Monday, August 16, 2010

Trying to Make Some Decisions

I have been doing a lot of thinking/research about what I want to do when I finally get my B.S./B.A. in psychology and communication. I had previously wanted to work in artist management, and while this still holds a lot of interest foe me, I do not see my career going in this direction. There are several of reasons for this, not the least of which finding a job with health insurance while trying to this would be all but impossible.

This leaves me with two other areas that I am interested in. The first is school psychology. School psychologists collaborate with school districts, parents and teachers to make sure that kids with behavioral, medical, social and learning problems have access to the care they need to succeed in school You can either obtain a M.Ed or other related masters degree in school psychology or you can go all the way with a Ph.D. Being the way I am, I would probably want to go with the Ph.D because the autonomy you have is a lot greater. You are eligible to become a licensed psychologist (and therefore actually use "psychologist" as your title and not "psychological associate" or something like that) and you can also practice in private practice, therefore opening up more avenues for teaching, research and salary.

The second is medicine. Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to become a doctor. Now, however, I do not necessarily want to become a doctor but do something related to the medical field. Most of my research has been focusing on becoming a nurse practitioner (NP). NPs practice primary care on a level that is often comparable to physicians. It was when I was under an NPs care that I finally received my diagnosis of lupus, and I credit the ay she listened to me and didn't just write me off like so many of the physicians I had seen had.

I am going to be applying to at least two programs for after I graduate. The first is the Teach for America program which is a two year program where you go into a low income community and teach there. The current acceptance rate is about 8%, so I am realistic about my chances. The second is a Direct-Entry MSN program at a small school in my hometown. This program allows me to take the prerequisites before the actual nursing classes commence. After the first year you obtain your RN licensure and then you can either full-time or part-time get your masters and be eligible to become an NP.

One last option I am looking into are post-baccalaureate pre-medical programs. There is still some part of me that wants to be a doctor, although medical school and all its craziness is totally unappealing. I might try for one of these programs as well. Once I figure out how I am going to pay for the GRE I will also make a decision about what school psychology programs I want to apply to.

If I do not get into any of the programs than I hope to get a job as a research assistant in a child development lab or something like that or become a residential counselor in a group home for children or an acute care psychiatric hospital for children. While I am working I would take more prerequisites for nursing and then reapply in about a year to more programs.

That's my plan and I finally feel comfortable with it. I am going to have to put off, at least, my dreams of working in the music biz, but I am OK with that. Working with children in some way has always been where I knew where I would end up. Whether that be in the schools or in a medical setting, I don't know, but I know I will be fulfilled and happy either way.


Anonymous said...

I am also considering being an RN or NP, even though I originally did school in a completely different field. I also applied for TFA before I graduated, although I didn't do my interview because I decided the program wasn't really right for me at that point in my life.

I'm actually really excited about the prospect of being an RN these days and I like the fact that there are so many continuing education possibilities and specialties within the field. Very exciting!

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus manifesting as lupus nephriis 18 yrs ago at 42 when my son was 3, I was an RN working in NICU & High Risk Maternity
I had to change my occupation to Case manager I couldn't work 12 hr shifts & I was in flare ups almost constantly. i worked 18 yrs receiving IV Cytoxan once a week. I've been on disabiity for 5 yrs. I hope to go back to work PT, i feel a lot better on Cellcept