Nursing Is All About The Journey (with NurseBass)

It is never too dark to keep moving forward.

Jon:
Welcome to another episode of the nursing.com podcast. Today, I have a very special guest. A lot of times, it’s just me on here talking about today. I was lucky enough to chat with Brad bass nurse bass, as you know him over on YouTube and Instagram. And we have a great discussion about his journey through nursing. And another really exciting announcement is that he will be coming to our live conference. That’s happening June 6th and seventh. This is a conference that’s open to any nursing student or any nurse throughout the world. If you want to come join us, meet nurse pass in person for two days, hang out with them, hang out with myself, hang out with the rest of the nursing.com team. You guys can come and visit us and you can find out all about this event at nursing.com/live that’s nursing.com/live. You discounted tickets. We’d love to see you there.

Jon:
I’m excited to dig guys. I got nurse bass on the line Brad bass and I have been chatting online and meeting in person for like four years Brad,

Brad:
Probably three or four years now.

Jon:
I think it was when, yeah, because I had just kind of finished and you were in your last year of school and we started talking back in

Brad:
So crazy to me. Yeah. Like 20 15, 20 16,

Jon:
The old days. Right. So, so for those that don’t know you, and then also for those that do know you, do you want to, can you give a kind of a synopsis of, of why you chose nursing and what got you here?

Brad:
Yeah, sure. So I’m actually I’m kind of a non-traditional route. You know, a lot of people, I feel like anyway, my wife is a nurse. A lot of people just kind of always felt like they knew they wanted to be a nurse. And that wasn’t the case for me. Nursing was never even a thought to be quite honest with you. My wife ended up going to nursing school and she became a nurse. And whenever I decided to go back to college, I was originally thinking maybe physician assistant route. I wasn’t quite sure, but it was once I started diving into the anatomy and physiology classes, particularly that’s when I fell in love with, with basically amp in general, I fell in love with all of the intricacies of physiology. And then in turn as I started learning about pathophysiology my love for that became even stronger.

Brad:
So that’s kind of why I ended up going the nursing route was so that I could care for people at their most vulnerable. That’s what was super interesting to me, especially whenever I got to do critical care rotations. It’s like these people are so dependent upon you to sustain their life. And that just seemed like a incredible blessing to me. And so I definitely want him to go the nursing route and I’m very glad that I did. Everything’s worked out. I started out as a new grad in the ICU, the CVI ICU recovering fresh post-op hearts did did that for about two years and I took a break and went to the operating room. I did that for a year and now I’m back, I’m back in the critical care realm with ambitions of CRNI.

Jon:
So in the ICU we’re at now, is it still CDIC or is it general?

Brad:
It’s still CVI CU CVIC list. Same. Do I heart hearts?

Jon:
I I never, cause I was neuro ICU, so I, but I always went down to the CVIC and the surgical ICU to hang out and just watch those guys. I was always afraid to touch cause there was too much going on for me, but

Brad:
Neuro ICU scares me. That’s all the world.

Jon:
Yeah. That’s what’s cause I tell people they’re like, should I go neuro? I was like, dude, you either love neuro or you hate it. The cool thing about ICU is you can specialize and take care of like, you know, one piece of the body for sure. You know? Cool. So when you was, were you married when your wife went to nursing school?

Brad:
No. We were not married at the time. We were just dating at the time.

Jon:
Well, let me, sorry. Bad question. So you knew your wife when she went through nursing school. That’s right. Gotcha. So you saw the journey, you saw the, you, you knew what you were in for when you said

Brad:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. She, she prefaced it all very well. Gotcha. Yeah.

Jon:
Yeah. So, and now that you’ve been in it for a few years, is there a moment that sticks out in your mind when you’re like, yeah, this was the right choice.

Brad:
Well, this was the right choice. Gosh, one particular defining moment. I tell you what I can’t give you one individual moment, but I do have consistent moments. It happens frequently whenever we recover these patients, you know, they first come back and they’re intubated, they’re sedated. They have no control over anything. And so you’re purely hemodynamically managing them and setting them up for extubation it’s the moments after they’re extubated. And this has been happening a lot here recently too. Whenever the families are so on edge and just questioning what the outcome is going to be, because they don’t have a clue. They’ve never seen their family member like this and to have them set up for success, get them extubated. Now they hear their family member talk for the first time. It’s just kinda moments like that, where it’s like, I really feel like I’m making such a difference. And for me, it’s in those moments where it feels like I made the right choice.

Jon:
Now everybody knows this and you, you can attest to it too. Nursing is hard. Like with all that stuff you’re doing, it’s, it’s not like it’s easy to do any of that. And you’re non-traditional as well as me. Right. So maybe talk to the difference of, of going home from your old job and going home from this job, even though maybe this is harder, like what’s the difference, you know?

Brad:
Mm Hmm. That’s a, that’s a tough one there. I was having a conversation with my friend recently. He was, he was recently a cook, right. And he was talking to his wife and he said, you know I can go to work and I can have a really rough day and you know, whatever I go home and I’m super stressed from things then I think about Brad and what he does and whenever he goes home and like the kind of things that he has to deal with and is responsible for on the job. So, you know, I don’t, I don’t quite know how to answer that question. I just, I don’t know. It feels like a lot more responsibility, but

Jon:
Yeah, I can, I mean, I can think back to before I went into nursing, my job was I was a golf ball. Well, I was a golf buyer for a big sporting goods store. And every Friday, like I w I, I was one of those, like, TJF kind of guys in that job, like go home and I’d be like, Ugh, finally, but then Sunday night I’d start getting like super depressed and stress. Like I got to go back and do this. And I did have some of that in nursing also, you know, I still do, even at my, you know, run a nursing.com like the work is stressful, but that take home stress and that take home stress is still there, but at the end of the day, it’s like, but at least I did something good, you

Brad:
Know? Yeah. A hundred percent,

Jon:
I don’t know. And I don’t know if that helps or not, but it’s definitely, for me, it was at least a takeaway from all the hardship or whatever of the job.

Brad:
Well, you know, that’s actually a really good point. Like I was actually thinking the other day, you know, whenever I first started my first job ever, I was a cashier and I was a janitor. And so I mean, that is a good point. What you’re saying, you know, it was a job, but it’s almost like now well, I don’t came to think of the word. There’s more satisfaction, I suppose, more than more satisfaction in the job, you know?

Jon:
And I think that doesn’t negate how hard it is and how stressful it is. Like, I’m not saying like being a nurse, like I, I walked on clouds all the time cause I was making, I was changing the world, you know? And I almost think sometimes I saw the opposite happened in new nurses is they’re like, I want to be a nurse because I want to help people. Yeah. But you know what, sick people keep showing up at the hospitals. Like, am I making a difference? But I think like you said, like those individual moments of watching that spouse or whatever, hear their spouse talk for the first time after, you know, open, open, open heart surgery. Right? Like those little moments are real. Like that’s not the same as someone picking up a golf ball and being like, oh my God, it’s so great. You know? Right. Yeah. It’s a real, tangible difference. And I think, you know, finding, yeah. Finding how to keep those moments in your mind, that was really helpful for me to keep going back and dealing with all the hard.

Brad:
Yeah. No, that’s a great point. That’s a great point. I

Jon:
Dunno. I dunno. It’s hard. Yeah.

Brad:
It’s a small victories, man. It’s the small victories that make it worth it.

Jon:
Yeah. And, and, and, you know, and then going to what you and I were talking about before we started recording and stuff, that’s what it is now too. Right. Like with, with being online and being on YouTube and being on podcasts and stuff, it’s like when you get those people who reach out and say like, you made a difference to me. Right. I know that that doesn’t end the nursing shortage, but we got one more person to not drop out or give up,

Brad:
Man. That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. And if you do that enough, if you do that enough times, then maybe you will in the nursing shortage.

Jon:
That’s right. That’s right. So Brett, talk about maybe some of your tips for nursing students, you know, be a non-traditional being a, a male being maybe a little bit older kind of from your experience of going through nursing school, what this is putting you on the spot, but what are a couple key factors that, that help students succeed?

Brad:
The biggest, the biggest thing that I can say that’s going to help students succeed is that they have to live this. Like it’s, it’s kinda difficult. You know, a lot of people whenever they get into nursing school, well, let me scratch that. It’s, it’s a, it’s all about you have to live it so completely immersing yourself in the material. And that’s, that’s one of the things, you know, whenever I keep saying one day patient lives will be in your hands study. Like it, it’s purely to, to try and be a continual reminder to people that this is the end goal. You know, one day you will be taken care of lives. You know, we are in the human life business. And so that being the case big recommendation is, is to completely immerse yourself in it. You have to live it, you have to continually pour into your craft every day.

Brad:
And so, you know, whereas before maybe you just really love reading books on your own time or watching Netflix or going to the movies or whatever you used to enjoy doing. You have to understand that now you’re essentially signing a contract. You’re signing a contract that, you know, I understand what, where, what I’m going to be responsible for one day. So for these next couple of years, while I’m in school, I have to put in the work to make sure that I’m prepared. I think if, if one approaches nursing school with that mind state, just, just inherently, they’re going to be set up for better success. They’re going to pour more time into the books, or maybe they’ll listen just a little bit more diligently in lecture, or they may be willing to go the extra mile if they can keep that in the back of their mind.

Jon:
Absolutely. Yeah. And that’s, that’s, that’s heavy, you know?

Brad:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It is. It is. But hopefully it gets the point across,

Jon:
I think so. Well, so let’s talk about you for a second with that. So six years ago you were Brad bass now you’re nurse Bass, right?

Kind of adopted you know, nursing as your persona, you know,

Brad:
Absolutely.

Jon:
Your YouTube channel with a lot of people know you as nurse bass. Now hundreds of thousands of people know you as that. So yeah, I think that was something I tried to adopt in nursing school as well, like this isn’t accounting or janitorial worker buying golf balls. Like this is at the end of the day, I’d mess something up and you know, one person doesn’t get it by golf balls, but at the end of the year I mess something up and it could be human life and right. That, that might happen. Right. But I don’t want that to happen because I didn’t learn something I should’ve learned.

Brad:
Sure, sure. Yeah, no, exactly. Right. And then to speak to the non-traditional student route you know, I mean, if, if there’s anybody out there who’s listening, who is a non-traditional student, I mean, there’s plenty of us out there. Right. You know, just look at John and myself, as you know, we did it, you know, a little bit later in life, you know, I get that kind of question all the time. Am I too old to go to nursing school? And I mean, listen, absolutely not. Because at the end of the day, you know, what’s, what’s the ultimate objective in life. I mean, we’re, we’re ever pursuing it. It’s happiness, right? That’s, that’s the ultimate objective for anybody. And I mean, if you want to go to nursing school and your thirties or forties or fifties, I got a comment from somebody just the other day. They said, graduating, graduating in may 65 years old. It’s like, man, you want to do it? You can do it traditional. Non-Traditional either way, man. The opportunity is open for everybody, you know? And just go forward if that’s what you want.

Jon:
I like you kinda mentioning that, that that’s kinda Zen, right? Like the ultimate goal is happiness, right? Like that’s why we’re here. That’s what we’re doing. And so I think I lose track of that a lot. Right? Like I’m, I tend to focus on goals more than happiness, right? Like I can’t be pursuing nursing so that I can help people necessarily. Right. Like it has to intrinsically bring me joy. Otherwise I’m going to burn out. I’m going to give up the loans will be too much and all that. So that’s good. That’s good advice for me. Oh,

Brad:
Actually,

Jon:
No, because I forget all the time, you know, like it’s like,

Brad:
Yeah man, we all do. We’re so wrapped up, man. We’re very, we’re very goal-driven, you know, we set deadlines for it. We crushed that goal. We’re onto the next one, always in the continual pursuit of growth. But yeah.

Jon:
Don’t even take that moment to enjoy the process of

Brad:
Getting there. Right. A hundred percent,

Jon:
You know, was good. I like that. I like that. Any other tips?

Brad:
Oh man,

Jon:
Those are good. Those are both good. If that’s where we’ll stick with that.

Brad:
Okay.

Jon:
So on a, on June 6th, right? That they’re 6, 6, 6

Brad:
Or seven,

Jon:
Six or seven on June 6th and seventh. You’re going to be in Dallas, hanging out with us and our team. You want to talk a little bit about that? Why, what maybe talk about what is nursing live and what you kind of are thinking about talking about?

Brad:
Yeah, man nursing life is to me it’s an opportunity for like-minded people to come together. Whenever I got to come out last year it was such an incredible, that was the first thing that struck me. It was such an incredible thing that people were going out of their way and being proactive in their pursuits of nursing that you could have this collective of people come together all with the same goal in mind. That was wonderful. And that’s kind of what nursing live is. To me, it’s an opportunity for all of these people to come together with one goal in mind and in hopes to take something beneficial away from it. And this year I’m kinda, it’s tentative. I’m still working on things, but essentially it’s, it’s a grinding for goals trying to instill, you know, kinda my, my moniker, if you will trying to instill some motivation into people. Just because as you said earlier, nursing school is difficult and this profession is difficult. And so how can we help set prospective students or prospective nurses up for success once they do enter the career? So just trying to instill a little bit of motivation in the folks who at this point in time probably could use it. Absolutely.

Jon:
It’s hard. It’s very hard. And what was I going to say? Oh yeah. So, so one of my favorite quotes is by this guy, Jim Rowan, he’s a, he was like a sales coach, but he used to say, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And I love that quote because it, you become who you surround yourself with. As we want to be better, surround yourself with better people. If you want to be a good study or surround yourself with people who know how to do that, right.

Brad:
That’s right. Whether we believe it or not very true, it’s

Jon:
True. And so to everyone listening, if you, if you watch nurse bass, have you listened to us bass, you’re looking for that motivation and I’m sure it’s helping you. And if you guys want to come hang out with him for two days and listen from him and let him motivate you and inspire you nursing live as a place to do it. It’s last year it was so fun. We were just talking before the start of the night before the event. Last year, we had a little gathering of a few of the attendees in our office and it was awesome watching those people who had traveled by car from New Mexico or further just to see Brad and watching those smiles on their faces. Like you could tell that was a defining moment for them in their journey. You know, that they’re going through all the hard things you guys are going through now in school, but being there and seeing someone who had done it and who had motivated them in person there’s, there’s no like, there’s nothing better than that. Yeah.

Brad:
That’s awfully kind of you, but yeah, man, it was, it was, it was very, very incredible just immediately body and shake hands and just such a great time. It was

Jon:
A hundred percent. So let’s, let’s let’s wrap up. Maybe let’s wrap up with saying what’s maybe something unique about you or something that maybe you haven’t shared. It’s kind of a special thing about Brad that they can know as they go to meet you and stuff like that. Something from your past, something for your presence, something from your future, whatever.

Brad:
I don’t know, man. There’s a lot of stuff. Let’s see. I was homeless at one point in time. You know, I come from nothing, man. So whenever you guys see me, listen, if you come out and you see me, your boy’s going to be wearing a suit. Okay. I’m going to be looking good. All right. That’s first and foremost. But whenever you see me, like this guy started from nothing, man. Okay. I’m a humble dude from humble beginnings. You know, I’ve been broke most of my life, you know, and I’m just doing my best every day to grind, man, just to, just to make a life for myself. So whenever you see me come out, shake my hand. You know, we all start from the same place.

Jon:
I think that’s good. And if I can add to that maybe this, hopefully it has done like embarrassing or anything, but no bread has bread has an awesome story and make sure you go check out him and his pot, a couple of podcasts and YouTube channels. But one thing I didn’t realize before actually like meeting you in person is how, and this is such a weird thing. Like how humble you are. Like, you know, you come off, you come off incredibly confident and incredibly focused and motivated. And I think you are, I think you are definitely. But when you meet you in person, you realize that you’re not confident stuff in the sense of some people who it’s like, I’m confident because I feel like I’m better than you, you know, it’s you’re confident in yourself, but you’re very humble with trying to drag other people up with you. And I think that’s just super commendable. So it was, it was really cool meeting in person after talking online for so many years and seeing how genuine you are and how genuine that, that humility is,

Brad:
Is awfully nice for you to say, man, that’s all I got.

Jon:
Anything else you want to add? Where can people find you? What’s the best way to reach out to you and everything.

Brad:
And then you can find me a social media and it’s nurse bass anywhere you look. And if you want to reach out to me, the best place is probably through email it’s nurse bass, and then the numbers 0 8 3 1 at Gmail. I’d love to see you guys in June, come on out and say, Hey,

Jon:
And it might take him two days to respond to your email. So just be patient,

Brad:
Maybe three, maybe

Jon:
Three. So cool. Thanks for coming on

Brad:
I appreciate you,

Jon:
So. This has been another episode of the nursing.com podcast. Hope you enjoyed it. Look as we’d love to have you come out and join us on June 6th and June 7th in north Dallas in Allen, Texas at the nursing live event, this is going to be incredible. You’re going to see this guest and a bunch of other incredible guests and myself and the nursing.com team. We’d love to have you there. Head over to nursing.com/live nursing.com/live to get your discounted tickets. Now we love you guys happy nursing.

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