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  • 03 July 2019
  • 8 min read

Is nursing the right career for me?

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Do you find yourself glued to the TV when hospital documentaries are on? Do you get a kick out of caring for others? Maybe nursing is the right career for you - find out in Claire's vlog.

Play video: is nursing the career for you? Claire shares advice to help you decide.

Hey guys, welcome back to My name is Claire and I'm a second year nursing student from the University of Southampton.

Today I'm going to talk to you about how to know if nursing is the career for you.

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What does a registered nurse do?

I know a lot of people who watch this channel are currently doing nursing, but I'm also aware that some of you might not be currently enrolled in a nursing degree in the UK or otherwise, so maybe this video will give you some inspiration if you think you're considering nursing but you're not too sure.

Also, if you're currently enrolled in nursing but you're not too sure if it actually is the course for you and your um-ing and ah-ing about if you should drop out or stay in the course, maybe this video will help you decide if nursing is the career for you, so stay tuned to find out more.

Play video: Claire shares her must-haves for nursing school!

Do you enjoy helping people?

The first thing I think is really important when you're considering if nursing is the career for you is to decide if you really enjoy helping people and if you can imagine yourself helping people day in, day out without feeling drained from it.

I also think it's important to be quite an extroverted, friendly person as well when you're doing nursing because your whole day will be spent around people and your whole career will involve helping people and making sure that you can make somebody's hospital stay the most comfortable it can be.

So, I think if that is your passion and you know it's your passion then that's amazing, but if you're not too sure if that actually is your passion then I would recommend trying to get some work experience to find out if that actually is your passion.

So, maybe going to a hospice for a week or two or and maybe being a healthcare assistant as a part-time job, and if helping people and being around people all day gives you joy and you know it's your passion then I definitely think Nursing is for you, and then if not maybe think about nursing a bit longer before getting into it.

I would just say one thing going into nursing - I don't think it should be taken lightly.

I think it's quite a difficult course and I think some people definitely struggle with the course, so I think 100% knowing going in that you really like it makes a big difference.

Of course, there are going to be days where I don't like it or my friend doesn't like it or even the best nurse in the world doesn't like it because there's gonna be tough days, but overall as long as you know that you're passionate and really enjoy what you're doing then I think it's definitely all worth it!

Play video: Claire shares her 5 best experiences as a student nurse

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Do you have an interest in nursing?

Number two might seem like a funny one but I think if you have a really big interest in shows like 24 hours in A&E and The Hospital, like real life, kind of gruesome hospital like documentaries almost then maybe that's something you should explore further.

I know growing up I was obsessed with 24 hours in A&E, I think there's been like 17 seasons and I've watched them all so I think that just shows that is my passion, and people laugh at me because I get home from a 12-hour shift and then I sit in bed and watch 24 hours in A&E and that might be a bit extreme and a bit excessive and maybe a bit too obsessed!

But I think if you find that really interesting and you can actually imagine yourself doing it and not just ‘oh that's interesting but I could never do that’, if you can actually picture yourself as that nurse in A&E, running around doing everything then maybe that's something you should explore further.

Like I mentioned before, I would recommend trying to get some type of work experience and people often say to me that it's difficult to and not many places want to accept them and stuff, but I think if you're an aspiring nurse and the NHS is crying out for more nurses, then I think most people places would want to take you for some work experience.

In Dublin, I had a 2-week work experience in my pre-nursing course and that was in a private hospital and I loved it, and they were more than happy to have me there.

Of course, because I was a pre-nursing student I hadn't even got into nursing school at this point and they were kind of hesitant to let me do things and obviously for insurance reasons I wasn't really allowed to do too much, but I still was allowed to observe and I think even observing and doing little tasks like running to get something for the nurse I think will make you realise that if it's what you want to do.

You actually really enjoy running around and being the second pair of hands because you'll be so engrossed in what's going on and so interested, and even just sitting down and talking to patients you don't have to have insurance for that and you don't have to be an actual student nurse for that.

Just talking to actual patients while they're in the hospital setting or a nursing home or a hospice setting while they're unwell I think will give you an understanding of what nursing will be like, and if you enjoyed that then maybe you'll enjoy the whole process of becoming a nurse.

Play video: what inspired Claire to become a nurse? Find out in this vlog!

Do you want to learn theory as well as practice?

Obviously, a big part of Nursing as well is the theoretical parts, the part we actually learn about in University which includes anatomy and physiology, acute care needs, long-term clinicians.

This is quite anatomy based and it's quite factual and sometimes it's difficult to learn, but I feel like if you have an interest in anatomy and physiology and biology in school and want to learn more about the human body, how it works, how it digests things and how different drugs react with the body then I think that's a really good place to start.

Even if you're sitting here watching this video right now and you are thinking ‘but I can't get work experience, I can't do this, I can't do that’ maybe just start reading a bit more about biology in the human body and things like that.

Then, if you find that interesting then you can go from there and maybe explore further into nursing, about what it entails and maybe look at ICU nursing and A&E nursing and just get the whole kind of vibe of what nursing actually is like.

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Are you selfless or selfish?

I think another aspect of Nursing that's super important is the selflessness, so selfless aspect of Nursing and also the non-judgmental aspect.

Every human judges people, we all say ‘let's not judge, let's not try to’ but I think at the end of the day everyone does judge, but it's how you act on your judgement.

So, I think especially with nursing you might see something and might think things in your head but I think it's how you act on that judgement and how you talk to that patient without bringing in what you've seen or bringing in things you know about their relationships or their family life or anything like that.

Being as completely unbiased as humanly possible and just being as non-judgmental as you can, and if you can do that in your everyday life when you're with friends and family then hopefully you can carry that trait through to your nursing career if that's what you want to do.

I think judging other people is something we all do but I think how we act on that and maybe not making it as harsh and understanding that everyone is different.

Everyone has had a different life experience and trying to understand where that person is coming from I think will make a huge difference in your nursing career and will just make it so much easier to be able to go into nursing and not be a judgemental nurse that nobody wants to be.

If you have those traits naturally and you're willing to work on them and become less judgmental I think that is something that every nursing school in the whole of the UK will want as a trait in their future nurses.

So I hope these four points that I’ve given you today will help you decide if nursing is the career for you.

If you're currently in university, I hope that it's going well for you and I hope maybe this video helped you reiterate the point that you are meant to be doing this thing and that you're in the right place.

So thank you so much for watching this video, and of course, don't forget to like and subscribe to for more videos just like this one.


About the author

Claire is a student adult nurse from Ireland, but studies in the UK. She makes vlogs for her channel, Claire Quinn - Nursing Secrets, where she shares tips and advice from her own experience as a student nurse.

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