If you’ve ever been to the doctor’s office, a hospital, or anywhere else for your medical needs, you have come in contact with a nurse. Nurses are the first line of contact for any sort of medical questions or concerns. They are tasked with caring for patients, administering drugs, communicating with doctors and families, and most of all providing emotional support. This career path can be extremely rewarding, but also difficult. If you are interested in a career in nursing, your life won’t be a simple walk in the park. To take on an emotionally draining profession like this, you have to be ready to commit time to work while also finding time to rejuvenate yourself. Before deciding to become a nurse, you should be aware of the schooling and emotional needs of the job as well as finding some creating or calming outlets for you to remain sane.
Schooling and Certification
Becoming a nurse takes dedication and hard work. To earn a nursing degree in school, you’re guaranteed some long nights and difficult exams. What many people don’t know is that there are actually many avenues to become a nurse. First of all, you need to know what type of nursing you are interested. Would you like to work in a hospital or in nursing homes, with critical care or with cancer patients? Whichever path you choose requires a different degree. You can earn anything from an Associate Degree in Nursing program to a doctorate in nursing which can last all different lengths of school.
The next step is to become certified. Your level of certification will dictate the privileges and administrative power you will have in your career. Registered nurses (RNs) are your most common nurse and they can administer drugs, but a nurse practitioner certification gives you some freedom to prescribe medications like a doctor. Again, this is where determining your goals for nursing early will allow you to decide what certification exam will be best for you.
Becoming a nurse takes a special type of person. The job requires emotional care and intellectual analysis. You are constantly combated with questions from angry patients and scared families. You’ll spend your days on long, busy shifts lasting over 12 hours and be on your feet for most of that time. Not to mention the competition within the field and how attached you get to your patients. The phrase “compassion fatigue” was coined by Deborah Boyle, a nursing consultant in Phoenix. This phrase refers to nurses who take on the grief and anxieties of patients and families to such an extent that they’re becoming burnt out of the job. It can be difficult not to get attached to those individuals who you are working to make better, so you will need to come up with some strategies to deal with the emotional toll.
How to Escape the Extra Stressers
When it comes to being a nurse, care for yourself is equally as important as the care you give your patients. Your own self care can be a multitude of things. Pamper yourself and your aching feet with a spa day or enjoy one of the relaxing Central Park tours at sunset. Even taking a day to explore something that interests you that is outside of the medical field. Binge some Netflix, do a puzzle, do anything that will take your mind off the anxieties and stresses of your job. Overall, it is important to remember how special and important you are in the lives of those you touch. Surround yourself with an encouraging support system who affirm you. You are entering a fulfilling and important career, even though some parts will be challenging.