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Please give me info about being a nurse?

I'd asked this before, but I only got one answer. I'd really like to hear from more people. My question is below:

I've just been accepted into a 15 month accelerated nursing program. Its from a private college in my state and the program is very hard to get into, so I'm happy to have gotten in. When I'm done I'll have my BSN. I'll be taking classes and doing clinicals at the same time, and this all starts in January.

I would like to hear from current or former nurses to find out what their daily work life is like. I know nursing is stressful and there is a shortage. I don't want anyone to sugar coat things, but I want to know what your experience has been. Good and Bad, but I hope there is more Good.

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  • 8 years ago
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    Every nurse is going to have a unique experience, depending on where they live/work, what type of facility they work in, what specialty population they work with, and depending on how effective they are at managing their own stress.

    I work in a hospital birthing unit, specifically I work mostly with high-risk pregnant women who are hospitalized - many of them long-term. A typical day involves me getting to work, finding my patient assignment, looking up info about them in the computerized medical record, get updates/report from the off-going nurses. Then I see which of my patients are awake, perform assessments (asking about their condition, taking vital signs, determining what needs they might have), make a plan for the day which I communicate with the patient (schedule of meds, any appointments off-unit at out out-patient clinic at the hospital), I do fetal monitoring, sometimes basic ultrasounds. I do a ton of documentation of the actions I do, whether passing meds, documenting the education I provide the patient, the application of the care plan. I call doctors if I need orders or if a patient has a change in condition. I work with the lab, pharmacy, radiology, social workers, etc. to make sure I have everything I need to do my job and the patient has everything they need while they are with us and for after they go home. But most importantly, I am there for my patients. To ease their pain, to calm their anxiety, to offer support and reassurance, to de-escalate emotionally tense situations.

    I feel like I have pretty decent working conditions. We have a very functional nursing department. We aren't terribly short staffed very often, but it does happen and when it does it can feel crazy, but you work as a team and you are never alone, so we're all in it together. My coworkers are generally very close and supportive but there are always certain bad apples in the bunch, and you'll never get completely away from toxic people in ANY job you have. The physicians I work with all really hold the nursing professionals in high regard; they value our expertise and when we ask them for something they respond without questioning our judgment. Most physicians are on a first-name basis with the nursing staff and are very friendly.

    I love my job. I realize that I am pretty fortunate in that I work for a great company that generally cares about the nursing staff. I work with coworkers who take a tremendous amount of pride in the work we do - and the environment you work in is the most important factor in enjoying your job.

    Many nurses who dislike their jobs and get burnt out work in facilities that are really negative - they don't value the nursing staff, they aren't protected by unions and are forced into working in unsafe conditions with too few nurses for too many patients, are forced to work overtime, etc. In these cases, if the nurse isn't willing to be assertive and stand up to try to make changes within their environment, then they should seek employment elsewhere. You should NEVER stick it out in a job you are miserable in. The patients can tell. Your quality of care goes down. People who hate their jobs as nurses have the responsibility to themselves and their patients to either change the culture or leave and get another job elsewhere. Or, maybe nursing just isn't the right career for those people. Some people just can't handle ANY amount of stress, they don't work well as a team player, and they don't have enough patience and empathy to continuously care for others. If you let yourself get burnt, it's your own fault.

    Source(s): RN, BSN, current MSN-Women's Health Nurse Practitioner student
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