A Day in the Life
What’s your current job?
I actually have two registered nursing jobs at two different hospitals right now. I can balance both because nurses have flexible schedules. It’s great because it allows me to save up by working more, or work fewer hours if I feel like it.
At both my jobs, I work with patients who are coming out of surgery. At one job, I care for people who just had major heart surgeries, like transplants, in the intensive care unit. The patients there are very sick and require round-the-clock attention.
At my other job, I care for patients who had more routine procedures, like knee surgeries or getting their appendix out.
I spend most of my time monitoring their condition, like their heart rate, blood pressure or the medications they’re taking. Sometimes I’m the person who gives updates to patients’ families after surgery.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Nursing is hard, but it’s extremely rewarding and never boring. I love my job because I go home every day knowing that I really made a difference.
What’s most challenging?
My job can be very intense — especially in an emergency. One patient we were caring for stopped breathing, which is bad news even for a few seconds. She stopped breathing for six minutes. Textbooks say bringing someone back after that long is highly unlikely. But the nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists and others that I work with showed incredible teamwork, and we were able to resuscitate her. Experiences like that are simply unforgettable.
What’s your best advice to anyone considering becoming a nurse?
If you want to get into nursing, it’s important to be patient, good with people and quick on your feet. A sense of humor and a good attitude will help you deal with difficult patients.
The best thing you can do to get into nursing is start volunteering. Hospitals are always looking for volunteers. Or, you can try something that offers on-the-job training, like becoming a nursing aide. That way you can find out what it will be like before making a decision.