December 15, 2016

How To Find Your Nursing Dream Job

Nursing is a profession that offers diverse opportunities amongst varying levels of care. Oddly, some people assume that nursing is boilerplate and there is no difference regarding care application. They assume pediatric nursing is the same as orthopedic nursing. This assumption couldn't be further from the truth. Each floor or nursing specialty has a distinct patient population, with established job objectives, and performance outcomes. If you want to be successful and have a positive nursing experience, you should consider these three elements in your career decision.

1. Patient Population

In my opinion, nothing determines job satisfaction in a nursing position more than the patient population. If your passion is pediatrics and you're working on a geriatric floor, you're probably not going to be ecstatic about your job. That doesn't mean you wouldn't be proficient at your job, but it does indicate there will be a lack of enthusiasm. Nursing is about patients and the profession revolves around this concept. If you dislike the populace with whom you are working with, you're going to have a difficult time finding happiness in your career. When considering a position, research should be conducted on the patient population, since this factor is unchanging. Disease processes and treatment plans change as evidence-based research evolves. However, a transplant intensive care unit will remain exclusively for transplant patients. Trust me, I've tried going against the grain and working on a floor because the populace required less of me physically. A week in, I ended up transferring back to my original unit because my heart wasn't in it. I love caring for acutely ill adults. I love managing complex disease processes. Thus, working at a pediatric doctor's office wouldn't fit my personality.

2. Job Objectives

Each floor or department has its own set of goals concerning nursing care. For example, in hospice nursing, the goal is to the make patients as comfortable as possible as they transition. In critical care, the goal is related toward the acute management of life-threatening disease processes. Nursing isn't a cookie-cutter profession, and each specialty has a set of objectives required by the clinical staff. If you want to be satisfied in your career, you will need to find a job that is in line with your personal and professional goals. What do you want out of nursing? How do you want to help your community? If you're a nurse who obtains vital signs at a doctor's office but your passion is critical care, you will be dissatisfied professionally. You might smile and perform the job without issues, but deep down you will not be fulfilled. You could have the best employer with excellent benefits, yet you still need something else. No amount of money replaces passion. Passion is drawn from you buying into your professional objectives.

3. Performance Outcomes

Understanding medical outcomes is a concept many individuals never even consider. If you work in critical care, death is a possibility. You understand that potential and work towards preventing it, as opposed to someone working in an outpatient clinic and that possibility being a non-factor. Happiness is related to performance outcomes. If you work in orthopedic nursing, outcomes are usually related to body movement, physical therapy, pain management, and the improvement of life quality. If you work in critical care, the results mentioned above aren't entirely applicable. In critical care, the outcomes are more associated with organ perfusion and function. Every nursing specialty requires an understanding of performance outcomes. As a nurse, you see the best and worst case scenarios of varying disease processes. Without knowing it, you mentally prepare yourself to manage these events. If there is a lack of balance in this role, emotional strain can occur. Whether death or dialysis is an option, you must have the emotional fortitude to work in your position. Understanding what could happen is just as important as what you do.