March 4, 2007

How Do You Choose A Specialty?

Not much has been going on on the school front. We're now covering the neuro system. It's kind of interesting. The brain is a mysterious and complicated thing. We have our exam over the material on the 15th and the week after that is SPRING BREAK!!! YAY! I'm can't wait. As of right now we have about 8 weeks left. I can't believe that within that 8 weeks we'll have 3 more exams and a final in nursing, plus 4 psych rotations. After our neuro test the rest of the material is psych. I like psych so I'm excited about that. This week is our last med-surg rotation. I have to admit, I had fun at clinical this go round. I think it's because all of our confidence is building and feeling like a nurse gets more real every day. I do feel like I know what I'm doing most days and it's happened so gradually that it wasn't an ah-ha moment, but it feels good to not have to ask about everything and to just understand it. I still think I need a good way to do a thourough assessment without needing to look at my cheat sheet. That's my new goal...learning how to do a great assessment. Of course sometimes I still feel fumbly and awkward, but I feel I've come a long way from where I was last semester. I didn't realize when I was in 1st semester the amount of knowledge and experience you gain from there to your 3rd semester. It feels like 1st semester was a hundred years ago. I see all the 1st semester students in the hallway stressing over their skills and I want to go up and hug them and tell them it will be ok. That's me being Mother Hen. I remember those days well...sitting in the hall awaiting the intructor to walk out and call my name. I'd get the cold sweats of fear, the wash of anticipated failure. Worrying about which instructor you'd get and hoping it wasn't a certain one who loved to fail people. You'd chant your skills to yourself....don't cross the sterile field, don't cross the sterile field, tear the tape, tear the tape, check for a blood return, check for a blood return. Then the intructor you SOOO didn't want walks out and calls your name and it's in slow motion. You look around at your compadres and you see the look of pity in their eyes, but gratefulness because she didn't call their name. Sigh..those days were hell. LOL Thank goodness we don't have any skills this semester, but next semester (4th) we do. 4th semester is OB and Peds. I cannot wait. I am so freakin' excited about OB. I went into nursing because I wanted to be a Labor and Delivery time has gone on I have second guessed myself a lot. Honestly I don't know what I want to do yet. I'd still love to do L&D, but I also want to make sure I have a career where I get to use the skills I was taught and since I haven't had an OB rotation yet I don't know what OB nursing is like. My sis works as a surgical tech in L&D and absolutley loves it, but she's an adrenaline junky too. L&D is very unpredictable and I like that. I don't want a boring job, I want something exciting and challenging. In L&D you have double the responsability because you're caring for not just one life, but that's scary. I do know what I don't want to do. I don't like ortho, rehab etc... That bores me to tears. I also don't like gerontology. I worked as a CNA at a nursing home once and vowed..NEVER AGAIN! I hope no one takes offense, but it just isn't my thing and I'm glad I know that now. Med-Surg is cool because there's always something different and you definately get to use all of your skills, but I think I'd be more comfortable with a specialty. My OR rotation was great, but standing in surgery for hours at a time can be grueling and some of the docs are arseholes with huge heads and I don't think I'd take kindly to them yelling at me. I'm afraid I'd yell back. lol I'd like to get an externship this summer in L&D to make sure, but I was told not to take it unless it's what I wanted to do for certain because they'd probably want to hire me after all was said and done. Sigh...I hate not knowing and indecisiveness. I'm waiting for a bell to go off in my head signaling my future. Ding Ding Ding...this is for you! I don't know if that will happen, but we'll see.

Nursing has so many avenues and that's why it appealed to me. There are so many specialties you can choose from. Maybe I need to do some research on the ones I like and weigh the pros and cons. Yes, that's what I'll do. Listen to me thinking outloud. How bored are you by this post? lol Anyway, I think all nurses go through this at the beginning of their career. My fear is getting stuck, I've seen this happen so much. A nurse starts out somewhere and hates it but doesn't switch units or careers. I want to find something I love so much I'll never want to leave and I hope that I do. I hope that you do too.