My Thoughts About My Current Plan And Goals

“Will you be my boyfriend?”

My Jaw dropped. Did he seriously just ask me to be his boyfriend?! My eyebrows furrowed and I gave Triston a dumb look before responding with a laugh, “When you can ask me the right way.” His cheeks flushed as he immediately corrected himself, “I mean, will you be my girlfriend…that’s what I meant.”

A little less than a year ago, choosing a college and a career was the last thing on my mind. I was too preoccupied with my latest high school boy drama and classes, that I didn’t realize how soon high school graduation was approaching. Growing up with two older siblings, a brother and sister, I worked hard to try to make my parents proud and to follow in their good reputations. However, I always struggled in school more than they had, even having had mostly all A’s. With the desire to make the best decision about my future career plan, I sought counsel with friends, family, and even some of my teachers. Several friends mentioned they could see me as a veterinarian, a nurse, or a teacher. As a young girl, it was once a dream of mine to become a veterinarian due to my love for animals.

As I transitioned from a young girl into a college student, I realized that my childhood dream was just a phase that most everyone goes through at some point in life. At that age I didn’t have any clue what hard work was, or responsibility for that matter, and I certainly didn’t understand the situations and pressures I would be endure in order to get there. I have since moved on from that childhood desire and came to the conclusion of becoming a nurse. My sister is currently finishing up her degree in nursing and has provided insight about what to expect. Her advice and inspiration has encouraged me to further pursue a nursing career.

Education Requirements/ Job Description

Nursing requires the completion of a postsecondary program, consisting of an associate’s or more preferably a bachelor’s degree. Educational topics include anatomy and human development while providing real-world experience through supervised clinical experience or through extended residency. Nurses also must be licensed in their state of residence, which requires passing the NCLEX exam. Should you wish to be eligible for higher paying roles within the nursing field, you must pursue higher education. For example, management roles such as head nurses, directors, and even vice presidents generally require a graduate degree in nursing or Health Services Administration. Considering nursing may involve the balance between life and death for their patients, I support the necessity for a quality educational requirement.

A nurse’s job is to provide hands-on care to patients by administering medications, observe and monitor patients’ conditions, communicate with coworkers and patients daily by telephone or in person, work in a group or as part of a team, offering advice and emotional support to patients and their families, taking care of paperwork, assisting doctors so that they may diagnose patients and provide advice or follow-up care. Part of their job requirements also often include the ability to deal with angry or unpleasant patients, long hours, and conflicting or noisy situations. Patients in hospitals and nursing care facilities require round-the-clock care. Nurses in these settings work in shifts, covering all 24 hours, they may work part time or full time, but most work 40 hours a week, may work nights, weekends, and holidays, especially in hospitals or nursing homes, and may be on-call to work on short notice. Nurses are exposed daily to diseases or infections and must always wear masks or rubber gloves to protect themselves and their patients from disease. In addition, the job requires a lot of walking, bending, lifting and standing, which increases their tendency to receive back injuries.

A Day in the Life

To further my research and knowledge on nursing mandatory for my learning frameworks course, I asked my sister if she could set up an interview meeting with an acquaintance of hers, Jacob Leleux, an ED nurse at Parkland Hospital ER (5200 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75235). The first question I asked during the interview was, “On a typical day in this position, what do you do?” To which he responded with a chuckle, “There is no typical day as an Emergency Department nurse. If I had to put it in an answer though – I assess people about their medical problems by asking them questions and performing tests and procedures to help the Emergency Team come to a diagnosis or conclusion to that person’s condition. Then we treat them with interventions including medical treatments, emotional support, and just simply being advocates for their care.” I then proceeded to ask him if he could’ve started over knowing what he knows now what he would change, and what advice would he give to me, etc. He went on to explain that the only thing he would’ve changed was the amount of time it took him to realize that nursing was his calling. Jacob’s advice for me was that it is normal to feel afraid at first, but that it doesn’t mean I’m not right for the job. Throughout the interview he alluded that nursing would be difficult, but as long as I am willing to put forth the effort and put my patients first that it is achievable.

Positives/Challenges of the Profession Today

The potential benefits of a career in nursing include: Job security, job opportunities, flexible work schedules, above average salary packages (estimated average of $67,490), mental satisfaction, traveling assistance, paid holidays, sick leaves, paid-time off, life insurance, pension plans, tuition reimbursement, maternity leaves, and life-long learning, etc. Becoming a nurse also provides flexibility should you ever decide you want to change into a related field, downgrade positions to allow yourself more time at home with family, or pursue specializations within nursing. A few different options may include: Flight/Transport Nursing, Nurse Practitioner, Forensic Nursing, Geriatric Nursing, Gynecology/Obstetric Nursing, Hospice/Palliative Nursing, Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing, Nurse Midwife, Pediatric Nurse, Psychiatric Nursing, Registered Nurse, and Surgical Nursing. A dental hygienist, surgical technician, veterinarian technician, and EMT/Paramedics are a few excellent examples of the other job opportunities still within the medical field. In addition, the advancement of technological devices have helped a multitude of careers including nursing in the medical field give their patients the best care possible with a faster diagnosis, more precise treatment, and more hands-on patient care.

Because of the rising interest and high demand job forecast, pursuing a career in nursing is competitive. Other challenges include the physical labor required for the job, work schedule and/or hours, exposure to diseases or infections, noisy situations, quick decision-making situations, dealing with patients and the patient’s family or friends.

Personal Assessment

Having been so unsure of what it was I wanted to pursue throughout high school, I took it upon myself to take several career and personality tests. Most of which were a joke, but I kept searching regardless in hopes that something would click. When going through the learning styles assessment, I learned that with each personality there had been given a select few possible careers to give the test takers an idea of the kinds of jobs they may be suited for. And for me nursing was one of those.

Science has always been an interest of mine throughout schooling, specifically human anatomy, but nursing had never really stuck out to me in the past. Not only is it interesting, but it is imperative to be aware of our basic health needs if one is to live out a healthy lifestyle. I find that working in this career would bring me joy because of the security of a successful financial future it would provide, as well as attaining a feeling of self-fulfillment from the satisfaction of helping others. Having been raised into a religious family, it is important that these values are instilled to me. So naturally, being given the choice to help other people when they need it most, puts me in the right course of action to live out my beliefs. I believe my career choice will strengthen my faith and even test my faith because of the hardships that will arise on the day-to-day job.

From Here to There

The path towards nursing includes many rigorous classes that demand for diligent students with an unwavering focus to achieve their degree. With these future burdensome courses comes high levels of stress and anxiety. My stress and anxiety have already held me back from numerous opportunities and important moments of potential growth in my life. Therefore, I must continue to efficiently manage my time to ease my anxiety and stressors to a minimum. Although I possess several negative traits that hinder my ability to succeed in my academics, I can use these negatives to my benefit. I can utilize my procrastination by prioritizing what work needs to be accomplished first and setting aside the subjacent work until further obligation. With this mindset, I manage to complete my work with punctuality and with what I presume to be correct or appropriate. Punctuality with meeting deadlines on course work is imperative to boost motivation and remain successful with my grade point average.

There are many sources readily available for assisting me in overcoming these personal obstacles. For instance, library’s, computer lab’s, family support, medications, therapy, etc. Regardless of the resources provided, it is ultimately up to me to choose how I want to make a difference. Surrounding myself around other people who share common goals or persons who already master coping with stress, keeping a calendar of due dates, and drawing up a day-by-day plan of events I want to accomplish is the first step towards career success.

The steps I take next will determine whether I am able to make it into the nursing program or gain entrance into my preferred four-year university. My current plan is to finish up my first year at NCTC, apply and send in my application for TWU, finish my basics at TWU while still commuting from home, apply for their nursing program, and lastly pass the NCLEX and apply for a job position.

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