Monday, December 20, 2010

First Aider today!

I had an extra bit of excitement at my gym today...I got to be a first aider!

My workout was finished, and I was coming out of the change room towards the coat area.  I saw the gym owner hovering beside a lady who was sitting against a bench.  She didn't look too good, so I asked if I could be of help (oh, how it was killing me inside, to not be able to say 'Can I help?  I'm a nurse"!!!). 

The owner gladly let me take control of the situation, and as the lady was unresponsive at this point, I lay her down, and elevated her feet a bit.  I also had the owner call 9-1-1 right away.  She was positively grey -- even had grey lips.  Her skin felt hot and sweaty, and she was completely unresponsive.  I dug around her neck to check for a pulse, and eventually found one, but it wasn't easy to find, and it was very slow.  I had visions of having to start CPR, and was comforted to know that they gym has a defibrillator machine (which I was just recently trained/certified to use). 

Luckily, she started coming around slowly, opening her eyes and looking a little less grey.  What a relief!  I rolled her over on her side, to the recovery position, and continued to watch her, and try to ask her medical questions that may give an extra clue to why she was like this, while we waited for the paramedics.

One paramedic arrived, and answered what I could to the questions he was asking me.  As he was alone, I mentioned that if he needed me to do anything, to just let me know.  Again, what I wouldn't have given to be able to say, "I'm a nurse." 

Then two more, beautiful, gorgeous medics strode into the ladies-only gym, and the owner exclaimed in a loud voice, to those who were working out, "Here you go, ladies, your early Christmas present!!!"  What a laugh. 

They pricked her finger for a blood sugar reading (the results of which I was very curious to know, but couldn't think of any good reason why they should tell it to me, so I didn't dare ask!)  I hung around for a bit, mostly because my gym bag was still under her feet, and they were taking a long time getting a good read of the blood pressure, and I didn't want to disturb that.  I heard them telling that her BP was only 78 over something (couldn't hear that number, but again, I didn't dare ask for clarification of the diastolic reading!), and that they were going to start an IV and give her some oxygen. 

The gym owner was ever so grateful for my help.  I told her I'm hoping to start nursing school next fall, and she said that was definitely an excellent choice, based on what she'd just seen. 

I'm still feeling the after-effects of my adrenaline rush.  What a 'natural high' it is -- I love it, and so look forward to having this as a regular part of my work!!!

I so hope and pray this life-long dream of mine finally comes true one's not just a career choice / change for me, it truly is my vocation.

:-)  Future RN

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Five steps to making a decision

I have been reading a lot over the past couple years (thank you, bus system, for a long daily commute!). 

There was one book I was reading, although I can't remember the title, I do believe it was by Dale Carnegie, in which the steps to making a decision were outlined.

In a nutshell, and I am loosely paraphrasing what I remember reading, from a book I don't remember the title of (hope this is legal and not protected by some obscure copyright law...) :

1. Identify the problem/issue.

2. Gather data and facts about the problem/issue at hand.

3. Analyze the data.

4. Take action.

5. Don't look back.

Step number 5 is my favourite step in theory, and most difficult in practice!  So now I am hovering somewhere between steps number 4 and number 5.

Action has been taken (and I continue to 'patiently' wait), and am trying to keep looking ahead while not looking back toooooo much. :-)

I should probably add my own, extra step to this list.  I think this one should ideally appear somewhere between steps 3 and 4, and it should read, "Trust the gut."  The so-called 'gut feelings' also play a role in life, as I have repeatedly learned over the years.  Listen to your heart, too.  Heart, gut, whatever -- you pick the body part that speaks to you, and listen to it. 

Sometimes decisions are made based on logic, and these may not necessarily be the right decisions.  One must also take into consideration how one feels about a decision, not just making one based on analysis of data.  If something just feels right, or doesn't, that should be an important factor to consider too, even if it cannot be proven by data or validated scientifically. 

If I were to just follow the logical side of my mid-career change decision, I am certain I would stay put in my office until I retire, and be completely and utterly miserable.  My 'gut feeling' on this change says it is a good decision, even if my logical left brain copes with the impending huge change.

Getting back to why I remembered this decision making list, I just wanted to highlight step #5, which made me laugh -- "Don't look back."  So true, yet so difficult sometimes!

Future RN

Friday, December 10, 2010

Is it selfish to change careers?

This is a question that has been popping into my brain over the past few years, whenever I've thought about changing my career.

What gives me the right to suddenly change direction, when its impact will have effects on others?  For a few years, our family won't have the same financial situation that we currently enjoy (but they will see more of mom, and see a much happier mom & wife, so that counts for something too!)  However, financial rewards will continue, as soon as my degree is finished.  It's not as if I'm leaving the work force forever.

I compare my situation to others (perhaps that is a fundamental mistake).  I see people struggling to bring in enough money to look after their families, working sometimes several jobs that they clearly don't enjoy doing.  Yet, they keep at it as they have responsibilties.  I admire this. 

I see immigrants landing in my country, well educated professionals where they came from, only to find themselves doing menial jobs here, often beside high-school students.  Yet they continue.  They have responsibilities.  I admire this too.

I find myself in a completely different scenario.   It is not about 'having' to keep doing this career, it is about 'wanting' to do something different.  My future career plans are well thought out, do-able, within a finite time frame, and have a attainable outcome. 

However, we are in a position in our lives, where keeping the status quo would be so simple.  So incredibly simple.  I could cut back my hours to part-time, have more time at home with the kids and actually be able to even do some personal interest stuff, that I love to do, such as music, writing and water-colour painting.  Maybe even continue to do my medical-related volunteering, like I used to do.

Yet, job passion and satisfaction would still be missing.   But what gives me the right to look for job passion, satisfaction and fulfillment, when so many others have it so hard?  I tell myself that I really have so much to give others in the medical field.  This field chose me long ago, not vice-versa.  I think that fact is at the core of both why I cannot stay in my current, easy-living career, and why it is not selfish to change careers.

I have so much to give to others, I love sharing and helping.  I love doing things for others that are appreciated and valued.  Doing such things is a core value of mine.  I have always absorbed anything medical like a sponge.  It was always the most interesting possible area to learn about. 

I feel I'm not using my abilities, and I'll even go as far as saying my life, to its full potential.  Yes, I could carry on my easy, comfortable life, or I could really live to my full potential.  When I think about it, I think that the people in the situations I described above, if they were in my shoes, I bet they'd jump at an opportunity to live their passions.  I've worked hard to get to where my family currently are.  If there is now a chance to work again to achieve something different, so be it. 

No, it is not selfish to change careers.  One must look at how a current situation is impacting the bigger picture, positively and negatively, and weigh the pros and cons of staying and changing.  If somebody feels OK staying where they are, and are motivated by financial reward and having an easy lifestyle, stay where you are.  If somebody feels their potential is under used and valued, and it is realistically feasible to make a change, then go for it. 

As a person I know, for whom I have a lot of respect for, said to me this past summer when we were discussing my wanting to switch careers to nursing, "You know, you won't regret doing this."  And I know the opposite of that statement would also be true.

It is OK to change, even if much time, money and effort has been invested in an earlier career venture.  Change can be scary.  Embrace it, as life is all about change.  It is not static.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Career-descriptive words

"If you are passionate about what you do, motivated by improving the health of the community, excited by leading-edge medical technology, and as committed to excellence, quality and patient safety as we are, we would like to hear from you."

This is a quote taken from a local hospital's nursing recruitment site.  I love the use of the words, "passionate", "motivated", "excited" and "committed", as they are how a career in medicine makes me feel -- always has ever since I can remember. 

I dream of one day applying these adjectives to my medical career.  Sadly, none of them apply to my current career choice, aka my "job".  For my current position, I would have to write "money", "pensionable time", "job security" and "another work day over".  I've got it good at work - I am really not complaining, and grateful to be where I am.  I'm in a position that those in my field would aspire to be, and well positioned for climbing the corporate ladder.  Is it selfish to leave and change?  (this will be the basis of an upcoming post.)  However, it is completely the wrong fit for me, and it seems to be taking all the "joie de vivre" out of me, for a significant portion of my week...and as a favourite saying of mine is, "If the momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"  I certainly don't want to negatively affect my family and those around me.

I cannot wait to do something in my career that actually makes a difference in a person's life, if only a small difference.  That would give me such satisfaction in my work.  That will make my work seem worthwhile.

Otherwise, still (patiently) waiting for word from the university (and starting to panic about how soon Christmas is approaching, and about how much I have yet to do to get ready for that!)  Lol!

And getting back to my first sentence of this post, following the quote -- I can guarantee that this local hospital will be hearing from me, as soon as I am qualified!!!!!! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Still (patiently) waiting

Well, not much new to update regarding my application.  I am reassured in the knowledge that my file is still currently under consideration.  So I wait, and keep very busy with work and life. 

I plan to write more soon, about the transition process.  One of the key reasons I started this blog, was to document the process of deciding to leave a good job in mid-career, to start something completely new and different.  I started this blog, given that I couldn't find anything like this out there in the blogosphere.  I was hoping to follow the path of somebody who had already done this, and ideally, was a few months ahead in the process, compared to me.  To no avail, so here I sit and write.

There is much to write about what goes on in this process -- the thoughts, worries, hopes, anticipation, discouragement, etc, etc.!  Much more on this soon. 

And what I truly hope is, that when everything is settled and real, I will look back at what I agonized over during the transition, and think to myself, "All that worrying and stressing for nothing.  What a waste of energy.  It all worked out great, just as you thought it would."

And one more thing, since I have a few minutes to write -- one thing I am very curious about, is how I will react when (if!) I actually get my nursing school acceptance letter.  Will it be a loud WHOOPEE shrieked out in my office, or will it be stunned silence, all alone, in my office?  I suspect the latter scenario, but nonetheless, one I am looking forward to finding out.

In the meantime, I continue to check the university web site daily, the one that will tell me what my future holds....