You might be at that point in your life where you have decided it’s time to make a decision on your career. Maybe you are fresh out of school or university. Perhaps you’ve been working for a good many years but have decided you want a change of career. No matter what stage of your life you are at a career change is a massive step.
Next to buying a house and getting married it is maybe the biggest step a person will take in their life. It can be a daunting and overwhelming process that can scare a lot of people. It is for this reason that so many people spend years stuck in jobs they hate. They are too scared to take a leap of faith and head in a different direction.
If you are planning a career change it is a big step, but it can also be an exhilarating one. The excitement and anticipation of a new career or dream job can be one of the most fulfilling things in the world.
But you need to remember that it is a major change in your life and, as a result, you need to know what you’re getting into. Make sure that you have thoroughly researched the area you want to go into. Be sure that you know the ins and outs of the job or career requirements. Also be sure that it is what you want to do before you decide to do it.
If you are reading this then it is probable that you have decided that you would like to become a nurse. Nursing is a noble but often underfunded profession. So you need to consider whether you do indeed want to become a nurse.
It is often said that nursing is a calling rather than a job. You need to make sure it is your calling before you rush ahead to change careers. Here are 12 important factors to take into account if you want to become a nurse:
The first thing you should take into account is that nursing requires a lot of training. Perhaps not as much training as being a doctor, but it is easy to assume you can just turn up put scrubs on and be a nurse. This could not be further from the truth. Nurses are the heartbeat of a hospital. They must interact with patients, relatives and liaise with doctors. They have to sort out clerical work as well as deciding what drugs to administer.
There is an awful lot involved in becoming a nurse. Before you can become a qualified nurse, you may first need to work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). You might want to have a look at a full certified nursing assistant job description before making your decision. This may give you an idea of what to expect of nursing as a profession.
Unsociable working hours/life
If you are serious about working as a nurse then you will have to come to terms with the fact that you will be working unsociable hours. You’ll often have to start work in the early hours of the morning or work night shifts. You may also find that you are working during weekends and perhaps every day if you are on call.
Another aspect you will need to contend with is not just the unsociable hours but also the length of shifts. Nurses have to work long shifts, often more than 12 hours. Some will even have to work double or triple shifts dependent upon emergencies. Long hours are part and parcel of the job, and they are something that you will need to prepare for if you want to become a nurse.
Good people skills
One of the most important abilities you can possess as a nurse is good communication and people skills. In fact, bedside manner is vital when you are caring for people. A lot of doctors do not have good bedside manner, but they are not interacting with patients as often. For any prospective nurse, good people skills are paramount.
You will also need to have a lot of patience as you will have to follow process and procedure when treating people. It may become frustrating, and you may want to fast track to other methods and ideas. You may also have a million and one things to do with your day. But you will need to be patient and take everything one stage at a time.
The other kind of patients you will need to deal with as a nurse will be people. You will be surrounded by sick people as well as their friends and family. You will need to deal with people who feel upset or frustrated whilst also making your patients feel special.
Being kind-hearted is imperative if you want to be a nurse. You need to be able to empathise with people who get sad and lonely. You need to be good at comforting people who are feeling low and dishing out kind words of understanding or encouragement.
As a nurse, you can often expect to receive low pay. Or at least pay not conducive to the work that you do and the hours that you put in. But this is not the kind of occupation that you pick for the money. It is something that you need to have a passion for and a real desire to do because the pay is low, and the job is high intensity.
Dealing with death
One of the most difficult parts about becoming a nurse is the issue of dealing with death. As you are working with sick people every day, there is a good chance that some of them will be terminally ill. You may develop a bond with these patients and as such it can be difficult to cope when they die.
One of the major positive factors of working as a nurse is the fact that the job is so rewarding. The sense of pride and fulfilment that you will derive daily from helping people is one of the best feelings in the world.
You will need to come to terms with the fact that most hospitals are understaffed. There aren’t enough nurses to do all the jobs that need doing. As a result, you may find yourself having to do two or three people’s jobs. This can add to the stress and intensity of the job.
Another problematic factor that links to the lack of staff is also the lack of budget that goes on nursing. This means understaffing, lack of beds and sometimes rudimentary equipment. This can lead to a stressful and time-consuming working environment.