Nothing special

By the end of my time as a student nurse I had entertained the idea of working in several specialties. Okay, A LOT of specialties. Honestly, I think at some point or another I had decided that every single specialty I rotated through was surely “my calling.” I mentioned that I started out ready to join the world of women’s health, maybe become a nurse practitioner or even a midwife. That is, until I got to my psych clinicals. Psych was so neat and I really enjoyed it maybe that will be it. Oh, hospice and palliative care! That’s it, I belong there! (Rhyme not intended) Surgery, critical care, home health, I can honestly say they all appealed to me for some reason or other. By the last semester of nursing school I was pretty certain that critical care was going to be “the one.” I was all hot to snatch some folks from the jaws of death and it was time to start our three month long preceptorship. I submitted my top three preferences, noting only that I absolutely COULD NOT work overnights because my real actual paying job was a night job and I had to be there. Well, it just so happens that the only ICU slots were over nights, but they had an empty day space in a decent sized emergency department with a very good, seasoned nurse. Now, I’m pretty sure the only time I had spent clinicals in the Emergency Department was on my first day when I ended up being a patient. A little bummed, I told them to go ahead put me in the slot.
I could write a book on my experiences in the ED and my wonderful preceptor who was always so encouraging, kept me laughing, and was way more confident in me than I was. It was there that I learned the beginnings of how to be a nurse, stuff that you will never find in a textbook.
I believe I could have probably built a very fulfilling career starting out in the ER. But, that did not happen either.
Soon, it was time to start submitting job applications.  I sent in a few to several different facilities, some were up to an hour commute.  As a backup, and not very seriously I might add, I submitted one to our small local hospital. GENERAL NURSING MED/SURG. I was interviewed and offered a position before most of my other prospects even contacted me. Ryan and I crunched the numbers and decided that this would actually be better for our family, even if it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. Medical surgical nursing was where nurses who aren’t that sharp work. People who just skip through the chaos to collect a paycheck belonged in med/surg in my mind. I wanted to join the elite level of nurses and specialize. It seems so rediculous in hindsight. I even remember clear as day, several professors along the way telling us the exact opposite. At the time, I was certain they were just trying to trick us into being interested. I am so thankful that I started out where I did. I learned so much and formed bonds I’ll have for the rest of my life. I think I thrived off of the variety. It’s rather clear to me now why I could never settle on a specialty. If you like it all, what better a place to work? It’s a riptide, yes, but one to be proud of at the end of the day.



2 responses to “Nothing special

    • They would say that it is an excellent place to start you career, no matter the specialty you wanted to work in, because you learn to care for such a variety. That is challenging, and that it teaches you how to prioritize. Also, that it is dangerous to specialize right out of the gate because a new nurse could pigeon hole themselves by not having med/surg experience. You wouldn’t want to get stuck in one area so early in your career. Working med/surg is like a key to being qualified to move to more specific areas. Many actually require it. Personally, I wish someone could have convinced me as a student that it was incredibly rewarding and not and area to be avoided.


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