Being a physician's office nurse...a "little" job?

  1. Okay, I know it's not true. I know that we office nurses are just as skilled and capable as any hospital nurse. It's a whole different set of skills, a whole different perspective...it's, well...UNIQUE, but still very much nursing, minus the bedpans. I'm good at what I do. I make a real difference in my patients' lives.

    So why is that when I run into other health care professionals (not just nurses either) they look at what I do as a "little" job. Heck! My old family doc told my in-laws that I'm "wasting my skills" working in a doctor's office and that I should work where I will "be treated like the professional" that I am. I-donno....I seem to be treated way better and with more respect and professionalism now than I ever was when I was in the hospital.

    Is working in a doctor's office seen as "scraping the bottom of the barrel" in the nursing profession? Have you ever run into this attitude?

    Doesn't bother me much..except for the fact that I find it somewhat mystifying.
    Last edit by laurasc on Apr 12, '04
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   jaimealmostRN
    I LOVE DR. OFFICE RNs!!! Now before you think I'm crazy or have a fetish let me tell you why. My primary dr. isn't able to prescribe a certain drug (some forms/education required by FDA) and I basically went on a wild goose chase to find one who was able to prescribe it (finally found one 1hr away!). I called about 15 diff. drs offices both thru hospitals and private practice. When I called the hospitals/university med. centers the person who answered the phone was usually a nurse therefore I didn't have to go on a huge speal of what the drug was/FDA issues/my dx./etc/etc. that I had to do when a UAP answered (no offense intended). The receptionists (again, no offense) treated me like I was crazy when I explained the situation and kept asking me for my dx, personal info that I didn't feel like telling them...when the nurses answered they knew exactly what I was asking about, who to refer me to, and hippa guidelines. I know this is an isolated incident but I was soooooooooo thankful when I heard, "hello, this is the nurse." THANK YOU!!!
  4. by   laurasc
    Quote from jaimealmostRN
    I know this is an isolated incident but I was soooooooooo thankful when I heard, "hello, this is the nurse." THANK YOU!!!
    Sure, patients appreciate us. We do a lot of them. But I'm talking about how other professionals see what we do.
  5. by   CCL"Babe"
    Until recently, I had spent my entire career as a critical care nurse, primarily ER. I must confess that I was a bit of a snob, even if I didn't verbalize my opinions.

    When I was unable to return to my hospital based job, aI accepted a position as a Physician Office Nurse. This job reminds me of the ER in many ways - more like fast track admittedly. There are many different challanges though. I haven't been bored and am finding a new set of nursing skills.
  6. by   tjn97
    I used to work telemetry in a local hospital before I started my office job. And I remember thinking I was "stepping down" in the ranks of nursing. Boy, was I wrong!! I have learned so much since I started 3 years ago, and continue to learn each and every day. With a family practice office, we see a nice variety of diagnoses and problems, which I think makes us very well-rounded nurses.
  7. by   camay1221_RN
    I am also an office RN in a pediatric office. I have found my job to be so much more rewarding in the office for a multitude of reasons! First, I work for MD's who know me and respect me and my opinions. I can't say the same for the MD's and residents when I was doing floor nursing. Second, I see many of my pts on a regular basis, and I have grown to care for them, not only as a nurse, but as a friend also. Third, I feel much more appreciated by the pts, MD's and the other staff. The only bad part of my job is watching all of those children grow before my very eyes!!! Funny thing is, I haven't aged a bit!!! **chuckle**
  8. by   Nurse Ratched
    Quote from camay1221_RN
    First, I work for MD's who know me and respect me and my opinions.
    Hear, hear!

    I love my docs and NPs.

    I find I am much more autonomous in the office setting as well. Knowing my patients after a while is also very rewarding - and they appreciate being remembered for their specific concerns, history, etc. I love it, even on days like today that completely suck, but are still so much better that any day I ever have at the hospital.
  9. by   TinyNurse
    at my son't pediatrician's office there is this one RN that started on as a traveler ..... since signed on....... but she is always there when i call...... always there for a question and always calls to check up on my son. I would also love to work a trauma with this RN in the ER because I think she is awesome!!!!
  10. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    This goes to show that nurses in ALL areas, *even* LTC and office nursing, have hard jobs, and have valuable skills. Some areas of nursing are more glamorous than others, but we are *all* skilled, and valuable.
  11. by   laurasc
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    This goes to show that nurses in ALL areas, *even* LTC and office nursing, have hard jobs, and have valuable skills. Some areas of nursing are more glamorous than others, but we are *all* skilled, and valuable.
    Now...if we could only get THAT message across!!! :chuckle
  12. by   purplemania
    I, too, have worked in MD office and now am in acute care. I hear nurses joking about other nurses not being "real", when the judgement criteria is "you are not doing my job". I have seen this with day nurses vs. night nurses on the same unit. Acute care vs. Home Health. ER vs. Med-Surg. I hear it all the time. The only positive twist I can make of it is that the complaining nurse is confident that the work he/she is doing is important. Why someone else's cannot be important as well is a mystery to me.
  13. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from purplemania
    I, too, have worked in MD office and now am in acute care. I hear nurses joking about other nurses not being "real", when the judgement criteria is "you are not doing my job". I have seen this with day nurses vs. night nurses on the same unit. Acute care vs. Home Health. ER vs. Med-Surg. I hear it all the time. The only positive twist I can make of it is that the complaining nurse is confident that the work he/she is doing is important. Why someone else's cannot be important as well is a mystery to me.
    I agree totally.

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