Thank you to Landau for sponsoring today’s post!
Many of you have asked about my profession as a nurse when you see me sporting my stethoscope in my Instagram stories, so I thought I would share some frequently asked questions I’ve received from you! I haven’t really chatted much about it here, so here’s a little more about what I do!
What kind of nurse are you?
I’m an RN and have my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. I’m currently working as a homecare nurse, which means I see patients in their homes. Most are coming home from a hospital stay and require a nursing assessment to ensure they don’t end up back in the hospital. Some have complex wounds that require a nurse to dress for them, so I do a lot of that too. My patients are mainly adults; I am not a pediatric nurse. It’s actually a tougher field than people think because you’re essentially working by yourself. I don’t have nurses I can readily bounce information off of, and getting ahold of a doctor isn’t always easy (especially on a weekend! On call docs drive me nuuuuuuts). It can be tough! The benefit is I’m in my own car when I drive from patient to patient…which means I can stop for a quick coffee, or run a quick errand if I need to. Plus, I can jam out to music in my car 😉
Have you ever worked in the hospital?
Yes, I worked in the hospital for one year after I graduated nursing school. I quickly learned it wasn’t the environment for me, but that’s whats amazing about nursing! There are so many different areas of nursing to work in that it’s easy to switch to something else. I never thought homecare would be my field, but I prefer it over the hospital environment and plan to never leave.
What do you like better about homecare nursing?
The hospital can be a very fast paced, stressful environment. I felt like my patients were simply a number and it was always a rush through my shift. In homecare, I get to actually KNOW patients. We see them for a longer term than a hospital admission, and some of my patients in the past have become like family members to me. I’m in their house on a regular basis, seeing their family dynamics, helping them through whatever they’re battling, and we can become very, very close. I’ve had patients I’ve taken care of for years. I’ve experienced highs and lows with them, and have cried tears when they’ve passed away. It’s a deeper relationship than the one you have working in the hospital. It’s more personal in the sense that you’re seeing someone in THEIR home. It’s hard to explain if you aren’t in it…but my fellow homecare nurses know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s really special.
Are you ever nervous about being in someone else’s home?
It’s a very rare circumstance that this happens. I’ve seen a lot in my 8 years in the field, and have quite a few stories to tell. It can be eventful for sure, but I rarely feel nervous.
What do you wear?
I’m actually really picky about my scrubs! Some homecare nurses don’t wear scrubs, but I need to. I never know what type of home I’m going into, and I scrubs always have enough pockets for me to have easy access to things. Sometimes I’ll wear scrub bottoms and a t-shirt (especially in the summer – not everyone has air conditioning), but I recently got hooked on one brand I’m in love with! Landau’s Smitten line is my new favorites, and I actually received multiple compliments from my patients (which cracked me up!). I love that they’re shapely and look more feminine than other scrubs I’ve owned, plus there are a ton of pockets for stashing gloves, alcohol wipes, and more (I need a tooooon of pockets!). I love the gray fabric with the pop of pink, too. Scrubs can be a boring work wardrobe, but I also prefer neutral colors and no patterns (you’ll never find me in a cartoon scrub top). Landau’s Smitten scrubs also wash incredibly well, too! I also like that they come in Tall and Petite sizes. I’m wearing Tall pants and they fit perfectly (regular is always too short on me!).
Why don’t you work normal hours?
I used to work Monday through Friday (the benefit of homecare…no holidays/weekends!) before I had kids. My days were super flexible because I could see my quota and then go home for the day! When I had Landon, my priorities shifted. Other moms might be able to relate, but I suddenly wanted more time at home with my child. I cut back my hours a bit, but that still wasn’t enough for me. When I became pregnant with Noelle, I decided to switch to working weekends only – I was able to be home ALL WEEK with my boy and only work 2 long days on the weekends. I’ve been doing that ever since. It’s amazing to have a profession with such flexibility, and I know that’s not an option for everyone. I recently dropped down my hours even more to per diem. I still work weekends, but I now have flexibility to take time off if I need to (my husband own’s his own company and sometimes works weekends!). It’s working for us at this moment, but I like knowing I can switch it back up if I need to! There’s always a nursing shortage, so I don’t feel I’ll ever have a problem finding a job.
You write your blog full time, why don’t you leave your nursing job?
Because I just can’t. It’s incredible having two income sources where I can cut back one way or the other, but I would feel foolish to leave my nursing job completely. I busted my butt for my degree, and I don’t want to lose my skill. I enjoy getting out of the house a bit, too, and I do really enjoy seeing my patients. I would really miss it if I left!
How do you balance it all?
I don’t. But as moms, we just figure it out, am I right? This is my life currently, and I’m grateful for it. Sure, there are stressful days, but I’m really happy to have chosen a profession with such flexibility. I like that I can switch my hours depending on my kids stages in life. My husband and I typically work opposite schedules, and while that’s hard, we know it’s temporary. Everything is just a season of life, and we work through it. 🙂
Can you tell me what’s wrong with me?
I actually hate getting asked this question, hahahaha. I think people assume I know everything there is to know about medical conditions, but that’s not the case. I’ve been in a specialized area of nursing for years now, so I know that better than anything. I can tell you what wound treatment you should probably have or answer simple questions about your condition. But anything beyond my current scope of practice is a no-go! I would much rather you talk to a doctor 🙂
What advice do you have for a nursing student?
If you’re crying, you’re doing it right! Seriously. I cried daily. Had no social life. It was the pits! But it was short lived, and I made some close friends (friends who suffer together, stay together!). It’s impossible to remember everything. Come up with funny pneumonic devices to help you remember cranial nerves or other things. It really does help! I do recommend taking a Kaplan course, or some course to help you pass the NCLEX. Kaplan helped me a lot because it retrained my brain on how to answer NCLEX questions!
I hope that gave a little more insight as to what I do! If you’re in the medical field, I highly recommend Landau Smitten scrubs as your work wear. They’re comfortable and flattering, and will look great your whole shift!