Life Choices(I can't believe I'm considering this)

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I'll be graduating from the phlebotomy program in mid June. I can hardly believe it. I did much better than I ever thought I could. (even if algebra is going to bring down my GPA seriously lol)

It sure is nice to know I've still got a functioning brain. :grin:

But now that I'm almost thru the program the thought of poking people for blood the rest of my life just doesn't quite do the trick, if you know what I mean.

I've always had a weird sort of gift for anything medical. It comes easy for me. So I've been thinking about the future again. If phlebotomy isn't what I want, then what would be more satisfying and more suitable for me?

Lately I've considered being a paramedic. Nope. While it would be interesting getting a job around here at the age I'd be upon graduation (46) would be next to impossible. And it can be seriously physically demanding. Taking the required EMT/first responder course this quarter ran this fact home.

CSI lab might be interesting. But not only would I have to go to school in cincy, I'd also have to work in one of the major cities. No thank you.

Then tonight while easy child was tutoring me in algebra I asked her if she thought I'd be able to work while getting my pre recs for RN next year. Just sort of pops out of my mouth. (although it's been running thru my mind often)

I could probably make it thru the program just fine. But there is a year's worth of pre rec courses. The program is 2 yrs (assoc. degree). And the waiting list for this program is Loooooong. There are people waiting til 2011!

That's 3 more years of school. OMG :faint: And with husband without a permanent job we really NEED me to go to work. Then I run the risk of not getting accepted into the program til 2011. Although it you can keep your GPA high enough they'll accept you much faster. Now the last point is really something that I don't talk about much (and try not to think about either). I'm right on the line for dialysis with the kidney disease. Since I haven't been able to get to a nephrologist in forever for all I know I could now be a prime candidate for dialysis, especially with the trouble I've had over the last months. So I have to face the fact that I might not have til 2011 to wait to get in to this program. (one prime reason I need to work is for insurance)

Not to get morbid, my disease is terminal and I know I'm in the end stages. 27 yrs ago I started LPN training. Being bipolar, and 19 and overstressed an incident caused me to walk out of the program with only 2 weeks to graduation with a solid A average. I've spent a lifetime regretting that moment of immature stupidity. In my secret heart of hearts when I went back to school in sept it was to see if it was possible to finish what I started 26 yrs ago. I won't do LPN because here they're only hired for nursing homes. And I'm not that 19 yr old fool, if I decide to do it, I'm going to the top.

At this late stage this probably sounds pretty out there. That's alot of time and money when I don't even know if I'd be able to finish due to health. But d@mn it, I've always felt like a failure because I didn't stick out that 2 weeks.

It's hard to put this into words. I guess for once in my life I'd like to follow a dream, instead of worrying about how it affects everyone else. I'd like closure and to correct a mistake I made all those years ago. I'd be able to come full circle.

At least this is what I think when I'm not worried about the physical or financial side of it.

Right now I'm just thinking out loud, so to speak. I really don't have anyone I can talk this over with. If the subject of my illness comes up my family prefers to stick their heads in the sand. It's not something they can comfortably talk about. So I guess I'm hoping tossing it out here will help me come to a decision.

Thanks for letting me ramble.



Well-Known Member
Daisy, I keep telling myself that the only thing a person needs to become what they want in life is ambition. And you have it! :wink: Of course, you need common sense, and patience, and funding as well. But if you have a dream and the ambition to try, there's little that can stop you. I know you can do it, and I'm really proud of you!

Big hugs!


My advice is to follow your dreams, hon, and forget about the practicalities. Could you work in phlebotomy (for the insurance and money) and go to nursing school, too?

Ohio has many kind of medicaid programs. Because of your condition, you might qualify. Have you looked into that? Just a thought...


Well-Known Member
I think Heather has a good idea - work and go to school part time. You've worked hard and proved you can do - you'll make the right decision for you and the family.


timer lady

Queen of Hearts

There are many of us who have let go of dreams for one reason or another. For me, it was health related as well. I found myself a new dream.

That's not to say that you can't go to school part time while you work - remember to take care of your physical health in the midst of all this.

Whatever you decide - I'll be behind you all the way!


Well-Known Member
Staff member

I started my master's degree before difficult child was born and was halfway through when she was born. I stopped the program since I was working and had a new baby.

I always regretted not finishing the degree so when the girls were grown, I decided it was time to do something for me. I went back to school at 50 and found that I loved it. I was a much better student at 50 (or at least I appreciated it more) than I was at 20.

I worked fulltime and went to school. I am about to start my next postgraduate degree this summer doing the same.

It's never too late to pursue a dream. If you health allows it, working fulltime and going to school at night would allow you to have the best of both worlds. It takes longer but you get there in the end.

It's certainly easier to do now that the kids are grown. It's time for you.

Follow your dreams!!! The others have already said everything that I'm thinking. My brains aren't totally functioning yet - I guess I need more coffee!!! However, I just had to respond. Your thoughts really touched me...

It is time for you to put your needs first!!! You've taken care of everyone else's for so long!!! You deserve to do whatever is going to make you happy!!! Go for it!!! WFEN


Active Member
I am currently a CNA, going to school to do my pre recs for the RN program at our community college. It is very competitive, they take 36 people, and have over 150 apply. One of the nurses put it this way, you will be alive anyways. With your health problems, sorry to sound so flip. I would get a job as a phlebotomist, and go to school part time. Maybe that way you could get health insurance. Just curious, how long was the phlebotomy course and in what state?


Former desparate mom
Work 3 to 6 months while getting all your facts and figures together. See if hospital work is for you. The other thing is medication tech in the lab at a hospital. You draw blood but you run tests. They earn nice salaries.

Floor nursing is physically exhausting. It's the practical reality, not to mention working holidays and weekends. I'm not trying to discourage you but consider all the possibilities. I would certainly take on class that is a prerequisite to get your foot in the door. Following a dream or working towards a goal is important for everyone. If this is something you are interested in, give it a shot.

As I tell my kids, I'd rather they tried for something and failed then to not try because they are scared of failure.


I've given up too many dreams for life with difficult child's. Like timer, I'm in the process of trying to find new dreams.

If you have a chance to grab one of yours, do it! I've never heard anyone at the end of their life say "I wish I hadn't gone to school/traveled/insert your words here". I always hear "I wish I had done....."


Psycho Gorilla Dad
Do any of the hospitals in your area have nursing schools or other allied health professional schools? Or maybe a local university hospital?

Lots of them will offer tuition assistance (or even a scholarship) for students willing to sign on to work for them for X years after they graduate. My brother's girlfriend just finished an RN program at Tulane like that. I think she was even eligible for some kind of insurance.

Another place you might look, although it may be a long shot, is into the military (Guard and Reserves). They have a special program for the "Allied Health" professions. Since you're about done with Phlebotimist, and came close to an LPN, they might be interested (they're ALWAYS interested in anyone with medical credentials). But that's not for everyone.

Good luck and prayers for you on making this challenging decision in your life. I know it's an important one.



No real answers to life..
How about a physician's assistant? Don't know what the training is, but thought it sounded interesting.

Do you have to reveal your kidney disease when you apply for schools? I would think even with good grades it might make schools pause on your application. Just asking and not trying to be a downer...just know the reality of trying to get into a program. And I went back to school at age 48 to get another degree. Totally kept my mind alert, but I hesitate to go for masters, because the old memory isn't what it used to be and I would not do well on tests...that would kill me....

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Thanks for the moral support, and for not thinking I'm being morbid. Which is my family's usual reaction. You don't know how much that means to me. :smile: I'm just trying to go into this decision with my eyes open.

Fran you make some really good points. Being a floor nurse in a hospital is physically demanding. I worked in a hopsital for several years before I married husband. And I have easy child to get feedback from too. At the hospitals in our area they have either CNA's or techs who do most of the hands on patient care. (not that RN's don't help) So I wouldn't have it all on my shoulders. And with an RN I could pretty much pick my hours. (we have a severe shortage) Nor would I even have to do hospital care if my health didn't allow for it. There are tons of other options. Back when I did work I never worked in any other field so the idea of working holidays and weekends I take in stride.

Crazymama I appreciate your bluntness. The phlebotomy program I'm in is at our local community college. It is 3 quarters long. (1 school yr) I'm in Ohio. We're the first graduating class. Before our school offered the program the only place in this part of the state students could go is Kentucky and it's program is awful. Which is why the hosps around here got together with the college and set up the program. If you're interested I'd ask about it. Many of our phlebotomy students are on the waiting list for the RN program.

It would probably be practical to have some kidney functioning tests done to see where I'm at right now. The last time I was assessed I was in Stage 4, there are 5 stages (5 being dialysis). I've finally found a new nephrologist (my last one retired without contacting his pts), now I just have to see if he accepts patients without insurance and how expensive it is. At the moment my fam doctor is doing his best to manage it.

I don't know if I'd qualify for medicaid or not. husband hasn't worked since sept (except low paying temp jobs). BUT the co he got fired from sent us his retirement in a big fat check. husband was desperate for a car, we had bills that desperately needed paid, and I hit docs while we had the cash. So none of it wound up in the retirement fund as we'd planned. So I dunno if they'll count that against us since technically it's income. Or how long they'd count it against us. sigh

I'm going to hold off on a solid decision til I can get those function tests done..... Depending on those results nephrologist ought to be able to help me get a good picture of how I'd be able to deal with the program. But I think I'm going to go for it. :grin: Worst case senerio is that I'd fail or have to drop out due to health. But at least I TRIED. And as far as this is concerned I think it's the TRYING that is just as important as succeeding.

Does that make sense?

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

Yes, they have to know about my kidney disease. Actually they do know. All that's required is a form filled out by my doctor stating that I'm physically able to participate in the program. Which they already have for the one I'm in now. It hasn't been an issue so far.

But that is why I think getting the kidney functioning tests done before I make the firm decision is a good idea. If my function has dropped below the 15-25% it's at now, the idea is mute. Because unless my nephrologist could figure out a way I could manage to work, go to class, and do dialysis, I just couldn't do it. Still, I know people who've managed to hold down full time jobs while in dialysis..... So who knows. It's why I'd want to discuss it with the doctor.


No real answers to life..
Sounds to me like you have really thought this thru and if your health allows I would go for it...

You might job shadow a few people in the health field to see what it is they do. Would give you a real view of what's out there.


No real answers to life..
Just a question, but with your present training could you run the dialysis machines as a job? Seems like it would be right in line with your training, but I don't know that much about the health field and job requirements....


Active Member
Daisylover-thanks for the info. I was just curious as the hospital I am at trained me in phlebotomy on site. In Oregon, a CNA can be trained to do other things. I do not know about other states. Kinda funny, I can draw blood but cannot give a simple injection without extra paperwork.

If you have to do dialysis, would it be hemo or peritoneal or do you know? I have known many people who have peritoneal dialysis set up at home, but do not know how much it costs. I would think insurance would cover it if you could get insured.

I think if your health situation can handle it, go for it. I would think that it would be good to work somewhere you may be able to get insurance, so you can continue with the training and also keep your health.
When I went back to school, what I told myself was that I was going to be forty-two one day anyway. The other thing I told myself was that I was going to do my part. I would begin, and I would follow through one small step at a time.

And if I did not make it, it would not be because I quit ~ it would be because I failed.

On the terminal disease is terminal. None of us knows how short or how long a time we have.

Try, Lisa.




Active Member
Hi Daisy - just wanted to wish you the best. I'm an advanced practice nurse with a large nephrology practice. If you are CKD stage 4 for whatever reason, you definitely need a nephrologist. If it has been some time since you've seen one, you might be surprized at some of the newer medications that keep folks off of dialysis. Of course, transplant might be an option too.

As to your career choice, one of my best nurse friends had polycystic kidney disease and ended up with a transplant. She was still able to work full-time except of course, couldn't be exposed to CMV.

I have been a nurse for 15 years and decided to go back for my master's and post-masters education during my son's very, very rough years. I did it for me. That sounds incredibly selfish I know but my son has gone on with his life (he will be 22 next week) and I had to too. I wasn't getting any younger and knew that I needed options for when I got older. I am sincerely glad that I did. It wouldn't have made any difference for my son if I'd been a stay at home mom! He simply wasn't going to listen to anyone. least now at 48, I have options for my career and know that I can easily support myself if it were to ever come to that.

My one thought is to go straight for your BSN - you can get all your non-nursing and pre-reqs out of the way while you are waiting for a slot - you can go part-time now and then can maybe still do part-time once you actually get into school. I wish you the best and always want to encourage anyone to seek nursing careers.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I agree you've really thought things out. My sister is 41 and going back to school to be a nurse. She is also working full time and has 3 boys that are 9, 11, and 14. I don't know how she does it but I truly admire her.-I wish you the best whatever you decide.