Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Ok, ladies, I could use a bit of feedback and some opinions. As many of you know I've been going to school preparing to enter the RN program. The reason behind it is that 25+ yrs ago I did the LPN program and walked out with an A average 2 wks before graduation. (I've mentioned I used to be a difficult child, right? lol) Completing the RN program was to finish something that I'd started all those years ago.

    Simple. Straightforward.


    From the time I was just 12 years old and the show Emergency was on tv, I've dreamed of being a paramedic. This was decades before paramedics were common place. All these years later, the desire has never wavered. It would be my dream job.

    So why haven't I just done that? Well.........there is my age. At 44 I'm no spring chicken. And I do know some places around here won't hired someone that old no matter their training or how good they are. Actually 5 yrs ago I applied to the program and was eagerly accepted by the Director. But had to back out because at the time my ride bailed on me and I didn't have transportation.

    It is always playing in the back of my mind. Always.

    Nichole keeps telling me the reason she wants to be a paramedic is because of me. Several years ago we witnessed a horrible car accident. A guy in a small car T-boned a semi truck on the highway. Without a single thought I found myself at his side giving him what medical care I could. It stunned me because it was something I did without concious thought. (and yes that's the weirdest feeling) It amazed my kids who watched the whole thing from our car.

    And that is why Nichole wants to be a paramedic. She wants to be like me.

    And that makes me so very sad. Because I never got to be what I really wanted to be. Any time I told someone of this dream I got poo pooed, even laughed at sometimes. Most especially as I grew older.

    I can do the program. I can make the grades. Heck, I've got almost all the classes completed for it except the main EMT classes already. And that accident showed me that everything I learned snaps to attention in an emergency and I suddenlly become this take charge sort of person that I am not normally.

    I will never forget that man I kept alive until careflight got there. His name was Pete.

    When I got run over by the truck and the medics were treating me.......In between screams of pain.......I was thinking.......They're doing that wrong.......they shouldn't take my b/p in my arm.......they shouldn't be putting an IV in my arm.......why aren't they stabilizing my arms?........and on and on. (both shoulders were severely injured and I had a skull fracture) Actually, I'd even begun arguing and telling them how it should be done. And this was going on along side the mental confusion from the head injury.

    Sad part of that is that I was very right. :mad:

    And then when Aubrey ate the poisoned flower last year and Nichole brought me a blue baby........Yep. All my training (although 20+ yrs old) snapped into overdrive and I took over. No thought. Just did it.

    by the way, it is really weird when that happens.

    Then last year I had to take the First Responder's course as part of the phlebotomy program. The instructor kept asking me if I wanted to be an EMT. She thought I'd make a darn good one.

    easy child thinks I'd be a d amned good paramedic. Nichole agrees with her sister. And I think so too.

    However, part of me says to finish what I started. It's important. The other part says Go for it. Then the practical side of me says that 44 is not exactly the prime age to start out as a paramedic.

    I've thought about the pros and cons. It's all I've thought about since being back in school. And it's that risk of not being able to find employment due to age that worries me. Although my First Responders instructor said it's not an issue at all.

    So? Do I chuck being practical? RN is easy employment, high pay. Do I grab the brass ring? Paramedic is all I've ever truely wanted to do, but might find it hard finding work and I'm not sure what it pays. (I've got to be able to support myself when I'm done guys)

    It shoudn't be this hard. Am I making it harder to decide than necessary? I'll admit, now that I'm ready to enter the RN program I don't have the least bit of excitement toward it. I'm beginning to dread it. Much the same way I dreaded the LPN program all those years ago. (that was my Mom's idea, I wanted to be a paramedic)

    Sigh. I'm wondering if that's why I keep freezing up on the entrance exam.:( Because I swear I know the material backward and forward.

    Nichole wants me to do it. Is begging me to do it. Keeps leaving the college program pamphlets under my nose along with the application ect. (I'm staring at it right now, she's placed another copy on my desk) And I admit when she's not looking, I keep looking at it. Wondering. The desire is still as strong as ever.

    Is there such a thing as being too practical minded?:faint:
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Very simply, Lisa, life is too short to not follow your dreams.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Maybe you can combine the two things. I have seen on those Trauma in the ER shows a nursing position where the nurse goes out on the life flight calls or other trauma calls. That would give you both the EMT side and the nursing side of things.

    Just a thought.
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    A job that you are passionate about is worth 100X than one you take solely for the practical, economic reasons. If you "hate' the thought of the RN program, you may also hate being an RN. I say, explore the option. You can also go to the RN program if it doesn't work out. I have learned in life it is the chances you don't take that you live to regret----not the trying and failing. GO FOR IT!!!!
  5. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I think you just answered your own question. If being a paramedic is what you've always wanted to do, for goodneess sakes, JUST DO IT! As somebody who is going to be 61 her next birthday and still does everything she wants to do, I can tell you that you are NOT TOO OLD. Around here it is a very rural area and we do not have professional EMTs but we have lots of volunteers and many of them are older than I am. Why waste you time doing something you don't want to do when there is something you do want to do. If you want it, go for it.
    Good luck.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Ok, you asked......
    You have been in school for a bit. You studied phlebotomy, then prerequisite for nursing and now you are pondering paramedic school.
    If you were my child I would say, work a year and do your research on what is required to be a paramedic including job availability and income before making a choice. Figure out how you will get transportation or other obstacles that will stop you so you can complete the program once you start. Get some experience under your belt so you actually know what you want to do and how you can do it. This is what I have told my kids. Make a committment that you will finish regardless of any of your kids particular needs.
    Do phlebotomy in the ER. It will give you a better idea of what the paramedic job entails and see if it's where you want to be. If after you work for a year, you still want to do it then you will be prepared.

    If Nicole wants to be like you then let her see you make a balanced decision weighing pros and cons and complete something in addition to working to get to the next step. If you have a dream then follow it but don't do it in ignorance. Research and decide. Leave impulsiveness for the youngsters.

    So that's my opinion. It was free so you are welcome to throw it out.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    my 2 cents?

    Sounds to me like you're finished nursing school cause you think you need to finished what you started back when you were a difficult child...

    Yeah, finishing nursing school is a good thing - but - if its not really what you want to do, WHY?

    Paramedics make decent money (not so much for EMT's) around here, and a lot of times continuing education with the nursing program, if you decided to, would be easily worked around. Or at least as easily as you're doing it now.

    Fran's got a good point, but is the basica principal of completing the RN is to finish what ou started with the end result being a job you don't want to be doing...welll....what's the point?
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Life is very short to be tied to a job you don't want. There ARE a LOT of different ways you can take a nursing degree though.

    According to the median salary in the US for a paramedic is $38,071.

    Many large companies have their own firemen and paramedics, so that might be an avenue to explore as far as being a paramedic. I know my uncle worked for P&G as a machinist and was part of their fire squad and life squad - he had been a volunteer fireman and paramedic for his part of Cinci and a neighboring part (every little neighborhood in Cinci is divided into "cities" though it is hard for me to think of 1 square mile as an area large enough to be a true city - so I called them areas here).

    Have you asked the professors who have been teaching you about career opportunities as a paramedic at your age? I don't have any real experience in that area, but surely the profs/instructors will be able to help you learn more about this.

    I really really really think you are in no way, shape or form too old to be a paramedic. I think you should go for it if it is what you want to do. If you are unsure, ask someone if you can set up a ride-along with an ambulance one night. It can't hurt to ask!

    I would MUCH prefer having someone older who is good in emergencies help ME after an accident than someone younger who might not be as steady or reliable.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You are all very right. And I know that's the advice I'd give. :)

    Janet, I'd consider that except the more I think about it, the more I don't want the nurse aspect. I have the upmost respect for nurses. That's not it. It just when it comes down to the line, I have no real desire to be one.

    I think I'm going to fill out this application and set up a new interview with the Director, although I may not need to do either since I was already accepted before. I seriously doubt I could get in to the fall class, but they have another starting up in the spring and I could start then.

    Weird thing is, I just talked to husband about it. He lets out this huge sigh of relief. husband said he's been worried all along that I'd get in the middle of the RN program only to realize that I hated it. He is also telling me to go for it.

    So I think I'm gonna reach for the brass ring, afterall. :D
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Sound advice. Phlebotomy was only intended as a step, not necessarily as a career choice. After that accident I needed to see if my brain was up to snuff, so to speak. And after doing clinicals, I knew it's not what I wanted to do.

    I can (and will) call the Director of the program tomorrow and speak with him. As I recall he's a very personable person and gives good straight answers. So I can question him a bit. And I think I'll track down my instructor for the First Responders course and talk to her. She didn't start the program to become a paramedic until she was 39. And she's still working as a paramedic too.

    I walked out of the LPN program way back when because I was a difficult child. Yup. But the reason I did it was sound. I was good at it, to be sure, but I didnt' like it. I was miserable. It was not what I wanted to spend my life doing. Being a difficult child, in an odd way, gave me the courage to walk away from it when I did and to face my mother's wrath for doing so.

    I'd decided on the RN program to finish what I didn't back then. To settle old business, so to speak. And because I wanted a secure job that paid well and had good benefits. And while that's all fine and good, I can't stop thinking about what if I hate it as much as I grew to the last time? Then I've spent all that time and money for a career I dislike.

    I can't change the past. My life most likely would've been much different had I finished the LPN program in many ways. But like phlebotomy, I knew in clinicals that it wasn't for me. I don't think 25+yrs has changed that.

    So I can talk to the Director at least and see what's what.

    Oh, and if you're wondering about the title to this post..........It was meant to say Listening to Yourself........but I got sidetracked before I typed it all in. I'm really not going bonkers. :rofl:
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Couldn't you do BOTH?

    Finish RN school AND work as a paramedic in the mean time?

    My thought is this - and belive me I would love to follow my dreams but I'm uber practical and just not a lot of fun.

    If you finished Nursing school P/T and did EMT or Paramedic P/T you'd be able to see if EMT was right for you. If NOT - then you would have been going right along, get a degree and get a job making lots of money - and I will say that not ALL nurses jobs are boring. Have you considered - flight trauma nursing OR ER trauma nursing?

    Just my thoughts - I'm all for going for the dreams - but if EMT turned out NOT to be your thing what do you have to fall back on then? ANd if it DID turn out to be your thing - YOU would be a FULL FLEDGED RN with EMT training......Probably more pay.

    Hard decision -
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well..........see Star, this is how I can be practical and try following my dream at the same time. There is no way I can get into the RN program before next fall. Most likely it would be 2010 at the earliest. And since I'm pretty much out of classes for the RN after this quarter anyway...........I could do the paramedic without affecting the RN.

    If I did get into the Fall 09 class of the RN, I'd still have a full year of the paramedic under my belt. So by then I'd most likely know if I still wanted to do it. :D

    Hmmmmm, is this what a mid-life crisis is? :rofl:
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Then that's settled -

    and what DO you see when a baby eats a poison flower? What do you do?
  14. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Daisy, I absolutely think you're making the right decision, to follow your heart. And you're NOT too old! Sheeesh! 44 is young! You could spend the next twenty years doing something you love ... or you could spend that same twenty years doing something you might come to despise!!

    My daughter is a nurse and I would never encourage anyone to go into nursing who isn't 100% sure that that's what they want to do. Allison (my daughter) is only 32 but she's spent half her life in the medical field! She started working as an aid after school in our local nursing home when she was just 16, then full time for a year after she graduated, then nursing school, and she's been working as a nurse ever since. At least she knew what she was getting in to. Some of the people she went to school with realized during training that it wasn't really for them and never worked a day as a nurse after graduation. And many others started nursing jobs and then soon quit. She worked a lot of stressful assignments - ER, childrens ER, cardiac wards, etc. And after a while even she started to "burn out". After they moved to S. Carolina she got another ER job and hated it. Not all hospitals are the same. She decided that she had had enough of the stress of working directly with patients and now is in a supervisory position with a home health care firm.

    My point is (the long way around) that if even someone as dedicated as she is got burned out on it after a while, someone who is only lukewarm about going in to nursing in the first place won't last long at all - they'd be miserable! If you don't really, really love it, you'll hate it! Life's too short and money isn't everything. Follow your heart and do what will make you happy.
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, when it's already been 20 some mins since said flower was eaten and baby has projectile vomited it up, become semi comatose, and is having much difficulty breathing and is blue around the lips and has blue hands and feet........

    You don't wait for the medics to come to you, you get her to them! Then you scream down the medic's throat every time the idiot removes O2 mask off baby during trip to ER because said moron isn't paying much attention to what he is doing or taking the situation seriously.

    That is until ER doctor rips him a new one once he has Baby fairly stable.

    One things for sure, I simply could not be as lousy a medic as they have in our town. :faint:
  16. judi

    judi Active Member

    I'm an advanced practice nurse (nurse practitioner) and I'm also a pre-hospital RN in the state of IL. I volunteer on my rural fire dept.

    I would finish your RN - its not necessarily an easy job (believe me, I've been an RN for many years before going back for my MSN)! However, the pay is decent (again, you are not going to be wealthy being an RN). The thing it does give you though is job security. I have been able to find a job in any state where the military moved my husband, I've been able to work full-time, part-time, nights, days, weekends, whatever I needed to do for my family and I got to help people too.

    I vote to finish your RN, get a job in a big, busy level one trauma center and see where that takes you.

    Good luck.
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I like that you can do the paramedic classes and still finish your RN!
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Admittedly, I haven't read every word of every post but I'm not understanding the exact education and requirements for each of these fields. Given that, my simple answer is that if you are almost finished with the requirements for RN, I would suggest completing them, then moving into being a paramedic. For one thing, you could work as an RN while completing requirements for paramedic, I think. But for another, I realize that being a paramedic is and has been your ultimate goal, but it appears to me that not completing what you started has been a thorn in your side too. If you are close to completing the RN requirements, but stop again, are you going to feel good enough about yourself and still have the drive to go into something else?
  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    After reading a little more, could you be an RN in an ER while working on being a paramedic??
  20. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Lisa, I really do not know what to tell you. I can say that if you do not want to be a RN it will show. The best nurses are ones who want to be a nurse and enjoy their job. It can be a thankless job. I have been a CNA for 12 years, and I have been spit on, kicked, hit, pinched, yelled and loved and appreciated. If you do not know if you want to do this then re-evaluate.

    Good luck with whatever you decide on.