I am a registered nurse, and I don’t want to work in a clinical setting.
I know that confession may sound odd since nurses and clinical setups always go together, or at least the concept of a nurse working outside that setting is foreign to almost everyone. Well, probably the BPO industry is an exception to this concept, since nurses who can’t work in the hospital almost always go there. But nurses can also work in a lot of areas outside the clinical, or patient care setting. Like research, health program implementation, and military nursing.
Even nurses are sometimes unaware of these career paths. Most of them usually go the well accepted path of working in well-known hospitals, who pays next to nothing but works you to the bone, for at least two years. Then they would spend a fortune just to work in another country. Just so they can earn more, and they can also petition their families to go there.
Given that paradigm, I am expected to work in a clinical setting, because not doing so means wasting my four years of nursing education. But the thing is, I do not want to. I never really wanted to be a nurse in the first place, then there is also the trauma from my father’s hospitalization. Not that he was treated badly, it’s just that watching someone die in a slow painful manner is really traumatic. And having that experience in my first year of nursing school is awful because as I progressed with my education, I learned more about my father’s disease and how it can be managed, but it was too late because I can’t use that knowledge to save my father. I felt guilty for being useless. My psychology professor told me it’s not my fault, but guilt creeps in from time to time and it’s hard to stop.
I also don’t like working in the clinical setting because it depresses me. I hate seeing the patients suffer. Of course it makes me happy that I can help alleviate their sufferings, but there are just times when I know all my efforts are just for naught and it is really sad. There are also times when I cannot tolerate some situations. Like when we were rotated in the dialysis unit, I broke down. I know I should be in control of my emotions, and I should have dealt with the trauma years before that but… I had flashbacks and I almost didn’t function. There was also the time when my patient was dying, nobody told me he was, I just knew. His BP was fluctuating, he was in a coma, and his pupils are unequal; increased intra cranial pressure, I think. I think I cried for at least 10 minutes.
I know nurses really go through those kind of things, dying patients, that is. And I know that nursing school did not prepare us for those kinds of events. Actually no nursing book can prepare us for that. I know nurses can get acclimated to that but I am not sure if I can, or if I can I don’t know how long.
So now, I applied for an office job, I want to take it but, my godmother recommended me in this good tertiary hospital and it’s kind of hard to refuse because it’s a favor. And I am confused.
Maybe the interviewer was right, people my age are still confused. The young is perpetually restless.