and wanted it given right then.

That's not an exaggeration, that's a typical scenario that is close to what I live every day I work. In the ER, it can be a patient's family member that is asking why you aren't waking up their sleeping 95 year old mother to give her pain medicine (you gave her some already and that's why she is asleep). They were at a hospital across town once and were treated faster so they know you can do better, and tell you exactly that. Meanwhile you were helping with a code in another room where the patient is dying (since the doctor is in there and many of the other nurses, you opt to stay out and make sure the rest of the floor is covered), and you have a new patient that is a baby with an allergy, and another patient that is a drug addict that keeps hitting the call light for sandwiches for her and her friends, and pain medicine for her 10/10 stomach pain (she tells you that it's stupid that you won't give her anything to eat, not even Sprite, which helps her stomach). She also has been to another hospital in town where she was treated much faster and given more of the pain medicine she says she needs. But don't worry, she tells you they know you are busy, and they wouldn't mind it if you needed 5 more minutes to go fetch pain medicine (and don't forget the sandwiches for her friends!). But they also tell you they really want to leave as soon as possible so they can go do some stupid BS that they tell you is really important. AANNDD.... Your coworker is at lunch and had asked you to watch her patients. There are 4 of them, and they are all asking for pain meds, and to see the busy Doctor that is in the code, and ask how long Til their results get back so they can go, and how do they use the tv remote, and "when can I have a snack, I'm starving?". Oh man... And a provider comes along and says "i know you aren't this persons nurse, but will you grab something for me?" Of course the answer to the last one is no, but you actually feel bad about that one because the doctor is one of your favorites, and you hate to not help out. And X-ray is here to pick up your patient with the stomach ache, but they are puking now and need some nausea medicine before they can go to get scanned. And the baby with the allergy has a brother that just crapped his pants literally, and they would like some help. So just like on the medical floor, you have a lot of things to do, and you can't really do everything the way you'd like to. It's almost as if you are set up to come up short, no matter what you do. And again, that's the cliffs notes version. And that can go on for an entire shift.... 12 and a half hours.

As a nurse, you run errands. You assess for brief moments, and then you move on to documenting that data and then dealing with tasks. And you have to do that while doing the same thing in several other rooms at the same time. A nurse where I'm at has up to 6 patients depending on time of day, level of acuity, and staffing. Frankly, it can be brutal. If you are more of a "thinker" and less of a "tasker", you may want to think really hard about making a career out of nursing. But at this phase, it might be worthwhile to finish out nursing and then move on. It sets you apart, gives you some options. It's a good tool to have in the bag. But the job really doesn't change much as you go, you just become more efficient and polish your delivery.

I have a question , what if you go work in OR as an RN, is life easier ?


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pamac

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I have a question , what if you go work in OR as an RN, is life easier ?


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I've never worked in the OR, but I can say that in my personal arena of work experience (which I admit might be narrower than others), I've never seen someone leave OR nursing, or even leave any area associated with OR (which would be pre surgery, surgery, or post surgical care) to come work the floor as what you would consider a "regular" hospital nurse (roles like ER, intensive care, medical surgical, etc). That is an endorsement of some kind. I haven't nailed down what the appeal is, and can only speculate. I think it could either be because the OR atmosphere is great and nobody wants to transition out, or because making the jump to a different type of pace and structure is too difficult and unappealing once someone has settled in to the surgical role. Mostly I've seen people go there to get away from places that burn nurses out... like ER and medical/surgical units. As hectic as operative procedures can be, the OR and the surroundings tend to be as predictable and controlled as one can have in a hospital. That doesn't mean that it's not hard work, but it's not quite the same as what a floor nurse has to do to get through the day. You probably want examples, but I think the biggest difference between OR and other units is the fact that the patient is a more unpredictable factor in a unit, even if the are unconscious and on a ventilator in an ICU. Theres really less of any gray area to deal with in the OR like there is elsewhere. Things can be more black and white, and folks seem to like that.

Every facility's OR is unique, takes different cases, has different schedules. Where I'm at, the OR folks often have 5 day schedules, which is never do because I really only want to ever work 3 days per week.

Ultimately, I don't think many areas of nursing in a hospital can be considered "easier" than others, but I think that some have a workload and tasks that are a better fit for some people. Id go nuts in OR, but I'm also getting burned out with the addicts coming in to the ER, so it's hard for me to not have a roving eye for jobs that have a work environment where the biggest challenge of the day is fighting off boredom behind a desk like many non medical jobs have to do.

Nursing has been good to me, and it has the potential to be lucrative, but you spend a lot of time dealing with regulations, procedures, and formalities. Like many jobs in healthcare, the patient is becoming more of a distant factor while we deal with the tasks that are hoped to make the patient experience safer and more satisfying for them. For my efforts at doing that, I work three days a week on days that I want, and even being a fairly new nurse, I make close to $90k in a low cost of living state. I have several options for jobs if I decide to leave my hospital (all of which pay more), and my current benefits cover my family decently. But as a nurse you are standing up, rushing around, more likely than not you are tasked with more than enough to keep two people busy, and there seems to be pressure from all sides. Nurses essentially answer to physicians, patients, our managers, our managers managers, and other nurses and staff around us. I'm in NP school not just to get away from that (because I don't think one can in healthcare), but to be better compensated for the work I put in.
 
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SilentCool

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If you can't be a doctor, be a nurse. That's the way it's always been! :laugh:
 

Pathman1000

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Become an NP. The MD pathway isn't worth it. You're not selling yourself short, you're making an investment in your family and your future. I wish I was smart enough to have listened to those people who warned me.
 
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pamac

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I'm grateful there are people who go into medicine, and I don't begrudge them of great wages because of the sacrifices involved. Time is such a precious commodity. Someone was talking to me the other day about a physician that spent a boatload on a luxury item without seeming to even think about it, and I said "good for them". If I spent time into my 30s as a student like a physician does, only to begin my career paying off debt, I'd compensate by buying the best stuff when I got the chance. Its a tough road. I know there are physicians out there that don't take much call, work decent hours, can take time off at a moments notice, and still make plenty of money, but I don't know many personally. The ones I know work heart attack man hours, are always chained to their phones, put up with tons of crap from patients, or have to work pretty nasty shifts in the case of many ER docs and surgeons. These are very intelligent people who I would have to think would be able to find a way to maximize their situation to get the best deals possible if there was a way to do it.

I'd suggest med school for great students just starting out that has a high drive for the money, prestige, and challenge associated with the field. I don't mention money and prestige in a derogatory way.... what I mean is that they are people who want to be appropriately compensated for the tremendous sacrifice they put in. An intelligent person doesn't expect anything less. These folks often have something to prove to themselves, and that's probably where they belong.

NP school is something I'd suggest for someone who is just starting out as well, but not interested in the time commitment of med school. It can take a while to get into and through nursing school and then NP school tacked on afterwards, but you can start making money as soon as you get the RN. From there you can work your way through NP school while not going away to school for a couple years. That's extra income, and it allows you to do some networking for jobs along the way. That can be helpful if you are scouting out good places to work, or places that qualify for reimbursement for the tuition you are putting in for NP school. Some facilities will even help out with tuition reimbursement for your NP. Financially, its a great way to go. I'd even recommend it for folks that could easily take the credits they have already earned and use them to get into an RN program. Throughout that process, you can raise a family and have time to spend with them. I've been up with the babies at night, working on my house, attending pretty much anything I need to. During RN school, time was tight just because they don't compromise much on letting you off, but that was 4 semesters that went quick.

PA school can be really quick for folks with biology degrees, and some other health science related education. Sometimes this can mean the folks that didn't or don't have the drive or ability to get into or complete medical school or dental school, or folks that just aren't interested in going to 4 years of medical school followed by several years or more of residency. Not everyone is fine with that kind of investment and commitment. I don't think its always a good idea for someone in that situation to try to become an NP, but it worked well for me because I was able to walk right into a nursing program without having to spend a year or more on prerequisites to get in. I also think that folks like paramedics and respiratory therapists are good candidates for PA school rather than retooling for nursing. Then there are folks with other degrees that are totally unrelated to healthcare, and they have no experience. The PA route is expensive, and its near impossible to work during that time, so the debt mounts up. I know NP's with debt, but its rare for me to run into one that has near the debt of the typical new PA. Its also really competitive to get into a PA school, and has been for quite some time. But its one year of class, one year of clinical, then you're done.
 

Makati2008

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Become an NP. The MD pathway isn't worth it. You're not selling yourself short, you're making an investment in your family and your future. I wish I was smart enough to have listened to those people who warned me.

What speciality are you in because my PA rate is nowhere near the Physician rate in my speciality as well as the restrictions are far less as a Physician.


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