I've been working for about a month now at a large outpatient facility in the family medicine/family practice dept. The people I work with are great and they all do the same job as me, but they are medical assistants. So I am basically doing a medical assistants job. There are a few things that I do within my scope of practice that they can't- like certain injections. But the jobs is surprisingly stressful, and Im not sure its the kind of stress that is helping me grow in my field. I do a lot of administrative work- faxing prior authorizations for medications to insurance companies, sending rx refill requests to doctors, checking pt messages from vmail and documenting it in the computer, and of course there is the rooming pts and taking vital signs. The job gets hectic b/c I work for two doctors and deal with many things at once. But Im not really utilizing much of the skills i worked so hard in school for. I've been debating if I should look for another job where I can get more hands on, basic bedside care kind of work. Is that a good idea to leave after just about a month of working here? Im sure it probably doenst look professional either. But I feel like with what Im doing now, I could have jsut been an MA (medical assistants) for. Any ideas?
Apr 23, '07
You don't give yourself much credit for what you do. I work in a busy specialty outpatient clinic. Some of my responsibilities include MA work. So at times I feel like a highly paid MA If you stick with it you will learn how the health care industry works. The experience you have working with various insurance companies, authorizations and working with HMO's can prime you to work in other capacities. I assume that you do triage and try to handle patient concerns via phone? So you are gaining experience in tele nursing. Many insurance companies are hiring nurses who have this experience as well as experience working with insurance companies and authorizations. Working in the outpatient setting is your opportunity to provide wellness education, and chronic disease management. For example, educating the patients on medications, any special procedures, etc.
What ever you decide....good luck. I personally will never go back to basic bedside nursing, there is much more one can to in the outpatient setting to keep patients out of the hospital.
Apr 26, '07
I agree with onc. You are gaining a lot of experience, but I understand what you mean about the work you are doing. There is a lot of clerical work and tasks that do not require the skills you have, but consider what you mean to the patients. They need someone with your education and knowledge to explain things that MA's don't know. Another thing to consider is your work hours. Where else would you work? In the area where I live, there are few positions for LPN, and most LPN's work in long-term care facilities. Most OP facilities operate M-F 8-5. Is this important to you? Most other nurse jobs require you to rotate shifts, work weekends, holidays, and maybe even be on call. Think about what matters most to you.
Aug 4, '07
Yea, the MA and I do some of the same things physically, but guess what- she doesn't do any teaching.....even the MD calls me in to teach patients sometimes cause he doesn't know something......(we have a good working relationship). I pride myself on going the extra mile to help.
Oct 6, '08
I am an RN in an outpatient clinic, in neurology. I get to do an occasional IV and push meds. But 99% of the time it is phones, faxing, orders. I agree that most of the time I do an MAs job. But, I love the drs I work with. Before I went to nursing school I always had clerical jobs (among others) and it got to the point where I hated the phone. It is getting to be that way again. I feel very stressed, irritated, and burnt out. I have the busiest doc in our dept and field at least 50-100 phone calls a day, plus refills, orders, faxing, appts, and much more when my doc is actually in clinic. I miss the one on one patient contact of the hospital or LTC. The hours ROCK, I do 7:30-3:30 on most days sometimes I need to stay late, M-F. But are the hours worth it if Im starting to hate my job?