Did your education prepare you for office nursing?

  1. I have recently read a few posts stating that "nursing school" did not prepare them for office/ambulatory care.

    Did your education prepare you for office nursing? If not, what education areas can nursing programs concentrate on to enable the nurse at the office level to be a successful integral part of the healthcare team??

    Looking forward to your responses!!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Iwant2banurse
    Can one of you experienced office nurses answer this question? I, too, am interested in the best way we can prepare to enter the field as an office nurse.

    Thanks,
    Kris
  4. by   JulieW
    I am by no means 'experienced' because I've only been at my new office nurse job for one week, but I am loving every minute of it. It's a wonderful job and I highly recommend it!!

    To answer to original question, I think school prepared me for this type of nursing in as much as I think school prepares us for any job. There is no way to be fully prepared because 'real world' nursing is so very different than student nursing, but I certainly feel as prepared for this job as I did when I began acute care hospital nursing.

    Kris, although I am still learning the routine and getting familiar with the office setting, I can definitely tell you that a HUGE help would be to learn your labs inside out. It's an enormous part of my job. It's also good to be familiar with diagnostic imaging tests so that you can give the patient quick instructions on how to prepare without having to look it up!

    I don't think there is any possible way to learn about insurances, HMO's, pre-auth's, etc, except to just do it and learn as you go. That's what I'm doing and it's amazing how fast you catch on. Best of luck!!

    Julie
  5. by   JulieW
    I am by no means 'experienced' because I've only been at my new office nurse job for one week, but I am loving every minute of it. It's a wonderful job and I highly recommend it!!

    To answer to original question, I think school prepared me for this type of nursing in as much as I think school prepares us for any job. There is no way to be fully prepared because 'real world' nursing is so very different than student nursing, but I certainly feel as prepared for this job as I did when I began acute care hospital nursing.

    Kris, although I am still learning the routine and getting familiar with the office setting, I can definitely tell you that a HUGE help would be to learn your labs inside out. It's an enormous part of my job. It's also good to be familiar with diagnostic imaging tests so that you can give the patient quick instructions on how to prepare without having to look it up!

    I don't think there is any possible way to learn about insurances, HMO's, pre-auth's, etc, except to just do it and learn as you go. That's what I'm doing and it's amazing how fast you catch on. Best of luck!!

    Julie
  6. by   AmyRN1227
    Hi,
    I will be graduating in May and was wondering if MD office nursing is a good start? I'm also having a baby in May so I don't think I can put in the time for a hospital orientation full time for like 4-12 weeks. What I'm wondering though is if I do start out in office nursing, will I be able to switch later on or will I be in a dead end situation? I know the pay is a lot less, but can anyone clue me in on what they get paid? I think the hospitals around here are averaging around $17/hr.
    Thanks!!!!!!
  7. by   JulieW
    I think med-surg is a good start just because it's so hectic and you really learn to prioritize. Not everyone starts in med surg, though.

    Office nursing is wonderful and allows you time with your family, including weekends and evenings and holidays. Those things will become very important when your baby is school-aged! It's very difficult to get that same type of schedule in a hospital.

    There are definiltely skills that you use in a hospital that you won't use as an office nurse. On the other hand, there are MANY skills that office nursing requires that hospital nursing doesn't offer, many of which require assessment and critical thinking skills. I definitely don't think office nursing is a dead-end. The level of autonomy a nurse has in the office is what surpirsed me the most. Also, your medication,
    lab value, and diagnostic test knowledge will be vast.

    I think it probably would be a challenge for you to go into hospital nursing after doing office nursing solely, just because in an office you won't be doing hospital specific skills, but don't forget that there are always refresher courses! Lots of nurses take refreshers due to re-entry into the workforce.

    I've found that the pay seems to be around $3 less than hospitals and $5 less than LTC.

    Good luck,
    Julie
  8. by   jamistlc
    Greetings,


    In my clinicals we had three times the amount of clinical time required by our board and of that I worked in a Family Practice office in lieu of my OB clinic (D/T my gender and the hospital policy). I had 80 hours there and found it to be helpful in my career, but it did not give me some of the skills required by ny employers today (I am a LPN), no phlebotomy or EKG

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Did your education prepare you for office nursing?