Important advice needed for aspies working medical field!!

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layla87
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08 Apr 2013, 4:11 pm

Hello my fellow aspies,

Wondering who here works in the medical field? I need some crucial advice.

Here's my predicament - I'll explain it as short as I can

I have a fascination with blood (not like in gory horror movies), and the circulatory system - as well as mainly the other systems in the human body. I hope to have some sort of rewarding career in the medical field.
Not to brag lol - but I am in the 91st percentile when it came to writing my pre-admission tests, and have been graciously accepted into college for two programs, one for nursing and another for paramedic.

My question is which job nurse/paramedic would be easier for an aspie, and also if you could state your career (ie doctor, nurse, pediatrition) plus any tips for being an aspie at work would be greatly appreciated , thanks :)



UDAspie13
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08 Apr 2013, 4:16 pm

I'd say that paramedic probably contains more working under pressure, but I'm 14 so that could be wrong.



layla87
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08 Apr 2013, 4:20 pm

UDAspie13 wrote:
I'd say that paramedic probably contains more working under pressure, but I'm 14 so that could be wrong.


You have a good point. It is a very stressful job!



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08 Apr 2013, 4:21 pm

I'm not in the medical field, but Phlebotomist sounds like something you may like. During my wife's cancer treatment, finding a person in oncology to handle her tricky veins was a pain. There was this guy who could always get it first try, and he moved on to being a paramedic.


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daydreamer84
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08 Apr 2013, 4:32 pm

layla87 wrote:
UDAspie13 wrote:
I'd say that paramedic probably contains more working under pressure, but I'm 14 so that could be wrong.


You have a good point. It is a very stressful job!


I'm Also not in the medical field but I'd agree that paramedics have to work well under pressure and should be good at keeping patients calm during emergency situations. If you were a nurse in a private clinic it'd be less stressful. You have to do a placement in a hospital first, though. My sister's friend is a nurse. The other thing about nursing is you get an undergraduate degree and you can use this to go to medical school later on if you want to, so I vote for nursing.



goldfish21
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08 Apr 2013, 5:32 pm

It depends on your traits.

Some AS people are very very calm under pressure & chaotic hectic environments, which is why they can make great paramedics, firefighters, combat medics, soldiers.. etc. It depends on you whether this would be a fit or not.

Do you want to work on the road in an ambulance, or have a regular more routine job as a nurse? Or even more routine as a blood lab technician or something of the sort? There are tons of possibilities. It's up to you to explore them and decide which one suits you best.

Once you've narrowed it down, find some people in these jobs and ask them about their work & what it's like so you can get a feel for it. Also see if you can go hang out with them for a day doing a bit of a job shadow to see if it's something you'd be interested in doing for a career.


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redrobin62
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08 Apr 2013, 5:59 pm

I'm a nurse and I would say that nursing is not appropriate for an aspie. To wit:
1. Do you like being alone? Not with nursing. The patients will be ringing their call bells, the nursing supervisor will be breathing down your neck, your CNA's sometimes like to slack off and give you a hard time.
2. Do you like not being in charge? Not with nursing. You have to crack the whip on your aides who sometimes don't speak a lick of English.
3. Do you hate bright lights? Get used to them as those fluorescent fixtures are everywhere.
4. Allergic to loud sounds? Get used to that because of the constant noise from bells, doors opening and closing, people talking in the halls, intermittent fire drills, code red or code blue pages, etc.
5. Love the sight of blood? You'll see lots of that, plus urine, poop, vomit, phlegm, sputum, wound drainage and pea green trach mucus.
6. Prefer to sit and work? Not with nursing. You're constantly on your feet, pushing a med cart or seeing to some issue.
7. Go to the bathroom during your shift? Nope. Wear a catheter attached to a leg bag. Bathroom privileges are forbidden! (Well, not really, but you know what I mean).
8. Eat fast? Good. Lunch is over. Get back to the floor!
9. Problem with authority? Well, every other person you'll meet is your boss telling you what to do. From time to time you will get conflicting signals. Always go with who holds the highest rank.
10. Flexible? Good, because your schedule is subject to change at the last minute, whether you like it or not. Yes, you're expected to plan your life around your job otherwise you're always free to apply at your local Animal Shelter, Wendy's or Merry Maids house cleaning service.

Just a side note: I went to nursing school against my wishes (the choices was that or being homeless). It's been years of torture, misery and pain since. When you enter these facilities you leave your pride, dignity and what's left of your humanity at the door. What's the difference between nursing and prostituting for money? Prostitution is illegal.



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08 Apr 2013, 8:35 pm

redrobin62 wrote:
I'm a nurse and I would say that nursing is not appropriate for an aspie. To wit:
1. Do you like being alone? Not with nursing. The patients will be ringing their call bells, the nursing supervisor will be breathing down your neck, your CNA's sometimes like to slack off and give you a hard time.
2. Do you like not being in charge? Not with nursing. You have to crack the whip on your aides who sometimes don't speak a lick of English.
3. Do you hate bright lights? Get used to them as those fluorescent fixtures are everywhere.
4. Allergic to loud sounds? Get used to that because of the constant noise from bells, doors opening and closing, people talking in the halls, intermittent fire drills, code red or code blue pages, etc.
5. Love the sight of blood? You'll see lots of that, plus urine, poop, vomit, phlegm, sputum, wound drainage and pea green trach mucus.
6. Prefer to sit and work? Not with nursing. You're constantly on your feet, pushing a med cart or seeing to some issue.
7. Go to the bathroom during your shift? Nope. Wear a catheter attached to a leg bag. Bathroom privileges are forbidden! (Well, not really, but you know what I mean).
8. Eat fast? Good. Lunch is over. Get back to the floor!
9. Problem with authority? Well, every other person you'll meet is your boss telling you what to do. From time to time you will get conflicting signals. Always go with who holds the highest rank.
10. Flexible? Good, because your schedule is subject to change at the last minute, whether you like it or not. Yes, you're expected to plan your life around your job otherwise you're always free to apply at your local Animal Shelter, Wendy's or Merry Maids house cleaning service.

Just a side note: I went to nursing school against my wishes (the choices was that or being homeless). It's been years of torture, misery and pain since. When you enter these facilities you leave your pride, dignity and what's left of your humanity at the door. What's the difference between nursing and prostituting for money? Prostitution is illegal.


OMG. Just that...OMG.

Why on earth are you in that job? OK you went into nursing because your parents threatened to throw you on the street if you didn't? Even if so, surely you could have changed job, or gone off and got a different job just to please them? Surely now you are working and earning you won't be homeless and can look for another job?

I tell you what, ten minutes in that job and they'd be worrying about my vomit.


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megocode3
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08 Apr 2013, 10:14 pm

I worked as an EMT on an ambulance for a while. I loved being an EMT. Most of the time it's just you and your partner hanging out somewhere until you get a call. Rarely ever a boss or anyone hanging over your shoulder. I only lasted about a year or so with that career though. I just have a really hard time communicating with others and trying to talk with doctors, nurses and give radio reports, etc was just too much for me.



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08 Apr 2013, 10:45 pm

Being a nurse or paramedic is a socially demanding occupation, but it is not impossible for an autistic person to do. If that's what you want to do, go for it--just make sure you have a way of fulfilling the requirement to communicate effectively with patients. Many autistics find that they do well working with special needs populations, because unlike neurotypicals, autistic people are used to communicating with those who are not like themselves--an advantage when your patients/clients/students/etc. are different from the average. We're not naturally any better at understanding atypical minds, but there's something to be said for daily practice, and that means we learn not to start out with all those "this person must think exactly like me" assumptions that mess up NTs so much when they try to understand somebody that's different. Workplace politics can still be an issue, though.

However, if you're fascinated with blood itself, why not go into something a little more directly related to it? On the practical side, you could become a lab tech or a pathologist, analyzing blood and tissue samples; or, if you wanted to go into theoretical research, you could go into biomedical engineering (designing things to interact with the human body), medical research, or biology. In terms of the education you need, that ranges from a few months for a training course as a lab assistant, to the years needed to get a PhD. All depends on how complex the job you want is, and how much you enjoy school.


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Tinman
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09 Apr 2013, 3:25 am

I work as a Radiologic Technologist (the guy that takes X-rays and the like).
Work mostly alone, low lights, lots of down time. I see some blood, and start IVs to inject fluids for certain studies.
Between the two you are considering I'd choose nursing, if routines and knowing what to expect from your day are important to you. Plus, I'd be useless by the time we got where we were going, if I had to sit under a siren and air horn in an ambulance or fire truck.
There are certain nursing jobs you can find where you mostly do the same thing every day. Just steer clear of the ER or similar areas where it is just as unpredictable as being a paramedic.
Good luck.



Adamantius
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09 Apr 2013, 5:11 am

I worked as a surgical technologist and then trained as a surgical first assistant. I'm sure many surgeons are undiagnosed aspies haha. Anyway, anal retentiveness and strict routines are appreciated in the OR. However, the environment is very prone to abuse, hostility, and rampant bullying.



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09 Apr 2013, 10:31 am

xMistrox wrote:
I'm not in the medical field, but Phlebotomist sounds like something you may like. During my wife's cancer treatment, finding a person in oncology to handle her tricky veins was a pain. There was this guy who could always get it first try, and he moved on to being a paramedic.


At the cancer place I go to they have the same phlebotomist there every day and it seems like all he does is take blood all day. There is also someone in the back doing the tests. That might be a good job and they probably don't even have much contact with patients.



layla87
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09 Apr 2013, 8:01 pm

Thanks everyone for your answers!!

I've looked further into this and even though I do like working with people, I'm thinking more x-ray or ultrasound technician.

I need a job with some excitement, but also time to sit down and destress.

:)



BobinPgh
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11 Apr 2013, 11:11 pm

layla87 wrote:
Thanks everyone for your answers!!

I've looked further into this and even though I do like working with people, I'm thinking more x-ray or ultrasound technician.

I need a job with some excitement, but also time to sit down and destress.

:)


You might want to be a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) because you also get to work with the cool equipment in the lab and do phlebotomy. Unfortunately for me, I found the lab, the lab politics, and some of the subjects to be too much for me, but it might not be for you.

However, I agree as Red Robin does, that in general, any health care career is a not a good fit for people with our condition. There are just too much chaos and social demands to handle.