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- Apr 16, '09 by midcomI apologize for not updating sooner. My job is everything I hoped it would be & then some. I work with great people, both nurses & providers and, since I work as a float, I get a real variety of experiences. This week, for example, I worked on Saturday in our urgent care clinic, Monday 12-8 with a doc who takes mostly walk in & acute cases, Tuesday I spent the day with one of the pediatricians, mostly giving shots(not my favorite thing to do). Today I worked for a family practice PA and Friday I am with the gastroenterologist. He, by the way, is the only provider I'm not fond of working with. However, I am one of only a few nurses who have trained to work in his practice so I usually spend at least a half day a week with him.
Shortly after starting my job, I had to undergo 2 months of chemo due to the breast cancer diagnosis. My fellow nurses & the providers were all wonderful. When my immunity was compromised and I had a patient who was contagious, that person more often then not would just appear in one of my rooms, with the intake already done for me. Some of the doctors kept an eye on my WBC counts & were especially concerned for me when they got very low. Now that my treatments are done they celebrate with me whenever I get a good report from my surgeon.
I'm still hoping to someday to be assigned to just one doc & be his/her nurse. I want my own spot at the nurse's station instead of using someone else's spot. I want to be the nurse that the patient expects to see instead of being the one filling in for the regular nurse. I did apply to be the nurse for our most recent hire but was beat out by a nurse with more experience. My time will come eventually.
Today I received a compliment. The PA I was working for pulled me aside & told me that the patient we had just treated had told him that he wished all nurses were like me, professional & caring. He had been treated very rudely the night before in a local ER and acused of being a drug seeker. I suspect he is an addict but he was also a man in pain who needed our help, not our judgements.
Thank you for your concern & interest. I love being a clinic nurse!
- May 24, '09 by CarrieHI so happy to hear that you are being treated so well! As someone who has worked both as a "float" and with just one doctor I hear you on the I just want my own desk thing... but one real advantage to floating is that you never get burnt out in one area. Just when you're starting to feel that burn out, you're on to the next area. Give it time and you will have a few patients that will know you even if you don't see them every time.
You might want to ask if you can have your own mini-spot some where in the office that can be officially "yours". Put a stapler and pen holder with your name on it there. I did that for a while and even though I wasn't always sitting at that spot, it made me feel a little more permanent.
- Jun 12, '09 by GeauxNursingyou market yourself very well! I wish you came to work with me!
I have my job only because I worked there as a PCT for 3 years up until graduation then just transitioned to LVN role. What was your previous job? Any networking that can be done with fellow grads or previous instructors? I'm learning it has a lot to do with who you know.
Oh, where do you live? Do you have Care Now clinics there? The walk-in type clinics for broken arms, shots, work physicals, colds, that sort of thing? I know they hire new grads all the time.
- Jun 12, '09 by GeauxNursingWow, lol, didn't realize this post was so old!
- Jun 13, '09 by 3boysmom3I started in my clinic as a floater, and was given a position with one doctor about two years ago. I think the floater position was the BEST, actually! I didn't have to get bogged down with ongoing issues with any one patient; every day was just a new day to be started. Of course the good thing about working with one MD is that I have "my" own patients, and so I have the chance to establish relationships with them,which I love. But overall- she's got it good with a floater position!!! (also a little less guilt-inducing if you have to call in)...
- Jun 14, '09 by midcomActually, I'm the one getting called in. If someone calls in sick, I can expect to get a call because my supervisor knows I usually will work.
I agree that there are good parts about being a float. If I don't have the time, I don't feel guilty leaving a few items in the regular nurse's worklist, especially getting prior authorizations, for instance.
For GeauxNursing, my former job was in IT, which actually has been very helpful. Since I started working we have gone to electronic charting. Several of the older registry nurses have quit or retired because they were intimidated by the computers. I'm usually able to pick it up pretty easily & am often asked for help by the nurses who work with it daily.
I live in Iowa ( unfortunately the state with the lowest nursing pay) and part of my job is to work at something similar to your "Care Now clinic". In our area they are called Urgent Care or Convenient Care. I work Convenient Care every other weekend. The patients we are supposed to be seeing are minor injuries, UTIs, URIs, acute things, not physicals or routine vaccinations. Those patients are required to make appointments to see their caregiver during the regular work week( we have coverage until 8:00PM). Unfortunately, many of our patients think that since we are called "convenient" it means that they can come because it is inconvenient to come during the week. Our intention is to treat the people who would normally go to the ER but don't really need to be treated there.
This is the area at our clinic where we have the most turnover but even it isn't often. I guess they get tired of working weekends. However, they rarely hire new nurses for this job as there is so much to learn and we only have 2 nurses working. I was a new nurse but didn't get set loose on weekends until orienting & working many days during regular work hours and then, when I did go to weekends, they had a 3rd nurse for a few weeks. The nurse who I have worked with on the weekend since I started recently quit so they are hoping to hire someone soon. I know that the other nurses hope it's soon because they have to take turns filling in for her.
Oops, sorry, I tend to go on & on.
- Jun 14, '09 by STNADixie,
I've been reading this thread and I've enjoyed hearing about your experiences. I am a new grad and I just got (finally) hired at an office. Do you have any advice for me as I start out? . . . Anything you wish you would have known when you got hired?
- Jun 14, '09 by 3boysmom3Hi Dixie,
Yes, your clinic sounds a little different than mine, although I know there are many things common to all ambulatory care clinics.
I work at a hospital-based clinic, so I am actually an employee of the hospital. There are some really good aspects to that, such as: my pay is the same as a hospital RN, and since I worked for the hospital for a gazillion years already I've worked my way up the pay scale pretty well. We close at 5:00pm Mon-Thurs, and at noon on Friday, so we have virtually no turnover. Even when we get frustrated we know that that's a schedule we're not likely to find again! Also, as employees of the hospital the doctors are not our bosses. Of course working for a hospital you have plenty of "bosses" but at least we're not in a pickle if we should get some doctor who wants to be a tyrant. They can't ask us to stay late, run personal errands, etc. We've been lucky about that (not having a tyrant), but it could certainly happen.
The downside is: well, we work for a hospital. That means we are subject to the regular JCAHO inspections and have to abide by all of their rules. The charts have to be just so; we have to keep relentless logs of our sample medications, keep up with all the required education sent out frequently by the hospital education dept., and on and on and on. That's not really bad, it just means there are some headaches that those in private office don't contend with.
Our floater is there every day; it's a full-time position. She's either taking vital signs and putting patients in rooms for the regular nurses, or helping a regular nurse as we're all very bombarded every day. If she calls in sick it means the regular nurses just run a little faster, lol. She is extremely valuable to us. If a nurse calls in sick, the floater then covers for that nurse's doctor.
You have routine patients that should have scheduled with their PCP; our situtation is patients that situation is very sick patients walking in who should have gone to the ER but absolutely refused to because of what they consider an unreasonable hassle and wait (we sometimes end up taking them there ourselves). And then, just general "walk-ins" who don't think the "by appointment only" policy applies to them. Sometimes I feel like asking "OK, Mrs. Smith, which one of these scheduled patients would you like for me to bump out of their sheduled time since you want to take one of their spots?" Of course I never would say that and we just absorb them.
I like clinic work; I've been it for six years now (I was working inpatient mental health for years prior to that, until the hospital closed our psych dept. due to what they felt was insufficient $$$ coming in from it).\
(and you said YOU tend to go on and on!)
To STNA: If you were applying at my clinic, of course I couldn't ask you this but I would LOVE it if you said on your own "I almost never call in; I have adequate back-up babysitting arrangements so I don't have to call in every time my babysitter can't work; I don't smoke, so you'll never have to hunt for me outside; and I am not "above" doing any task needed (because we are truly a jack of all trades in a clinic- if there's a mess on the floor we get the vacuum, etc., as housekeeping only comes once a day; we might have to take a wheelchair to the parking lot to help bring a patient in, etc.)
- Jun 15, '09 by STNALol. That's how I got hired . . . : )
- Jul 12, '12 by momicharIt was great reading this post. I am a new grad and would love love love to work in a clinic, but without any experience I feel like my chances are slim to none. I don't even know where to begin right now, but hearing you describe the job makes me want to do it even more. I will be sending out resumes to all the clinics I can find in my area and hoping for the best. Dixie, I hope all is well with you, your story was inspiring.