Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Nurse?
We all know the work that goes into building a career in any healthcare profession. Everyone tells you “how hard” it is going to be, but it isn’t until you actually go through the experience, first-hand, that you fully understand “how hard” it is. At Black Finch our goal is to support students through their time as students, but also to paint the clearest picture of the work that is required. To get a real-life feel of what it’s like to balance nursing school, life and relationships, take a look at the interview below from a 2nd year nursing student on the cusp of making her career dreams a reality!
Name: Sophia Perez
School: West Coast University
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: My name is Sophia Perez and I am 25 years old. I am currently a nursing student at West Coast University. Prior to this I received a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University in Biological Sciences. While at ISU, I played softball for two years and then became a student manager after having multiple back surgeries.
I am a HUGE Disney fan and enjoy going to Disneyland in any free time I have. I also enjoy watching movies, shopping, hanging out with my family and friends and taking naps. Nursing school is EXHAUSTING so lounging on the couch in scarce amount of free time with my 4 dogs is one of my favorite ways to relax. I am a very pretty busy person overall, but I really love the life I live and the people I share it with.
Q: Is being a nurse something you always wanted to do? If not, how did you choose to go into the medical field?
A: Being a nurse was not always my first choice for a career, and like most people I changed my mind throughout college. I knew I wanted to do something in the field of science and really enjoyed all my science classes. It wasn’t until I became a patient myself that I realized I wanted to be a nurse. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia after my first back surgery and went through a lot of testing and treatments.
Going through tests and treatments, having pain and not knowing what was happening with my body was a scary time in my life.
But, during this time, I had some amazing nurses who really explained to me what was happening and understood how scared I was. This turned me on to wanting to be a nurse and help people who were in my similar situation. I knew I could be understanding of how the patient felt and really believed like I could be a good nurse.
Shortly after committing to a career in nursing, my dad went in to have knee surgery and went into cardiac arrest and was in the ICU. It was one of the scariest days of my life to see him connected to a ventilator and tubes and unresponsive, but during his time in the ICU, he had the most incredible nurses who were not only treating him, but our family as well. They were willing to sit and talk to us and make us comfortable and understand what was happening to him. During this time, I was reaffirmed that nursing was the career I was supposed to be in.
Q: How do you handle the stress of nursing school?
A: Nursing school is extremely stressful and takes up most of my life. One of the best things I have done in nursing school is made friends to study with. It is nice to have people who are going through the same stress you are and understand what it is like to do what you are doing. Nursing school requires a lot of studying and having a study group is so important. You have the ability to learn from each other, teach each other when you don’t understand something and support one another.
Q: How do you balance nursing school with your personal life?
A: Balance is probably the most important part of nursing school. I always try to split up my study time by doing fun things in between or rewarding myself after by watching a movie, shopping or going to Disneyland for a few hours. The breaks and doing fun things in between studying help make it feel like you have a normal life, as well as a school life.
Q: What keeps you motivated to excel in this field?
A: I love, love, love getting to work with patients. Going to clinical and getting to see something new everyday and learning about your patients and finding ways to help make their days better is so rewarding. I have really enjoyed my OB and Pediatrics rotations and getting to do more of the family centered care. Staying motivated is easy when you love what you are doing and know that after putting in all the work at school this is what you will get to spend the rest of your life doing.
Q: As a former college athlete, you know the mental strength it takes to succeed in a rigorous environment. Would you say that your experience as an elite college athlete helped prepare you for nursing school?
A: Being a college athlete has 100% helped prepare me for nursing school and life. Because of the crazy schedule a college athlete has, I feel like my time management skills and ability to be proactive and productive when it comes to studying have really helped me during school. I feel like because of college athletics, I can balance my life and studying so much better in nursing school. Being a college athlete was extremely stressful, but it did prepare me to be organized and manage my time properly. I do feel like it will also help me when I begin my career as a nurse.
Q: What has nursing school taught you about yourself?
A: Nursing school has definitely taught me a lot about myself. I have learned so quickly how much I love getting to help other people and that I can really change a person’s day when I am at work. No one wants to be in the hospital, but just by being kind and caring, you can make a patient’s day so much better. I feel like I am a stronger person than I even realized. I have the ability to get through times that are hard and still keep pushing forward.