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    Hi, I'm thinking of going into nursing. I've always been really interested in healthcare and nursing appeals to me because you help people every day, you work in a team and there are so many things you can do with nursing. So I decided to get a job as a care assistant to get experience, both for the UCAS application and to see if it's actually something I'd enjoy and I'm conflicted now...

    I like working with our residents and helping them. I don't mind some of the less glamorous parts of the job like taking people to the toilet. But I'm really not enjoying it. Having had no prior care experience, I knew there would be a lot to learn and I expected to be a bit overwhelmed. But I've been there for weeks and there's still so much I'm confused about. I get told to do things different ways by different people, told to do 3 different things at once by 3 different colleagues, asked to do things I've never done or seen done before.

    I think part of it is that the training isn't great. I got manual handling training so now I can do what other care assistants are allowed to do. But besides that, it's just been learning on the job. Which I wouldn't mind if people actually taught me stuff or if there was some consistency in what different people taught me. And I want to give residents more attention than I have time for so they feel comfortable and have more dignity or human interaction. Lots of the care assistants shout at residents, which doesn't seem right to me. It really bothers me that most of them sit in their chairs all day, every day with nothing to do. I feel like a liability. I know the other care assistants will be talking about me (they talk about everyone else) and this isn't the sort of environment I want to work in for the rest of my career.

    I'm thinking of getting a job at a different care home because I think it might just be this environment I don't like. But right now I don't know if I'll like nursing or not. It's really confusing. I want the best for my residents and I want to treat them with compassion and dignity, which I thought were good qualities for a nurse, but where I work now, those traits aren't what will get work done quickly. I'm finding it really stressful and dreading every shift.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience or got any advice? Thanks x
    • Community Assistant

    Community Assistant
    Try working in a different care home. It's the people that create the atmosphere, so if you don't get along with your colleagues at this care home, you might at another. Definitely worth trying one or maybe even two more homes before you decide nursing isn't for you.

    A lot of people will have no care experience or a few days so you're ahead already.
    I worked in nursing homes for 2 years before my degree and if I'm honest I hated it. I loved working with people but the environment wasn't well run, staff not well trained and overall shoddy practice. But i love nursing. I think if you enjoy working with people and the physical care that's what counts. The basic care is really important to learn throughout the degree (I can't stand other students who believe it's beneath them as they'll be nurses 🙄). And we all generally find our area that gives us an interest.
    I won't lie there will be times you are tested and wonder if this is right but most find their niche and get through it.
    I personally wouldn't judge nursing through care homes, they aren't what wards are like (my experience to date), you should be shown good evidence based practice skills and research these yourself too as they do differ between places (for example recently seen a; to use gloves during subcut injections yay or nay, and everyone has different opinions on this! Although overall shouldn't differ).
    And just general practice. I guess I'd just never choose to work in a nursing home again. It really was a good experience of what not to do (and yes I whistle blew more than once so was v popular lol).

    Good luck with whatever you decide! Nursing is great if you decide that's what's for you!
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