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Need advice regarding school

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Okay so except for paying I have signed up for my act's and on friday I will finish the registration and on december 13th I will be taking my acts. I know I am called to help people and I have always known it. But I have never been able to decide if I want to be an RN or a social worker. I love nursing but at the same time I have been a cna for 5 years and I am beginning to feel burnout. But I don't know if it would be the same way once I become an RN because I would have more options and I would not have to stay with the nursing homes I could do a number of different things.

If I become a social worker I could help kids who really need it and I would know what some kids are going through coming from a broken home. And I would be able to work as an advocate for the elderly as well. And possibly be able to do some work from home.

I am not sure which field would help me to be the most independant financially but that is a factor I want to know my bills are paid and to be able to possibly help more people and if at all possible to be able to adopt a child one day when the time is right.

So what I need is help to stir me in the right direction I really wish I could do both but I can't. I do live in a small community so what I do would have to be dependant on that as well. Moving isn't an option as I live on land that has been passed down in my family for over a century and I have very strong roots here.
I will say there are some aspects of nursing that I don't like but I am sure there would be some aspects of social services that I wouldn't like.
post #2 of 19
well, personally, i'd choose nursing over social work. neither are exceptionally high-paying jobs, but nurses can always find work. your shift options are also quite varied as a nurse.
social workers see the worst of our society. i would probably get quite depressed seeing the evil people can do every day.
nursing was one of the options i considered before deciding on education.
post #3 of 19
There are aspect of any job that you won't like and you will always face burnout. That being said, from reading your posts, I think you would make a wonderful nurse. I am a nurse and I have yet to find my nitch, but I can always go and do something different. One of the people that I went to high school with became a SW and then was in the nursing classes with me (10 years) later so that she could add to her marketability in SW. She is now an OR nurse because she loved nursing much more.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
I want so much to be able to help people and I really do like some aspects of nursing the thing I don't like about it is the large amount of politics that seem to be involved in it but it does seem to be worse in nursing homes. And I know there are other options. I do want to be able to apply my degree to helping kids in bad homes. Not sure how I can do that as a nurse. And around here nursing does pay pretty well. As the living expenses in my area are pretty small. I do worry about what would happen if I was a charge nurse because I am a quiet person and so I am worried that I would not make a good supervisor.
post #5 of 19
As a nurse or a social worker you need to be pretty mouthy and be able to stand up to other people and advocate for your patient/client. If you are quiet and can't stand up for yourself, or them, then you may want to look into a third option for a career.

As a social worker, if you are wanting to help kids in need, you will more than likely be seeing the very worse of society, and dealing with some very difficult people, and perhaps even having to attend to apprehend children from their homes with the parents present. Not a nice situation to have to be part of.

If you can get over your quietness, nursing is a great choice. There are all kinds of options for jobs and you can go anywhere in the world to work. There are all kinds of areas to work in too:

OR
Emergency
a ward
Research
Clinics
Day Surgery
Day Hospitals

Lots of places where you wouldn't have to take a charge role. However, unless it's different in the USA, here everyone who works on a ward gets their turn at being charge nurse on their shift. It's not so bad. I've done it lots of times and will be doing it lots more.

I'm currently working with a research project, and while I don't have any patient contact, I am quite enjoying it. And the project is ultimately helping people in the long run so even though I have no patient contact, I am still helping them.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
As a nurse or a social worker you need to be pretty mouthy and be able to stand up to other people and advocate for your patient/client. If you are quiet and can't stand up for yourself, or them, then you may want to look into a third option for a career.

As a social worker, if you are wanting to help kids in need, you will more than likely be seeing the very worse of society, and dealing with some very difficult people, and perhaps even having to attend to apprehend children from their homes with the parents present. Not a nice situation to have to be part of.

If you can get over your quietness, nursing is a great choice. There are all kinds of options for jobs and you can go anywhere in the world to work. There are all kinds of areas to work in too:

OR
Emergency
a ward
Research
Clinics
Day Surgery
Day Hospitals

Lots of places where you wouldn't have to take a charge role. However, unless it's different in the USA, here everyone who works on a ward gets their turn at being charge nurse on their shift. It's not so bad. I've done it lots of times and will be doing it lots more.

I'm currently working with a research project, and while I don't have any patient contact, I am quite enjoying it. And the project is ultimately helping people in the long run so even though I have no patient contact, I am still helping them.
Very well said! I refused to do charge so I have been able to avoid it, but some places you HAVE to just like Linda said. As for helping kids in disadvantaged homes, what do you think Ped's nurses help with? It's not always just taking care of their physical needs-- I have friends that are ped's nurses and they have had had to call Social Services to have a child removed form a home due to abuse. As a nurse, we are legally obligated to report any form of abuse and it's not always child abuse.
post #7 of 19
Have you thought about pediatric nursing?
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
Have you thought about pediatric nursing?
Yes, that would be a good field for someone who likes working with children. Maternity would also be another area that would be a good area to consider. A woman in labour needs all of the help she can get!
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have defianetly thought about being a pediatric nurse. Only thing that scares me about it is I am not sure what I would do if a child died on me because I know it happens sometimes. With geriatrics you know those people have lived a full life where as a child hasn't. But I have seriously thought about being a ped nurse. I have to pay for my registration friday when I get paid and my registration for my act's will be complete its the first step to me becoming a nurse. And on december 13th I will take my act's. And in Kentucky we now have to do a four year course for being an RN but I wanted my bachelors in nursing anyway.
post #10 of 19
I would go for nursing. There is a shortage of nurses all over, and many are needed. In the hospital my ex sil works, they brought in a bunch from Ireland because they were so severely understaffed.
post #11 of 19
I say go for the RN degree too. And it's not JUST because that's what I'm trying to do

I had originally thought COTA. And I could still do that. But you can't really do anything else with that degree unless you go farther, and you HAVE to get a doctorate degree to do anything. And- I have been in school for 6 years. I WANT A JOB. I don't want to be in school for any longer than I have to be.

I didn't pass my Pharmacology class and had to drop out of the program (real long story, and no I was NOT happy). So I'm currently working on 3 more classes I need to get into a hospital-based program (22 month program) Gotta give it one more shot before I re-consider if the school part's for me- or if I should just get a CNA certificate for now.

The thing about nursing that scared me the most- was the math. I HATE math. I had to take the stupid dosage calculation test at school 2x because I didn't pass it the first time (and JUST passed it the second, I made a couple of really stupid mistakes). The stupid mistakes scare me b/c someone's life is in MY hands- and there's just a whole lot of things that could go wrong, that might be my fault (med error comes to mind).

But I can help people. And if I get burnt out in one aspect of nursing (I want to start in Peds somewhere) I can go somewhere else.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneakymom View Post
The thing about nursing that scared me the most- was the math. I HATE math. I had to take the stupid dosage calculation test at school 2x because I didn't pass it the first time (and JUST passed it the second, I made a couple of really stupid mistakes). The stupid mistakes scare me b/c someone's life is in MY hands- and there's just a whole lot of things that could go wrong, that might be my fault (med error comes to mind).
I'll let you in on a little secret

I'm dyslexic, and it's worse with numbers than letters, unless I'm rushed, distracted or really tired, then it doesn't matter what I'm typing, writing, or reading.

When I was taking the math quizzes I had to check, double check and triple check my answers to make sure.

However, "the real world" of nursing is changing, and now, at least where I work, everything comes up pre-packaged and pre-measured from pharmacy. The only thing you might have to measure is 30mls of a liquid laxative, or break a pill in half because the medication machine tells you to give 1 1/2 tabs. On the odd occasion someone might require liquid pain medication such as Morphine, then you will have to look at the bottle and if the bottle says "5 mg/ml" and you are giving 2.5 mg, then you will have to draw up in a syringe .5 ml. And another secret of mine....always have someone else double check your calculations.

At one time we had to mix potassium into IV bags. I was always freaked out by having to do that because potassium is what they use in lethal injections to kill someone. So before I mixed up the IV bag, I always had someone check my calculation, the vial, the syringe with the amount drawn up and the IV bag. Some years later it became policy to have 2 nurses check it. And now, we don't have to mix up our own potassium bags anymore: they come already pre-mixed to the ward.

So just stick with it and don't give up. Nothing in life worth having comes easy.
post #13 of 19
I'm not a social worker, but my degree is in Family Studies which is basically the social work field minus a license. So I cannot be a social worker, but I can work in the field still so to speak.

I've never regretted for a minute the choice I made to enter the field I'm in. For almost 10 years I have cared for young children--mostly infants and toddlers as a babysitter, daycare worker and also as a live out nanny. In June I chose to leave my nanny position and take some time off to clear up some health issues as well as truly decide where to go with my degree--I really wasn't using it to its full potential by being a terribly over qualified nanny.

Six weeks ago God led me to my dream job--suprisingly something I never would have thought would be my dream. I'm working with youth ages 13-18. The neighborhood has the highest crime rate in the city, prostitutes and drug dealers work the block my building sits on. We are faith-based, we offer a free snack, homework help and a safe place for these kids until mom and/or dad get home from work. These kids are my kids, and not a second goes by that I don't worry about them. In this neighborhood I am the minority. I love these kids like my own.

My advice volunteer in a hospital and is a "social work" type of place. It may make your decision much easier.

Leslie
post #14 of 19
I just have a question: how long have you been out of high school? if you have been out awhile you don't have to take the ACTs, if you're taking about the standardized test that most high schoolers take in their junior or senior year, as an adult student it is not required. To be honest, and I don't mean this as a knock against you personally, but you'll probably fail them. They are very geared towards what you learn in high school. I scored a 33 on mine but if I were to take them now I would probably only get the points awarded for filling my name out

as for a career, may I suggest psychology? If you have a master's in psych you can be a counselor and you can gear your psych studies toward a particular group, whether it be children, the elderly, addicts, the list goes on. That's what I'm planning on doing eventually
post #15 of 19
Well, RNs are needed right now so I think you'd have an easier time finding a job with a BS in Nursing. When my mom went and finished her nursing degree, it wasn't like it is now. My mom worked in a place that was for people who were too sick to be home but too healthy to be in the hospital. It wasn't a long-term facility for most people. She rarely had to deal with death. My SO's sister has her 2-year nursing degree and works in the labor & delivery unit here. It's messy but I think she likes it. There are many different types of nursing jobs out there, but they all involve dealing with people and dealing with messes.

I quite frequently wish that I had gone to school for my MSW (master's in social work) degree instead of a law degree. A lot of social work jobs will require the MSW, with the exception of maybe entry level social work jobs with the county but even then, the MSW will put you above the rest. I know that they were hiring in my county for social workers for child neglect/abuse cases and they received at least 100 applicants (the job required a Bachelor's in sociology or a related field). My problem was that in college, I really disliked a lot of the sociology classes I took. I loved the women's studies focused ones, but not the anthropology ones. I majored in economics and loved it, but I never wanted to find a job in finance or banking or anything like that.

Maybe I missed this but can you sign up for general classes the first year and get those out of the way? I don't know how much school you already have. If you are 21+, you could volunteer to be a guardian ad litem (through your local CASA program) and that would give you a LOT of experience working in child abuse/neglect situations and would give you an idea of what you would be dealing with as a social worker (at least one employed by the county). I did this during law school.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
I just have a question: how long have you been out of high school? if you have been out awhile you don't have to take the ACTs, if you're taking about the standardized test that most high schoolers take in their junior or senior year, as an adult student it is not required. To be honest, and I don't mean this as a knock against you personally, but you'll probably fail them. They are very geared towards what you learn in high school. I scored a 33 on mine but if I were to take them now I would probably only get the points awarded for filling my name out

as for a career, may I suggest psychology? If you have a master's in psych you can be a counselor and you can gear your psych studies toward a particular group, whether it be children, the elderly, addicts, the list goes on. That's what I'm planning on doing eventually

The school I talked to here which is where I would be going to school at requires me to take my act's I didn't think I would have to either until I talked to them.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tavia'smom View Post
The school I talked to here which is where I would be going to school at requires me to take my act's I didn't think I would have to either until I talked to them.
wow, well that just sucks IMO. the ACT is difficult for high school students, I can't even imagine how hard it will be for someone who's been out of HS for awhile Brush up on your Trigonometry, that's what I did badly on the first time I took it. Took it a second time and screwed up on the science part so my score remained the same I do highly recommend you take a practice test first so you know what skills to study

best of luck to you
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
wow, well that just sucks IMO. the ACT is difficult for high school students, I can't even imagine how hard it will be for someone who's been out of HS for awhile Brush up on your Trigonometry, that's what I did badly on the first time I took it. Took it a second time and screwed up on the science part so my score remained the same I do highly recommend you take a practice test first so you know what skills to study

best of luck to you
I never even took trig not even a little bit of it so I know nothing about it.
post #19 of 19
I graduated from an undergraduate institution recently and am now attending a graduate school, so I'm kind of 'fresh' on the subject. I've talked with a few older adults in some of my courses that were continuing their education and from what I recall, there are equivalent entrance exams for applicants that are not applying directly after or recently after high school matriculation. I'm sure this depends on which schools you are looking at, too.

Edit: God, I'm not used to reading such long posts! I should probably read the entire thing before posting, eh?!?

Very simply put, I've seen the cars CRNAs drive....talk about dinero!!!

Talk to your career centers to the schools that you are interested in. I'm sure they could hook you up to shadow a service worker to gauge your interest-level.
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