My Education: Bachelor's in Nursing Science, Master's in Nursing Education, Certification in Orthopedic Nursing
My Prior Experience: I worked on an adult medical and surgical hospital unit for 7 years, then after receiving my Master's degree in Education I became an instructor in my hospital's Education and Training department. I started teaching the Joint Replacement class that patient attend before they have a knee or hip replacement surgery.
My Company: I work in a small community hospital that specializes in Orthopedic, Cancer and Obstetric (delivering babies) care.
Job/Career Overview: On days that I have a Joint Replacement class, I ensure I have enough handouts for all participants. Then I set up the room so it is comfortable for the participants. I greet each participant and sign them in on a roster. I provide handouts and a sample hospital menu. During class I describe everything that will happen to the patient from how to prepare themselves and their homes for surgery to what will happen on the nursing unit, to what to expect when they are discharged from the hospital. I answer questions and show patients and their families the hospital.
More Insights: The biggest misconception is that nurses only put people on bedpans and deal with blood all day. You can deal with that, but there are many opportunities to interact with patients.
I rate this career 9 out of 10.
The best parts are giving the patients and their families information that eases their fears about surgery. They are not frightened if they know what is gong to happen to them. I enjoy contacting the patients and finding out about their living situations and what challenges they may have after surgery. I enjoy meeting them in class and seeing them after they have had the surgery.
The worst part of my job is calling physician's offices and asking for lab results and physician orders. Part of the job is ensuring that the patient's chart has all the information needed to safety perform the surgery and sometimes that is hard to get.
If you are organized and like science and math, being a nurse could be for you. You have to be patient, understanding, flexible. You should understand that being a nurse in a hospital is physically demanding, emotionally challenging and very rewarding. You should volunteer in a hospital or clinic before starting nursing school to see what it is like and see if it is for you.
Not all nurses work in hospitals, so think outside of the box and after getting a little experience, you could work with computers in healthcare or in law or sales.