December 10, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Nurses have the opportunity to care for patients and make a difference in their lives. It can be a great career choice for the right person. Although there are a lot of opportunities, being a nurse is not for everyone. Before you commit to nursing school, take an honest look at yourself and decide if you are cut out for a career in nursing.
Nursing is not for the squeamish. Most nurses start their career doing some type of bedside care. Even if you eventually move into another area of nursing, such as case management or education, you will spend some time providing direct patient care. Nurses have to deal with body fluids and all kinds of unpleasant situations. For instance, nurses may change dressings on wounds and assist patients after toileting. If you hate needles and feel faint at the sight of blood, being a nurse is probably not your best choice.
If you are considering becoming a nurse, you should also ask yourself how well you handle stress. Although working in certain nursing specialties may be more stressful than others, any area of nursing can have its moments. Emergency situations can develop, and there can be a lot at stake. If you work well under pressure, being a nurse may be something you can handle. If you thrive in a stressful environment, that’s even belter.
Potential nursing students should also consider whether they have critical thinking skills. Nurses often have to assess situations, look at the entire picture and take quick action. In some cases, nurses need to anticipate what can go wrong and try to prevent a problem before it develops.
Another thing to consider is whether you are a people person. Not everyone enjoys working around people all the time. But as a nurse, you will be dealing with patients, family members and other healthcare professionals. It is safe to say; you will be spending a lot of time interacting with others. Your chances of enjoying being a nurse are increased if you have a strong desire to help people.
In addition, think about your strengths and weaknesses and assess whether you have a thick skin. Do things roll off your back, or do you stew over situations for a long time? At some point, most nurses will encounter a patient who is challenging to deal with. Patients may become angry and at times they may even be rude. If you are the type of person who is easily upset, you will need to toughen up a bit before becoming a nurse.
Lastly, consider if you can handle witnessing sad situations. Depending on what type of nurse you become, you may be dealing with patients in critical condition. You may also witness families dealing with grief and loss. For example, it can be heart breaking to watch a parent lose a child or see a patient suffering from a terminal illness. Nurses need to maintain empathy, but not let each situation affect them negatively.