Doctor's office vs. hospital

  1. I posted this question in another forum by mistake. I am now posting this question here. I was wanting to know which is better to work for a doc or a hospital? I am a first year nursing student and have heard that a doc's office is better and the pay is better. Let me know what you think. I would like to here both sides of this issue.
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   darla80
    Originally posted by tsgarman:
    I posted this question in another forum by mistake. I am now posting this question here. I was wanting to know which is better to work for a doc or a hospital? I am a first year nursing student and have heard that a doc's office is better and the pay is better. Let me know what you think. I would like to here both sides of this issue.
  4. by   darla80
    Originally posted by tsgarman:
    I posted this question in another forum by mistake. I am now posting this question here. I was wanting to know which is better to work for a doc or a hospital? I am a first year nursing student and have heard that a doc's office is better and the pay is better. Let me know what you think. I would like to here both sides of this issue.
    I have been an a nurse for twenty years and have worked in many different arenas. I currently work in an Internal Med office and I love it!!
    However I would like to preface my comments with advice. Gaining experience as a hospital nurse is very beneficial to office nursing!! I used to think that office nursing was not "real nursing" My views have changed.
    Here are some of the pros and cons:

    PROS:

    PREDICTABILITY::
    Schedules are consistent and life is predictable. You can plan on taking your children to school/sports activities or even taking a class your self!

    HOURS::
    No night shifts, no weekends and no holidays. The doctors want that time off and the on call group takes over, it is wonderful.

    CLEAN.::no bedpans!

    RELATIONSHIPS WITH PATIENTS
    It is one nursing job where there is time for the pts. I love getting to know them and helping them maintain good health.

    OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN::
    Working so close with a doc provides many opportunities to learn new things and the respect between an office nurse and the physician is a pleasure.

    CONS

    The biggest cons are PAPERWORK and dealing with insurance companies. These are real time busters in the office setting.

    PAY::
    I took a pay cut to work in the office setting but it is worth it in terms of my other benefits!!

    One other piece of advice.. Pick a specialty or office setting that will interest/challenge/or stimulate you. I Love Internal Med..we have many patients with multiorgan disease and a largely geriatric pop. I worked peds in the hospital and thought I would love the clinic but chasing children around the peds clinic for injections was not enjoyable to me. So choose an area you can really get into!!
    There are many great offices to work in. Every specialty has a doctor and you can work at thier side!!!

    I wish you good luck Nursing can be very rewarding!!
  5. by   Jo_deye_yuh
    I will chime in with Darla80...there are many pros to working in a Dr's office vs. hospital. The hours are more dependable, typically Mon-Fri, 8-5, with no shift work and the flexibility to work around your family. The pace is hectic, esp in growing clinics, but like Darla80 said, the chance to fully interact with patients is a huge plus on my scale. You establish a rapport with young and old, patient and family. It is very personable and patients even bring fresh baked pies or home crafts to express their gratitude. You just don't interact with them in a one time illness/injury like in a hospital...you see them often (some more that you like but that puts variety in the day)

    I am the office nurse for an Orthopedic Surgeon. I care for patients ranging from 2yr old humerus fx, 93 yr old bi-malleolar fx, 48 yr THA, etc. I also scrub and assist my Dr in surgeries. When a new patient comes in with hip DJD and in need of a surgery, I am able to follow him/her through the initial visit, planning of surgery, pre-op instructions, peri and post op cares and for their PT/education and FU's from there on out. It is very rewarding to see a 48 yr old male on the verge of complete disability, transform to his former self-sufficient, working, happy life.

    Also being apart of the clinic has allowed me experience in other fields. We have OB/GYN, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Urology, and traveling dr's of other specialties that come to the clinic throughout the month. I have worked in almost all of these, and at one time was the only full-time Ortho nurse, Urology nurse and Triage nurse combined. Wow what experience and skills I gained! I am the "new grad" there, (I have been there 2 years), and now I am teaching nurses, that have been there for years with 20+ years experience.

    Working in such proximity with a variety of physicians and talented specialized nurses gives you educational opprotunities daily. The relationship between Dr. and his nurse is rewarding. You are able to work side by side, gain education and friendship. The title of Dr. So-n-So's Nurse gives me pride and I have a lot of say as to how his practice runs.

    As I said, I also assist him in surgeries. Working at local hospitals and surgery centers. I prefer the surgery centers over the hosptials. There is a less corporate air and more personable. But love the OR setting and opportunities to be apart of that side of health care. I have the best of both worlds. I wanted to go into Med/Surg but love the routine of office nursing.

    The cons:
    ~wage...you do make less than hospital wages but as Darla80 stated, the lack of shift work and flexiblity balance.

    ~paperwork, paperwork, paperwork...

    ~insurance companies, Medicare and the like are very frustrating to deal with and make the job of caring for patients challenging.

    When I was in Nursing School, I was given the impression that clinic nursing was easy and not challenging. That nurses lost their skills and basically the end of a career of hospital work. HA. Just the opposite.

    I wish you luck in your journey. Over time your preference toward a particular field will lead you to decide on the best place (hospital/clinic) for you to work in. Each type of nursing appeals to different people. It is limitless.
  6. by   2banurse
    I wanted to revive this to see how the situation is 2+ years later. Although I have quite a while to go, I'm finding myself attracted to this area of nursing.

    So all of you nurses that are currently working in an office/clinic setting instead of a hospital setting, how do you feel about your decision?
  7. by   Vailgang
    I wouldn't go back to the hospital or the nursing home unless they made me. I really like the office. I have been working in the office for two years.

    I too took a cut in pay when I went to the office. After I was there 6 months I became the office manager and the nurse so I was able to get my salary increased.

    The hours are longer for me. I would love to get done at 5 or 5:30 but that doesn't happen too often. We have made adjustments in the schedule so they are better but they can be long.

    If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at anytime.
    Jill
  8. by   emily_mom
    I think this depends on your location though. In my area, RNs in offices are becoming obsolete. They are staffing with LPNs and MAs and only having one nurse on staff per dept. for triage nursing. My friend is an MA going for RN. She said their nurse is on the phone all day with clients. She started one IV this year. She does not see patients.

    Kristy
  9. by   renerian
    I really think one should have at least a year of acute care experience to refine ones skills.

    renerian
  10. by   2banurse
    Thanks Jill, I appreciate that. In the future, I have actually the same goals - office nurse and office manager. I've had the opportunity to work as an office manager in the past after being a secretary and transcriptionist. I would like to work a little bit more with patients. I'm thinking of OB in particularly and Renerian, I do plan on getting this acute care by working on the floor for at least a year.

    In the location I live in (West Coast of Florida), there are multiple medical facilities. The population is not only increasing with seniors but younger people as well. The hospital I plan to work in has about 200 births a month.

    Kris
  11. by   nursejamie76
    I currently work in a dr's office and yes the hours are great but the pay really does stink. Because I needed more time at home with my child I took a 3.00 pay cut to go work for a doc but now things are calmer at home so I am thinking about going back to the hospital. It is also hard to keep up on your skills at a docs office because mainly all you do are vitals and phone calls.

    Jamie
  12. by   MrsK1223
    pay stinks...work is good
  13. by   jaxnRN
    I worked in an OB/GYN office for over 12 years. Yes, the pay is pretty bad. Everyone used to ask me why I didn't go to a hospital and "make the big bucks"!!$$$

    Well, after 12 years in the same office with the same Dr. (who I never have had any problems with) I decided to take a weekend position at the hospital.

    I now work two 12-hour shifts. and they pay me for 36 hours. So, it's like time and a half per hour BUT I have to work EVERY weekend, (50 out of 52 weekends!) HOWEVER, I make MORE money now , almost twice as much and have 5 whole days OFF during the week , and get full time benefits.

    Also, office work CAN get monotonous (sp??) In an acute care setting, there are more diverse patient situations.

    AND!!! My hours were SUPPOSED to be 8-5 BUT with one doctor, and sometimes a delivey in OB during the day, I would miss lunch, and not get out of there until after 7pm.

    ~Jackie
  14. by   Jenn CLPN
    I would never make it in the office im at now, without my five years on a med-surg floor at the hospital. It may be hard work but it pays off when you want to go to different areas.

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