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The profession with no excuses

alexraths | Veer

You hear it all the time in the professional realm: People complaining about their jobs.

Truth is, nursing is not immune to job gripes.

But in light of the new year, I vowed to be a more positive person with an optimistic outlook. During this little introspective session, I realized that in our profession, if you don’t like it, change it. That’s the beauty of the job.

You get out of school and you enter the workforce with a vast amount of options based purely on schedule. Do you want to work three days a week? Do you want to work night shift? Do you want to work normal business hours in an office setting? These options increase the marketing value of the profession–if you get sick of your schedule, go work somewhere else!

Many mothers that I have spoken with agree that working night shift is great for family life. You can sleep when the kids are in school and spend a couple of hours in the evening with the family, then the dad watches the children at night when the mom goes to work. And when the kids grow up and mom is exhausted from working night shift all these years, she switches to day shift. It doesn’t get much more conducive to family life than that.

Nurses also can choose the genre of people they want to encounter and care for. You don’t like adult patients? Work at a pediatric hospital. You don’t want your patients to be awake when you are caring for them? Work in an OR or an ICU. The beauty of nursing is that you can find an area that appeals to you most and where you will find the greatest happiness and job satisfaction.

I have heard many nurses complain about their pay. Some wonderful options for job growth include moving to a management position or going back to school to obtain a master’s degree (which has incredible growth potential itself). To complain about pay is a pity when there are vast opportunities to grow as a nurse.

I think the most compelling reason why nurses should never complain, gripe, or moan about their jobs is because while we are working there, we are not the patients. That doesn’t mean that we are all in perfect health or we don’t have family members that may be patients, but at that very time and place, we are not dealing with their illness on a personal level. Every day that I walk into work I try to maintain a positive attitude by telling myself how blessed I am not to have a child with a congenital heart defect. It puts things in perspective on a daily basis.

So, although it is easy to think the grass is always greener, this 2012 I’m going to do my best to do away with excuses and take nursing for all of the good that it has. Because it has a lot to offer.

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Nicole Lehr

Nicole Lehr is a pediatric nurse. She can be described in three adjectives: content, thankful and fortunate. All credit for the aforementioned description can be given to the love she has for her profession as an RN. She graduated from University of Florida with her Bachelor’s in Nursing and moved to Atlanta to work at the Cardiac Stepdown Unit at Children’s — her dream job.
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