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Thread: High School Student, how to start?

  1. #1

    High School Student, how to start?

    Hi, I've been putting this off for awhile... I've been sorta stalking these forums for the past year, because all the little questions I had were answered... And I have nothing to contribute.

    But, alas! The time has come...(dun dun dun)

    I can't figure out if it's a weird "I love helping people" drive that just increases over time... But the field of caregiving and nursing is such an amazing, necessary, beautiful(in my opinion, it's an art) field. I have endless amounts of respect for all of you. I can't even comprehend how wonderful you are for managing the psychological part of the job, let alone the physical part...
    You'd think I'd be grossed out, with all the caths, bed pans, bed sores, angst-y workplaces, etc. According to my friends, they would all "probably run away".
    I can't stand their ignorant attitude toward this field. They have all these stupid misconceptions...

    So here I am.(yay)

    briefly, I'm Hannah, almost done with my Junior year in High School.

    I think I'd be a good caregiver. I think I'd like it.
    I have a lot of questions...

    I would like to maybe shadow...?
    Or maybe get an experience on what it is like to be a PCA...?
    Or maybe I could just befriend someone with a disability and learn how to care for them, as a friend? That sounds creepy...But I don't know how else to phrase it... To my understanding, the youth with SCI's or other visible handicaps don't really have a strong community on the interwebs, and parents tend to get very protective(understandably)...

    Do you think that any parents of children with a condition(that sounds so lame but I can't think of any term that would appeal to the general public of these forums, for I know some are VERY picky about terminology and being PC gets difficult...)would be willing to have a teenager come and hangout with their kid? Do you think that is too strange of an idea? I just want to learn, and I thought that maybe someone closer to my age would like my company more than an older person... I don't know...

    My ideas are all pretty random and have been formulating for the past 3 or so years. Are they unrealistic?

    If you have any suggestions as to how, or where I could get started in NYC, they would be really, really appreciated(ie. you will receive buckets full of e-cookies and e-hugs).

    have a good day!
    Last edited by jadedsimiles; 03-01-2011 at 09:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Jaded, welcome to our forums. I think it is great that you are researching options for future work and careers for yourself.

    That being said, I would not consider you for employment as a PCA for my mother at your age. Maturity and some life experience are things we look for when hiring PCAs. I would suggest that at this time you focus on getting your education completed (high school) and start college. If you are interested in nursing, a BSN should be your initial goal. You will be much more employable with this degree as an RN, and have more more potential for advancement. Eventually you may also want to pursue a graduate degree for either advanced clinical practice or nursing administration.

    Meanwhile, I would encourage you to think about taking a few related courses. This could include training as a CNA or HHA (often available through publicly funded vocational schools or junior colleges), or medical assisting. The Red Cross Home Nursing course is also a good one. Also, look into opportunities to do informal, unpaid caregiving for family members or friends. We certainly look at such experiences favorably when hiring for PCAs.

    Once you start college and get some of your nursing clinical experiences and training, then you may want to consider working as a PCA part-time. Of course you would need to work around your school schedule. Weekend relief or evening shifts usually work out the best.

    Good luck with your explorations and future!

    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 03-02-2011 at 10:37 AM.

  3. #3
    Welcome, jadedsimiles, and all the best wishes for your life and career. It's wonderful to move in a positive career direction early in life, and someone with your level of caring and commitment will do well!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    Wecome to you! I think your interest to be commendable, and I wish you luck in obtaining your goals. I agree with SCI Nurse about additional training being needed, but perhaps an opportunity might come up to volunteer at a summer camp for disabled kids or some similar opportunity that would allow you to put your great intentions to use.

  5. #5
    Volunteer at a nursing home, Veterens hospital, YMCA, special needs kids in schools or at summer camp.
    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Welcome Hannah. Your local spinal cord rehab facility may also have volunteer opportunities. Best wishes.

  7. #7
    If not the hospital, try to find a local rehab gym. at my local junior colleges there was always students who volunteered for credit or something I assume. Others got paid to do the same job.

  8. #8
    Shoot higher! You are young, bright (it seems) and eager. Stay in school. Become an R.N. or a doctor even -- Why not? Sky is the limit!

  9. #9
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    hello jade
    You can get involved with workstudy.
    When I was in my first year of pre vet, I worked for a family who paid my to stay over night with the grandmother, who had a stroke but wanted to still live in her house. I got a hundred bucks for 36 hours in the eighties. so I did one shift a week and worked in the lab at the college as well. I was getting my pre vet requirements at a nursing college.
    Later I learned of a person with M.s who needed a cleaning lady. I ended being one of her pca's until my accident. we are still friends too.
    I think some high schools also have work study type programs too. anyway, there certainly is a need in the sci community for good caregivers, so best of luck.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    North Carolina, USA
    Speaking as a caregiver, I say this gently - I agree with CowboyCrip. Do not aspire to this, have a bigger dream. This work is hard, low paid and often without acknowledgment. Reach higher - become a doc and work to CURE sci, the best care anyone could contribute!!

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