Quote from wintersunrise
You may be in for a big surprise in the US. The Acute/hospital dialysis nurse is typically on call rotation and can work as many as 24 hours in a row. The outpatient nurse may start her shift as early as 3:30am, and works as many as 13-16 hours in a day. The patient/staff ratio depends on staffing for the day. Most units are in need of nurses with experience! If you have any kind of dialysis experience you will also be training other nurses....that probabely won't stay long!
The days are long, hectic, and sometimes very stressfull. I believe you really have to love being a nurse. The pay is ok, but could be better. The patients vary...depending on the area (acute/chronic) and location (rural/inner city). Some are educated, intelligent and willing to learn the disease process (ideal), others are uneducated, mentally challanged, and resistant to any health care! Not to mention physically or verbally abusive to nurses. Some patients are out to blame others for their misfortune.
Lawsuits are an everyday occurance and reminder of what it is like to be in the good old USA. THis may sound grim, however, I try to find small enjoyable moments to keep me going, a simple 'thank you' from one patient may be it for the day! Good luck:spin:
You're describing what is probably a worst-case scenario. Work conditions and pay vary widely, you have to choose carefully - but that's true with any job.
At my former clinic I used to start at 5:00 a.m. because the first patients were put on at 6:00; still early (and the reason why I don't work there anymore), but most of my coworkers liked those hours. A local sister clinic starts at 7:00 (workers)/8:00 (pts); another, staffed with early birds, starts at 4:00 (but this was the workers' - and patients' - choice!) Some clinics also have a late shift where nurses may start at 10:00 a.m. or so.
to train anybody, we had a unit preceptor who was paid extra (and volunteered) for the task.
We worked four 10-hour days between Monday and Saturday; no Sundays. Other local clinics are only open M/W/F (up to 12-13 hrs).
Initially, clinic RNs did not have to take acute call at a hospital the company covers; when they implented this, many RNs left. It is not always a requirement.
I recently started a new job in a hospital inpatient unit; we are hospital employees and don't have to cover any other hospitals. The nurse : pt ratio is 1:1 (both in our 5-station unit and in the ICUs, where we dialyze very critical and vent pts), sometimes even 2:1 depending on pt condition. Yes, everyone has to take turns at night or weekend call, but nobody expects you to work excessively (e.g., if you get called out at night and are scheduled for the next day, you may usually come in late or not at all; we have enough staff to cover.) We have a lot of flexibility - some work 5 days/wk, some 4, some 3, and I'm per diem. Various hours, various call requirements.
There are great variations and one cannot generalize. Choose carefully, ask lots of questions. But you can find a position in dialysis that suits your needs.