Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Figure Out If You Really Want to Become a Nurse or Doctor

This guest post is by Carolyn, who discusses what it takes to become a healthcare professional.

Careers in the medical field can be rewarding, but they can also be very challenging. Becoming a nurse or doctor is a huge commitment, and it’s something you should decide to do if you will truly be passionate about it. Hard work will get you far in the medical field, but without the proper amount of passion for what you’re doing, you’ll likely burn out. If you’re trying to figure out whether you want to become a nurse or doctor, there are several things you should consider. Here are some of them:

Your Commitment to Education

As you probably already know, becoming a nurse or doctor requires you to commit to several years of schooling. If your financial situation is uncertain, it may not be wise to commit to going to school to become a nurse or doctor. And if you aren’t driven to succeed in school or a training program, you’ll have a difficult time reaching your career goals in the medical field. Consider what type of student you are and how much of yourself you can realistically commit to your education. If you’re going to become a doctor, you’re going to have to keep your GPA high in college and spend a significant amount of time preparing for the MCAT. Then you’re going to have to go through four years of medical school and possibly another 3 to 8 years of being an intern and a resident. There’s a lot to learn before you become a nurse or doctor, and you have to honestly assess whether you’re ready to soak up all the required knowledge.

Your Desire to Help People

If your goal is to make money, you shouldn’t enter the medical field. Making a decent amount of money is definitely one of the perks of being a nurse or doctor. However, it shouldn’t be the reason you go into the field. A desire to help people should be the primary reason you enter the medical field. This type of desire will ultimately be what motivates you to do your job well and help save lives on a daily basis.

Your Tolerance for Stress

Getting through nursing school or med school will require you to have excellent time management skills and an ability to work under pressure. Once you start working as a doctor or nurse, you’ll be working long and odd hours, and you’ll have a lot of responsibility. People’s lives and health will literally be in your hands. If you don’t have the coping mechanisms that are necessary to handle stress in place, another sort of profession may be a better fit for you.

Your Resiliency

Chances are that you won’t be able to help every patient, and you’ll even lose some of them, particularly if you’re working at a hospital. Being a nurse or doctor can be emotionally draining. If you’re not adept at bouncing back from hardship, you’ll likely struggle at your job. Being a nurse or doctor can take a lot out of you, but it can also enrich your life in ways that many other kinds of jobs can’t.

Carolyn is a guest post writer on the subjects of medicine, self-improvement, and RN schools.

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