While in the position of Patient Care Tech at a very well known health system in Michigan, I couldn’t stop asking myself if this was really what I wanted in life. I absolutely love caring for others, primarily working in healthcare. I love being a “side kick” for the most part.
In Colorado, I worked as a Clinical Liaison for an Orthopedic surgeon. That was something I had never even imagined I would do. For the many years before that I was a Certified Nursing Assistant who cleaned butts and fed the elderly for a living (which, by the way, I LOVE). But it was completely different from my new position I landed in CO. Maybe the fondness grew from my computer skills and my love for technology which became incorporated with anatomy and physiology, my other obsession in life. Or maybe it all boiled down to WHO I was working with. The surgeon and his PA became some of the best mentors I have had in my life. They taught me so much about medicine, I nearly considered PA school, but then there’s the fact that I probably wouldn’t make it through that.
While working with the surgeon, he flew to an outreach clinic in rural South East Colorado one Friday a month. This was probably one of the best parts of working with him. Typically in clinic I did all the charting and he would dictate his patient plan for each visit. In the outreach clinic he would dictate everything. A nice break for me 🙂 But that wasn’t my favorite part. On our ride back to Denver, we would end up sitting awkwardly across from each other on an old Flight for Life plane and that’s when the life talks happened. He constantly asked me when I was going to apply for nursing school or what happened in undergrad that made me give up on that dream. In all honesty, it was the instructors, but then it came down to maybe that’s not what I am meant to do.
There are still many things that attract me to Nursing which include being in the action (the blood and guts of it, if you will), working side by side with physicians and surgeons and the patient contact aspect as well. Nursing is one of, if not, the hardest degree programs nationwide. I applaud any individual who pursues and achieves this accomplishment. When I was 3 I definitely thought I was going to. But things change and I am okay with that. The one thing I am not entirely pleased with is stagnation. I love my job right now, I get to work with surgeons and nurses and great MAs, but I sit at a desk, staring constantly at a computer screen, while occasionally a patient is brought to my office to schedule a surgery (which really only takes me 5 minutes). I do love this, but I really do miss the constant patient/surgeon interaction and the HANDS ON medicine.
With ALL of that said, I know there are many careers out there that seem to embody the aspects of the career in healthcare I am looking for. Now I am looking toward becoming a Surgical Technologist. I would be in the OR all the time, side by side with the surgeon and watching procedures right in front of my eyes. That would be incredible. I remember experiencing my first surgery as a nursing student where they did a total knee replacement (ha, ironic), but it was by far the most incredible experience I have had educationally speaking. I want to feel that excitement every day of my life! In the past 6 or 7 months I have changed my mind SO MANY TIMES, including contemplating grad school, nursing school, radiology tech programs, recreational therapy, etc. so maybe this is just another phase, but then again, maybe not. I do remember though, when Justin was thinking of attending a Vet Tech program in CO I came across Surgical Technologist programs and heavily considered it (back in 2014). I know A LOT has changed in my life since then.
I wish there was a button I could push that would tell me what the correct career choice is for me. UGH. But, such is life, there is no answer button.