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To ask if you would find these jobs hard?

52 replies

Boothybum · 23/10/2018 17:26

I am thinking of a completely changing my career and want to go back to college.

I have always wanted to be a midwife or a paramedic. When I mentioned to my DH that I was thinking of going back to uni to retrain he sat me down and gave me his concerns about how he would worry that I wouldn't cope with the role.

He said that as I am quite an emotional person he would worry how I would cope with seeing people dead, babies dying etc. I said that surely anyone who trains for that role gets upset but he is worried I will go through all the training and realise it's "too emotional" for me.

So my question is to mumsnetters that work in these professions or similar, do you find it hard to cope with the emotional side?

OP posts:
AlphaBravo · 23/10/2018 17:31

They are jobs for people who can successfully compartmentalise and box away their feelings and emotions when needed, and not suffer themselves because of that. If you cannot do that and wear your emotions on your sleeve then they will not be the job for you at all.

AlphaBravo · 23/10/2018 17:32

You will see death frequently. Could you cope with that OP?

GemmeFatale · 23/10/2018 17:33

You used to be able to shadow jobs like these for a couple of weeks. Maybe worth a bit of research?

Biancadelriosback · 23/10/2018 17:35

I would love to do both jobs, but I know I couldn't handle it. I get a lump in my throat reading about people getting hurt, especially children. It can't be easy to deal with it every day

RoboticSealpup · 23/10/2018 17:35

I would never even consider a job like that. I know I would never be able to cope. Funnily enough, when was younger I had a crazy idea that I wanted to be a doctor. I think it stemmed from wanting to prove to people that I was tougher than they thought. Now I have no such ambitions. I'm really glad I didn't try because I would have failed.

That's me, though. But try to scrutinize yourself.

Bestseller · 23/10/2018 17:37

I think lots of people in these roles do find it very difficult to take a "just a job" attitude.

Is he generally supportive? Is he right that you tend to struggle with difficult emotional situations.

TBH if my DH wanted to retrain for either of those, I'd be most concerned about the impact of the shift patterns on family life. Could it be that?

Picklypickles · 23/10/2018 17:38

I'm a pretty emotional/sensitive person and in all honesty I think I would find these jobs too hard, I can't even read about the horrible accidents and things that happen where people (especially children) are badly hurt or die without crying let alone have to see it day in and day out and remain composed and professional.

Howhot · 23/10/2018 17:40

Your OH knows you far better than we do op. What do you think?

florenceheadache · 23/10/2018 17:40

chances are you would be fine, and a mature experienced approach is always appreciated in health care. nursing/midwife covers a good variety of opportunity and almost everyone from the most sensitive to the least find their nook and cranny.
with experience (in my experience) you do become a bit desensitized, but at first dealing with these situations is difficult and expected you will have support (again in my experience) from teaching staff and senior staff in years to come.
go for it!!!

Nothisispatrick · 23/10/2018 17:41

I absolutley could not do either of these jobs. No way I could cope with it. Every now and then I think being a midwife would be lovely, then I remember things go wrong and there’s no way I could deal with poorly babies or babies who don’t make it.

Magair · 23/10/2018 17:43

I’m a midwife. I would say that to be a good labour care midwife you do have to be slightly hard faced. You can empathise and support but you do have to be able to see someone in intense pain and not panic about that. Emotional people who feel things really deeply also aren’t always great in emergency situations.

I haven’t seen many sad cases. Definitely tends to be a pool of midwives who get allocated them, not least because they are so complicated paperwork wise.

BoomTish · 23/10/2018 17:45

I’m not especially emotional (have my triggers, like everyone else), but I’d struggle with either of those jobs. Takes a special person, and I wouldn’t be cut-out for it.

JoyfulMystery · 23/10/2018 17:48

Well, is he right, or is he just raining on your parade because he's going to have to step up while you're studying, and subsequently cover long shifts at antisocial hours?

SolemnlySwear2010 · 23/10/2018 17:54

I would love to be a midwife but i am highly emotional and my feelings are clear on my face so i could never apply for such a role

I have a nice safe office job Smile

DeadCertain · 23/10/2018 17:54

I have always had a career where I have seen and done quite a lot of distressing things (up until recently) and I just see it as a job. Do my very best and in a compassionate manner but always remember it is a work role and that people are depending upon you to be calm, professional and to do that job to the best of your ability. I am very good at remaining professionally detached and compartmentalising - if you are not then the toll on you personally can become too great.

You will develop your own ways of blowing off steam (mostly exercise for me) and coming to terms with some of the harder things.

Could you get a little work experience first perhaps to see what it all entails?

florafawna · 23/10/2018 17:58

VERY emotionally draining work.

MagicKeysToAsda · 23/10/2018 18:06

How about seeing if your area needs community first responders? Voluntary role where ambulance service will train you, test you by putting you in scenarios they set up, and get you to shadow a shift with a qualified crew. It is quite sobering facing even that training, so might help you know whether you'd be equipped mentally to look at a full time career in it.

Boothybum · 23/10/2018 18:09

I'm a compassionate person and I care about people and making a difference to people's lives. However I am the type to sob at children in need or cry with a family member or friend when they are having a tough time. I think that's where he's coming from

OP posts:
QuickWash · 23/10/2018 18:10

I do a similar role in terms of what I'm faced with, and I definitely have developed strategies to protect myself from the relentlessness of facing other people's worst moments and having to be the calm in the chaos over and over again. You are there in a professional capacity with a role to perform and it's not the same as being involved personally. There are systems and processes, policies and protocols that mean you can keep going even when the situation is dire.

However, having dc has changed my resilience and I find work more gruelling than I used to. It could be partly the cumulative effect of having seen so much, or being more able empathise with particularly parents' distress. Or it could be to.l do with the impact of years of budget cuts and increased demands on services.

Neither job is one to enter lightly and without serious thought. They are both incredibly demanding physically as well as emotionally, and both would see you working unsocial long hours every day of the year. The impact on you, your family life, and you health would be significant. None of that is to say you shouldn't weigh these up and decide it's a move you want to make. But I'd get as much insight and advice as I could first. Good luck.

AnotherOriginalUsername · 23/10/2018 18:12

Can you try and get some experience? You may not be able to get direct experience in those roles but maybe get a bit creative. I wanted to join the police force but felt I needed to work on my people skills a bit so did some volunteering with a mental health charity, specifically in suicide prevention (3 years on and I'm still there!). For me I gained transferrable skills in terms of listening, communication, taking the lead role in stressful situations, negotiation, mentoring etc. and at the same time proved to myself that the areas I thought I may be lacking in, I was actually completely capable of handling.

I also went out several times with local forces on duty as an observer - not sure if there's anything similar for the areas you're interested in?

WhatelsecouldIbecalled · 23/10/2018 18:13

Not only the emotional impact on you to consider but also your family. Terrible pay for the NHS and the hours you will work. On top of that you might need to ‘off load’ your day and your DH might not handle you mentioning stories of death and horrible incidents even if you think you would be able to deal with it. My mum is an end of life care nurse and sometimes I can’t cope with her telling me the stories. She is fantastic at her job and I don’t know how she does it but she does need to talk about it and sometimes it’s just too upsetting for me. Especially when the situation is too similar to your own if you see what I mean. Good luck to you if you do decide to retrain!

Loopytiles · 23/10/2018 18:18

The wages and working conditions for those jobs are poor for the level of training, skills and hard work required IMO. Plus going into debt (and not earning) for the three years’ training. It’d make sense to fully investigate the jobs in every way you can.


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Loopytiles · 23/10/2018 18:19

I have family members in frontline roles like that and worked out as a teen that I wasn’t suited.

Bumper1969 · 23/10/2018 18:27

It has nothing to do with emotion. It's a job. Could you do it? I work in a very difficult job re trauma. You can train yourself to switch off. I hate the idea of certain people being able to do certain jobs. As Leonard Cohen said "No one is writing our history". Do you need to work, get on with it.

Faster · 23/10/2018 18:46

I’ve worked in palliative care and to be honest you just have to suck it up. My getting upset doesn’t help the patients or their families. Not in the slightest.

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