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Becoming a nurse — ten things they do not tell you

Becoming a Nurse — Ten Things They Do Not Tell You

If you are in nursing school or considering it there are a lot of great reasons to become a nurse. Unfortunately, some people have a vested interest in painting a rosy picture of nursing. It like every other job has its benefits and drawbacks. This list is on the negative side to counterbalance some of the propaganda surrounding nursing.

1) Some people like to use the word profession when talking about nursing no matter what you chose to call it, it is a job. It is not a glamorous profession like on TV. You will work hard and feel unappreciated and no matter what management says the bottom line is the most important thing.

2) You will always be in demand. Well, not necessarily. The first place management looks to cut is nursing as it is one of the largest expenditures in the hospital. The economic slow down effects nursing just like every other job. Many hospitals now have hiring freezes. Remember ten new grads are waiting to fill your position at a lower wage.

3) You are on your feet for 12 hours a day. Your feet and back will hurt. Nursing is very physically demanding. Turning a 450 pound patent will take its toll on your back and pray you do not get a rotator cuff injury. To make matters worst your patients can be on opposite ends of the unit with you spending your day running back and forth.

4) Families. A good family can make your day easier. However, they can also make your life a living hell. It takes patience, caring and some legal method of coping with stress to deal with some family members.

5) The bane of all nurses existence, charting. It is very likely you will spend more time charting than providing good patient care. It seems that charting, just becomes more and more complex as time goes by.

6) Unreasonable patient loads. In the state of California there is a law mandating the maximum number of patients a nurse can care for. In every other state you are on your own. This can lead to unsafe workplace environments for you and your patients.

7) Nurses eat there young. There are many good reasonable nurses out there. It only takes one of the other ones to ruin your shift.

8) You will learn to hate JACHO. They change their name regularly and are currently calling themselves the Joint Commission. They find important problems such as whether the height of your isolation cart is too tall. If you have not heard of the the Joint Commission, you will.

9) You will work weekends, nights and holidays. This may or may not be a big deal for you, but you need to be aware of it.

10) Bladder Control. You will be amazed at how much urine you can hold and how long you can go without relieving yourself.

I know this is negative and I do not want to discourage anyone from becoming a nurse. I am extremely glad I went to nursing school and became a nurse. However, I know people that are unhappy as a nurse and say «It is nothing like what I thought it would be.» I think hearing the negative along with the positive is the best way to make an educated decision about your future.

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