When I graduated college with my degree in nursing I did what most of new nurses did and still do; I went to work at a hospital. My first job was on a neuro unit. The unit was comprised of the neuro floor, Neuro ICU and also a ventilator unit. We were rotated to the different areas of the unit. I wish I could say I liked it there but I didn’t. As a new nurse I was not comfortable in my own skin even though I worked with some of the greatest most helpful nurses ever.
The floor I was on was a very “heavy” floor with a tough workload, both physically and emotionally. I began to not like it there. I though if I changed the shift that I worked things would be different or better. At first it was better. I went from the day shift to overnights. The night staff was awesome, very friendly and very helpful. Very little gossiping and chit chat about other people as compared to the day shift. I stayed on nights until I had my son Thomas. When I returned to work I requested the evening shift and was approved. I really enjoyed evenings as I was able to see the patient’s families and be available to answer their questions or just talk if that’s what they needed. But the unit was just so heavy! It was tough on me emotionally and I began to wish I didn’t work there. I’m fact I felt as though I was confined to always working at a hospital so I did not want to even work as a nurse.
When Thomas was 6 months old it became apparent that we were at the very beginning of a very long road that was yet to be revealed. Tommy and I talked it over and I left the hospital to stay home full time. It felt as though a weight had been lifted. As life with Thomas became more complicated due to his needs, I realized I had little to no desire at all to even try and continue working as a nurse. Then Alyssa came along. And things with Thomas worsened. A few years pass and Daniella is born. Life was very hard. And working as a nurse wasn’t even on my radar.
When Daniella was about a year old, things with Thomas had escalated. I took a job at a doctor’s office giving allergy injections. I liked interacting with the patients and kids but I did not like the job. I knew office nursing was not for me. Afterwards I tried my hand at retail, even high end retail. I discovered I had a knack and gift for selling expensive designer sunglasses. But retail is so difficult when you have a family and a husband who worked overtime so that gig didn’t last long.
Years pass and I decide to finally actively try to find employment as a nurse. I registered my nursing license, took CPR for healthcare providers. I had an open mind job wise. I found a listing for a pediatrician looking for an RN to pierce ears in Manhattan. I took the job as an easy entry back to work after being unemployed all that time. After a year I applied for and interviewed for a temporary, full time position at an agency doing chart abstraction. My job was to take information from paper charts and apply it to a specific computer program. I really liked that job. I met really nice people and I learned quite a bit. Fast forward 10 months and the temporary job ended. I was pissed. I was used to working and I was used to the money.
I applied to an ad for a nurse to serve special needs students with the Department of Education. I’ve written about how blessed I am to have been hired and then placed here in the borough where I live. School nursing saved my career. If one had told me years ago that I would be working here and loving what I do and where I work I would have laughed in your face and told you how crazy that idea was. I was so turned off by nursing years ago. It’s only through the grace of God that I’m here today working as a nurse and totally enjoying what I do. School nursing is not a field I would have chosen, it was chosen for me and today I wouldn’t have it any other way.