I've been away from dialysis - and nursing - for almost 2 years and am now ready to get back into it on a PRN or part-time basis. Although I've done some med/surg and cardiac stepdown in my first year of nursing, I've spent most of the other 5+ years in chronic/outpatient hemodialysis at a clinic (large national for-profit chain; this was/is the only outpatient dialysis provider in this area). For various reasons (including horrible early morning hours) I would not consider returning to outpatient dialysis.
I thought that was the end of it since the only local hospital not staffed by RNs from the chronic clinics (who have to do acutes in addition to their clinic workload - another reason I wouldn't want to work there!) never
has any openings in its dialysis department. So I reluctantly looked at other possibilities (such as outpatient post-procedure observation, of interest since they get lots of dialysis patients
) - but nothing really interested me. Until - suddenly the hospital inpatient unit has an opening!
Well, my reaction showed me that I have definitely not "forgotten about" dialysis, like I tried to convince myself (whom was I fooling)? Anyway, I called the manager, and the interview seemed to go really well. The job seems to be perfect: PRN, shifts that can be coordinated with my husband's (he's an ICU nurse in the same hospital), and the manager really impressed me. All is not wonderful, of course: some overnight call would be required, and the pay that HR quoted me is less (!) than what I made at the clinic two years ago; this is, of course, negotiable (and I've already told them that I will not
work for less than I made in my last job!)
I have to make a decision later on this week. I don't know why I'm hesitant at all, it seems to be all I ever wanted: a dream ratio (1:1! Imagine that
), new skills to learn (PD, new machines!), all-nurse staff, great hours (mid-shift). But I don't know much about inpatient/acute dialysis. My last employer had just started requiring all clinic nurses to do acutes right before I left, so I didn't get much experience (neither did I want it at the time!) But this won't be the case here, of course.
For those of you who have done both, and especially inpatient after working in a clinic: How does it compare? Would you recommend it? I have another interview (my request) later this week, is there anything I should specifically ask about? Will I regret having to take call? I'm willing to do my share (they mentioned two nights/month), but don't want to get from the frying pan into the fire!
I have been so excited since this job possibility literally fell into my lap; this - and the fact that I have had some dreams
about dialysis - show me that I shouldn't let this chance get away. I have missed my patients so much... and although I wouldn't be happy that they're in the hospital, it would be so nice to see some of them again, as well as others (as we all know, the chronic patient population has its pros and a few cons
All right, convince me. Or - give me some hints, questions to ask, or even warnings. I'd rather ask now than be surprised later.
P.S. Would any of you ever consider working for less than you did in your last job, especially if it was a while ago? I really don't want to... but I also don't want to go back to clinic dialysis!!! And I know this hospital pays fairly low in general...
Oct 10, '06
Thank you, ariesbaby, for the encouragement; you are very perceptive
The things I really need to clarify are call
(e.g., how soon?), the training period and method (the throw them to the wolves
method has never worked for me
- I know dialysis of course, but there are new machines, PD, hospital procedures, etc.), and of course the pay rate. I do know that this non-profit hospital pays their staff nurses (v. float or premium/weekend only staff) below average - a friend of mine, an ICU nurse with 10 years experience, makes less than I did in my last clinic job (my husband makes more because he's on a premium plan which wouldn't work for my friend due to the required shifts).
I'll let you know what happens. Thanks again.
Last edit by DeLana_RN on Oct 10, '06
Oct 10, '06
I assume you will clock in as a normal hospital employee? I worked in our hospital owned clinic for 6 years before becoming charge nurse of the acute unit 3 years ago. Although our clinic is a good place to work, I love it where I am. The role of an acute nurse has many aspects: independent thinker, team player with the other care givers, ambassador to the families, right hand of the doctor who won't be there most of the time, ability to prioritize and coordinate the day by acuity and workload, ability to read the doctors henscratch and interpret the information in the chart, eagerness to learn and learn, sense of humor, optimistic, good communicator, self assurance coupled with a generous dose of humility, ability to cheerfully come in and run a noncompliant patient with a potassium of 8 at 2:00 in the morning, and much more. Are you convinced? Sounds to me like you should accept the position. It's never really about he money, stress is the real killer. Hey, I'm 58 with at least ten more years to go. Who would've thought I would be a cute dialysis nurse.
Last edit by diabo on Oct 10, '06
Oct 15, '06
There's a song we sing in our church that goes like this: "In quietness and confidence shall be thy strength". People will find out that your'e the real thing without hearing it from you. Unless someone asks, that's different. Let your motive be to help not to impress. Simple things can really help lighten someone's load.
Last edit by diabo on Oct 15, '06