Saturday, November 16, 2013

If I Could Do Anything

Finally, at age 67, I figured out what I want to be when I grow up (besides a published author which I am now).

Do you like solving a problem, perhaps looking at the puzzle pieces and putting them together until a picture appears? Do you enjoy helping people? Also, knowing which references to use to find the answers you do not have in your brain. I sure do.

Normal and predictable hours at work would be wonderful too rather than the possibility of around the clock and 24/7. I spend many years as a registered nurse in a variety of different settings, working in the hospital on nights then evenings and with an occasional rare day shift thrown in. Sometimes that meant leaving at midnight after charting was finished (no they didn’t pay us over time to sit and write about what we had done that shift but expected us to stay after we clocked out) only to turn around and punch in at 6:30 the following morning. That morning came early and without much sleep.

Hours in the doctor’s office were much, much better. My boss of ten years gave the two RNs credit for being thinking and astute nurses. There were many things he had “standing orders” for and we could go ahead and treat some patients over the phone for minor illnesses that were obvious, we could assess symptoms and order lab before he saw them so by the time they were in rooms he would have those lab results. In many ways we functioned somewhat like nurse practitioners, without the pay or complete autonomy of one, however.

By now you might be guessing, if I could do anything I would love to get a further degree and be a nurse practitioner. It would be a challenge but one I think I would love.

Now why did I wait until I was in my 60s to get this figured out. This seems to go along with my life-long pattern beginning with Iowa State University and my “changing majors” course of study. Yep, I started out in interior decorating. Someone finally told me I would have to draw renderings of the rooms I was describing for clients. I cannot draw a triangle with a ruler. I remember looking at that instructor and asking “Why can’t I show them the fabric and the style of couch and have them close their eyes and see how the room will look?”

“You can do that?”

“Well, yes, that’s how mom and I decorate rooms at home or make outfits we’d like.”

“Very few people have that ability, Marijo.”

And that was the abrupt end of my interior decorating venture. However, since I married a builder it has served me well through the years. No, I don’t draw pictures for him, he just turns me loose because we enjoy the same colors and style of decoration.

My next course of study was child development and I was in my junior year, planning to work with kids in orphanages when someone casually mentioned that things had switched to foster care and there were not many orphanages in existence in the US anymore. How did that slip by? I knew I didn’t want to do elementary education and to work with kids in a hospital setting like in play therapy, would mean a big city and I disliked big cities. So I then decided to get my nursing degree.

It has only been within the last 6 or so years that I came to the conclusion nurse practitioner would have been just perfect.

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1 comment:

tainterturtles said...

A career as a nurse practitioner would have been can still dream Marijo.