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MRLABES's Photo MRLABES Posts: 543
7/22/07 11:53 A

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Oh HEATHER, I can just comisserate with you so easily!!! First, I agree with you right now that PA school is probably better. (I can't believe I am saying that because I believe so strongly in the nursing profession and really like how we are SUPPOSED to be practicing better than a PA, BUT...) The reason why I think PA would be better is that you can get done and out in only 4 years! Nurse Practitioner would be 4 years of nursing school for RN and then 2 years masters degree and NOW they are thinking about making the Nurse Practitoner a doctorate degree!!! AAAAGH! Even though we as nurse practitioners, have more education, we still get paid the same and even LESS than a PA in many, many instances. We as nurse practitioners work off of our own lisc. where as a PA works on a physician lisc. PA's get more respect than NP's. As a NP you will get asked all the time, "When are you going on and getting your doctor degree, dear?" AND right now we are practicing like "mini-docs" anyway and not really getting to do primary-gate-keeper, wholistic care like we like to do! I really don't know if I would go on to be a nurse practitioner if I knew I was going to be stuck like this--I LOVE being a nurse and I so strongly believe in our nursing theories and just LOVE to practice the "nursing" way, but just find myself playing "little doc" and I hate it. I still love the patient contact, though....I am honored that these people are sharing their lives with me. I just LOVE seeing that little lightbulb go off over their heads when they suddenly understand or realize what I am teaching them or when they finally understand their condition. Right now, being a PA probably would be the quickest way and least stressful way for someone to be able to have patient contact.

Now, as far as finding a small group in SP, the best thing is to find a challenge group. Usually these are smaller. I would also think that you would want a group with other students like you.

I found my WONDERFUL group (or should I say they found me) by just being ignorant. I found another nurse practitoner on the health professions message board and I looked at some of her teams that she was a member of on her sparkpage and I looked at her recent posts--one of them was a boot camp challenge and I just thought that sounded like such a WONDERFUL thing. So, I went back in my 25-50# weight loss group and looked for a challenge group there. I didn't see any. So, I started one! I started a thread that was a boot camp challenge. Very few people initially replied, but the challenge was supposed to start July 5th and I started the thread the end of June. I just kept posting so in my own team so that kept the thread at the top of the Discussion forum (I didn't realize I was doing that until I started managing my own team.) Well, by this time I had actually found a whole CHALLEGE area and joined a July challenge. But by now my thread on my boot camp challenge had grown and finally by the time we were supposed to start I had to go ahead and create my own team! We have about 15 members and about 8 who are very active. We are all very close. I JUST LOVE my team! I look forward to see what everyone has posted and how they are doing everyday! It is more time on the computer to be a team leader as I feel like I need to keep in contact (although that is really a treat and not a chore) and try to help people when I can or at least try to direct people where they can get help...

Kind of like a nurse practitioner, huh?

Well, I would suggest you go ahead and start a team for PA's trying to loose weight or something like that!

If it doesn't get the attention like you would like, you are welcome to join our team....I will send you an invite so you can come check it out....

 
HEATHERBRIGGS's Photo HEATHERBRIGGS Posts: 49
7/22/07 10:47 A

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Thank you! I was trying for a couple of weeks to see if I could stick to my lifestyle if I didn't hold myself accountable by writing it down. I couldn't, so I'm tracking again. It really helps that my husband is on my butt daily to exercise. I truly appreciate it even though I want to smack him for it sometimes.

I considered nursing school, but I would have to do approximately the same amount of school for only about $5-$10 more an hour than I am making now. PA made more sense since there is no way I could do med school. I did think about it though. One of my biggest motivators right now is the picture in my head of a patient coming in who is exactly like me now and me showing them what is possible when you decide to just go for it.
My biggest problem with the message boards is finding one that is small enough to not get lost in. I'm not that active because I always feel lost and not connected. How could I go about finding one that is small and connected? Thank you so much for the inspiration and the encouragement! It was really needed.

 
MRLABES's Photo MRLABES Posts: 543
7/21/07 3:04 P

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Wow! Congratulations to you on choosing to go back to school! That is a big step, but it is doable--even with having children! I don't anything about your "special needs" child so I cannot personally relate to that, but I do want to tell you that it IS possible to go to school and have a family--the job thing is possible, but difficult! Let me explain...

I don't know about the PA program where you are going to go, but we had a PA program in the college of Health Professions at Wichita State University (WSU--go Wushocks!). I got my undergraduate in nursing and my masters in nursing at WSU. Therefore I was around ALOT of PA students and infact we had casting and suturing "workshops" together with the PA students. My husband did look into the PA program as well. He chose to go on and become a physician (that was a great choice for him--he is a FANTASTIC doc!)but we found out that PA's at that school have a similar schooling to my Family Nurse Practitioner).

What I am trying to say is that I can kind of understand what you are up against, so I want to tell you, that if you really want to make it, YOU CAN!!! It definitely will NOT be easy and to be honest, it makes me tired just to think about it, but I am much older now... Just surround yourself with a good support group. It will be even more important that you exercise and eat right so sticking with SP is very important. I see by your nutrition and fitness tracker that you haven't tracked (at least at SP) since the first of July and then you did extreemly well in June and the first of July. So, you can do it! But it will be important that you "hook" yourself up in a team--even if that means just making a team of your own! I know you have several teams you are a part of, but a smaller team that you can get to "know" the people (as well as you can on the internet) and you are accountable to each other. A PA student team would be fantastic because you can rant and rave with each other about classes and frustrations with not only trying to live a healthy life, but with school! I can see you being a great source of inspiration for many, many people!

Keep up the great work and good luck!

 
HEATHERBRIGGS's Photo HEATHERBRIGGS Posts: 49
7/21/07 1:11 P

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I think I might be losing my mind, but I have finally decided to go back to school. I am currently a cath lab tech with 2 kids living at home and 2 kids living with their mom. One of the kids living at home is a special needs child. I work full time plus (and who doesn't in this field? :) ). I have finally decided to finish it all up and become a PA. So, my question is how do I manage to deal with all of this without my usual (and old way) of eating? Serious help needed here for the next few years!!! Thanks!

 
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