The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use the anonymous form below, and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact information is here.

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Dear Career Doctor:

I am a health aide in a middle school. I have been doing this for about 4 months. I am really not sure I like it. I also get so tired of the kids coming in and playing sick because they do not want to be at school. I have to treat all as if there is something wrong. I chose the school, because my 11 year old goes here too. And I feel it is important to keep in touch with what goes on with her. So when I want to look for another job, I want one that has the same hours as her or close to it. So do I stay and change my attitude? Or look elsewhere? Am I alone in this feeling of missing something in life?


Dear Diane:

I admire you for wanting to use your nursing knowledge to treat those who are really hurt. But before you dismiss the children who come to your office as malingerers, take the time to talk to them. My guess is that you will find that many are in need of your healing kindness.

Kids who are able to learn, have happy home lives and friends in class, rarely make up excuses to come to the nurse’s office. Talk to the kids who come to your office, and try to find out why they are avoiding class. Are they lonely? The victim of a bully? Do they have troubles at home? Undiagnosed learning disabilities? Team up with the school social worker and school psychologist to try to figure out how to help. Sometimes just a chat with a sympathetic person who is a good listener can be far more therapeutic than handing out aspirin for a headache.

If you try this approach and are still unhappy, there are lots of ways a nursing aide can work hours that are congruent with school hours. Consider working part time in a doctor’s office or with an agency that sends aides to patients’ homes for helpful visits.

The Career Doctor

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The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.