While previously specializing in critical care, for the last decade, Janet Breedlove, BSN, RN, has worked at Lake Health in Home Care. She explains why she loves the profession and the many advantages of being a nurse.
I always get excited when someone tells me that they are thinking about going into nursing. I love being a nurse, so I am always glad to tell them how rewarding the experience of being a nurse is. First and foremost, you must like people. I always wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to do something unselfish with my life--to help, care for, and teach people to make a difference in their lives. There are so many different things you can do being a nurse and so many options. You can work with patients many areas, including Neonatal, Pediatrics, Medical/ Surgical, ER, Critical Care, Surgery, Psychiatric, Geriatric and Public Nursing/Home Care Nursing. Then, if you find you need a change, you can transition into a different fields/type of nursing.
Although the majority of my experience comes from being a Critical care nurse, currently I work in the community as a Home Care Nurse. As a skilled nurse, I manage patient care, coordinating and collaborating with other disciplines that also see patients in their home. We care for patients with a wide variety of diagnoses. In home care, the nurse meets, manages, and instructs the patient on their care needs with the goal of having them recover. It is very rewarding to see your patients return to their baseline.
As a nurse, you will not only learn a lot about your patients, but about yourself as a caregiver. Each patient is a new experience and a challenge for you to grow as a nurse. You will learn something new every day--I have been a nurse for almost 40 years and I am still learning. The rewards of nursing are seeing patients improve, smile, and express their gratitude. "Thank you" means so much more than you can imagine. It means that you, as a nurse, made a difference in this person's life. You helped patients by listening, caring, teaching, nurturing, healing, and showing compassion and empathy. I am so proud and excited when people ask me what I do for a living and I proudly say, "I am a nurse."