The Nursing Life: Expectation vs. Reality

The Nursing Life: Expectation vs. Reality

The Nursing Life: Expectation vs. Reality

The Nursing Life: Expectation vs. Reality

Nursing is its own world that is much different than what you might assume prior to entering. From the outside looking in, you might think you have it all figured out, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is common to see the inspiring side of nursing advertised in various commercials. While those aspects are true, if you’re planning to become a nurse, it’s worth getting a better picture of this unique career path.

Backbone of Healthcare

If you are entirely unfamiliar with the healthcare field, your impression of it might be from a TV series. In that case, you might assume that doctors do everything, as you will be hard-pressed to find a nurse in these shows. However, that is a far cry from the truth—nurses are the unsung heroes and backbone of the healthcare field.

Perhaps you have a friend or family member in the healthcare field. As such, you are certainly a little familiar with the nursing role since you have likely heard stories from their day on the job. However, you can only receive a glimpse into that role—hearing about it and living it are completely different.

Desire To Help

There is certainly an inspiring aspect to nursing that entices many. The inspiration comes in helping people in need. It is the feeling you gain from adding comfort to someone’s life, especially in a moment of fear, doubt, and panic. With how much nurses provide in terms of comfort, care, and assistance, it is no wonder why you want to become one.

For many people, there is no greater feeling than serving others, but you should understand what you are in for. That is why it is so important you understand the full scope of the role nurses provide—keep reading to see how your expectations line up with the realities of nursing life.

By the Book

Nursing school teaches what you would assume to be hard and fast rules that you must follow by the book. When you first make your way out onto the floor, you are likely in the mindset of following everything by the book. But what books teach you to do and what happens in your unit can be quite different, which can be challenging for some to acclimate to.

Expectation vs. Reality

For example, your instructors teach you always to turn patients every two hours. But consider the possibility that your patient has been unable to sleep for hours and has finally drifted off after much trouble. In that case, you might let that rule slide for a little bit so that they may get some rest. While not by the books, this choice is in their best interest.

Moreover, you know that visiting hours end at a certain time and do not extend further. However, you might have a patient who may not live to see the morning. In that event, you might let their visitors stay longer to have some final moments with their loved one. When you are in the business of caring for humans, you learn that there are situations that no rules can prepare you for.

Not So Glamorous

You might find yourself drawn to becoming a nurse based on the glamour of the role, which comes with the thrill of saving lives at every turn. While that is technically true, helping those in need may not look how you expected.

Expectation vs. Reality

You might think that your day will consist of constant codes and hectic, high-energy situations as a nurse. It is undoubtedly important to know what to do in these situations as they will occur. However, a great deal of your role will consist of assisting your patients with important aspects of care, like personal hygiene.

For example, it will be quite common for you to give your patients baths, clean wounds, and more. This type of care requires you to get up close and personal with your patients, which can be uncomfortable for some. However, ensuring your patients are clean and healthy is a life-saving procedure in itself for several reasons. For example, as you bathe them, you make them less likely to get an infection. Moreover, you might notice a wound or area of their body that might be cause for concern, which you can alert the doctor about right away.

Scope of Your Role

Nursing school solely teaches you the absolutely necessary aspects of your role. Of course, the things you learn in school are invaluable and are what make you a nurse. The truth is your expectations of the scope of your role as a nurse will be different from the reality.

Expectation vs. Reality

If you’re only familiarity with nursing is what you see on TV, you might be in for a wake-up call. On TV, you often see doctors attending to each patient as though they have all the time in the world. Moreover, you will see them administer and aide the patient with nearly everything.

However, the truth is that those aspects are what your role will consist of. As a nurse, you are the healthcare provider who spends the most time with the patient. You will be subject to ailing patients, perturbed visitors, and changing health situations. The scope of your nursing will widen as you occupy many roles, including but not limited to an emotional, occupational, respiratory, and nutritional aide, throughout the time you support a patient.

Never Stop Learning

Once you finish nursing school, you might assume you know everything you need to feel secure and successful on the floor. Moreover, you could leave school with the sense that you know it all, but a day on the job will humble those with that state of mind very quickly.

Expectation vs. Reality

On the first day of the job, you might feel lost and like you don’t know the things everyone else does. That can feel quite scary and might make you feel like nursing isn’t the role for you. The truth is that your learning has only just begun, and in the healthcare field, it will never stop.

That is why you shouldn’t let the experience or knowledge of others in the field intimidate you. These people have so much to share with you; all you have to do is ask for help.

The Nursing Life

The information we provide in this piece is not to deter you but make you aware of what being a nurse is like—there is much more to it than many assume. It is important to prepare as much as possible before becoming a nurse, and that is what we set out to do. At CPR123, we want to provide you with the best classes and healthcare knowledge available so you can feel ready to take on your first day.

Or perhaps one day, you might find yourself wanting to pass on the knowledge you gained in your time as a nurse. In that case, you might consider taking a BLS for healthcare providers instruction course. While there is nothing better than helping someone in need, the next best thing is giving the next generation of providers the knowledge to do the same.

Share on social media:

Search Blog

Recent Posts





Search for a course: