A Day in the Life
How did you become interested in the field of health care?
In high school, I played soccer and basketball. Physical fitness has always been important to me, so it wasn’t a big stretch to go into health. During my summers off in college, I started getting experience in different health jobs.
What kinds of health jobs have you had?
Since I first started, I’ve worked in some very different health jobs in an effort to find my place in a field with lots of options.
I started out as a personal care aide — a job that doesn’t require special training but does require dedication. I enjoyed the connection I had with my patient. Helping someone by feeding them, reading to them, making sure they are comfortable and helping them move around made me feel like I was really making a difference. It also had a flexible schedule, which gave me time to do other things, too.
The next summer, I worked as a nursing assistant in a surgery care center. I helped people who were coming out of surgery, cleaned up stretchers, re-stocked hospital rooms and assisted with procedures. Some of my duties might have grossed other people out — like cleaning up vomit — but I’m tough and don’t mind it.
After college, I got a job as a laboratory technician doing research. But there were two things I didn’t end up liking about it. One was that it got boring because at the lab, I did pretty much the same thing every day. And second, I was working with fish because, like a lot of scientists, we had to test our ideas first with animals instead of with people. After a year, I knew it wasn’t right for me because I wanted to work directly with patients.
After all of that, which health job did you decide was right for you?
After all my exploration, I thought about the nurses I’d worked with. They all talked about how much they loved their jobs. Since I knew I wanted to do something hands-on, can handle “blood and guts,” and want to make a difference in people’s lives, nursing seemed like a great fit for me.
So, I finally decided to become a registered nurse. It’s a good fit for me because I’m a person who wants to directly make a difference in people’s lives.
Where are you now on the path to becoming a registered nurse?
I just finished up my emergency medical technician certification. It didn’t take very long and it will give me the experience I will need later to become a nurse.
What’s your best advice to anyone considering working in health care?
If you’re not sure what you want to do, take a good look at your personality and interests. If I could do it all over again, I would have tried to figure that out earlier on.
But it’s still okay to try some things out and get your feet wet. One of the great things about health care is that almost any job can be a stepping stone to another.