In order to be a nurse, you will have to be ready to and like taking care of a wide range of people. The focus of nursing is patient care and you will never know beforehand who you will be taking care of. In some nursing jobs, as in a hospital or nursing home, you will receive patients with varying illnesses and backgrounds, so no, there is not any group that you should be wary of. You will be expected to know how to take care of each person, even a person with chronic mental illness who has decompensated. It depends on where you work. In nursing school, they will teach you all about codes, ethics and you will also be trained at your job in whatever format you work in. You will also have In-Service to keep you up to date on any latest information.
You will have to withstand bodily fluids as well and you will need to be able to deal with people dying, too. If this sounds overwhelming to you as it does to me, than perhaps you should start out trying a home health aid training which is not usually too lengthy. Since you are concerned about the populations you would be serving as a nurse, it would be good to see if you could shadow a nurse in a hospital (which I doubt you can) or talk to a lot of nurses and ask detailed questions. Even as a social service case manager, I had to be able to deal with many physical situations with my clients as well as decompensated clients that posed a danger to themselves and me too. I had been punched, scratched, never really hurt but it's all in a day's work. Even bodily fluids and that is just as a social service case manager. You have to overlook a lot of things and focus on the work. A day in the life of a nurse may not always be pleasant but nurses are dedicated, knowledgeable and really help patients.
Another reason why you should be sure you can handle nursing is because you do not know where any nursing openings may be when you look for a job. Hospital emergency rooms can be very hectic with a lot happening all at once.
What I suggest is that you explore ways to resolve looking at patients as groups and realize that, like most jobs that serve the public, especially in health care, you have to be open to treat anyone that is assigned to you. Nursing is probably one of most intense jobs, so give yourself time to think about it. Wherever there is patient care, there is quality control and staff is trained in security and emergency measures.
I wish you all the best in your exploring.
Dr. Marlena’s Answer
In terms of patient types, it truly depends on your location. There are problematic patients no matter where you are but drug addicted and tbi (traumatic brain injury) patients can be the most troublesome, unless you learn how to deal with them specifically, gain trust, and treat them respectfully, no matter how they treat you. At the end of the day, you will have to come to terms with never taking anything personally! Someone treating you badly, picking on you, provoking you, calling you names, can be a part of a daily routine with certain individuals. Just remember, it's not about you, it's about them, their demons or issues. But getting a rise out of you is sometimes all they have but don't allow them to get to you because it'll get worse the more reactions they get! It's not personal, it's about their manipulative behaviors or the part of the brain injured. Don't get upset, worked up, or even angry. Don't let it affect how you care for them or talk to them. When you do that, things stay pretty controlled. Treating them like humans seems silly but you'd be amazed by what a little patience, consideration, listening, and compassion can do to calm a serious situation.
Dr. Marlena recommends the following next steps: