Monday, November 5, 2012

Show and Tell Monday

In an effort to get back to blogging in a more regular fashion, I am linking up with Becky at From Mrs to Mama for her Show and Tell Monday. Today's link up is on our Careers.

1. Tell us what you studied in college. Is your job now related to what you studied?
I studied nursing, and received my degree in December of 2002... two weeks after my 20th birthday. 

 I only applied for one job (clearly at 19 I thought I had a lot to offer the nursing world... who wouldn't want me!?! Gosh!). Luckily, I was given a spot in one of Vanderbilt Children's Hospital's first Nurse Residency programs. I worked in pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Cardiology. Heavy Duty type pediatric nursing.... I loved it!

For anyone considering going to nursing school, or beginning the nursing job search - finding a hospital that has nurse residency program is a must for a new grad! Sure, it may feel like nursing school all over again, but trust me - it is soooo worth it! You will be beyond ready to be turned loose on the floor with your own patients. Until it actually happens... then you will mildly panic. :)

Nursing school prepared me to learn how to be a nurse once I started working in the hospital. To date, nursing school is one of the most difficult things I have gone through, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. I learned so much about myself, and about a career I love and am very passionate about. Its  something that will be a part of my life forever.

2. Tell us what your everyday job looks like.
I am now a stay at home mom, since Ellie Faith was born. Since I have worked in pediatrics for 10 years (how on earth is it possible I am that old!?!) my nursing background has definitely helped me during these first few months as a mommy. When you are used to taking care of babies with messed up beyond belief hearts, feeding tubes, chest tubes, central lines, telemetry, etc... one healthy baby girl (who came out on her own very easy schedule) wasn't stressful at all. Now talk to me when Ellie is 3-10 yrs old... I am sure it will be a different story!:) 

The last few years before Ellie was born, I was the nurse manager for a large group of local pediatricians. I went from taking care of the sickest of the sick, to, for the most part, healthy kids. While it wasn't academically, or career challenging, it did teach me about normal aspects of pediatric medicine. Which has really come in handy!

Now, not only can I triage my baby myself, I also give out advice to many friends and family members with small kids... especially in the after hours and on weekends. I love that my choice of education still allows me to help others.... even though I am no longer receiving a pay check. 

3. Do you have a picture of you at work? Show us.
I have lots! But here I am with two of my all time favorite patients - Destiny and Jonah! 

4. In 10 years, what do you see yourself doing? Same thing? More? Tell us.
I still see myself being a stay at home mom, while continuing my education and certifications at home. I will keep my license current (no one who has ever gone through the torture of nursing school would ever let their license lapse!). Once our kids are older/grown, who knows what I might do in the nursing world. 

5. Tell us what you have learned, and what {if any} recommendations you may have for those looking to go into the field you are in. 
Gosh, I have learned so so so much. I grew up in my career as a nurse. You don't really know who you are at 20. I knew I was meant to be a nurse, and that I could be a good one, but the whole Amy Package was still being put together and refined. My job, co-workers, patients, and their families helped shape me into who I am today, and I am forever grateful to them! 

I learned I am capable of more then I ever knew was possible. That I could provide direction, comfort, validate fears, allay parental worries and concerns. I could help a kid forget how much their life presently sucked (for lack of a better word) by doing something stupidly goofy or deeply meaningful to them. I could provide love and comfort to a baby/child that wasn't mine when parents weren't around. I could gain the confidence of our medical team. Strangely enough, this environment, and these people, told me I was funny as well as passionate... two adjectives I would never have used to describe myself previously.

I have taken away so many wonderful memories and relationships from this career. Ones I will cherish and carry with me for a life time.

For those considering a possible career in medicine or nursing, here is my advice. If you can make something special out of  tragedy, stress, dysfunction, and the mundane, this career path might be for you. It is not glamorous. There are not a ton of (or any!) call room trysts, work place romances, or record breaking cases, as TV often time depicts. If you can touch some of the most vulnerable places in families life with kindness and compassion day in and day out, without loosing your bedside manner - the world of medicine/nursing needs you.

I can not speak to med school or other post graduate medical degrees, as I have not experienced them, but nursing school I know all too well - it is hell on earth. If you can make it through nursing school, you can make it as a nurse, and it will feed for your passion and fire for your career and your future patients. It is not a degree to enter into lightly, however. Try to get some experience in the field either through volunteering at a hospital or following a family friend who is in the profession.

To put it bluntly, if wiping butts, getting thrown up on, yelled at, exposed to every bodily fluid imaginable is something you feel you are above - move on. The art of healing people is not for you.

And that is what so many people loose sight of. Sure medicine is a science, but when the science of medicine is applied to humans, it becomes (or should become) a form of art. An art of compassion, kindness, truth, and healing. If you can't be that kind of artist... maybe research is for you.:)

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