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Author Topic: Any opinions, intformation, etc. about nursing or respatory therapy?  (Read 168 times)
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farley2k
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« on: August 29, 2013, 07:05:24 PM »

I am considering a career change and I think health care sounds neat.  Two things which appeal to me are nursing and respiratory therapy.  I figured I would see what information, stories, thoughts people here had.

The main appeals for me -

1. flexible hours.  I think I want to be around to take my kids to school and pick them up.  These two careers both offer nights/weekend options which would allow for that. 
2. helping.  I like helping and medicine.  Originally I was planning on being a mental health counselor but a friend offered me a job in IT and 20 years later I am thinking "why stick with it just because I have done it?"
3. variety and seeing people.  My favorite part about IT has always been desktop support because I like going out to people and solving a variety of problems.  I never liked programing - although you get to problem solve because I was trapped at a desk all day.  I think nursing and RT might give me the variety in my work day that I like.

So anyone else consider a career change like this?  How has it gone?  What else should I be thinking about?

Thanks,

 
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PeteRock
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 07:38:11 PM »

I worked as an environmental consultant for 10 years, and now I am currently right smack in the middle of a career change pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.  I spent two years working on prerequisites, and I am now in my second year of PharmD graduate school. 

I absolutely love my decision to make the change, I am really enjoying the curriculum as well as the amount of hands-on experience, and I become even more passionate about my profession every day.

Things to consider?  Cost of education, time commitment, earning potential (no one likes to admit it, but it has to be a part of the reasoning process), location of your program (my wife lives in our home in Chandler, Arizona and during the school year I spend 99% of my time at the UofA in Tucson), specialization (I'm considering a residency, which adds another year to my education path), how you plan to finance your education (loans, loans, and more loans), and the fact that you're starting completely over again.  The last part was a little unsettling, but I've since adjusted.  But I would recommend getting into health care because you WANT to, not necessarily because it merely sounds "neat." Do your homework, research the paths you've mentioned, and try to find volunteer opportunities to provide some exposure to a typical professional day.  To apply to the UofA I was required to earn a certain number of experience hours in an actual pharmacy before even beginning the pharmacy program, primarily to determine if this is a field I want to be involved with and if I am capable of doing so.

After my volunteer experience it was a resounding yes.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2013, 07:47:46 PM »

Take a look at the BLS OOH (Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook) for registered nurses and respiratory therapists.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 07:54:59 PM »

I have a friend at work that went from respiratory therapist to DBA and his wife is a nurse of decades who just finished her BS. I think he might have a unique perspective. I've asked him to pass along some input.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 08:57:55 PM »

Quote from: coopasonic on August 29, 2013, 07:54:59 PM

I have a friend at work that went from respiratory therapist to DBA and his wife is a nurse of decades who just finished her BS. I think he might have a unique perspective. I've asked him to pass along some input.

Quote
I think Nursing may be the better choice, primarily because they have a better lobby with the government (they make more money).  Respiratory Therapists (RT) donít have as much face time with the patients, as they have to cover a large portion of the hospital.  RTs walk\stand\run constantly.  Even in intensive care, you may have 5 ventilator patients to take care of (and they donít talk).  The nurseís patients are in a single area, and there are chairs.  Nurses have more patient\family contact. RTís are focused on the more critical patients, so their time must be much more divided.  Plus, the RT can do some unpleasant things to the patients, so they are not always happy to see them.  I went for months where my only break was the elevator ride between floors (I rode the elevator up, and took the stairs down).

There are rules for the minimum number of nurses in a hospital, but none for Respiratory Therapists.  Some hospitals have eliminated all respiratory therapists.  Most hospitals are requiring Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to be hired, which is a full 4 years.  There are online nursing programs, but most are for RNís that need to get their BSN to keep their job (Diana was one). 

There are 2 year respiratory therapy programs Certified Respiratory Therapy Technician (CRTT), but the pay is not very good.  The Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) is the preferred way to go, but most are going to a bachelorís degree programs (at least the good schools). 

The one positive about RT is when the patient poops themself, you can leave the room until it is cleaned up (the nurses have to clean it up).  The rooms of respiratory patients generally smell better. 
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 09:42:27 PM »

godhugh was in the process of making the change from IT to nursing. Does he have an account here?

Xmann and at least one other OOer whose name escapes me are also nurses.
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farley2k
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 10:32:47 PM »

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments.  It gives me more to think about.   I expect school will be tough but I figure it might be worth it when I get to the other side.  The course work does give me pause.  It has been a long time since I was in school.  Oh the other hand I am a lot wiser than I was in college - so I won't be hung over as often! smile


As if fate is teasing me I got an email from a former boss who got called to be a reference for me for a job I applied for months ago!  LOL so when I really start thinking of moving on there is a chance I will get offered something in IT again!
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