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Where to from here? - December 13th 2017, 04:09 AM

So I've wanted to work in oncology for a long time but I've recently had some experiences that have changed my mind, just a little bit. I'll get the gross and embarrassing experience out of the way first Initially, I thought I might work as a nurse's aide and I wanted to work with adults. And trust me, I didn't thought I was that squeamish, I thought I could handle this sort of thing. But I took my mom to the phlebotomist (I think that's what they're called) to get her blood drawn. And I watched what was happening the entire time because I thought it was no big deal and that I could handle it. Unfortunately, I was wrong there because I ended up vomiting in the garden outside afterwards…and that was the first time I'd vomited in 5 years so it must have shaken me up pretty badly Basically, that was where I decided that maybe helping out in the medical side of things wasn't for me. I'm actually grateful that I did go and watch now because it was better than paying for a course, getting halfway through and realizing that I couldn't do it. At least I can rule careers out beforehand now.

But the second experience changed me in a way that I wasn't really expecting. I went to this fundraising event last week, for a very young boy with a brain tumor. And I don't know but I feel like it changed me a lot...it's like you got to give encouragement and hope but at the same time, it was also just a fun event like I don't remember them mentioning his cancer or anything medical at all. It was just a time for him and his family to have fun. It's strange because I never wanted to work with children but I'm now planning on volunteering with 3 different charities to help out at fundraising events and usually I get money for Christmas (don't know what to buy me, haha) so I want to use some of that to buy stuff like toys, books, coloring pens, toiletries to a children's hospital. I'd also like to volunteer at our local hospital but I don't know if they'll allow that at this point in time. And if that all went well, I'd like to volunteer to work at a camp for child cancer patients as a mentor. I'm thinking I'll just sign up to volunteer at the fundraising events and donate stuff first before I do that. One step at a time lol.

But there's a problem because I do need money to live and I can't just volunteer for the rest of my life. Honestly, I probably would if I could but I just need to make a living somehow. I'd really like to work in the hospital but I'd like to just talk with the kids and help out their families, I'd like to do stuff like play therapy as well. And I'd like to be able to give them hope because when it comes to illness, I'm actually way more optimistic than I usually am. I just think that there's always, always hope and to keep fighting because it can pass. Or if it's terminal I just hope for the best outcome. If the prognosis was for 5 months to 5 years (and I just made that up) then I'd believe that they can get to the 5 year mark and try to have as much fun in that time period as possible. And I'd prefer to work with one family at a time in order to build a connection with them and have 100% of my focus on one case but I could work with multiple at once. I just feel like it'd be better for me because I tend to get overwhelmed if I have a lot of jobs at once.

I was searching for courses in my city online and there were the jobs social worker and caseworker listed, is that what I'm looking for? If not, is there anything else I can do?
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Re: Where to from here? - December 13th 2017, 07:19 PM

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience as a nurses aide! Although it's good that you figured it wasn't for you!

I think you are on the right track with social worker and caseworker given the experience you had at the fundraising event and what you are interested in. I'm not sure if it's the same where you are, but here we have health visitors who are nurses that go out into the community and offer support and advice to new parents and young children. Family support workers also do a similar role but work with all ages of children, in all types of situations, whether that's disability, poverty, abuse etc. Play therapy and counselling children can also be interesting careers. In general, it does sound like you are on the right track looking into youth/social work. Not entirely sure if you can focus on one family at a time, maybe if you worked with terminally ill children, but otherwise, it's quite common for those in the social care sector to be liaising with a several families at a time.

You could also consider working in the charity sector- even though charities rely on volunteers, they will still have some paid staffing opportunities.

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