Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Oh the horror

So... we are at our most favorite place in the whole world last night, the Target *BTW, how sad is that?*, and we see John's co-worker, Richard. Richard recently applied for a job at Target to supplement his income because he sees a fairly large purchase in the form of a brand new vehicle in his near future. We were out getting Anna her 3rd costume because the first was mismarked and was too small, and the second fell apart while she tried it on.

John and Richard joked with me about dropping everything right then and there, and applying for a job at 8:30 pm. I became flustered at the thought. I am still not sure about what my choices are as far as employment. I have recently thought about getting a job there too because we could use the discount since we shop there a lot, but also because I know that I have neither the want or the patience to be a nurse anymore. We have discovered that we enjoy having a pleasant life, but having another child has kind of stretched the bounds of our means. There is nothing comfortable about possibly getting your heat shut off, so it looks like I will have to go back to work sooner than we thought. Well, actually I was supposed to go back to work this year anyway when Anna started Kindergarten, but then we had another unplanned blessing. :O)

Nursing... It's all I know, but... Since I was in the Navy as a corpsman (which is basically a medic) and was able to challenge the boards in California to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, I am missing theory hours in Labor and Delivery to meet Iowa's state requirements to use my license. I would have to begin school all over to become a LPN here, so I had thought originally that I wouldn't waste my time, I would just go to school for an RN Associates to begin with, then a Bachelors degree.

When I left California 5 years ago, I was very burned out as a nurse. There often was so much paper work and little time left to actually care for the patients. I hated feeling like I had not done my job to the fullest, and often lost sleep over it. Health care as a whole is only getting worse and I wonder if I would even make a difference, and at what cost. I loved taking care of people, it's what I was born to do. I loved the interaction, and feeling good about helping others. I do miss that aspect of being a nurse, and not to toot my own horn- I made sure to introduce myself to each and every patient of mine, and to not only ask how they were, but listen to the answer.

One thing I disliked very much about nursing was how nurses treated their patients. Don't get me wrong, this isn't me bashing the profession.I feel as if we are driven to work so hard, and do so much in one shift that it causes health care workers to forget that there is a human being on the other side of that bed. I noticed that instead of listening with care, we tended to list their complaints like we were taking notes during a deposition.

It's a very stressful job, I mean- there is nothing like holding someones life in your hands. Every little thing you do as a nurse contributes to the big picture, so one mistake could be very harmful. It's an awesome responsibility, and unfortunately a lot of nurses are in it for the money. The more stressful the health care professions become, the more nurses become burned out. You have negative word of mouth, and bingo... less people choosing to become nurses. That obviously is causing shortages of nurses country wide, therefore causing more stress and the need for higher wages to compensate. It's a never ending cycling, and it just keeps getting worse.

So, my dilemma is whether or not to spend the time and money to become an RN, and to do something that I love and have the strong urge to do, and makes oodles of money- but will eventually hate because it is so stressful. I am also concerned with my daughters and their image of me. I don't want them to be ashamed because their mom works at Target (not that there is anything wrong with that, I love Target!). I just don't want them - or anyone- to think I work at Target because of lack of ambition.

Also, I am afraid that my friend Effie will think less of me. She started out as a nurses aid, and worked her butt off to become an RN. In 7 years time she went from nurses aid to a manager. We worked together and became friends instantly, and even though we live 2000 mile apart, we are still close. We are kindred spirits, and she has decided that if she wins the lottery, that she will buy me a house in California. Her husband Tom also likes my husband a lot, and we always had a great time whenever we'd go out together. We all have the same weird and twisted sense of humor, man I miss them! Anyway, I hear from her how the job hasn't changed a bit... I am still a little confused.

Finally, as I told John last night, "I am worried that I am going to have to find my edit button and fix it."

He says, "I didn't know you even had one anymore. I think we'd better just get you a new one." Ah, honesty. You gotta love it! OK, not really, but you at least have to sit there and endure it.

I need my edit button back because there is also this fear that I might say something that under normal circumstances my husband would think quite funny, but said in front of Richard- could be embarrassing.

"What do you want to be when you grow up," my daughter asked me at the tender age of 3, two years ago.

The answer is a little more complicated than I had originally thought. Finding a new occupation at the age of 37 is not something to take lightly. I guess I have to stop worrying about what others will think, and do what is best, but will also make me happy. There is no sense in sacrificing time with my family, putting us deeper in debt for something that will eventually give me an ulcer. No amount of money in the world is worth that to me.

You have one life, that's it. I don't want to look back and wonder if I did the right thing by being there for my girls. I would much rather give up the material things.

Life is too short, and sometimes you just gotta dance. :O)


Sandra Kay said...

IMHO, you should spend as much time with your kids now while they're still young. You'll have lots of time to work later on.

kailani said...

Oops, sorry, I was using my cousin's computer and somehow got her name up there instead of mine. How did that happen?