At a fork in the road...a rant.

tlcmagic

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I am at a crossroad and don't know which direction to turn. I am so confused, and I feel like I am wasting my own time... it's very frustrating!!!

I want to be in the medical field. That much I know.

I am 35 years old, soon to be married. I have a 16 yr old son, and an 8 yr old soontobe daughter.
I have been going to school for 13 years, part time (yes, still going). I have an AA degree in General Studies.
I am an EMT-B. I took the class, aced it, and got my certificate in 2005...let it expire, and I did it again last year. I am re-certified as of last summer. I still haven't worked as an EMT-B. I have a total of 60 hours clinical time under my belt.
I have been working at a surgery center for the last year and a half. It's a nice job, I get decent pay. I can't complain. I've worked for the medical field for 6 years now.
I have been trying to get classes to get into a nursing program for the last 10 years. They fill up, I can't get in. I'm having to take Microbiology again because it's been 7 years since I last took it. I only need 4 classes.

I am starting to feel discouraged...I don't think, at this rate, I will get into Nursing...(Even if I AM able to get into and finish my pre-reqs, I cannot quit my job to go to school full time right now) and I am afraid to try to start working as an EMT. (1) its been a while since I took the class, 2) I am nervous that I will fail at it.
I know the whole saying "You don't know until you try it". I get it...But that doesn't mean I am not afraid...

I want to stay in the medical field. It's what I know, understand, and love.

I guess what I am looking for, with all this rambling... is to find that other people have been in my shoes... and what they did to find their career path if they were able to.

I am starting to feel depressed because I feel like I am on a non-directional path... just a Groundhog Day like life... (as far as job is concerned, anyway). My personal life is awesome and I couldn't ask for more...

Okay... off my box now. I'm sorry...


Tami
 

lampnyter

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Well i cant say i know what its like since im only 18, but i say continue doing what you love. Nursing is a great choice and i plan on becoming a nurse someday as well. Keep looking around until you find a class.
 
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tlcmagic

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Well i cant say i know what its like since im only 18, but i say continue doing what you love. Nursing is a great choice and i plan on becoming a nurse someday as well. Keep looking around until you find a class.


That's the problem... I have been trying for 10 years. And once I do get the classes, I am still unable to get into the program right now. Where I live, the nursing market is totally flooded, and its a lottery system. There is no wait list.

Im not trying to make excuses... it's just really too damn hard right now to get what I need to move on. I am still "young" so-to-speak... but I am not getting any younger and I am really frustrated. I should have a career right now.
 

lampnyter

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Well where i am they are begging for people to become nurses lol. And i know people older than you who have no idea what they are doing in life, my sister for example. Have you tried looking in other cities nearby? It may be hard since you have kids though.
 
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tlcmagic

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Well where i am they are begging for people to become nurses lol. And i know people older than you who have no idea what they are doing in life, my sister for example. Have you tried looking in other cities nearby? It may be hard since you have kids though.

Yeah, its really hard for me to move...especially since my fiance is joining the Army after we get married. I might have a chance wherever we go... but I want to feel like I have a purpose no matter where I go.
I guess I can just chalk it up to being whiny. I keep looking at BS programs and school is so damned expensive... and I already have quite a few school loans. I have no direction.
 

Anjel

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The route I am taking is completing my paramedic course. That is what I love and want to do.

But realistically being a women who wants a family and kids. A paramedics schedule might not always work out for me.

SO which is why this option is working the best....

You work as a medic for 2 years. Then you get into an accelerated medic to RN program. You usually get to bypass the waiting list and all the pre-reqs are covered from your medic classes. It is a 3 semester course and when you graduate you can become an RN.

There are refresher courses for the EMT. If you don't remember everything. But you really should try and find a job as an EMT. 60 hours is nothing. Im at 130 and still get lost sometimes. Its ok to feel that way too. But you are embarking on a new chapter in your life. Time to make a decision and go after it with all that you have.
 
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tlcmagic

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The route I am taking is completing my paramedic course. That is what I love and want to do.

But realistically being a women who wants a family and kids. A paramedics schedule might not always work out for me.

SO which is why this option is working the best....

You work as a medic for 2 years. Then you get into an accelerated medic to RN program. You usually get to bypass the waiting list and all the pre-reqs are covered from your medic classes. It is a 3 semester course and when you graduate you can become an RN.

There are refresher courses for the EMT. If you don't remember everything. But you really should try and find a job as an EMT. 60 hours is nothing. Im at 130 and still get lost sometimes. Its ok to feel that way too. But you are embarking on a new chapter in your life. Time to make a decision and go after it with all that you have.


I am wondering...as an "older" woman getting into the field... is it harder when you already have a family? My kids are older, one is almost out of highschool already. My fiance is planning to join the Army after we get married in a couple of months. My stomach is in my throat with thoughts of what I should do, what direction I should take.
Everyone says I would excel at being a nurse. My boss is a Director of Nursing and she told me she'd give me excellent references. I do have a "clinical" background and already have knowledge to the point, I have re-written code blue policies at the surgery center I work at.

I guess I am afraid to make that step. I havent' spoken to my fiance about it. I know I need to, and I will. I don't keep things from him... but sometimes I want to make the thoughts in my head make sense before I talk to him about it.

I have been going on and on about nursing. He's awesomely supportive of it. I have a great job, and an awesome boss. They are very lenient here (with my schooling and all) and I love the people I work with. I am truly blessed. However... I am starting to feel "bored" and like I have hit a dead end. My job keeps me from being more available to take the classes I need FOR nursing... (daytime, etc). But I also need to work full time in order to make things work...

I have no idea how much EMT's make where I live... I should research it... just to see if I can even go that route. Not to mention if there are any jobs available in the area.
 

Anjel

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EMTS here in Michigan are paid any where from 8 to 12 an hour. IT SUCKS! Thats why I am jumping right into medic. But that pay around here for a private company caps off at 20.

So nursing would definitely pay more.
 
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tlcmagic

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Yeah, see I make $17/hr. I mean, I have paid off some bills and such, so I can cut my salary if I have to. But I don't want to go down to "bare minimum"... I don't live outside my means... but I like having that extra "cushion" just in case... as anyone would.
 

WTEngel

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You have way too many things swirling around in your head. You need to simplify it a bit.

First, if your future husband is joining the military and planning on going active duty, then long term planning for your education and/or career is going to have to go on hold for a bit. It would be frustrating to begin working at pre reqs for nursing or working as an EMT only to have to up and re locate in 3 or 4 months.

Second, what do you have time for, and what are you willing to sacrifice time for. With a child in high school, a wedding on the horizon, and a step child on the way, how much time can you really commit to either of your two choices (nursing or EMT work.)

Last, I do not want to come off as rude or insensitive, so please take this a tough love, and not an attack or in any way intentionally offensive. I know classes fill up, but I can not see any possible way how in 10 years EVERYTIME you try and register, all of the classes you need are full. If you are serious about getting into the classes then you need to wake up earlier than everybody else to get in line to register, or get online and register, whichever the case.

So, my advice to you is this: EMS and Nursing are both careers designed for people who find what they want and MAKE it happen. They MAKE it happen through hard work, follow through, doing more with less, sacrifice, and many other tough decisions. It seems to me that up until now, you have not made any of these tough decisions and you find yourself where you are. Make a plan for how to become a nurse, make a plan for how to get a job as an EMT, discuss the plans with your family and future husband, find out what works for your family (keeping in mind that at this point in time, both plans may need to be put on hold,) and then go for it. Remember, no one will hand you anything in nursing or EMS (I am not saying you are asking for a handout, just reminding you,) and no one will make the decision for you.
 
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tlcmagic

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You have way too many things swirling around in your head. You need to simplify it a bit.

First, if your future husband is joining the military and planning on going active duty, then long term planning for your education and/or career is going to have to go on hold for a bit. It would be frustrating to begin working at pre reqs for nursing or working as an EMT only to have to up and re locate in 3 or 4 months.

Second, what do you have time for, and what are you willing to sacrifice time for. With a child in high school, a wedding on the horizon, and a step child on the way, how much time can you really commit to either of your two choices (nursing or EMT work.)

Last, I do not want to come off as rude or insensitive, so please take this a tough love, and not an attack or in any way intentionally offensive. I know classes fill up, but I can not see any possible way how in 10 years EVERYTIME you try and register, all of the classes you need are full. If you are serious about getting into the classes then you need to wake up earlier than everybody else to get in line to register, or get online and register, whichever the case.

So, my advice to you is this: EMS and Nursing are both careers designed for people who find what they want and MAKE it happen. They MAKE it happen through hard work, follow through, doing more with less, sacrifice, and many other tough decisions. It seems to me that up until now, you have not made any of these tough decisions and you find yourself where you are. Make a plan for how to become a nurse, make a plan for how to get a job as an EMT, discuss the plans with your family and future husband, find out what works for your family (keeping in mind that at this point in time, both plans may need to be put on hold,) and then go for it. Remember, no one will hand you anything in nursing or EMS (I am not saying you are asking for a handout, just reminding you,) and no one will make the decision for you.


I know what you are saying and I appreciate it. Unfortunately you don't know the entire story as of WHY it has taken me 10 years.
I was married for a long time before, and lived in Florida. I started to take my pre-reqs then. Due to my situation then... I was able to get into the classes because I had priority registration. Unfortunately, I left... because my ex-husband decided he didn't love me anymore after 11 years, had a baby on the way and was engaged to another woman. Because I didn't have any family in the area... I moved to where they were, in Virginia. I started school there. It was like starting over. Because I was new to the school I had to go to the bottom of the totem pole for registration priority. For 2.5 years I tried to get into the classes, and couldn't. I was assigned a registration date and time, and yes... I set my alarm clock so I can register as soon as I could. The classes were full by the time I was able to log in.
So here I am now in California, for the last 1.5 years. My previous science classses I already took in Florida have now "expired" and I have to retake them AGAIN. Those are the classes I need. The colleges here in Cali don't care if I have a degree, or 100 credits+. They only care how many credits I have at THEIR school. So here I am... at the bottom of the totem pole again. I can't register until my assigned date and time. Unfortunately, that means, I get to register nearly when "open registration" starts... by that time, the 4 classes I need have been full for nearly two weeks. There are no wait lists. I have applied to 4 colleges. Including a University. I have been here a year an a half... and still can't get into the classes I need.

As far as my family... I am not concerned with making time for them, because I already do. My son lives with his dad in WA state now, so I just have my stepdaughter, whom already lives with me. We have a routine, and it works. My fiance, IF he is able to get into the Army... yes our lives will change. But it could take months, if not, over a year for him to even get into BCT. He's 30lbs over weight... he's trying to lose it now. He's 34 years old and has to overcome the entrance test. What ever happens, we'll make it work.

However, my job/career is at a standstill right now. It's been a realization for me lately because I just don't feel accomplished. I am not looking for any handouts, and I am not one to take any if someone offered. I work for my living and family and I do the work myself.
What I am looking for, in a sense, is someone else who has felt lost, like I do... and how they overcame that.
 

firetender

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I agree, you marrying and your husband going in to the army is going to much more clearly define the options you have, and that's not even mentioning the kid thing. You are in an adjustment period and will be for a few months; don't beat yourself up.

Doesn't matter what's happening with Nursing Today, because Tomorrow they're going to be begging for help thanks to the upcoming debilitation and demise of the Baby Boomers (I can say this; I are one!). Nursing, since I've been watching it (1971), has been all about boom followed by bust. Boom coming, get ready, and I hate to say this, but for your future, unless you absolutely HAVE TO do it, EMS probably won't do what you need a career to do.
 

Seaglass

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If you're counting on spousal benefits to help you with your education while your husband serves, don't. That system has a lot of problems, and new wives have no real chance of seeing any educational benefits anytime soon.

That being said, I'd go ahead and keep trying. The future's always uncertain, and none of us are getting any younger. Just make sure that you're only applying to regionally accredited schools, which will give your credits some hope of transferring.
 

Sassafras

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If 35 is too old to continue my education just shoot me now. We are NOT old. We are not too old. We are not too busy with our children. Do they get in the way and slow us down sometimes yes. Definitely. I just took a two year hiatis from my premed courses because my nanny up and quit three days before classes started and I simply couldn't afford both childcare and school.

I have a 3 year old. Med school I am realizing may be too financially risky for my future, but RN is not. So I retake a course or two because it's taken me so long to work through, but that means they will be easy As. Figure out where you are going to be in a few months. Focus on the wedding. I've done school with a tiny one at home on the breast. He's still not in day care or preschool unless I'm at work. I can't justify the expense. My husband is working on his masters degree and is almost done. We have 3 kids. Two in school, one of which with ADHD and behavioral issues at school as a result. The other is still at home 24/7. The thing is, if you really want this you will find a way to make it work. You can't let excuses be why you aren't completing it. An 8 year old stepchild is definitely old enough to understand your need to study. She will have studying of her own to do. And honestly my older kids studied HARDER and made better grades when I was setting the example for them.

Set yourself up now, to be able to finish your pre reqs in the same school as your clinicals will be. Then stay put and don't steer from the course until done. Sometimes being stubborn is the only way to accomplish things, but in that stubborness you must have a well thought out plan. So for now, focus on the wedding, find out where your future husband will be stationed then jump in from there. The only one who can get this done is you. You just need the will power to accomplish it.
 

emt seeking first job

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Maybe try the Army yourself. The reserves allow people up to 42.

See if you can get into a medic program. Not transferable certification wise but you get hands on patient contact. The skills are similar. Then re-take civilian EMT and try to get a job or vollie.
 

citizensoldierny

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Maybe try the Army yourself. The reserves allow people up to 42.

See if you can get into a medic program. Not transferable certification wise but you get hands on patient contact. The skills are similar. Then re-take civilian EMT and try to get a job or vollie.

Emt,
When one is done with (medic)training they are NREMT-B's. Also some states recognize Army medic training and will issue license even though they are not a National Registry state i.e. New York. It works in reverse also if you are a civilian EMT and nationally registered you bypass phase one of medic training.
 

emt seeking first job

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Emt,
When one is done with (medic)training they are NREMT-B's. Also some states recognize Army medic training and will issue license even though they are not a National Registry state i.e. New York. It works in reverse also if you are a civilian EMT and nationally registered you bypass phase one of medic training.


I stand corrected.

I was just going by what a woman in me EMT class told me. She had been an army medic. However, she ended up failing the practical so maybe there was more to her story.

Anyway, to the OP, IMHO, join the ARMY yourself. Your husband is regardless. I would have done it myself but just as I was 41 1/2, I had a hernia and by the time it was repaired it was too late.
 

tazman7

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I feel your pain, except I am more on the fire side of things than nursing. Been testing for 6 years, around probably 75 department tests... Same deal. Wont go into it any further but I feel your pain.
 

citizensoldierny

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EMT,
Your not necessarily wrong it's just that the Army had a major restructuring of their Medic MOS some years back. Part of that was adding the National Registry component. Change from 91W to 68W occurred in 2007 so she may have been a Medic previous to the changes.
 

mycrofft

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I graduated nusring school at 33 years old,as a former EMT...in 1985

1. Make sure you know what you want to do, and find out if it will pay enough and have benefits and there will be openings. Get square with yourself.
2. Talk with your husband. If he's joinng, you will possibly be required to throw everything over to move with him, or decide to try a long distance relationship until you have your license and can move, or his enlistment runs out. You will need his support either way, especially financially. Get square with your husband. (See last paragraph).
3. Go to a nursing school, any and all if needed, make phone calls first, and explain your situation. You have clinical experience, you are motivated and older, so you are probably a good prospect to graduate and not drop out or flunk. This makes you a better prospect for financial aid too. No none is likely to give you educational credit for experience, but as a working single mom (not married yet) about to have an absent husband, maybe there is some leverage there for you to get any reasonably priced accredited nursing degree or certificate (check on their accreditation and whether this will get you licensed...one benefit to living close to the BRN, it's a local call to North Natomas). Also, look into public assistance; if it will assist you better in meeting your goals, use it!!!!
4. Almost forgot...explain things to your teenager and point out the benefits. The Greater Sacto area is a good one to get into trouble, it is easy for kids to lose sight of or not ever form aspirations beyond social popularity. Get square with your offspring, you need that support so you can lend support.

This is tough timing, but I guess life is like that. Don't let hubby get indoctrinated by the Army trainers who will undoubtably come up with the line "If the Army wanted you to have a family, they's have issued you one". Why does he have to join up right now anyway? (I don't need an answer, but you do.)
Good luck!;)
 
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