You might think that choosing a career is easy. You know what you like to do and have an idea of what you want from life, so you follow that path. However, some things might mean you have to turn back and try a different route. Firstly, there is so much choice when it comes to your career – more than ever before – that just because you thought you wanted one thing, it might be that, at the last second, something else catches your eye. Or perhaps you find that the career you were initially interested in isn’t quite as right for you as you originally thought. Circumstances can change. Ideas can develop.
It’s perfectly fine to change your mind and decide to do something else, even if you have been working in one particular sector for a long time. It’s crucial you do something you enjoy, which will offer you happiness. However, if you can choose well at the beginning of the process, you won’t have to go back to the start, and this can be better in terms of career progression. If you are thinking of becoming a nurse, it’s vital you understand exactly what it entails and whether or not it’s the right career for you, for example. Read on to find out what questions you should ask yourself to determine the answer to that question.
Does Helping People Drive You?
Nursing is not an easy job. It’s mentally and physically (not to mention emotionally) demanding, and for some people, it simply wouldn’t be something they enjoyed. However, for those people who simply want to help people, and for whom this idea is the driving force behind everything they do, nursing is the ideal career to get into. It won’t matter how hard the work is or how much they need to learn, and they won’t mind the long hours and the shift work. They will be glad they have a job in which they can help as many people as possible, and although there are a variety of careers that will offer you this option, none of them are as hands-on and immediate as nursing would be.
So, if your main reason for taking on any kind of job would be to help people, and you’re sure this would override the negative aspects of the nursing profession, then becoming a nurse could be exactly the right career for you.
Can You Handle Shift Work?
Something else you’ll need to be aware of when you are considering becoming a nurse is that you will have to work shifts. This was briefly mentioned above, but it’s important to ensure you know what this means. Unlike many other jobs that are becoming more and more flexible, and that can be done from home, the majority of nursing positions will need to be undertaken during set working hours and within the healthcare facility setting, whether that’s a hospital, a clinic, or somewhere else such as a school or prison. There are, in fact, some jobs that nurses can do from home, but these are relatively rare, and in most cases, you will need to commute to a place of work each day, or each night – shift work means nurses are working 24 hours a day.
Could you cope with shift work? It’s not as easy as it sounds, and it can play havoc with someone’s internal clock. You must be careful about how much sleep you get and how well you eat, as this will keep you healthy and keep your energy levels up. If you don’t think you can manage working shifts, nursing might not be something you can go into. However, if you can, or if you know you can deal with it for a short while before you gain your next qualification, when you can work the hours you’re more comfortable with, then nursing might work out well for you. Regarding these additional qualifications, research what does a DNP do, for example, and you’ll see what you could achieve.
How Well Do You Handle Stress?
It’s hard to imagine any job in the world being entirely stress-free; there is always something to think about and always something to do, and sometimes those things can be hard or worrying, leading to stress. However, a nurse’s job is particularly stressful; you deal with life or death situations daily, and you have to witness suffering. Of course, there are many positive things to see and do, such as seeing patients recover and go home or helping with a birth, for example. However, you need to know what, due to long hours and the kind of work you’ll be doing, nursing is a stressful job.
With that in mind, how well do you handle stress? If you are good with stress and can remain calm and focused at all times, then you could make an excellent nurse. If you don’t handle stress well, don’t worry – this is something that you can learn over time, but you need to be willing to do it.