As this semester comes to an end, I’m starting to realize that I am almost halfway through this journey. While it seems impossible to be looking at the light at the end of the tunnel, it is getting closer. As it does, I now have the task of figuring out where to go from here. I mean, nursing is a big field with lots of options within it and every pathway has a slightly different set of requirements. You have to be a nurse of course but then beyond that there are special things you need to learn for each area of nursing. For example, an ICU nurse needs a slightly different skill set than an OR nurse and they both have a very different skill set from an ED nurse. So where am I going?
That’s a good question and one that I am only just starting to figure out. Some of my classmates already have very set ideas about where they want to be and what they want to do after this. There are a lot of OR people. I enjoyed OR but I didn’t find it so exciting that I’d want to spend every day there. I have started to figure out what I don’t really want to do. For example, I don’t really want to be on a regular Med-Surg floor. I also don’t think I want to work in an ICU. So what’s left, you might ask? Well, honestly lots of things but I think I want to work in Pediatrics.
Most of my classmates give me this look of utter confusion when I say this. This is often followed by “I don’t like kids” or “Ugh, no way.” But when I think of Peds, I feel almost a purpose. Kids get just as sick as adults and sometimes much sicker. And yes, there are moments that are sure to be sad. There are moments anywhere in nursing where you’re going to be sad about the outcome. I don’t see pediatrics as being that different from any other area except for two things: 1) your patients are going to be smaller and 2) the joy is much greater.
Ok, that first thing is not completely true. Adolescents are often bigger than me since I’m small but I think the second thing is almost universal. The joy of helping a child get better is paralleled by nothing else. Helping a child with different needs live the very best life that they can must be pretty great too. Anyway, it’s already obvious that I like kids since I spent the first… how ever many years working with them. To this end, I’ve asked to spend a day shadowing a nurse in our pediatric department and I’m going to look into volunteering with the Child Life staff at our hospital to get some more time on the floor. There don’t seem to be a lot of master’s level programs around here geared toward pediatrics but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there, as the saying goes.
I am still open to the idea of another area. For example, the ED may be a good place to be. I would be open to a labor and delivery floor as well. Like I said, there are a lot of possibilities and I won’t say with certainty that there is no where else for me. I may be wrong, which is why I’m trying to spend some time on the floor now. That way I can get a better idea of whether or not pediatrics is where I want to be. Experience is the best teacher, right?
If you’re looking for your place, keep that in mind. Find places to experience the work environment you’re considering, no matter what field you’re working toward. Until next time, wonderful people, keep working towards your goals.