The Difficulties of being a Nurse and my Journey to a Nursing Career

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"If you have any type of incline towards becoming what you love and your heart is into it, do it because you should go wherever your passions lie." These inspiring words come from Jennifer Morris, a pediatric nurse herself at Lutheran General advocate children's hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. This has definitely been a learning experience for me, from getting a glimpse into my possible career to interviewing someone that knows it all too well. It is difficult to think about whom we want to be for the remainder of our lives; at sixteen and seventeen, it's easy to think that we have a lifetime to figure it out. But that's not the case. We have a little more than a year until graduation, and then we become the adults we all fear to be. Although some struggle to come upon what their passion is, it was always different for me; I knew what I wanted to be ever since the day I experienced the life of those who live in a hospital. During that experience, I realized just how precious the role of a nurse is to patients in need, especially to those who only have another day of sickness and needles ahead. It's a difficult situation to get put into, and it's hard enough for adults. Imagine the strength a young child must have in order to endure all the depression that comes from being trapped in a hospital. A nurse is one of the only people that can make it just a little bit better. Being a nurse is definitely not as easy as it seems. It takes hard work, experience, and self-love, amongst other items, to be able to tackle this extremely difficult career.

Before considering a job in the medical field, I had to know a little more about what I was getting myself into. Volunteer work is definitely a plus for someone that has an incline towards becoming a nurse, and internships are almost the same as volunteer work, just on a higher level. Having a combination of both will look well on college scripts. With the passion for helping others also comes great responsibility and willingness to further your career past expectations. One can choose to go to college for two years and take a nursing certificate course in order to become a registered nurse and get an associate's degree. As I read on a popular database, "On average, a nurse can get up to sixty-eight thousand and thirty dollars a year" (Critical Care Nurses). Another option is to continue education and proceed to get a bachelor's degree in science that would make for a more valuable nurse, but it does cost and also takes more time, four years more for a full-time student. "While each path has its pros and cons, especially where time and costs are concerned, the difference in degrees really manifest in the sorts of positions an RN can hold" ("The Different Paths"). There are many types of nurses, from neonatal, intensive care/hospital nurses, pediatric or nurse practitioners. Personally, I'm thinking about being a pediatric nurse just because I love kids and helping others. Being a pediatric nurse is ideal for me. Of course, it is a lot of work, and it takes more time than I ever imagined, but during an interview at a children's hospital, Nurse Jennifer assured me, "Although it's hard work, if you're actually passionate about loving strangers, helping patients will make it all worth it." I really enjoyed all that I learned about how time-consuming this job can be because at least now I know what I can expect instead of going in blind-sided.

Not only/but also would I be blind-sided; I would be completely naive. This has honestly been one of the most informative experiences I've ever had to go through. For example, I personally thought that a pediatric nurse only cared for children, but that is not true. Online I read that "Pediatric health care providers in primary or acute care settings for well and ill children from birth to 21 years of age"("Becoming a Pediatric"). I will be caring for children from birth to their adulthood, and that is fascinating to me because I really enjoy seeing growth both physically and emotionally. I was also very glad to hear what types of knowledge I need in order to succeed in this career. I will be using medicine, psychology, biology, English, and customer/personal service. I needed to know that because I would like to get a head start and try to set my brain to those aspects of my life. When I got the chance to go and interview nurse Jennifer she informed me, "If you want to be successful in life, you're going to have to give up a few things, but all that hard work will all be worth it when you are able to say I did it." I need to be passionate and want to be a nurse because it won't be easy. However, our situations might be different; we shared that same passion for helping others. My passion for helping others is enormous. I don't see myself doing anything else. They say you need to love your job because if you don't, every day will feel dreadful. I know that if I keep going, I will love my job more than anything.

Of course, not everything is going to be pleasant. I learned that you have to be strong, strong for your patients as well as for yourself. Being a nurse takes passion. It takes someone strong because you are not always going to be a hero. Some patients just can't be saved, and you need to understand that some things are bigger, and no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to fix them. As I read in a newspaper article, " People don't always appreciate what you're doing; you have to love yourself "(Pritt), and it's true. Not everyone is going to want your help, but you need to realize that even if they don't want it, you are doing what is right. Loving yourself is a huge part of being a nurse; it's ironic that someone who helps thousands of people would have to love and care for herself. But it's true many nurses lose their passion for nursing because they see so many deaths and so many lonely people in lonely rooms die; these nurses fall into depression because they think they could have tried harder or done something to help. Having a love for yourself will make you have the love for whom you are caring. Another struggle that usually takes time to develop is knowing that you have to go above and beyond for total strangers and give them all your attention, treat them as if they were family, and love them unconditionally because you can not be a nurse without compassion.

Being a nurse is difficult. For some, it's way too difficult. I remember someone telling me once that a nurse must work for five years in order to be considered a real nurse. Hospital nurses, more than any other type of nurses, have trouble with their first couple of years because nothing could possibly prepare them for the hospital setting. Depression is common among nurses because they have to keep a lot of the pain bottled up in order to be a proper nurses. A survey was conducted on four hundred nurses from a university hospital, the survey asked about common depression symptoms, and the results were just as expected "The mean score of depression of nurses was a very high score, and 40.8% of clinical nurses were included in a depression group" (Lee). Nurses often get attached to patients even though hospitals say that they need to keep a professional distance. It's hard to keep a professional distance when you're so used to seeing a patient every day. Nurses tend to develop a connection, and one day their patients are suddenly gone. Death is a very traumatic thing to handle for anyone; nurses have to endure the pain of more than a hundred deaths in their careers. That is why mental diseases are so high in this profession.

Although many know about the correlation between depression and nurses, they try not to acknowledge it. It's strange to hear nurses openly talking about their problems. As I mentioned before, nurses are usually taught to prevent these problems, so talking about it is difficult because it puts them in a strange situation. As stated in an article, "Many in the medical profession hold antiquated beliefs about mental illness, such as the condition was brought upon the self. Nurses are taught not to complain about it, and this is why they don't talk about it." (Lampert). I believe that hospitals could bring in social workers specifically trained to deal with depression in nurses. Social workers are not allowed to talk about others personal sessions with them, so nurses would feel open to talk about their problems. This would make a huge impact on the profession and would definitely make nurses feel a lot better about themselves and their lives.

All things considered, I still believe nursing is in my future. As Jennifer Morris put it, "All jobs have its challenges along with its rewards." Sometimes the challenges are bigger than others, but a bigger challenge calls for a bigger reward. However, many believe that being a nurse takes a certain type of strength and that not all people are fit for it. I truly believe that I've got what it takes to go above and beyond for my future patients. Determination and compassion are two very different aspects you develop with this kind of job. Self-love is imperative. You can not love someone else unless you learn to love yourself first. Being a nurse is having to hold in your tears and start drawing smiles on people's faces. I want to make people happy; I want to be able to make them feel better in any situation that they're in. I want to be able to be the person who makes their day a little bit brighter. Although they might forget my name and forget my face, they will never forget how I made them feel. Honestly, that is all I want to do. No matter how much time it takes and how hard it's going to be, I promise I will be helping a child in recovery if it's the last thing I do.

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The Difficulties of Being a Nurse and My Journey to a Nursing Career. (2023, Mar 08). Retrieved May 22, 2024 , from
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