Whether you are just leaving education or whether you are considering a switch in direction, nursing can be an incredibly rewarding career.
Just like any other job, some days can be more difficult than others but nursing is more than just a profession, it’s a way of life.
If you are wondering about whether a career in nursing is for you, here are five factors that you might want to take into consideration.
1) The chance to change lives
Without question, one of the main reasons why many people decide to take up a career in nursing is because of the personal interaction with patients, the chance to touch an individual’s life in many different ways.
Whether it’s making some-one’s final days, minutes and moments as comfortable and pain-free as possible or helping to ease a new born into the world, nursing is full of pivotal occasions.
Unlike doctors who often are not by the patient’s side for prolonged periods, being a nurse provides the opportunity to build up a close relationship with the person, giving emotional support as well as practical assistance. This unique insight into another human being’s life, and being the person who is there to provide a reassuring presence morning, noon or night is something few people will ever have the privilege to experience.
2) Recession proof your career
In the modern world, there aren’t many jobs which are immune from the pressures of the economy and even the most secure career can be threatened when a recession occurs.
However, there are some services which will always be needed, regardless of the state of the national finances, medicine being the primary one.
Whilst the NHS might experience cutbacks, doctors and nurses are a necessity to treat patients which provides a much greater degree of job security that can often be found in other careers. Even in the private sector, there are many large hospital networks which operate on a nationwide basis which will be largely unaffected by debt problems in the economy.
Being a nurse means the opportunity to head in many different directions, with specialities covering everything from the moment a baby appears right the way through to end of life care. The varying disciplines within nursing require different skills and knowledge; one size most definitely does not fit all.
It is possible to switch your particular speciality whether you just want a change or if decide you would prefer a different field; there’s not many jobs that can provide this kind of flexibility. Working for a large hospital network can open up many more doors, enabling you to access various departments without having to change your place of work.
4) Continuous learning
Technology is ever changing and medicine is quick to take advantage of developments, meaning those working in the profession need to stay abreast of new equipment, techniques and knowledge is order to be able to provide the best possible care to patients.
However, the opportunity to continue to learn isn’t limited to simply keeping up to date with the latest innovations and treatments; professional development is also taken very seriously. This provides nurses with the opportunity to continue to work towards career progression. There are a number of different levels of careers in nursing, all with increasing levels of responsibility so learning doesn’t have to stop once you leave training college.
Many people believe that the responsibility for a patient lies within doctors; after all they are the people who prescribe medication and decide what treatment is appropriate.
But nurses are the professionals who are around the patients during the moments when it matters. For example, it is a nurse’s decision about when to call a doctor, and what kind of doctor is needed. In case of an emergency, the chances are it is the nurses who will be on hand first and they have a matter of seconds to decide what to do.
And of course, there is also the responsibility of communicating with both the family and the patient. With the confidential knowledge and greater level of understanding, nurses are often the ones to spend time talking to patients and explaining in more detail exactly what is going on, and the implications. Knowing what to divulge, and how far to go is a huge responsibility which can have massive repercussions if the wrong decision is made.
There is absolutely no question that a nurse’s role is demanding, complicated and requires a great deal of knowledge, training and skill. Anyone choosing to move into the career must be able to show empathy and compassion, even when faced with patients who are reacting badly to unwanted news. However, it also offers the chance to touch people’s lives, to be able to extend a helping hand to others in their time of need and provides the satisfaction of knowing that you really made a difference. What other job can claim the same?