To be? Or not to be?
When I first started my doctoral education (or “PhD school” as my Mom likes to call it), everyone seemed to know what their dissertation was going to be on but me. I felt like I should have a little more time to figure it out…I mean, after all, if I already knew how to do this research stuff, I wouldn’t need to go back to school right? It reminded me of when I started nursing school and I was trying to figure out what kind of nurse I wanted to be. Some students seemed to have a divine revelation of what their RN destiny would and should be. Me on the other hand? I couldn’t figure it out…Med-Surg? OR? Peds? Psych? ICU? ER?
I remember my first clinical rotation on a medical-surgical floor…that was interesting, and I learned a lot, but it was missing something for me. As the med-surg rotations became increasingly difficult, I still felt like the pace wasn’t quite right; something still wasn’t fitting. The pediatric rotation was fun but I couldn’t imagine dealing with little ones all day. Labor & Delivery—EEK! That killed me and stalled any thoughts of procreation for quite a while. Psych was interesting, even more interesting when a patient threw a chair through a wall during group therapy.
But still, like Goldilocks, the porridge wasn’t the right temperature. Then I did my leadership rotation in the ER and something went BOOM!—this is it. It was chaotic, it was loud, it was bright, it was everything I wanted in a workplace. My preceptor at the time (now my boss!) told me that she didn’t take new graduate nurses in the ER and I was crushed. But I persevered and worked hard throughout the rotation and by the end, she offered me a job. It had everything, Med-Surg, Psych, ICU, Trauma and NO Babies! I haven’t left since, I can’t imagine a better fit for me. Your fit is out there…just keep your mind open and your eyes wide!
Rebekah Child attended the University of Southern California for her bachelor's in nursing and decided to brave the academic waters and return for her master's in nursing education, graduating in 2003 from Mount St. Mary's. Rebekah has also taught nursing clinical and theory at numerous Southern California nursing schools and has been an emergency nurse since 2002. She is currently one of the clinical educators for an emergency department in Southern California and a student (again!) in the doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles.
By Rebekah Child