My Education: AS, Science
My Prior Experience: I have worked in the medical field for over 26 years
My Company: My company is a for-profit nuring home and that is not something I like.
Job/Career Overview: I help people with terminal illnesses plan and choose what they want during the final days of their lives. I also make sure they are comfortable physically and mentally. I do this in conjunction with a social worker, a chaplain, a doctor and a certified nurse's aide.
My day consists of attending, on average, four patients and the members of their families -- some days less if there's an admission or death. This takes most of the day, but I also have many phone calls to make to help support and reassure the families and my patients. There is an enormous amount of paper work to do, too, so much that I have to take some of it home with me. My work week -- nominally forty hours long -- is really a lot more like fifty.
I find some gratification in taking care of the dying and making them comfortable and peaceful during this difficult time, but I do not like the death part at all. By the time that occurs, I have somehow become family and I grieve too.
I rate this career 3 out of 10.
The best part is having a peaceful passing and no problems with the dying patient and to be able to add support and reassurance to their families during this difficult time.
The worst parts are the paperwork and the deadlines. We have lots to documents to submit and they have to be pretty much perfect.
When becoming a nurse, remember it is not the money, it is a calling. You have to want to take care of people. I don't think that nursing is like this any more. Many younger nurses go into the field for the money. I sort of wish I was younger and single so I could be a travel nurse and dedicate more time to others. You also have to be very flexible.