If you are thinking about starting a career in the field of nursing, it is important that you are absolutely sure that you want to dedicate your life to such a career. While nursing is an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling career, not everyone is cut out for the profession as it is exceptionally demanding. Before you even step into a classroom for a nursing program, you should carefully take the time to think about what type of the person you are and whether you are mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to become a nurse.
Why do you want to be a nurse?
The most important question to ask before starting a career in nursing is: Why do I want to get into the profession? If you have dreamt of becoming a nurse since childhood, that's a good start, however you should have more reasons than just that alone. Before you make your decision, you should do some research into the requirements and tasks of the profession as nursing is not your typical day job. It is a profession that requires an enormous amount of dedication and devotion so be sure that you know exactly what you will be getting into.
Do you have the ability to handle high stress?
While many people don't realize it, nursing is a high stress job. They are by and large the hardest working people in the hospital and are often under paid for the amount of hours, dedication, and labor that they put into their daily work. In a typical hospital or health care center, nurses are expected to work long hours ranging anywhere from 8 to 16 hours each day and are on their feet for the majority of that time. A Nurse is typically assigned six to eight patients to their care, which means that there will always be a patient in need something. Patients will often have trouble sleeping, pain, anxiety, or some other ailment that the nurse is responsible to address. In order to become a successful nurse, it is important that you are sure that you can handle the stress of both the physical and emotional demands that the job can place upon you.
How are you at managing time and organization?
You often hear the phrase time management thrown around a lot, but do you have the capability to manage your time efficiently? Nursing is a profession that demands excellent time management as there is very little down time on any given shift. Whether you're preparing charts for doctors and patients, answering questions related to a patient's health or a host of other things, there is rarely a dull moment during the work day. It is also crucial that a nurse be highly organized. You will be required to take detailed notes for later reference, acquire dosage levels, look up a patient's history, and find out other critical information at the drop of a hat. If you able to work under a high degree of organization, you will not be able to perform your best and your patient's life may suffer as a result.
Are you confident enough to be a nurse?
If you plan on becoming a nurse, you should also plan on frequently playing the role of the scapegoat. Patients, doctors, and relatives of patients will definitely voice frustration and be extremely demanding. While they may not hold any ill will against you, having a loved one in the hospital or being in severe pain can get the best out of people and they will often take their frustration and anger out on you. If you are a nurse in the earlier part of your career you may experience some problems with the doctors you work with as you might not have the experience or tenure as they would like. When you do have a problem with a doctor, patient, or patient's relatives, which is likely, it is important that you consider it as just another part of the job. If you are emotionally unstable or tend to take things too personally, you may not have the personality to be a nurse.
Do you have a sense of humor?
While you don't need to be a comedian to be a nurse, a sense of humor definitely helps. Also, approaching each new day with a smile and some hope will make all the difference to your coworkers and your patients. Remember, attitude is a major part of the healing process. If you were sick, would you want a grumpy nurse?
Becoming a nurse is a big decision so be sure to do plenty of research and self exploration to see if you have what it takes to be successful. While it is true that nurses are in high demand making it one of the few recession-proof careers out there, it is an incredibly demanding job. Not everyone can be a nurse and if you aren't one of those special people, you will dread going to work every day.