When considering your career options, nursing may present itself as a good choice. The nursing profession is growing and nurses make pretty good money. However, physical and mental stresses are often byproducts of their working experiences, making it a sometimes difficult and always challenging profession.
Before you take the leap to join a nursing program, it’s important to consider very carefully whether or not nursing would be the perfect fit for you.
You Have a Lot of Energy
All different types of people can be great nurses, but they often have at least one thing in common if they have been a nurse for a while—naturally high energy levels.
Nursing isn’t a nine-to-five job. It’s common for nurses to work strange hours, long shifts, and in many cases, even double shifts. Many nurses don’t have normal weekends and many work in the evening.
People with a lot of energy tend to make better nurses, and they stick with their career choice for longer, because they are better equipped to deal with strange schedules. Working long hours and double shifts isn’t a problem for them because they would likely be awake and busy anyway, even if they weren’t at work.
You Like Being Busy
If you don’t like the idea of sitting at a desk all day, nursing might be for you, but you also have to consider just how busy a nurse is throughout the day.
It isn’t uncommon for nurses to multi-task or task-switch. One study found nurses multitask almost 40 percent of the time. That makes sense when you consider the fact that many nurses take vitals and document information in patient files while speaking with the patient simultaneously.
Nurses also have more to do than meet with patients. Many nurses work on administrative tasks, as well as other types of tasks, like cleaning and tidying. There is no shortage of things to do when you’re a nurse, so it helps if you prefer to stay busy and active throughout the day with very few periods of rest.
You Feel Best When You Have Cared for Another Person
At its core, nursing is a caring profession. It will be your job to help people learn, understand, and take control of their health in a variety of settings. You will feel more fulfilled if you naturally feel your best when you have cared for another person.
Just a few examples of caring activities you may do on a regular basis include:
- You’re always looking for ways to show others you care.
- You like to check in on an elderly or disabled family members.
- You enjoy having your child’s friends over and caring for them often.
Thinking back to your childhood can help too. Did you like taking care of baby dolls or playing doctor? If so, nursing may be a naturally good choice for you.
You Like to Dig Into the Details
There are other professions where paying attention to the details is important, but the details can mean the difference between life and death as a nurse. Only if you like digging into the details and triple checking before you go through with a task should you consider being a nurse.
It’s normal for nurses to do things like administer medication, take vitals, and interview patients to get their medical history. It’s important to pay attention to proper dosages, document accurate vitals, and ask the right questions when interviewing patients. One little mistake or omission can result in an emergency later. Being detail oriented means you’ll naturally be able to avoid these kinds of mistakes.
Nothing Makes You Squeamish
If you don’t like the sight of blood or feel like you’re going to gag when you pick up the dog’s latest mess, nursing probably isn’t for you. There are a lot of horrifying and gross things nurses see on a regular basis, and if you’re at all squeamish, you’ll find that you dread going to work every day.
It’s good if you aren’t squeamish, but it’s even better if you’re at least a little fascinated by things that would gross out other people. If you have more curiosity about a bone sticking out of someone’s leg or what’s in blood that makes it red, you may enjoy being a nurse.
There is no shortage of choices when you’re considering what career you want to embark on for the rest of your life. You can boost your chances of experiencing a lifetime of success if you consider if you’re a naturally good fit for the position—especially in the case of nursing.