Saturday, December 18, 2010

Why Choose Nursing As A Career?

Two of my co-workers frequently tease me when I'm at work because I chose nursing for my profession. One is studying to be a pharmacist and the other is studying to be a doctor. They both wonder why I would choose to work in a field dominated by women and why I would want to wipe someone's ass. They said that if I were working in their field, I would earn twice as much (or more) and I don't have to work as much.

First of all, I have to admit that nursing was never my first choice. I wanted to be an accountant just like my mom, because I admired how successful she is in her career. I can't really remember if my mom told me to take something else or if she told me to take nursing instead, because getting a job as an accountant back in the Philippines was horrific. Anyway, nursing is my second career choice as I wanted a career in the health care field. Nursing was my stepping stone towards medicine. My mom told me that it's a good idea since if I ever decide not to pursue medicine I would still have a good career as compared to taking biology and end up not finding a job.

I admit that the huge financial gain of being a nurse was one of my reasons for choosing nursing, but these past few years I have grown to realize that I love nursing and I would still chose it over other career paths. When I moved to Canada, I could have chosen any other career path but I still chose nursing because I can't see myself in any other profession or trade. Nursing is who I am and I love nursing. Life isn't all about money. Sure we need money but I'm happy and content living a simple life like I am today. I don't need to drive a Lamborghini, I'm happy with a Nissan SUV or hybrid.

About the ass-wiping part, I say so what? Other people see nursing as just a job and they see patients as just objects who are just part of the job. Well I see patients as human beings who needs to be cared for. Imagine if your grandma, mom, or even yourself were in a position where you can't clean up yourself. You would want someone to take care of you and help you preserve your dignity. Helping people clean up isn't something to be ashamed of. I did it and I would do it again if it would help protect my patient from getting an infection or to help prevent pressure ulcers. Wiping people clean is just one aspect of nursing, registered nurses (RN's) do more than that. Not to discriminate against nursing assistants/attendants, but some facilities do have them to do the activities of daily living (ADL) such as bathing and grooming.

I am studying to be a registered nurse (RN, BSN). As an RN I am able to perform assessments and I am able to work with doctors (not work under doctors) and other health care team members to formulate a care plan. As an RN, I will carry out that care plan and, if needed, modify the care plan to deliver effective and safe patient care. As an RN it is important to be use critical thinking. I must be competent and knowledgeable so that I could advocate for my patient well. I plan to get higher education to be a nursing practitioner so that I could diagnose and prescribe medication as well. I also have an interest in becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist as I want to work in an operating room.

There are so many fields in healthcare that are available for me as an RN so it excites me to think about it. I could be a pharmacist or a doctor and earn more while working less, but I don't want to. I see myself as an RN and I enjoy making a difference in people's lives. All health care workers are important and I hope my co-workers would understand this (although I know they were just joking).

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