A little over a year as nurse, my thoughts on healthcare and a reflection on my career path

So I recently surpassed my one year mark as a nurse. The path so far has involved a lot of trials and tribulations. I learned a lot and got humbled like a motherfucker. You learn about the value of life and how easily it can be taken away. You learn about the importance of hospital dynamics between staff, something they don’t really teach in you nursing school. You learn that you don’t know shit.

This job has a tendency to keep you on it’s toes. And some days can be as rewarding as they can be downright exhausting. Especially now with Covid, even more is at risk every time I have to go my unit, which has been transformed into a Covid unit. God do I hate dressing up in personal protective equipment every time I step into a room, I hate wearing masks that make it hard to breath and cause break outs, and I hate feeling like I’m in sauna whenever I’m in the room.

I hope people reading this aren’t hoping that I’m going to dress healthcare as a whole with flowers and candy, because I’m going to be completely honest. Healthcare fucking sucks. There, I said it. It’s the truth and I’ve only met a few nurses who actually truly love their jobs. Do I make sure I do a great job with caring for patients? Of course. I don’t slack at work, my license is on the line and I don’t want to take the chances of getting lazy and unintentionally causing harm to a patient. I care about doing a good job. I will admit that I’m still a greenhorn even with a year of experience, and I still have a tendency to make mistakes (luckily it just involves small things like documenting issues).

But do I love what I do? I don’t think I do anymore. I’ve come to the realization in this year of nursing that I fell into the trap of choosing a career because of security and money, not something I truly loved. Had I chosen to do what I truly loved, I probably would’ve stuck with business in college or gone into something psychology related. But no, I picked nursing. Mostly because the money is nice, hospitals always need them, and if you’re a guy; girls love to hear that you’re a nurse.

However, I am still grateful. I have a career that wasn’t taken away during Covid. And I do feel like I make a difference (at least sometimes, because other times I feel like the most we’re doing for patients is just prolonging the inevitable when they’re already at death’s door). And I like knowing that I know how to save a life. But, damn do I not look forward to going to work sometimes. Even on days I’m stressed, I don’t take it out on co-workers or patients. But I see other nurses do, A LOT. It’s a profession that takes a lot out of you. And sometimes you just get tired.

I get it though. The healthcare system can be fucked. And it’s hard for hospitals to be 100% fair to all staff 100% of the time. So we end up with situations like unsafe working ratios. Or patients getting screwed over by the healthcare system. Or burnout, especially burnout. And when you’re a nurse, you’re the middle man, and you work with everyone in the patient’s plan of care and communicate with the whole team to help figure out how to best move forward. This can be exciting, and it can also be tiring (especially when you deal with the angry Docs).

I know that this isn’t my dream job. But it gives me the opportunity to help fund my dream. I’m currently in the works with starting a clothing brand, and I hope to grow it so I can become self sufficient financially. Because god I can’t imagine being a 50 year old nurse looking back at their youth wishing they didn’t take the chance to get out of healthcare. But, even then, I refuse to let my views on healthcare get in the way of taking care of patients. I’ll always do my best to give them my best. At the end of the day, this job is about the service of others.

Overall, I’m young. And I have my whole life ahead of me to do what I truly want. I might not be the happiest in my field, but I know when I achieve my dream of working for myself in the future, that I’ll be glad I went through nursing. Because it has taught me to be strong in the face of adversity. And only very few jobs can really make you feel that way like this one.

2 comments

  1. allthingsthriller · May 19

    I appreciate your honesty and the window into your profession. I’m glad and relieved to hear that you give your best and that you don’t take out your frustrations out on your patients.
    I have had a very dramatic experience with the healthcare system. My husband was injured by a urologist performing a nephrectomy. The surgeon nicked his bowel and for 6 days his abdomen was contaminated with feces and infection, all while my husband called the surgeon everyday complaining of his agony. Surgical gas, the surgeon told him. Uncomfortable, but nothing to worry about.
    My husband got sepsis. Then he was misdiagnosed when I rushed him to the emergency room. The emergency docs diagnosed him with a blood clot to the lung–not sepsis. Not a perforated bowel. For two additional days he was in ICU, being treated with blood thinners until I threw a fit and they did an MRI. He was about an hour away from death. They rushed him into surgery which they didn’t expect him to survive. He did, only to develop life threatening duodenal bleeding ulcers that required another major surgery after he almost bleed to death multiple times. He spent a month in critical care, fighting for his life.
    I want you to know, that it was the nurses in critical care that pulled my husband through–them and God. The doctors made many, many mistakes with him. The nurses were my husband’s advocates. They stood up for him and for me. They fought for his life, too.
    Sorry to write a book. But I want you to know, that your profession is appreciated. You make a big difference in peoples lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • V1SIONS · May 20

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m terribly sorry for what you and your husband had to go through. And I hope that he’s doing well after going through all of that. It’s completely messed up that the doctors made so many mistakes with him. It’s a good thing he had great nurses backing him up. And I appreciate the support, its things like reading the last part of your post that really helps me feel better during trying times like this.

      Liked by 1 person

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