Please advise: trauma center v. non-trauma center - page 2

by LG1137

2,917 Views | 22 Comments

When it rains, it pours :D After graduating nursing school in May and passing my NCLEX, I've had the hardest time finding an ED position. This week, I've received two offers. Both are good and I'd like to make an informed... Read More


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    I think the 40 bed ER at the 500 bed hospital would give you a lot more opportunity. What if you discover your heart isn't in ER? The bigger hospital will have more opportunities for transition than the smaller one. I'll also bed the new grad training program is much more organized at the big hospital with more support. The small hospital you will likely have to become self-sufficient very quickly. You would likely be able to transition to a trauma center after a couple years of ER experience either way. Congrats on your two jobs offers!
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    I really don't think the fact that the smaller hospital is leveled a four is relevant. It just means they participate in the network.I agree with posters above. I started in a smaller er and felt that I got more experience that way but I then moved to a trauma center. The urban hospital will likely bring sicker people but less autonomy. Up to you...
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    There are so many variables, here, I don't know where to start! I'd leave the trauma designation out of the mix. I've worked at both designated and non-designated, and trauma found me regardless of designation! I would stick with what ED is going to offer the best orientation package, which one has a culture that best fits for you, which management style do you prefer, what is the staffing like, what is the team atmosphere, etc, etc, etc. I think having an opportunity to shadow is fantastic! You will learn a lot about the unit culture that way. Patients are patients, and most don't really care if they show up at a trauma center. They still expect to receive competent care. Oh, and trauma isn't all the glamour it's cracked up to be.
    Now that I am a hiring manager, I don't really look at the trauma designation of the hospital where a candidate is coming from. I look at skills, communication, problem solving, and style. Choosing a non-trauma center will not hurt your career, in my opinion. What you choose to do on the job and in continuing education will impact your career much more than trauma.
    tigerlogic, NickiLaughs, audacia, and 2 others like this.
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    Things to consider

    Does location count? Will you need to re-locate.
    ED is a challenging work environment. Where you will spend your down time is important.

    Is the facility public or private.
    Private may have more rigid rules.
    Teaching hospital can be more dynamic.

    Which manager did you like best?
    Frequently the personality of the manager filters all the way down.

    What is your personality and energy level?
    Are you excited or frightened by the idea adrenalin rush.

    Trust your instincts of how each hospital felt.

    No mistakes here,just different preferences.
    NickiLaughs likes this.
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    So much great input here - using that, and asking more questions of both hospitals, I’ve made a decision I’m very happy with.


    Both hospitals are non profit; one of which is county owned. Both managers I liked. The mountain hospital offers a huge national forest minutes away but very limited shopping and dining; the large ED, everything for shopping and eating, and excellent mountains (including skiing) an hour away. Both hospitals I would have to relocate for.


    I called the mountain ED and asked about training - they offer on-the-job training, but I could’t nail down it’s structure (maybe because there isn’t much, I don’t know). The large ED offers three months of training, beginning with one week of classroom orientation, which appeals to me.


    After shadowing yesterday and in light of all of this, I accepted the offer to work at the large hospital. I was already super excited before I met with HR today, when they informed me of benefits I didn’t even know about: $4k sign on bonus paid in the first check; $5k moving expenses paid for; and a very competitive pay package! All this for a new grad!


    I am sooooooo stoked!!!


    Thanks everybody for your opinions.
  6. 0
    Congrats! Keep us posted on how it goes.
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    Congrats!! Sounds like it will be a great position, and you'll learn a lot. I'd say with some experience in a busy city ED (even without trauma) you would be able to get a position in a trauma hospital without too much trouble. Good luck!!
  8. 0
    Quote from LG1137
    I met with HR today, when they informed me of benefits I didn’t even know about: $4k sign on bonus paid in the first check; $5k moving expenses paid for; and a very competitive pay package!

    Congratulations on the new job. You have an exciting time ahead of you. Word of warning about the bonus and moving expenses. They tax them at the highest rate possible. So that 5k moving expense will be more like $2700 (very rough estimate). Plan your move with that in mind.
  9. 0
    Congratulations! That's a great deal for a new grad!
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    ;;kl''l
    Last edit by nurse2033 on Oct 19, '12


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