A few home truths every nursing student needs to know – part one

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Nursing is neither as glamorous as some people make it out to be nor is it as stark and terrible as some others make it sound. The truth really lies somewhere in between all-good and all-bad. If you are considering a career in nursing but are sitting on the fence because of the contradictory stories you’ve heard, then it’s time to clear the air about with a few home-truths that will help you accept this profession for what it is and make up your mind one way or the other.

1. If The Thought Of Bodily Fluids Makes You Queasy This May Not Be The Profession For You

Although today there are quite a few nursing specialties that are primarily administrative and do not involve dealing with blood, vomit, poop or pee on a daily basis, the fact is at least some portion of your nursing school experience will involve these bodily fluids. Before you spend a whole lot of time and money applying to nursing school, it is a good idea to figure out whether or not you can actually cope with the sight of blood, give bed baths and wipe butts without feeling revolted at the thought. Your clinical rotation is definitely not the time to realise or come to terms with these fears.

2. Your Definition Of Multi-Tasking Will Change

If you think you’re used to multitasking so it should be easy in nursing school, you’re in for a surprise. Multi-tasking takes on a whole new meaning in nursing school as you juggle multiple assignments, projects and tests, all of which are equally important. You will find your priorities shifting as you try to determine what is really important to you and what isn’t. And grabbing ‘forty winks’ will mean exactly that and no more. One of the things you will regret is the many events and occasions you did not attend before because you were ‘busy’. Now, they won’t even be an option any more.

On the other hand, if you like doing one thing at a time, only moving on to the next task only when the first one is complete, you are definitely on the wrong career path. Nursing and multi-tasking go hand in hand and that’s something you have to accept or you are in for a frustrating time ahead.

3. Being A Team-Player Is Important

Nursing is not a profession for those who love working alone and making their own decisions without having to consult anybody else. No nurse can operate on an island. In nursing school you will almost inevitably need help with studying, working on group projects or preparing for graduation. When you start working, at some time or the other while you are treating your patients, you will need to consult the specialist in charge or get help from your peers. And during those times when you find yourself juggling one too many tasks and you can’t be everywhere at once, you will need the help to answer an urgent call light or administer emergency medication. When you ask for help, be prepared to return the favour or else you are going to have a miserable experience in nursing school and as a nurse.

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