We took a little bit of a break from nursing blogs and shifted towards discussion of my weight loss journey. But let’s get back into some nursing topics!
For my aspiring nurses, how did you know that nursing was the profession you wanted to dedicate yourself to? I know that in high school, it’s hard to know what you want to be when you graduate and go into college so how did you decide on nursing? Some people have known since they were a kid they wanted to be a nurse – maybe their mom or close family member was a nurse and inspired them to seek out this career. Others may have done a complete career change and wanted to pursue healthcare. No matter what your reasoning is, it is such a great career to get into, especially if it’s for the right reasons.
So what exactly are the “right” reasons?
The right reasons would start with the fundamentals like caring for your patients. I’m talking about genuinely caring about your patients and their wellbeing and being empathetic towards their health issues and concerns.
Be approachable and honest. By being able to create a trusting relationship with your patients it makes it easier for you and them. You will want them to be open and honest with you so you can better care for them so it’s important to be the same with them.
You are willing to put other people’s needs before your own. When we are caring for someone else, especially the frail and sick populations, their needs will come before ours. We are there to help and heal them and their current situation is worse than yours at that moment in time – they are in an unfamiliar space with strangers all around them, they are not doing well and they are full of fear due to the unknown.
You like to listen to others. By being able to listen effectively, you will understand truly what your patient wants. I have seen many times an angry patient who is frustrated because no one will listen to them and sometimes it’s just as simple as they want someone to be able to tell them what is going on with their health. If we are able to look past their behavior and try to find the reasoning why they are acting that way, you will be able to understand their needs.
You are a problem solver. A lot of times, we are putting together the pieces of a person’s health and along the way, you might be met with some bumps in the road, so it is important to understand when someone is experiencing a problem and know how to fix it. But even if you don’t know the answer to fix the problem, you problem solve by reaching out to someone who does. I touched on this topic on a different blog which is titled “Can you be a good nurse without being the smartest nurse?” The short answer is YES but read more about this topic here.
If those are the right reasons then what are the “wrong” reasons?
If you have ever said that you wanted to get into nursing because of the money, I can assure you that is not the right reason to pursue a nursing career. Yes, the money CAN be good, but is damn well deserved and this should not the sole reason to choose a nursing career. Nursing demands compassion, empathy, honesty and a whole bunch of other characteristics so if you are not willing to provide those things or sacrifice yourself, then you are in it for the wrong reasons.
I have seen more times that I would like to admit, a nurse that does not genuinely care for the wellbeing of their patients. The patients are viewed as a number, money and even an inconvenience at times. They spend the least possible amount of time with them just to say they have done their job. If you mentality is like this, then you are in it for the wrong reason.
You think you know everything already. Nursing is a field where you will forever be learning something so the “know-it-alls” need not apply. You can be very good at your job and know the ins and outs but you also need to be open to learning new things.
Despite your reasoning, nursing is a dynamic career with a lot of different routes to go. The number one priority should be the needs of the patient first and if at the very least you are willing to do that, then nursing can be a great career to pursue. I hope that this blog has been helpful in determining if nursing is right for you or not but I do not want the “wrong” reason people to be completely deterred from nursing – just be aware that there is a lot that goes into this career.