Monday, July 15, 2013

I’m at a crossroads in my life. Our marriage is great, the kids are good, but I've coming to an intersection of what do I want to pursue in my career? I have been accepted into two very interesting programs of study this past Summer, one is Radiation Therapist and the other is Electrical Engineering. Originally I was working my way towards a degree in Nursing with an advanced degree in Nurse Anesthetist, being able to administer anesthesia to patients on an out patient or labor and delivery basis. I've had a long conversation with my wife, who as you all may know is a very good nurse, and she let me know that the future of health care is looking pretty rough. Most of her concerns stem from the cyclical nature of how hospitals operate, where they cull the older, more experienced nurses who are making a very comfortable living, and bring in the less experienced, fresh nurses from schools. This kind of turnover is good for the hospitals, but not so good for the nurses. With this kind of culling, the hospitals can start to impose their new ways of doing things which, again is good for the hospital, but not so much for the nurses or even the patients who are under the care of the new nurses. The culling will also create serious issues between the veterans and the rookies in the nursing profession. The other major drawback is that I would have to quit my current job, which isn't all that rewarding most of the time, but it does pay the bills and it keeps a roof over our heads, food on the table and my car payments paid.
That said, I've been looking at the alternatives, first is a position still in the health profession. Radiation Therapist, this is one that intrigues me because it’s based in both biology and physics. Radiation therapists administer, sometimes known as Dosimeterists, the radiation to cancer patients as needed. This would be a rewarding career in that I would be working with patients who needed me, while getting my physics fix in on the side. The major drawback to this though is that I would, like the nursing school, have to quit my job and like above, house, car, food, etc… would be stretched as I went through the 2-3 year program. I wouldn't be able to sit around and not work because I couldn't do that to Mie, MG or MB, I realize that school would become my full time job, but I still need to bring in close to what I’m making now in a more limited capacity. That’s just not a reality at this point in time.
The other road of the intersection is going to Arizona State U. online to their Electrical Engineering degree program. Because this is online, I would be able to keep my current job and go through the schooling from my desk. Although the thought of building electronics sounds interesting to me, mostly because my uncle use to work for IBM in their robotics division, but also because Electricity scares me a little. Yeah, I know that’s kind of counter-intuitive, but I've learned that the best way to face your fear is to learn more about it. Kind of like ‘Know thine enemy’ sort of thing. Needless to say this degree wouldn't be as “rewarding” as say nursing or being a radiation therapist, it would be a good career to advance from where I’m currently at. 

My mind and my heart are at odds with this, my mind tells me logically go with the Electrical Engineering, it’s in a field I already work in and the EE degree would only help me to advance further into the ranks of where I’m at. My heart tells me to go with the Radiation Therapists training, even though it would potentially causes is to go into the poor house and lose our current residence. But then my gut gets in there and throws a monkey wrench into my thinking with telling me that I should still pursue becoming a nurse, then onto a nurse anesthetist. I was thinking that feeling was residual from the past four years towards one definite goal. I hope that these crossroads give me a clear sign as to what it is that I’m meant to do, standing here at the fork in the road is going to get me run over by the garbage truck driven by time.