Abstract Nursing image is changing every day from ancient gown and cap to colored scrubs. People choose nursing for different reasons. I chose this profession because; I like to be a role model for the new nurses. After I graduated as a Registered Nurse (RN) in 1999 my first patient said, “If an Angel has dropped from heaven that is you nurse”. R.Mariam (personal communication, June, 1999). This sentence inspired me a lot and gave hope in my career. Job satisfaction is an essential part in any profession especially in this field since, we deal with life and death and it helps to raise patient’s safety, performance, quality of care, patient’s satisfaction and productivity of the organization. Like in any other field, this field also has some frustrations, but facing the problem and coping with frustrations is what helps us to reach the goal.
This paper also explains the advantages of doing continuing education since, nursing profession is widely spreading and changing every day and it needs highly qualified knowledgeable and competent employees to serve. Keywords: Nursing profession, Career, Job satisfaction, patient’s safety, quality of care, performance, productivity, frustrations, and continuing education.
Nursing Career and its Advantages in doing Higher Education
Nursing is an art, science and profession by which we render care for the patients irrespective of all ages, religion, caste or gender who are acutely ill and in critical condition. Nurses around the world make the largest group of health professionals. They are the back bone of the healthcare system. Nurses are not only providing care for the patients, but they are also responsible for the emotional welfare of patients and their families too.
Career as a Critical Care Nurse:
When I was a kid, I always wanted to pursue a career in nursing or medical field. I have a sister who is a nurse. At the age of 19 years in India, I decided to go for nursing degree and I graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1999. Nursing profession touched me a lot and it made my career interesting. I started my career as an Operating Room scrub nurse and circulating nurse. It was interesting everyday by not only taking care of the patients, but also managing the operating room activities, ensuring that the equipment’s are safe and sterilized, equipment’s are properly audited and consent forms were filled and signed by concerned members of the family. It is very crucial to be an operating room nurse, as the entire procedure depends on the efficiency and job knowledge. It is the responsibility of the nurse to be the mediator between the patients, families and the physicians. Being an operating room nurse I did not have much interaction with my patients.
Almost all patients in operating room gets general anesthesia. As an OR nurse, I felt I am not interacting with the patients well and I am not fulfilling my job as a nurse completely. After few years, I decided to become an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse. Transition from OR to ICU nurse was little hard for me initially, but I enjoy working with the patients and spending enough time with them and their families. At times, I have to be an advocate between the patients, families and doctors because we deal with critically ill patients.
Reason for Motivation to continue in Nursing:
According to Locke and Lantham (2002), Personal goals play an important part in direction and maintenance of behaviors which is needed to achieve rewards. People who are confident, believe in their ability to achieve goal and believe that the attainment of goal will lead to successful career are the ones able to complete their task effectively to reach their goals (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994).
Nursing profession is one of the widely expanding fields that call for passion according to (Raye, L. 2006). It is a good choice for people who find themselves more comfortable and satisfied in helping people who are in need to maintain and achieve normal health. Nursing offers wide variety of opportunities according to each individuals interests such as critical care unit, labor and delivery, pediatrics, geriatrics, telemetry, med-surg, oncology, infectious diseases, pain clinic, outpatient clinic etc. And also it offers continuing education and competencies to keep the knowledge and skills up-to-date (Raye, L.2006). It offers flexible working hours such as three twelve hour shifts or four ten hour shifts (Blanche, J.2010). And due to the availability and shortage for nurses it offers incentive and bonuses for extra hours. It is a lifetime career which is flexible and rewarding. If we lose jobs in one position there are lots of available jobs in the market for talented individuals.
It is also well-paying job with good benefits such as tuition reimbursement for higher education, medical benefits, life insurance and child care. Overall it is flexible. The reason why I have chosen nursing career was, a nurse who inspired me in my life and my interest towards, caring for human beings. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (1998, 2008) and the National League for Nursing (2007) identified caring as the foundation for nursing. At the age of 15 years old, my dad had a massive heart attack and he was in Intensive care unit. He was intubated, on the ventilator, with so many drips infusing, with monitor alarming all the time. My whole family was very upset and hopeless. The nurse who took care of my dad was very dedicated , honest and very knowledgeable , she went above and beyond in helping us in that situation, keeping track of vital signs, maintaining his breathing, keeping him hemodinamically stable, giving back care, mouth care, sponge bath and giving emotional support to the family and explaining what’s is going on with him.
Few days later my dad died in the hospital but the nurse who took care of my dad stayed in my mind. Since then I always wanted to be a nurse who is caring, attentive to the emotional wellbeing of the patients and their families, providing emotional support because family place trust and self-respect in our hands. They want us to keep their loved ones comfortable, pain free and monitored all the time and not left alone. My passion for nursing grew when a patient or family member smiles at me and say “Thank you”, it enlightens me and lights up my day with more energy and spirit.
Frustrations in Nursing Profession:
The most important thing that frustrates me is the charting. Now most of the hospitals are computerized, but some hospitals still do paper charting and add more and more paper work every day. This means I have to spend more time doing paper charting than taking care of the patients.
Sometimes we are short staffed and we have to do not only the registered nurse jobs, but we also have to be a house keeper doing accidental cleaning, secretary entering orders, patient care tech, Phlebotomist doing lab draws and also calling doctors with the patient’s lab and radiology results if we don’t see them on rounds. These are the thing which frustrates me, because it reduces the time which we spend for the patient care. Overall, Frustrations are common and it can happen in any other field but the nature of frustration may differ.
Advantages due to addition Education in my Career:
1. Now most hospitals in New Jersey prefer Bachelor’s degree in nursing and there is a “global shortage for nurses, it gives us job security” (Blanche, J.2010). 2. It offers potential high income for well qualified employees. 3. More choice availability to go back to school to continue in higher education for nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetist and nurse educator. 4. It also helps us to interact with the other hospital nurses and health care professionals in classes which help me to improve patient care and make my job more enjoyable. 5. It gives knowledge and skills in critical thinking in assessment and problem solving in everyday practice. 6. It offers opportunity to be a mentor for the new nurses and to be a resource nurse. 7. By doing Bachelor’s degree in nursing, I am sure by the end of the course I will be well trained in areas such as effective communication, leadership and critical thinking which is very important in today’s nursing practice as well as it is necessary for administrative position, research and teaching.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (1998). The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author. American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2008). The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author. Blanche, J. (2010). 10 reasons a nursing degree is a good best in education today. Retrieved from http://www.nurses-forum.com/blog/246/10-reasons-a-nursing-degree-is-a-good-bet-in-education-today/ Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002).
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