A Question of Ambition

This week we have to notify our program whether we want to do a Pediatrics or OB clinical rotation over the summer.  One class covers both areas and there isn’t enough time in the term to do a full rotation in each, so we have to choose.  The kicker is, we’re not allowed to do a final semester capstone in an area where we don’t have a clinical rotation.  So while ideally, I’d love to get some OB experience, I can’t do my peds capstone (and therefore more easily obtain a peds job) if I don’t do peds this summer.

Here’s where it gets sticky… There are limited spaces in each rotation, so if they have high demand for one setting over another, they’ll have to come up with a way to fairly decide who gets to be where (apparently via some lottery system).  So my dilemma is, how fervently do I lobby to get a peds placement at the expense of my classmates’ own interests?  How much do I put my own career plans and dreams ahead of those of my peers, when we have seen each other through a whole hell of a lot the past 8 months?

I would argue that those who have ambitions in a particular specialty should take priority in a situation like this.  In other words, if it came down to someone whose goals included labor and delivery nursing and someone who wasn’t really sure where they want to work but want to gain some experience in OB, I would think that the person with specific goals should be tapped first.  But who am I to really say that?  Who am I to argue that someone should be deprived of a clinical experience that might enhance their development as a nurse and would DEFINITELY contribute to a new skill set?

So I’m treading lightly on this one.  I’m not making an argument against anyone else, I’m just advocating for myself by finding out exactly how the decision will be made and making my personal goals very clear.  This program has never felt competitive and I don’t want us to crawl over each other to get placements, or for that matter, jobs.  We’re all in this to become great nurses.

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