Reyna's thoughts on how her nursing career has changed in recent years, really hit home. I graduated from nursing school in 1995.
I've struggled with my own nursing career ever since the big D moved in. I used to be a strong, confident nurse at the bedside. After D came along.....my brain turned to mush. I was still able to go through the motions, but it felt like I just couldn't focus as intently anymore. Maybe it was just the sleepless nights? The realization of how fragile life is? The constant worry?
I don't know.
Childcare was an issue. Mr. Rose works 10 hour days, plus an hour commute each way. Bedside nursing in our area offers 12 hour shifts exclusively, plus at least a 45 minute commute each way. Do the math however you want. There's a law that kids can't be in childcare longer than 10 hours a day...there's just no way we could both work outside the home, in our respective careers, AND have time together on the weekends (which is important to us, because going to church together is a top priority for this family.)
Let alone the expense of childcare for 3 children.
Something had to give.
I didn't want to stop working altogether and risk having my nursing license become inactive. As a Helicopter Mechanic for the state, Mr. Rose is our primary provider....his job provides our bread and butter -- and...health insurance.
Can I be completely candid here? I never wanted to be a full-time SAHM. I love my kids. I love my husband. I love my family. But I chose a profession that would allow me the flexibility of working outside the home 3 days week. I felt like it would be the ideal balance. Go to work 3 days a week (for 12 hour shifts -- these days, I'd prefer 8 hour shifts, but that's impossible to find in my area) and be home for 4 days.
I guess it all sounded fine and dandy...until life got in the way.
So I work from home. Yes. As a R.N. I work 3 evenings a week, answering after hour calls for pediatric practices all over the state. The pay is horrible compared to industry standard, but I don't have to commute. It's nice being able to kiss my girls goodnight between calls and to wear my PJ's to work. Just recently the girls and I spent half our summer with my mom in Montana and I was able to work from there.
For a long time, I kept plotting how I was going to get out of the office and back to the bedside. Honestly, I have to admit that, sometimes, I'd only put half my heart into the job. I hated the feeling that I was losing more and more of myself every day. I was meant to be a bedside nurse. I've wrestled with this. Feeling out of place. Feeling as if all that hard work to get my education and build a foundation to my career has been tossed to the wind.
But ya know what?
In reality, my assessment skills have sharpened significantly. It's much easier to assess a patient when you can lay eyes on them....I'm learning to listen for key phrases, pay attention to background noise, and focus on specific symptoms. I've learned how to describe symptoms of trouble in a way that helps me convey my message efficiently. I am able to stay calm when communicating with worried parents, advocate for children on a larger scale, and encourage people to follow their parental instincts (which, by the way, I believe is a very powerful tool) . I've talked with parents who have lost health insurance and don't know how to help their sick children. I've listened to mothers cry because they don't know what else to do in the middle of the night. I've assisted new mothers with breastfeeding when they feel like giving up.
And, yes, I've taken a (more than) fair share of ridiculous calls in the middle of the night. But I took care of ridiculous ER patients too, so whatever....
Yeah. I'm just a R.N. who talks on the phone.
This scenario works for us right now. As the days pass, I'm realizing more and more what a blessing this position has been for our family. While I resented it before, I'm learning that it's exactly what we need right now.
Of course God knew all this 3 or 4 years ago when He dropped it in my lap just before Tink was due. I've argued with Him about this plan quite a bit. It's not what **I** wanted to be doing. I wanted my scrubs back....my stethoscope....my very own Pyxis access code....
You know what? Bedside nursing will always be there.
Who knows what will be around the next corner for this R.N.