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Old 01-01-2012, 08:11 AM
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Default Has Nursing Changed You?

Reflection lately has made me realize something: My patients, students and coworkers see a person who is different to her friends and family.
Actually, I think that may be the norm for every working person.
The thing is, my job takes my talents and amplifies them. Really, it is amazing how some stress mixed in with a lot of critical thinking can transform a person over time. (Nursing students, you’re in for a life-changing transformation!)
For example, I am usually somewhat scatter-brained and unorganized at home. It takes my OCD husband to get things as orderly in my living space as I am normally in my work space. At work I like my patients to be squeaky clean, my charting up to date and precise, and my nursing actions to be spot-on. And I’m really hard on myself when I can’t get my nursing “perfect.” At home, I let things slide.
Then there are my relationships: I like to stay uber-professional at work, especially around my coworkers whom I don’t know very well (read Doctors). That includes holding my tongue, calling people by their titles, and using SBAR to keep communication about patients short and to the point

At home and with my friends I am silly, loud, outspoken, and say things that are off-the-cuff. I like to have fun, joke around, be sarcastic–but you will rarely see that when I am working. (Yet, when I do let my hair down at work, watch out!)
So while I am spontaneous, fun and put little planning into my day-to-day life, work sees me as a calm, critical thinker who doesn’t get my feathers ruffled. I try to stay positive at work but keep my personal life private, and I think that has earned me a lot of respect.
And nursing has spilled over into my daily life as well–I am more thoughtful when serious matters arise, I am better with boundaries concerning the people in my life, and I know how to be thankful for the good times at home because I have seen the worse-case scenario at work.
Nursing has really amplified the positive qualities in my personality–and though it has also brought up many things I need to work on, I feel like the profession has rounded me out as a person. All that discipline, hard work, and critical thinking has changed me, and for the better.
What do you think–how has nursing changed you?

Nursing brings out my best
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:07 PM
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Interesting question....

I'm tempted to answer, "It's given me more stress!". But I had stress even before nursing. Some of my previous jobs were considerably worse in that regard than my present one.

Like Dutchie it has (eventually) made me more organized. Now I tend to put things away and keep stuff neat and organized, something I wasn't so keen on before.

But I think nursing has also made me a bit paranoid as well, perhaps naturally given that errors can be fatal. Not a positive thing but there it is.

It's certainly given me more opportunities than my previous profession, where I'd spend months looking for jobs at only a handful of institutions.

It's also helped me see myself more clearly. I came into this profession thinking that caring about people was primary for me. I've since found that it's important, and I'm good at it, but I really prefer to work with ideas.
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:30 PM
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The biggest change for me is boldness..I used to be sooo terribly shy in school (high school mostly). You can't be an effective nurse unless you work at communication. I can honestly say nursing brought me out of a shell.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:04 PM
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Intresting question to ponder. But I think for me, it has given me direction, more compassion for others, taught me to place others over self. I used to be so selfish in school. But I find much greater reward in making others feel better and much more pleasure in giving.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:24 AM
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I so agree with Glenda, nursing sure brought me out of my shell.

Found a voice to be an advocate for patients, express my opinions to Doctors in a way they respected me for my questioning etc.

Nursing has grown me personally, question, and seek answers for what ever issue I may have. Stand up for myself in a way I may never had.

This profession sure has made me the person that sits before you this day.

This is the only profession I EVER wanted to do from a very early age. God has blessed me in my role as a nurse.readllkj,n
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:07 PM
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In my case, unfortunately, it was something that never really worked out. I've never had mentors or proper orientations, and I always ended up feeling as if I couldn't hack it, even though I kept trying. I will say that the good parts involved making people feel better about themselves. I always got the "psych" cases that nobody else wanted to have anything to do with, and I always got through to them. I guess I did miss my calling; I should have been a psych nurse, but I am so militantly opposed to certain old-school, zombie drugs that are still in use, I wouldn't have lasted half a day in a job.

If any profession changed me, it was the building super position I held for six years, until I became physically unable to do it (the same applied to nursing, too, and things are still falling apart and crapping out). In that job, I was in a position to answer questions, allay fears, fix things that had broken, and kept order and cleanliness in my buildings, with a minimum of politics or corporate b.s. (and I do not mean blood sugar, people).
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:09 AM
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Very hard to say as I never did "traditional" nursing.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:17 AM
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Default ON my way

I am in awe of the human body like never before...maybe that feeling will wear off the longer that I am in this field
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:25 PM
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Probably not. Even if you become familiar with the mechanics of it, the human body always holds its own surprises.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:38 PM
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I'd like to say I was a different person at work than I am at home/with friends too but thats really not the case at all. I am the 180 degree opposite of that. What you see at home is how I am at work is how I am out with friends is how I am visiting family is how I am in a patient room.........so on so forth. Others have pointed that out to me actually, that they can tell they are getting "the real me", that there is a genuine quality to how I go about things. On the other hand...........if you are like me and don't really go out of your way to mold yourself a little bit to your environment.......don't expect many promotions. Not many admin./management care for the nurse who talks to them the same way they talk to the CNA's/housekeeping.

Nursing has changed me, and whether its for better or for worse I guess remains to be seen. I guess it all depends on what I do with what is in front of me.

I find myself being more OK with being alone while at home now. I was never the type who had to be out with friends every second of the day but I did a lot of things at home to make myself comfortable being an introvert. I'd play video games from morning to night, start outrageously big projects on off days and I belonged to a gaming group. Now, I'm happy simply cleaning up the apt. and doing some reading. I guess you could say I no longer require constant stimulation like I did before.

I'm more brutally honest than I was before, and that could possibly be a bad thing since I was already a bit too "honest" to begin with (meaning, I was honest when everyone else understood no one wanted to hear it..........lol, I think people who know me here know what I mean). I think the biggest difference though is that said brutality is more often than not turned inwards instead of at others. I take much more of an introspective viewpoint on life. My problems ceased to be about what is unfair in the world and what everyone else is doing wrong and more...........what I need to change and what I plan on doing about it.

I'm also more spiritual than I was before. My spiritual life has taken more direction at the very least. I was always a believer, and had a lot of very good ideas about having God in my life, but not much direction to any of it. This is quite possibly the biggest change nursing has brought into my life. I understand that nursing is a lifestyle, not a job, and that to be the nurse I see myself being, I can't be alone in my growth. Nursing is challenging to the point of being emotionally and spiritually draining as well as having the physical obstacles to overcome. If I think I can do it alone, I will most certainly come up short more often than not, and I will be just another nurse who acts like their patients are a bother and is mad at everyone/everything/all the time. To truly be a nurse who makes a difference in people's lives, I need to be able to rely on a strength greater than myself. That's where the spiritual part of nursing comes into play for me.

I'm, for lack of a better term, more "adult like" from a financial standpoint. I think about things like retirement and spending my money wisely. Before nursing, I was living on a landscaper's wage and the biggest decision I had to make was..........can I afford to get a pizza this weekend or should I hold off? I took the bus everywhere as a landscaper, now I own a car I love and have to decide what maintenance to get done on it, whether or not to get really good tires on it etc etc.... LOL, today I was very glad I do have all-season tires, brand new(ish) ones at that. I ran to Sam's Club in the middle of a blizzard to get...............cat food. Yes.............cat food. I would not have gone out in that weather for anything for myself (milk, a McD's run, visiting family) but I realized Calvin+Hobbes dry food was terminally low, so I went. There were people pulled off on the side of the road because they couldn't drive, emergency weather warnings on the radio and everything.........but I went to the store for cat food. Got some nice Mexican food for tonight while I was there too.
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