Stable life vs not enough action! Do you ever envy your inpatient counterparts

  1. 0
    Hello AN!

    As a relatively new nurse in NYC, I have been lucky to be consistently employed. I started out part time in an SNF (5 months), then was hired full time in LTC (6 months). NOC shift 5 nights a week was hard to adjust to (all work, no life) and even though I grew to love my team and residents I left to work in a clinic (7 months to present). The hours are great, no holidays, no massively redundant paperwork and I get to spend more time with pts, see them come back, getting better etc.

    By all counts I am quite lucky! But now I feel like I am missing out on alot of nursing experience. I am the only nurse there (the rest are MAs) and d/t the low acuity I feel like alot of the things I learned in school are slipping away (emergency mgmt, critical meds, IVs etc). I read journals to try and stay updated. I volunteer and am planning to get my MSN (CNS) not really for a pay bump but just to learn more things (I love nursing).

    I guess what I want to ask is, nurses that are working in drs offices, clinics, home care, school nursing etc.. do you ever envy your inpatient counterparts? How do you deal with those feelings? As you know, NYC is a tough place for new grads (job opening wise). As a student, I had hoped to get my start in med surg. But after 100+ applications I grew disenchanted with applying to hospitals. Now I'm a "stale grad". For those of you who have worked in out patient settings longer:

    Are you happy with your career? What are your future plans?

    Thanks in advance.
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  3. 16 Comments so far...

  4. 9
    I try to look at it this way- we are not losing skills, we are acquiring different skills. Acute care is completely different from ambulatory care- two different skill sets. I may not be using some clinical skills very often (straight caths) and some not at all (IV's). But, I have learned how to triage/prioritize large numbers of patients, have honed my assessment skills (it takes an entirely different kind of skill to be able to accurately assess someone over the phone!), have refined my teaching skills, learned the importance of family dynamics, referrals and follow ups, learned case management, and have learned to effectively communicate with other health care providers/ health care teams in our community. I LOVE my job in ambulatory care, and the best part is knowing that what we do on a daily basis helps keep our patients OUT of the hospitals, in their own homes, and helps them effectively manage their own health care. What could be better than that?!
    sallyrnrrt, CareQueen, rudycoon, and 6 others like this.
  5. 1
    To mama2 - what a nice way to express your feelings about what you do! Refreshing explanation. TY
    sallyrnrrt likes this.
  6. 3
    I went from a flight nurse position to an oncology clinic position. Although I actually do IV's (all day in fact) and because our patients come to us in all sorts of bad shape we are able to keep our assessment and many of our clinical skills up to par I sometimes miss the excitement of all the critical care activities that encompassed my entire career. I keep up with it by reading journals and discussing CC nursing on forums and with my old friends. When I think about it though I really love the different kind of nursing relationship I have with my patients where I get to spend time with them and actually do some teaching. I also appreciate having a normal schedule that allows me more time to pursue the things that make me happy and to spend time with friends and family. I found this to be a big factor in my happiness and it shows in my nursing.
    sallyrnrrt, CareQueen, and mama2 like this.
  7. 1
    I work in a clinic and love it. I really get to know my patients. I feel that I use a lot of my nursing skills still. I did work in an acute setting and never seemed to be able to get to know my patients. We are always having to solve problems for our patients. It is very rewarding. I have been a nurse for 30 years. Everyday is a new challenge and I still rely on my skills that I learned in a hospital setting.
    sallyrnrrt likes this.
  8. 4
    I do not miss working in the hospital. I work in a clinic and love the hours, my co-workers and the fact that we are rarely understaffed! I feel like I do a lot for my patients in keeping them healthy and "nipping in the bud" problems which have the potential to land them in the hospital. I do a lot of teaching and triaging. I feel I get to know my patients. The only reason I would need many of my hospital clinical skills would be if I was planning to work in a hospital again, which I am not!! I feel like I am a better nurse where I am now than I was in the always understaffed, crazy-busy unit in the hospital.
    sallyrnrrt, goalienrse, sneeds, and 1 other like this.
  9. 0
    learn any and all that you can and clinic may not be for everyone if you're bored perhaps a weekend job in the hospital as PRN or nursing home. I personally love my job and wouldn't trade it for the hospital floor. Yes I know what you mean .. my friends work in medsurg, PACU, ER and it just seems so much cooler. If you really feel that clinic isn't for you then apply to hospitals, see what you can get and take it from there. Good luck
  10. 6
    Thanks everyone, I guess I am still adjusting to my role. Sometimes it stings a bit when patients or other healthcare providers give me the raised eyebrow and ask why I'm not working in a hospital. It is reassuring to be reminded smart, capable and most importantly happy clinic nurses exist!
    sallyrnrrt, CareQueen, goalienrse, and 3 others like this.
  11. 0
    Quote from mama2
    I try to look at it this way- we are not losing skills, we are acquiring different skills. Acute care is completely different from ambulatory care- two different skill sets. I may not be using some clinical skills very often (straight caths) and some not at all (IV's). But, I have learned how to triage/prioritize large numbers of patients, have honed my assessment skills (it takes an entirely different kind of skill to be able to accurately assess someone over the phone!), have refined my teaching skills, learned the importance of family dynamics, referrals and follow ups, learned case management, and have learned to effectively communicate with other health care providers/ health care teams in our community. I LOVE my job in ambulatory care, and the best part is knowing that what we do on a daily basis helps keep our patients OUT of the hospitals, in their own homes, and helps them effectively manage their own health care. What could be better than that?!
    Great perspective! Thank you!
  12. 3
    I've been a nurse for almost a year and a half now. I was very fortunate to land a job straight out of nursing school in an ICU at a world renowned medical center. It had an excellent critical care training program, paid great, great staffing. Due to some family issues I had to leave after a year and return to my hometown. I was very reluctant to leave because I knew how good I had it.

    I found a job in my hometown quite easily and I'm working in a SICU at a level I trauma center at another nationally respected institution. I'm only 4 months into it and already feeling super burnt out. I make 2/3 of what I made before and work twice as hard. The patients I have paired together frightens me more often than not. I'm trying to stick it out as long as I can but I'm having a hard time. What I have learned is that I really love working with the under served. I notice how much of the critical illness I see could have possibly been prevented with better access and education. I'm really wanting to be a part of that. I'm physically exhausted from rotating 12 hr days and nights. I'm emotionally exhausted from the high level of stress that naturally comes with the job.

    Right now I'd give anything to work in a clinic M-F, and heck, even some Saturdays too. I'd love to be out there getting to know families, educating, focusing on prevention. I understand that itch for wanting to be in the center of all the excitement, but it's definitely not the path for me. Quite honestly, I think it takes just as much skill to properly educate someone on their health condition and really get through to them.


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