The Back Door

In August of 1984, I entered nursing school. It was kind of through the back door. My mother was the owner of a local day care center and had an affiliation with the school of nursing. This was influential in my acceptance to nursing school through the back door. The nursing students would rotate through the center to see “well” children as part of their education. This enabled them to observe and understand the normal growth and development of a child. After my three years there, I graduated and the world was my oyster.[1] I was offered positions in various specialities at every institution I applied.
I chose to work at a prestigious teaching institution. I wanted to work in an environment where nursing and medical advancements occurred and the operating room was an excellent opportunity for me. I chose another back door by accepting a private first assistant position offered to me by an orthopedic surgeon. Not having a BSN or even more of an advanced degree, it was unusual get a private position. I accepted the position which came without a job description and a “we’ll just figure it out as we go” motto. I was lucky. We did figure it out as we went. My role turned into a combination of the permanent intern, sorcerer of medical and cardiac clearance and general Gal Friday. I was thrilled to be such a part of this process. I performed initial physical exams, coordinated testing, dressing changes, casting, patient teaching, first assisted in the OR, hospital rounds and much more. Suddenly, my circumstances changed when I decided to have a family and ninety to one hundred hour work weeks were no longer acceptable to me. My skills, that were never formally taught, were not transferable. I never took the time to complete my degree let alone attain my formal registered nurse first assistant training. The “back door” I choose had left me with limited options and I returned to a staff nurse position in the same operating room.
Today, sixteen years…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *