Is Phys. Office nursing "Really Nursing"? - page 3

I am going through school with a friend, (we are taking our pre-req's together), and I happened to mention that I was interested in working in a Physicians office. To which she said, " I don't... Read More

  1. by   JentheRN05
    I graduated in May of 2005. Worked OB first, then worked on an ortho/neuro floor for 6 months (nights) My body just couldn't adjust to nights. So something amazing happened. I am also a holistic practitioner.
    Well one day I took my son in to get some labs done. Told the Phleb that I could do that for her if she likes. To which she responded, are you a nurse or a phleb. I told her a few years back I was a phleb, but now I'm a nurse. She proceeded to tell me they just decided (in the building next door) that they needed an RN.
    I immediately (in sweats no less) went over and talked to the office manager. Turns out it is a alternative Medicines MD office. RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!!!
    I've been working there since Jan of this year, I absolutely love it. But the pay is not good and there's no insurance so I'm cutting my hours back and looking for another job that pays more.
    In the 6 months I've been at the doctors office I was personally responsible for setting up a research study site. We are in a research study to validate Chelation.
    I spend my entire day at work setting up IV's running them, evaluating patients. Seeking out patients for the research study.
    All and all I absolutely love my job. Just wish it paid better and had insurance. I could stay there forever if it did. But they have just built a new office and the doctor can't afford much right now, especially since they moved in the building last Dec they haven't taken a paycheck since.
    In either case, office work, especially in the enviornment I work in gives me more skills especially as I am now the IV manager as well as the clinical coordinator for the research study.
    The doctor begged me (when I leave) to allow him 1 - 2 days a week to help with the research study. I told him I would at least save one day a week for him. Already turned down another office job because they would've required me to work saturdays to make up for giving the doctor just one day a week.
    So I'm looking into agency nursing or maybe home health. If I can help it I will never work in a hospital again. WAY too much stress for me there.

    Where I work currently it's $16/hr and no benefits. But actually the going rate in the area is about 18/hr with benefits. So that's not too shabby when nurses in the hospital make 18.50 an hour.
    Last edit by JentheRN05 on Jun 16, '06
  2. by   prettypaws
    It certainly is! My clinic just closed, however, I was there from the minute the doors opened until corporate closed us. Me, the doctor, and the office person. All three of us worked our butts off! Everyone did everything. Heck, the doctor I worked for convinced me to stay in the medical field. All of us roled up our sleeves and did what needed to be done. If the phone was ringing, I answered. If someone was a hard stick and I missed, the doc did it. Our office manager (fresh out of school) was calmer during a code than some residents I've seen! If that's a route you're interested in, go for it. It can be very rewarding. I still have a close relationship with many of my former patients.
  3. by   cleo
    I have worked in an office for more the 15 years. Office nursing is very specialized and becoming more so every day. We are doing treatments and procedures in the office that you wouldn't have done even 5 years ago. I do agree that you should get a good foundation of med surg under your belt before going into an office setting. As the nurse manager I generally do not hire a nurse unless she/he has had some hospital experience.
  4. by   NurseEcho
    Quote from Rapheal
    I caution anyone who feels the need to work med/surg to get experience to really be careful where you work. Some med/surg units work chronically understaffed and this can be a real danger to your license (and your confidence) for a new graduate. Some people have really great experiences in med/surg but IMHO it should not be considered the rule to work med/surg for a year before pursuing other areas in nursing.
    Good advice, and the same goes for specialty areas.

    I've always been interested in cardiac -- I was an echo tech before going to nursing school. But I *loathed* bedside nursing. I worked in a telemetry step-down unit through school, then went into CCU after my husband was transferred to another state. I thought it would be a dream job. It turned out the unit was mismanaged and chronically understaffed. They'd hire anyone with a pulse, a licence, and the ability to read EKG's. But there weren't enough experienced people to orient the newbies, and between the stress of working 7P-7A and knowing my license was in jeopardy every minute, I nearly had a nervous breakdown and quit under my doctor's orders.

    Now I am working in a cardiology office. I love it. It is very challenging with a lot of responsibility -- managing Coumadin pts, running various stress tests, telephone triage -- it's another whole side to the specialty and after 14 years total in cardiology, I thought I'd seen most of it. Not even close. That is part of what I love about the medical/nursing field -- I am always humbled at how much more there is to learn.

    AND, I get to sleep 7-8 hours a night, no weekends, no holidays, and no call. It was even a small pay raise from what I was making in CCU ... which probably had a lot to do with their staffing problems in the first place ...

    But yes, office nursing *is* real nursing. Not the same as hospital nursing, but just as demanding and requiring of critical thinking skills, IMO.
  5. by   tddowney
    Quote from Sekar
    Wow, is your friend out in left field! I have 21 years experience in just about every aspect of nursing and use darn near all of it the office I work at right now. I have found that I have experience that expands what my doc can offer his patients and I offer the patients the education they need and can't get from him because he doesn't have the time. Oh yeah, Office Nursing very much is a valid nursing speciality and it takes a special kind of nurse to do it, just like every other kind of nursing specialty.
    Sounds like you work with a smart doctor. I would think that as the doc becomes more familiar and trusting of what you can do, your duties and opportunities increase (within scope of practice of course).

    I'll be (hopefully) graduating next summer with a BSN, at 54. I plan on working at least a couple years in hospital, probably Med-Surg (I signed up for the indentured servant/tuition forgiveness option). That seems like a good way to be exposed to lots of different pt conditions, and learn to use what I've studied.

    At some point, I wouldn't at all mind working in an office in a small town again, and volunteering for pre-hospital EMS.
  6. by   tddowney
    Quote from Rapheal
    I caution anyone who feels the need to work med/surg to get experience to really be careful where you work. Some med/surg units work chronically understaffed and this can be a real danger to your license (and your confidence) for a new graduate. Some people have really great experiences in med/surg but IMHO it should not be considered the rule to work med/surg for a year before pursuing other areas in nursing.
    Thanks for the caution. I've read some of the posts in here about working conditions re staffing in some hospitals. A little recon of the place before taking a position is always a good idea.
  7. by   tddowney
    Quote from Nurse Ratched
    Office nursing may not be adrenaline-y like the ER or have all sorts of tubes and wires sticking out of ppl like in ICU, and I certainly haven't had to wrestle anyone to the ground in the course of my clinic work (can't say that about psych!) BUT a good office nurse does his/her best to keep the patient out of the hospital. Someone's gotta do the daily grind of keeping people in refills and encouraging healthy behaviors that hopefully minimize the need for ER and inpatient visits. It is most certainly a worthy and worthwhile task .
    Just curious about how much of your job is pt education?

    I've found out I'm pretty good at teaching thru volunteering as an ESL instructor and running EMT-B classes in the small town I lived in.
  8. by   CarmsOU25
    Everyone's messages have really settled my nerves about where I believe I want to practice nursing. I got my BS in Biology in 2002 and then went on to work at a Health Dept as an Immunization Clinic Organizer, which really did not require a science background, although it helped greatly! I absolutely LOVED my job in Public Health and loved the office setting, which I know I would be good at after I get my RN license. I don't mind multi-tasking, paperwork, etc. I'm currently half way through OU's Accelerated BSN program and I'd say 90% of my fellow students are on track to becoming ER, ICU, Med/Surg nurses and from my clinical experiences that just is not for me. I find it very interesting and love working with the patients, but the fast-paced, hospital environment is oh not for me.
    I'm hoping that I can find the right job for me after I graduate, but I'm becoming nervous that most of the jobs available for new RNs are in Med/Surg. Much respect for all those Med/Surg nurses out there... you deserve a medal for all of your hard work
    Are there any physician office or public health RN's that could offer me a little advice? I'm sure that I'll be discovering more options as the Spring semester gets going, but right now I'm feeling slightly flustered.
    Thanks!
  9. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from ana115
    I am going through school with a friend, (we are taking our pre-req's together), and I happened to mention that I was interested in working in a Physicians office. To which she said, " I don't really consider that nursing". I was slightly taken aback, and thought that was a pretty snobby view to take...I mean, it's not floral arranging. It's nursing. Nursing is nursing, right? I know there are many different fields and specialties, and I happen to think Physician's office nursing sounds like a good fit for me. Regular hours, weekends and holidays off. I like the idea. And, I like the feeling of being in a smaller place than a hospital.

    Frankly, I think if you're good, it doesn't matter where you work.

    Do other people have this view of office nursing?
    Does it require a nursing license? Then it's real nursing. End of story.

    Do not let another's bias/preferences or 'snobby view' color your opinions or make you doubt your decisions. I wouldn't even amuse this person with an argument to contradict such a narrow minded statement.
  10. by   nursewannabee
    I too want to work in an office setting. I currently work as an aide on a cardiac floor and I can see the stress the nurses are under. It seems crazy at times. Is it hard to get office jobs right out of school? I graduate in May '08. I really enjoy talkinh with people and feel this would be a good fit for my personality. Thanks for all the information from this thread. I feel a lot better about my desire to work in an office setting.
  11. by   aquarius11
    Right out of school, almost a year ago, I started on a med-surg floor because I didn't know what area of nursing I wanted to go into. As someone mentioned before, this floor was often under-staffed or if we had enough staff they would pull our nurses to another floor. Although I learned a lot I was stressed all of the time. I recently quit and will be working in an office. I think that working in a hospital will give new nurses an edge in the job market, but I would recommend leaving all options open and interview anywhere you have an interest. If you decide you have to gain hospital experience definantly ask how often nurses are floated of the unit, to what areas, and if training will be provided!
  12. by   RNLisa
    I graduated last June, am currently working in a hospital 2 to 3 days per week (12 hour shifts). I do not know if I really want to do bedside nursing forever. The long hours are a killer. Working weekends aren't too awful, since I only work every 3rd weekend and the "bosses" aren't there, much more laid back. But, I had an interview with a young doctor today and although it will be a paycut, I do like the no weekends, no holidays, 8 to 9 hour days. I just don't know what to do. I am in my late 30's and my kids are still fairly young. I feel like I need to make a change for better hours, but the pay is the big thing right now. I also feel like I will loose my skills. I planned to stay on at my current hospital as contingent if they'd let me. I guess I am afraid of making a change that I won't like; or that won't be what I wanted. I just don't know what to do.
  13. by   dream'n
    Well after reading the post a couple of pages back from a nurse that stated that anyone off the street could do her office job, I got a little miffed. That poster either under-values her own skills, or her employer isn't utilizing her to her potential. I am a proud office nurse, and work my tail off. I am an LPN and make in the low 20's/hour. (I personally don't know of any self-respecting LPN that would work for 7/hour, as a previous post states.) And yes I am a real nurse. I have saved lives in the office. Not as dramatically as in the ER, but I have none the less. Example: patient calls in to schedule an office visit for 'loss of vision' in one eye. Receptionist schedules appointment, and drops the ball. Guess what, I happened upon the schedule (a week away from the appointment date) and got concerned. I called the fellow and sent him to the ER. Diagnosis: Detached retina. I got a nice card from the patient thanking me for saving the sight in his eye. Example: New patient on Coumadin. Slipped by the Dr., but I found it. Checked an INR. Off the charts. Patient hospitalized with good outcome. I've had car accidents, and heart attacks walk into the office. I've seen meningitis, broken bones, and severe respiratory distress. So, yes, I am definitely a real nurse.

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