Urgent Care Clinic

  1. Did anyone start out at an Urgent Care Clinic as a new graduate?? If so, I'd like to know what a typical day would be like. How many RNs are typically assigned, and what are the responsibilities of the RN? How long was your orientation also? I would appreciate any input from any seasoned ambulatory (Urgent care nurses) out there as well. I've been applying everywhere and anywhere for work but nothing yet. I still have hope. I just like to get as much information as I can about a particular position that I might consider taking before-hand. Thanks so much in advance guys.
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    About finallyRN7

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 151; Likes: 15
    from US


  3. by   ms_orion
    The usual advice in school - - Med-Surg - - I started out as a float nurse in a Primary care clinic (which I despised in nursing school, because "they weren't real nurses") HA. I loved it, also did urgent care. Since I have re-located... I'm working in a hospital. Let me tell you, all I was missing in the hospital was the chaos and gossip. If you are in a 'good' place..you will learn as you go. Usually, excellent team work. There will be 'boring' days, but those days are used for catching up on things you didn't have time for during the "rush"..cleaning, paperwork etc....but you will see a variety of things. Truthfully, I practiced more skills and had more autonomy in the clinic than I do in the hospital. The main thing..is your co-workers, staff members (schedulers, etc..) and the attitudes of the physicians you work with...that is what will create the environment. Best of luck. (I have respect for hospital nurses..of course..but it isn't for me. I have learned how to care for ventilator pts and other things you dont see in the clinic... but honestly, I worked with a great group and physicians who loved to teach. You will do alot of injections, see alot of uri, uti, etc....patient teaching? You have more time in the clinic than in the hospital. Ridiculous, huh? Bedside nursing is definitely NOT what it was.
    Last edit by ms_orion on Feb 24, '11 : Reason: misspelling
  4. by   finallyRN7
    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and information ms_orion. :-)
  5. by   midcom
    My first job as an LPN was very similar to the above poster- float in Primary Care & urgent care clinic on weekends.I loved it. Our urgent care clinic was an extension of the primary care clinic so we used the same computer system & the same facilities. We had one doctor & 2 nurses & saw around 25 patients during our 8 hour shift. I learned so much. Of course we mainly saw patients with UTIs, URIs, migraines, strep, tetanus shots, reading TB tests, and minor injuries(falls, lacerations, etc). The serious cases were advised to go to the ER or sent there by us. I also took triage phone calls, dealt with nursing home calls & faxes (our on-call doc was the one who worked urgent care ) and sent prescription refill requests to the various doctor's worklists. For the first year or so I worked with a RN but we both did everything, although when possible, I let her take care of the triage calls. When she left, they hired a MA to work with me & that was ok too although I then did all the triage work. As far as orientation goes, I worked many days in the primary care clinic before I got to work the urgent care clinic & then they assigned a third nurse for a few weekends.

    I no longer work in urgent care. A position with a provider opened up in the clinic &, since it meant no longer floating & full time work, I jumped at the chance. At the same time our system decided to change how the urgent care clinic was run. It was no longer staffed by our doctors (something they really appreciated!) & moved to a separate area of our building. I have to admit that I don't miss working weekends.

    I agree that good co-workers & adequate orientation will make or break it for you. I was fortunate that we had excellent workers in scheduling, records, the lab, x-ray, nursing, & doctors. I worked with 10 different doctors.
  6. by   finallyRN7
    Thanks midcom for the info.
  7. by   linguine
    Many primary care centers have a urgent care service provided along side with it. Depending on the day, you may rotate through the services.

    As mentioned in the above posts, the responsibilities include preventative care for the healthy, managing urgent care patients and managing patients with chronic care.

    You will likely get a lot of experience with triaging and practice your physical assessments and history taking. Patients are on many medications for various diagnoses so you will learn those too. Many urgent care centers treat their patients on site, with IVs and the works.

    Primary care and urgent care are challenging due to the variety of illnesses you have to recognize and the need for nurses to determine priority (triage): is this acute? do they have to go to a ER? chronic? what has/hasn't been working if it is chronic? Dieseases in the larger community tunnel through the urgent care and primary care clinics: influenza cases, STIs, mental health, etc., so you learn a lot about the community you are providing service to.

    goodluck with your job search
  8. by   mili6
    can someone give me insight on how can I prepare myslef to work in urgent care as an Rn. What are the complicated task that I will come across??
  9. by   delilas
    I just wanted to thank those responding to this thread, because I'm actually interviewing tomorrow for a position with an urgent care, and wanted to know a bit more what to expect and how to prepare. My end goal is to work in an emergency department after I finish my BSN, so I'm hoping this job will help give me better experience in the physical assessments and triaging than say, LTC would. Thanks again for all the insight.
  10. by   nurse_bear
    I may be a lil' late. I started in an urgent care clinic in 2006. I was an EMT attending LPN school so they hired me as a "nurse tech", which entailed everything except passing meds. Now, as an LPN working toward my RN, I am with the same company and I am a lead nurse. ITs acute care so there are alot of diagnostic tests, x- rays, etc. We start a considerable amount of IV's and administer many injections. We get experience with orthopedics by applying splints and OCL plaster. I like urgent care because it pays well, is fast paced, and is not the same old hospital setting. Good luck!
  11. by   mmm cdiff
    Thought I'd try my luck in asking this several months after the last post...
    Does working in urgent care prepare you for working in a hospital environment at all?
  12. by   delilas
    I began working at one three months ago (shortly after my post) and I think it's helped a lot as an LPN to RN. Most of my classmates work at nursing homes, whereas I'm doing IVs and IM shots, wound dressings, EKGs, etc. The pay is terrible for an LPN (8 dollars lower than the going rate around my city) but thats because I'm the only nurse at my facility - they typically hire Medical Assistants. Its worth it to me, however.
  13. by   nurse_bear
    Well, in a word, Yes. I mean it doesn't hurt. I have been in urgent care for 5 years now. Three as an LPN. Our clinics are fast paced, especially during the fall and winter months. Its all acute, which helps and hurts you. I do alot of IV's and IM's also and it keeps you sharp. We get emergencies all of the time. People still dont understand when to go to urgent care or the ER so you have to be prepared for anything. Since it is acute there are almost zero catheters, NG tubes, etc. I have no desire to work on the floor at a hospital. If I go to the hospitals I will do strictly ER so I think this experience helps greatly. I make a little better than the starting rate for RN's in my area and I am an LPN so the money is great too!
  14. by   linguine
    It could prepare for working in the ER. The hospital interviews I have been too have asked if I were interested in the ER because of the triage experience in urgent care.