When you are trying to decide which job to get, how do you decide between being a nurse or social worker? Follow this advice!
Nurse Or Social Worker – Which To Choose
I get lots of random questions, but this one really seemed important. There are tons of careers that are really close to nursing and sometimes it can be tough to decide which path to take.
Here’s a question I received recently, and how I answered it. I hope this helps you out too if you are in the same boat.
I have to choose between an RN program or a MSW (masters in social work); I am having a hard time deciding. Knowing what you know now If you could do it over again would you still get into nursing?– Maggie
Here’s how I answered Maggie, along with how to choose between nurse or social worker as a career path.
10 Reasons I Would Still Be A Nurse
Knowing everything I know now, I would still be a nurse. This is no knock to social workers because I LOVE my social workers. I just believe that nursing is truly for me. Here’s why.
1. I Love Blood And Guts
I love blood, guts, and gore. I love helping physicians with procedures, crazy dressing changes, watching surgery, and talking about really gross stuff when people are eating.
2. I Prefer To Focus On One Patient At A Time
Social workers, like physical and occupational therapy, physicians, nutritionists, all have a long list of patients and take care of one specific aspect of a patient’s care. As a patient’s primary nurse (and in critical care, I usually only have two patients), I get to be with that patient all day and am in charge of coordinating all aspects of two patient’s care.
I like that because I get to form a trusting relationship with the patient and family throughout the day and am their advocate within multiple aspects of their needs.
3. I Don’t Like Paperwork
Believe it or not, there’s less paperwork in nursing. Social workers sometimes feel like they are drowning in paperwork, and that’s just not for me.
4. A Nurse Focuses On Basic Needs For That Day
When I think about my goals for my patients for the day, it’s basic needs things.. I make sure they’re clean, medicated, supported, informed, etc. I am responsible for that day of their life in the hospital.
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A social worker has to think of the rest of their life. They consider everything else like how they’ll get home, how they’ll pay for their meds, who will care for them, who will care for who they care for, etc. All of that makes my head and heart spin.
I believe that having to take all of that into consideration for each and every patient on my list, I would burn out faster than if my focus and priority are just their needs today in the hospital. I love that when patients start asking me about insurance I stop them and say, “I’ll just go page the social worker..” BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
5. Nursing Has Lots Of Career Options
I’m not near as familiar with all of the career options as a social worker, but there are so many as a nurse. Especially once you have solid experience and good references, you can go spend a few years in critical care if you want and if you get burnt out, you could work in an outpatient office, etc.
6. Nurse Programs Have Less Student Debt
Depending on your school and current financial situation, if you go with nursing you may make marginally less money and have substantially less debt. Have you looked into an accelerated BSN program? Man, those are fantastic. There aren’t as many regular nursing programs, but they are such a great option for people who already have a degree.
7. I Like My Nurse Schedule Better
I love my schedule. I love working for 3 days a week. And I love being able to work more days if I need more income. Oh, and I can take 4 days PTO and have 14 days off.
8. Nurses Feel Empowered Working With Doctors
I love the times when a patient is starting to look like crap, you’re working elbow to elbow with the doc, and you suggest something they didn’t think of and it WORKS. Talk about feeling like a rock star all day.
9. Teaching Medical Concepts Is Fun
I like teaching/explaining medical stuff. As a social worker, I don’t think I’d get the same chance to explain how the body works or how to safely heal after surgery.
10. Nurse Scrubs Are Comfy
Finally, I get to wear pajamas to work. Some scrubs feel as comfy as pajamas, and social workers don’t get to wear them.
Nurse Or Social Worker – Which Is Best
This is a very personal question, I just can’t answer it for you. I can only tell you what my experience is. I hope this helps you in a little way. Even if you are the complete opposite of me, you can glean some ideas from this list and go after your dreams. In the end, we are all helping people in different ways!