It was written by an editor of The Wall Street Journal. He made a career change into nursing at age 40. Long story short he had only 3 patients and he found it difficult. He says he felt like a moron compared to the other nurses at times. He couldn't cope with the physical or mental demands. He needed cash. He got the hell out and went back to journalism.
Why am I re posting this: I recently read a comment where someone (possibly a journalist) made a comment about nurses being intellectually incapable of handling a debate. Nurse at my university (overseas)were held to higher standards than other students academically. We were told that we had to be better than your average student because of all the life and death responsibility in difficult conditions that we would have. When we graduated we had higher starting salaries than most other new grads started on after 3-4 years of Uni. Other countries do not hold the same kind of contempt for people that go into nursing that Britain does. The class system here has a lot to answer for in my opinion. Many people with degrees in other fields flunked right out of nursing school.
What is my response to non-medical people who are horrified at the idea of their bright child wanting to become a nurse?
Your child can be bright and academic and go to nursing school. The school won't take you if you can't hack it. Your child may even find it difficult. When they qualify they can go to the USA or Australia and make lots more money than you do. They are certainly going to have to use their brain on the job more than you ever did.
Bedside nursing is not a job for stupid people. Really it isn't.Walking onto the ward as an uneducated simpleton who cannot think with the responsibility that an RN has in the 21st century is insane. And it is a good way to get you in a lot of trouble with the law. If you kill a patient and then try to defend yourself by saying "oops I didn't know because I am just a stupid nurse incapable of doing anything but mopping brows" you are not getting off the hook.
Anyway I am rambling. Read on if you can stand it.
This is the kind of stuff we need to see from British Journalists. Unfortunately they do not have the gonads, the brains, or the work ethic and integrity to handle nursing.
Here are some excerpts.
Good lord, this man only had 3 patients and some of them were no where near as sick as my 10-15. Please please please read the whole article.
"In 2002, at age 40, I left my job as a page-one editor at The Wall Street
Journal, my professional home of 15 years, to take a giant leap of faith -- in
myself. Like a lot of people, I questioned my purpose after Sept. 11, 2001.
Jolted from the complacency of a comfortable career, I became convinced that I
could achieve selfish fulfillment through devotion to service -- to the
individual, to the community, to the vulnerable.I considered teaching. I
considered law, medicine, pure science and research. But my thinking always
returned to the nurses I had watched care for my mother a few years earlier,
when she lay in an intensive-care unit in her final illness. I marveled at the
way they melded an aloof, precise professionalism with a mysterious human (and
humane) instinct. They seemed to operate in a purer space, beyond worldly
distractions. I would be a nurse."
"My skills were those of any new nurse. With easily shattered confidence, I
could start an IV, administer medications, bathe a bed-bound patient and change
linens, change dressings, insert all sorts of catheters and tubes, read lab
results and electrocardiograms. I knew to be vigilant against infection,
pneumonia, pressure ulcers, medication errors and the many other lurking threats
to hospital patients. On the burn unit, pain control loomed large. I also knew,
as both executor of treatment plans and patient advocate, to keep a close eye on
what doctors ordered. They make mistakes, too.
But in those first months, I felt stupid and slow, and thus dangerous. I
hadn't yet mastered the ruthless efficiency of thought and motion that lent
veteran nurses the appearance, at least, of enviable ease. Next to my crazed
back-and-forthing, they floated around the unit, maintaining a cool composure no
matter what crisis erupted.
.Basic nursing duties were enough to keep me on my feet until dawn: initial
head-to-toe physical assessments; hourly vital signs and other monitoring tasks;
medications; bed baths and dressing changes; regular suctioning.
There could be no skimping, no coasting through a shift because of a
headache or trouble at home. For 12 hours, I belonged to people whose survival
was at stake. A sloppy physical assessment could later explode in disaster if a
potential problem -- a bum IV, an incipient pressure ulcer, abnormal lung sounds
-- went unnoticed. Rooms required meticulous inspection, too, to ensure that
vital equipment was present and functioning: A missing bag mask -- attached to
those blue vinyl footballs you see TV doctors and nurses rhythmically squeezing
in emergencies -- could cause lethal delays.