I'm a new nurse practitioner and I've been invited to interview with an outpatient detox group that uses Suboxone and other meds to detox pts. This would be my first full time NP job. I have grown up with drug addicts and have sibilings and relatives currently addicted. (I myself have never had that problem-except maybe to fudge cake
). I feel comfortable dealing with the addict and comfortable treating them (once I was trained that is).
What types of things make a nurse successful in this type of environment? I can tell it must be chaotic as the office manager I spoke with seemed so stressed in general, you could just hear it in her voice...
Any advice on what to say in the interview to get the job? Like what skill set are they looking for? What's the work like if anyone can share thier experience. I've heard burn out can be great in this field? Are the pts violent?
Last but not least how is the pay? This is a cash only office and they are opening a new location in a couple weeks. Their ad says they pay up to $120/hr (and will provide training), but I find that impossible to believe and think it must be a typo. Although it sure would be a nice thought..
1. Go to 12 step meetings and learn everything you can. You must be able to associate with how they're feeling in order to be effective. Read and watch videos, including relapse prevention. Most places about half the staff are in recovery but the other half has taken it upon themselves to understand addiction. I'd say most likely those interviewing you will be in recovery (if I were a gambler).
These units will be chaotic and staff will be off kilter so you need to appear as the stabilizing force. If you've got issues, they will be exposed by patients and staff over time. But it's all good! One happy dysfunctional family!
I wouldn't worry about what to say or do to get the job; either you're a good fit for them or you're not. Just relax and be you! Rarely have I met an addictions NP who didn't walk on water.
Oh..the pay; they're likely not playing around with that! It pays well because addictions NP's are highly sought. Pretend the pay doesn't excite you at all if it's that high (don't squash a blessing in the making).
Finally- Pt's are rarely violent; more often they run out for a drink or a hit or something (unless you have something to do with their life...reporting to a PO, jail, etc). Go with your gut; it's like any other psych NP job or rotation you've had. Basically they're adults stripped down to babies because what helped them function is gone and their skin is super sensitive to anything you do or say. Pretend they've all got PMS x100 and that will make sense.
Again, you're at a huge disadvantage if you don't know about the 12 steps and can redirect them to do xyz when they act out, worry, obsess, etc. That's the most powerful tool I've found. When they stress, act, react, I say stuff like "Stress is worrying about what might or might not happen...so what's happening at this moment?" "We're talking in the hallway; that's what's happening right now...one day at a time, one minute at a time and let tomorrow worry about itself, you worry about your recovery and everything will fall in place as it's meant to be...come on, you know that already, why are you listening to me?"
Sounds silly but it works every time. "First things first" "One day at a time" "When in doubt, do nothing" "The therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel" "Insanity=repeating the same thing expecting different outcomes" "Addiction=continuing the same behavior despite increasingly negative consequences" (tell them to get and call their sponsor)...blah blah blah!
Little sayings will trigger hours of discussion, education or memories and you save yourself a lot of time!
That's just me, though! Turn it over; Pray and let the rest go! you'll get the job if it's meant for you. If you turn it over and don't let go, you're upside down!
Last edit by CASTLEGATES on Jan 18, '10