Is nursing for me?

Image: Fancy Photography | Veer

This is a question that can be extremely easy or horribly difficult to answer. Answering this question is just as complex as the description of what we nurses REALLY do.

If I had to carve it down to one simple thought, I think the simplest explanation is: it either IS or ISN’T. There really is no middle ground. There are things about our career that can be adjusted, changed or refreshed. And there are things about our career that are constant no matter where you go sometimes.

While this profession oozes with a profound amount of amazing things, there are plenty of things I can honestly say I don’t enjoy.

Sure, you can bundle certain ‘things’ together just by their work setting, but sooner or later you’ll come across them again.

I think most nurses will agree that tending to the toileting manners of our patients is not high on our ‘like’ list. If we could choose one thing to eliminate from our repertoire I believe this would be it. I can’t say I’ve met a nurse that loves to clean up you-know-what. But, it’s part of our responsibilities as a care provider. It’s our job to ensure and monitor whether that particular human habit is working properly, and if it isn’t to assess, document, and report our findings to the appropriate licensed health care provider.

Of course it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do. OK, let me re-phrase that. Someone who has the education and skilled training to address such a concern has to do it. Don’t let anyone tell you any different, our ‘elimination’ systems are in charge of our bodies homeostasis. Without their proper function our body WILL suffer and fall ill.

So, back to the original question.

It comes down to what you can accept. While we all choose or envision a certain focus within the career of nursing, we all have to accept the idea of getting ‘dirty’ so-to-speak. Not only the act, but everything that goes along with it (the smell, the salvaging, the testing, etc.)! We all have different techniques to help get through all those un-pleasantries – just ask a fellow nurse.

I accept that it is part of my job, and my responsibility. I am not above this duty, nor will I avoid it simply because I do not like it. Doing so only hurts my patients.

All nurses will have to accept this ‘idea’. Even if you want to do nothing but work in an office (or any position not at the bedside), you will still have to accept this challenge. As a student nurse, while in nursing school, you will have to ‘get dirty’. You will have to ‘get dirty’ and learn the tools of assessment I spoke of.

Anyone that is considering nursing needs to understand that there is no nurse above this duty. To think you are means nursing isn’t for you.

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3 Responses to Is nursing for me?

  1. CC

    Student nurses, perhaps, are made to tend to toileting (in all of its forms), but as a nurse aid in a snf, I have never seen a nurse do anything of the kind. Yes, a nurse’s job is extremely demanding & highly skilled, but patients’ most personal care is taken care of by us, the aides.

  2. annonym

    I have been a nurse for several years. Recently I found out I need to have a procedure that involves brain surgery…….what was the first thought that comes to my mind? I’ll bet it would be a great learning experience for student nurses to follow a patient prior to post…..Always thinking a nursing opportunity for learning awaits around every corner…..Have I been in this too long?

  3. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ CC Sorry you feel that way. That of course is not the norm.
    @ annonym Absolutely not! :)