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Nursing, how am I meant to choose!

(9 Posts)
PikaTYchu Sat 18-Jun-11 13:27:43

Hi, I am starting an access course in September, will then be at uni september 2012.
I have some time obviously, but cant even settle on what field I want to work in confused
I would love to be a mw or paediatric nurse, but dont know if i could deal with the more horrible parts of the job IYKWIM.
Mental health has not interested me, as I worked as a carer in a mental health home, I hated it, but am opening my eyes realising that there is alot more options to mental health nursing than just what I saw.
Adult nursing seems very much the sensible option, due to gp surgeries, nursing home etc but this choice does bore me tbh.
I cant decide, I have my college interview on monday and would like to sound settled in my choice.
I am hoping anyone who has had to choose will be able to advise me, or any mw/ paediatric nurses can tell me how they dealt with loss of patients.
Also, if you are working as a nurse in special care baby unit, what would you be? A mw or paed nurse? confused

CatPower Sat 18-Jun-11 13:33:22

Well, if you want to train as a MW it's a completely separate course from nursing (or at least it is in Scotland where I live).

From what I remember from my nursing training, you have to very quickly harden yourself to death and patient suffering. I'm not saying it doesn't affect you, but you quickly learn that if you're ever going to be able to function in the job you can't dwell on what happens.

The Access course will be a good starting point as it gives you a broad overview of nursing as a whole. The first year of your degree is non-specific (again, going by my own experience north of the border, if you're in England it might be different), and it's not until second year that you split into your disciplines.

You may end up changing your mind over the next year or two - don't be disappointed in yourself if you find yourself leaning more towards Mental Health or Adult nursing. All disciplines are really rewarding.

ednurse Sat 18-Jun-11 13:34:13

Nurse in Special Care = paediatric nurse.

Paediatric and Midwifery are notoriously hard to get onto the uni courses for. The best option is doing Adult nursing and if you want at the end then do a Midwifery or Paediatric 'top up'

PikaTYchu Sat 18-Jun-11 13:51:30

Thank you for your responses.
I have worked as a care assistant for 7 years. I am 25 now. I have seen alot of death, but they were elderly, and had a good long life, i am unaware as to if I can cope with babies and children dying so young.
I like the idea of toping up afterwards.
Can you do the mental health nursing, then top up as a mw/ paed nurse, or would you have to do Adult nursing?

VivaLeBeaver Sat 18-Jun-11 13:57:34

I think nursing and midwifery are very different. Looking after sick people and looking after essentially healthy people. It is different courses but some places will allow an adult nurse to do an 18month conversion course.

I'm a midwife and at the risk of sounding really cold hearted (which I'm not) I haven't had any problems with caring for women having still births or where the baby is so poorly that he/she dies soon afterwards. You kind of put your own feelings to one side as you have to remain professional and do everything you can to help/support the couple. Thats not to say that I haven't gone home and shed a few tears afterwards but it isn't the horrendous experience I thought it might be.

I think if you work in SCBU you will have more career options if you're a paed nurse - you could move onto the childrens' ward after a while if you got fed up with SCBU where a midwife couldn't. But then a midwife can always go back to midwifery.

PikaTYchu Sat 18-Jun-11 14:09:36

Wow you are all giving me so much to think about.
I do love the idea of the paediatric nursing the most atm.
Viva you dont sound cold hearted, you have just described what it is actually like, which I appreciate.

PikaTYchu Sat 18-Jun-11 14:10:15

What I mean to say is adult then paed top up smile

MissTinaTeaspoon Sat 18-Jun-11 14:11:59

I'm a scbu nurse, I qualified 8 years ago, I did child branch. I knew from the start what I wanted to do, and my adult placement just confirmed that. It is much harder to change from adult to child once the course has started because the child places are more limited. You can only do the 18 months midwifery conversion if you've done adult branch. There were some adult nurses in some of my classes who were doing their paeds conversion but all of them were doing it because they worked in an area where they mostly cared for adults but sometimes had to look after children, eg. They worked in ITU in a hospital with no picu where they may have to care for a child whilst waiting for the picu retrieval team. As such they were 'sponsored' by their employer - I'm not sure how they would have funded it otherwise. So it's better to have an idea of where you want to work before applying really.

As for working in scbu I love it! I might look after a desperately ill baby one shift then be bottle feeding the next, there aren't many other areas with all levels of care on the same ward. Yes sometimes it's heartbreaking but we all support each other and the Christmas party every year makes me so so proud of what I do, there's nothing like seeing a baby toddling towards you a year on from them being so ill and knowing that you helped to get them there!

Good luck with whatever you decide

PikaTYchu Sat 18-Jun-11 14:16:04

Tina thank you so much for your post, it sounds amazing to work oin scbu.
I am in northampton and know that they have only got a small scbu ward, but we as a family are willing to move to make sure I can get a job at a bigger childrens hospital. smile

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