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Is it feasible to become a nurse while having Post Traumatic stress disorder?


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Okay, I'm really hot on the idea of becoming a nurse. I think it will be great for me.


There is job security, I'll be challenged, and I'll be able to nuture and interact with people, which I LOVE!


The only thing is that I hear nursing is extremely stressful. I've improved a lot but I'm still slightly nervous.


I was wondering if there are any nurses on this site who have PTSD, does it make your job harder? Or is it like any other job, stressful at times but overall really rewarding?


Thanks so much!



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Hi There,


I do not have PTSD, but I am a survivor of rape and domestic violence (long term battered woman for 5 years), and I am a nurse. It's extremely challenging, but I have found it to be a big healer for me to take my negative experience and turn it around into something positive.


I think your best bet would be to talk to a guidance counselor or career counselor- do you go to college now?

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Hey There Hope75 !!!


How are you doing?! I hope you're well.


You are a nurse?! That's so neat!!!


Actually I finished college. I have a degree in Animal Science, however I'm thinking of returning to school to become a nurse.


I'm in the process of researching the field right now. However, it's always best to get the "real deal" from people who have experience.


There is a real shortage of nurses now, so nursing is being heavily promoted. In these instances you usually only hear about the positive aspects and not the negative ones.


I love learning and I'm really interested in going back to school. It's just slightly nerve-wracking because I don't know how well I'll do. School can be really stressful, and I don't really do well with stress any longer.


I think things might be okay though. I'm safe, I'm living at home, so I don't really have all of the other stressors I had before.


I'm just wondering about the actual job.


What do you find to be most stressful?

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I am not a nurse (have known a few throughout my life), but just someone who wants to encourage. I would start by speaking your psychologist/therapist whom ever you are seeing for the disorder. Identify the challenges that may be in front of you and a plan to overcome these. If you really want to be a nurse, I do believe that you can learn to deal with any amount of stress.


I will say that having nurse friends, I know that working in different environments brings on different amounts of stress. (I assume that working in the ER is very different than working on the maturity floor.) If this is a concern, you could start your career in an area with less stress and work into where ever you want to be. However, I am over my head in truly knowing.


Have you considered job shadowing? Many places are in need of nurses and have programs to really encourage people to get into the nursing field. See if you can job shadow and get a feel for a normal day. See if it's for you.


But in the end, if you really want to do this, know that you can overcome anything. Just take it one step at a time! =)

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I worked as a vet tech for years before going back to school in my late 20's for nursing. It's definitely feasable.


DDP has a good point, you could try calling around and seeing if you can shadow someone for a few days and see what nursing is all about. I think the best phrase I've heard in ads for nursing is "It's the hardest job you'll ever love" because it's so true. There is nothing I've done that is so hard. I thought nursing school was extremely difficult (like boot camp with all the hours and papers and exams and clinicals) and then to find out that nursing itself is even harder! I cry sometimes out of frustration or inability to be in 5 places and do 5 things at once (and as a nurse you really are expected to) but I do love it and find it very rewarding. It is very physically and emotionally demanding- I am exhausted most nights after I leave work, but for me the rewards are greater than the difficulties.


A good way to get an idea of whether nursing might be for you is to take a job as a nursing aide/assistant/CNA. That is where you will learn a good deal of skills, safe patient transfer, handling, learning how to do vital signs, washing and caring for patients. It is a very heavy and dirty job, I am not going to to lie to you, but also a very fundamental part of what nursing is. I urge anyone considering nursing to be an Aide first- it is a quick way to help you decide if you think you can do nursing. I worked as an Aide for 2 years before becoming a nurse.

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