On Nov 12 I am going to start working for the only pediatrician's office in town (we have family practices in town as well.) I am leaving the med/surg unit where I have worked since June (I graduated in May.) The main reason I have chosen to do this is that my family, especially my son who has recently been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, needs a little more stability. I will be taking a BIG pay cut and the benefits aren't as good. The pluses are 1) no weekends 2) no NIGHTS 3) holidays 4) this is my son's doctor and I adore him!
One of my concerns is losing my assessment skills. I am thinking of talking to this doc about doing some assessments for him, maybe physicals to start out with, if he is comfortable with that. The nurses in his office do the vitals of course, but that is all. I want to do more than that. I will be doing LOTS of pt education, that is the main reason I am being hired. This doc used to be a teacher at UVA and one of the reasons I really like him is because he spends SO much time educating me about my son's health. The catch is that when he does that he gets behind. So he needs another educator in his office. (me) I was also thinking that eventually, if he had a kid who simply needed rehydration, I could do that, too. Are these things done in dr's offices by nurses? I am not sure what I can legally do in a dr's office. I am very excited about this job, but I also have reservations. I don't want to spend all day doing vitals. If I wanted to do that, I wouldn't have gone to nursing school! I am very interested in knowing what else you all do during your day.
I am also wondering if there is a pediatric physician's office nursing association or even a physician's office nursing association or any publications specifically for these things.
Nov 14, '01
So glad to hear that you are making the change to office nursing. I have worked in family practice, but am currently a health educator/in corporate wellness. Anyway, I found that office nursing is what you make it. Take the initiative, find out what your MD will allow you to do, make him aware of what you know and can do on your own. The pace can be very busy, lots of phone interruptions, etc..........but it is very rewarding to watch your patients make progress, grow up, and they enjoy having a steady person to whom they can turn in health crises.
As far as organizations, there is the American Association of Office Nurses: Website is http://www.aaon.org
They also publish "Office Nurse" periodically (can't remember how often) in "RN" magazine.
Any other questions, feel free to e-mail me, and best of luck in your new career path!