Sunday, March 2, 2008

Two Roads Diverged In A Yellow Wood

With 67 days to graduation, the push is on to find nursing internships.

I'm in a quandry. I can't decide if I want an internship or not.

Oh, an internship is sort of like a job orientation, but you get more one-on-one help with an experienced nurse preceptor, some extra classroom time, and also forgiveness if you don't get the hang of the job as quickly as one might expect.

You also have to commit to giving the hospital 18 months to 2 years of your life for this blessing.

I applied for an internship at a Hospital That Looks Like A Hotel. A couple of years ago I left my appendix there and, all things being equal, it was a great experience. As a patient it was great. As a nurse I'm not so sure. I'm spending my clinicals in this hospital my last semester of school. The halls are carpeted. I had no idea what a nightmare it was to try and push a bed down a carpeted hall until last week. I'm thinking if I had to do this on a regular basis, my poor old body won't make it to retirement.

I can't decide if this is what I want to do. I like the idea of having the equivalent of nursey training wheels. On the other hand, I want to be able to job hop for more money, or if the place I'm working is a hell hole I can't tolerate being there another day. Besides I already have the dialysis gig and it's pretty sweet. Once I get the RN license I will get a big pay bump. Plus I will be a little closer to my ultimate goal - travel nursing.

But there is that "med-surg or not med-surg" dillema. Some nurses feel that a stint in med-surg is essential for anyone starting his or her nursing career. Still others say that going right into your specialty is the way to go.

Dialysis is a specialty but I wouldn't say it's something I want to do the rest of my life. But if I am to think of it more deeply, I never set out to be a nurse in the first place. I found myself in middle age with a dwindling income, no retirement savings and a skill set that people on the other side of the world will do for half what I made. My goal is to ride this thing out to retirement and hope I arrive in one piece. Hopefully I won't be a physical wreck and I can actually enjoy my retirement. I've been in dialysis a few years now. As nursing goes it's a fairly easy job. I've already been through the fire and experienced the long learning curve.

I hear dialysis nurses are in huge demand among travel nurse specialties. Then I'm hearing more and more about nocturnal dialysis where patients come to the dialysis clinic and get their treatment overnight while they sleep. As people on dialysis are living longer, and as people are developing renal failure earlier all the time, nocturnal dialysis the way to go if you're young and want to keep your job. It's a pretty easy gig, I'm told.

For now I just need to focus on finishing. I'm getting the worst grades of my entire college career this semester.

And I don't even care.

I just want it to end.


Mon said...

To the Psyche Ward I go! WOOT WOOT

License Pending said...

Is this before or after nursing school?

marta said...

well im glad i read your blog ....just after a 70 on my test, im needing some motivation for my final, i passed my other tests, but this semester ive gotten the worst grades, and i just cry! i have 1 week till my final and i just need a 73 to pass but i need a boost!

License Pending said...

Take heart. Even though you feel the need to push right now, it might be better if you can do something to relax. Try and focus on the most important information and avoid getting overwhelmed with too many details.

Best of luck to you!