Sunday, March 28, 2010

Anxiety r/t unknown career path following graduation

I don't want to be a nurse, at least, not the typical hospital-type one that most people think of. I'm finishing up my third semester of nursing school and was hoping by now that I would have found my niche. Most of the students I'm in class with either know what they want to go into or have discovered an area they really enjoy while in school. I'm sitting at neither. Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoy working with patients, and most of them have really liked me too (shocker, right?). It's just that none of the areas have hit any kind of cord with me.

I thought I'd like OB until I had to take care of women in labor and that changed my mind right there. I found myself trying to get the newborns out of the nursery as quickly as possible so I wouldn't have to rock anymore to sleep. I dreaded going in my pediatrics patients' rooms because they couldn't talk back to me and their parents were nuts. I thought I may like med-surg since I've worked hard to learn the classroom material only to discover that nurses are supposed to be do-ers, not thinkers, so most of that knowledge never gets used. It's mainly catheter care, wound vac's, and hanging IV medications...and calling the "doctor" for every little obvious question.

Currently my best bet is psych and I half like it/half hate it. I hate that most of the patients are hopeless; if you have schizophrenia, the best you can hope for is that the doctors find medications that get rid of the voices or paranoia's without making your body fall apart and attack itself. If you have an addiction, in the end it's only you that can stop the process and fix the problem; rehab can only do so much especially since most facilities can only take a patient for 7-10 days. If depression runs in your family and you get it, the cycle doesn't stop. Doctors can mask the pain with medications but it's in your genes. Long story short, I feel like most psych patients I can never really help. I worked with an actively psychotic paranoid schizophrenic the other week and although I got her calmed down (after several hours), she went right back to how she was when I got there by the time I left, medications and all. It's depressing for me.

On the flip side, I've found it to be fascinating. When I originally went into college I was a psych major, and one of my favorite classes ever was abnormal psychology. The brain fascinates me. Personality disorders, schizophrenia, and disassociative identity disorder fascinate me. It's all fascinating. Unfortunately, as a nurse, I can't treat those problems, I can only try and talk to the patient and help them through their current crisis. If I work with those kinds of things, I want to talk AND treat! It's frustrating. Even then, I still don't feel a "calling" towards psych. Sigh.

I really need to feeling a calling towards some type of area in the next 9 months or I fear I'll end up somewhere that I can't stand (granted, that's if new RN's get a break by then and even have the chance to get hired).

For those that know me though, don't worry, I will continue to treat my patients as if they were my own family and I'll keep studying and trying to get the good grades. Now I just have to add in "Anxiety r/t unknown career path following graduation" to my list of concerns.

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