Thanks! Nursing is one of the most rewarding (and toughest) professions that there is! Good on you for taking your gen ed classes first, I highly recommend that route so that you can focus on your nursing classes when the time comes for them (it will be much less overwhelming and you really do need to know your stuff for nursing because you will actually use what you learn in those classes out there in the real world, brain overload should be avoided for success).
I also think it’s great that you’re volunteering at your local hospital. I always recommend to people that they either take a nursing assistant class and/or do volunteer work at a hospital before they invest in all of the time and $$ required for nursing school (it would be a major waste to go through all of that, only to discover that it’s not for you).
For advice in getting into a nursing program, it depends on how they admit students. Some have entry testing and take the top performers, while other schools have no testing but they usually require some time on a wait list to get admitted. Brush up on your basic math skills. I know, that sounds lame…but it’s one of the biggest killers for entry tests. Being prepared for testing is the key. They have quite a few study books out there for admission testing that really do cover what you should be studying for the big test (if your chosen program uses testing for admission).
You should also do your homework when choosing a school that works best for you. Focus in on class sizes, general time constraints, travel time to school/clinical sites, and their ratings. You can look up any state-approved nursing school on each state’s board of nursing websites that will give you information on passing rates, graduation rates, whether they’re on academic probation (which is important, because you don’t want to attend a school that is), and anything else that is important information on each school so you can make the best decision for your learning style and educational needs.
Go visit the school you want to attend. Go in there and meet the faculty, talk to students that attend the school, ask for an admissions person to give you a tour and have them explain the admission process. The more information you have, the better you can make an informed decision for yourself. On a side note, you will also be remembered (if you do this stuff) as someone who is well prepared and has good critical thinking skills…two factors that always help out for admission purposes.
Getting a Master’s in Nursing for an administration position varies from facility to facility. Some places only require a BSN, so the MSN is a decision best made once you get your initial licensing and figure out exactly where your nursing niche will be and what the requirements are for the position. For administration positions, a MSN with specialization in leadership is usually preferred (I don’t know how useful/relevant a Master’s in other specializations would be for an administration position). Factors such as work ethic, leaderships skills, and experience also come into play for administration positions as well. It’s best get experience and to figure out where in nursing you want to be when you start working so you know what direction you should head to get to your desired administration position (and don’t rush it, you will figure out soon enough where your heart will be in nursing once you get your license and are out there working).
It sounds like you have a pretty good plan drawn out for yourself! Take some time and actually write down your goals and put them in chronological order. It will help you steer your way through school and your first few years in nursing so that you end up where you want to be (and in the desired time frame).
I just wrote a posting about hospice/palliative care nursing that even made me get teary-eyed. I think I’m getting soft. On any note, I do have to say that inpatient hospice is the most fulfilling and emotionally satisfying field of nursing I’ve worked in so far (and let me tell you, ten actively dying patients is busier than any ER, any day of the week).
Hi! Thanks for the question. The first thing to remember with test questions would be that their correct answers are nowhere near what would/should take place in the “real life nursing world.” With that being said, this answer might be way off mark, but this is what I would do if put in a similar situation:
I would say that the first thing I would do would be to check on the patient and make sure everything was okay with them (that’s the number one priority for your as a nurse), then I would find out specifically what the son is furious about, and then address the issue the issues brought up (specifically) from there. I have found that the majority of the time, there’s some sort of miscommunication and clarification almost always clears up the problem. [[MORE]]
When you are addressing their concerns (patients and family included), it is important to address it in a “What can I do to help you” approach rather than a “What did I do wrong?!?” approach. When you maintain a positive and calm demeanor, experience has taught me that angry family members are much more receptive to finding a solution to what they perceive as a problem when they see that you’re on their side and would like to help find a solution to their issue rather than just identifying a problem.
If this tactic doesn’t work, I would recommend having my charge nurse come and speak with the patient’s family and see if it could be resolved through her. They might not be comfortable addressing their specific concerns with me as the primary caregiver and might be more comfortable talking with someone else (and sometimes they just need an ear to vent on). Most hospitals also have patient representatives and their entire job entails solving patient issues. They are a great resource if you do have any questions with upset patients and family members.
Also, it is always important to remember that being admitted and staying in a hospital isn’t just stressful for your patient, but it’s just as (if not more) stressful for your patient’s family members and loved ones. Sometimes they are just looking for an outlet for their emotions and frustrations and sometimes that outlet is you. Emotions on their part can run high and sometimes a patient’s family members aren’t always as tactful as they otherwise would be if not under that stress (they’re more likely to react, rather than respond to anything they perceive as a problem with care). Remember to keep your cool and don’t let your own personal emotions come into play when being confronted by upset family members. The old standby, “I’m going to sue your hospital,” is usually just an idle threat. Most of the time, it’s the ones that say nothing that take their concerns through the legal route ( : I hope this helps and answered your question.
The first patient I see is sitting in bed, smoking a cigarette and wants to know if I have an extra ashtray around that he can use. The second patient I see is in her bathroom, filling a bedpan up with water in the sink and then dumping it on the floor. Knowing that I have nine whole days off after this shift is over is pretty sweet.