Monday, July 31, 2006

The Importance of Meaningful Work

I've been working as a Nurse Tech for the PCU for over a month now. And I must say that my impressions thusfar have been favorable, both of the hospital as well as the floor. Yet, before I go any further, I want to tell you something very important I have realized these last few weeks:

Working as a tech is an invaluable foundation for your nursing career!! I highly advise all nursing students to take on a part time job as a tech or aide!!

Make no mistake, tech work isn't easy. It's sweaty and gritty and filthy and exhausting. I often spend 10-12 hours a day on my feet (Which was quite an adjustment for me; I had to buy inserts for some new shoes just to keep from having muscle pain. I've lost a few pounds from the walking). But I feel like it is fundamentally important to nursing care. I feel like, if I can do this part, I can do anything.

And honestly, if you aren't prepared to do the "worst parts" of the job, how can you be expected to do a good job at the easier parts?

The thing I love most about my work is the people I get to talk to. Of my few gifts, I feel that reading people and ministering to their emotional hurt is the most important and relevant for my daily life. Sometimes healthcare workers forget to look at a patient holistically. While I am caring for the body, I also place great value on caring for the mind and spirit. It is SO easy to write people off because of their behavior. It's easy to forget that people are human beings, not just diseases. Every time I go in a room, I take time to hear the person's story (because everyone likes to talk about their health). I feel it is making me not only stronger, but kinder.

But beyond direct patient experience, this job has been good for learning more how the hospital works. I am sent from place to place on various errands, and am finding out where things are located and how to get things done. The nurses often pull me into a room to watch procedures, so I'm gaining extra "class time" of a sort. And, lastly, I am making connections that will prove valuable for my future preceptorships and job interviews.

The only real downside is that I wake up early and am often tired at the end of the day. But I'm a somewhat soft person, so I can't complain too much if my body hurts simply because I'm out of shape.

School starts in the middle of August, so I'll keep you updated on how this job works out for me during the new semester ^_^

3 Comments:

Yay for the update. I, too, have aquired a PCT/student nurse position at a local hospital. I start on the floor in 2 weeks after orientation.

My friend who recommended that I do this, gives me nothing but horror stories about what to expect, but I see the change it has made in her at clinicals, and I want that for myself. She has gained tons of confidence in herself, and her abilities.

Thanks again for giving a positive perspective to this experience.

W. :)

By Blogger Wendy, S.N., at Tuesday, August 1, 2006 at 6:04:00 AM PDT  

It will also help when you are on placement with the NA's who don't like the snooty students who feel the "dirty work" or "essential care" is below them. Lead by example I say!

By Blogger Rosey, at Tuesday, August 1, 2006 at 2:49:00 PM PDT  

Hi there! I understand and agree with you about student nurses working as aides before actually starting nursing school. I am a medical assistant/CNA and I learned to appreciate all health care workers no matter what job title he/she has. I believe you have to work your way up to be successful. Success is not just handed down to you. At my first clinical site, I helped the CNA's with their work while everyone else was just sitting around doing paper work. I like helping people in any way that I can.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, January 5, 2009 at 1:55:00 PM PST  

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