I am currently a pre-nursing student and will start nursing school
in the fall to complete a BSN. I am former Army and was a medic and EMT for 4 years not only in the field, but in med/surg, ob/gyn and the ER. Since the most of my time was spent in the ER or being a field medic I have a lot of experience and in the military techs or medics are allowed to do many things that only nurses do in the civilian world because there is no malpractice. I just recently got a job on the critical care unit, and I have found that I cannot do a lot of things, and this is quite frustrating for me. They want me to take a ton of inhouse classes to learn things I already know how to do. Also, the nurse manager says that once I have completed 2 semesters of nursing that I can then draw blood and other duties because I will have the nursing training! I have been drawing blood, starting IVs, IV meds and pushes, EKGs, casting, splinting, foley caths, ng tubes, etc., etc. There was a nursing shortage in the Army, and we were always allowed and encouraged to learn and do many things. I just feel kind of lost because I have gone from doing all that to only being qualified to do basic tasks kind of like a nursing assistant.
Does anyone have any advice for me or have been in a similar situation? I love healthcare and I love working in the hospital with patients! I am not considering quiting, but would rather like to know if I can sit for any tests without taking classes. I cannot even take the inhospital classes because their times conflict with my university school schedule. I am testing out of 19 hours of nursing school because of my medical experience, but want to know if I can do the same in the job I am in now. I know different rules govern different states and I am in OK, but I was wondering if anyone had a similar situation and what they did. I would just like to be able to do more and help more!
Dec 13, '02
"I just recently got a job on the critical care unit, and I have found that I cannot do a lot of things, and this is quite frustrating for me."
It doesn't really matter what anyone other than your hospital has to say about this, since they are the ones making the final decision. And since they are the ones taking on a certain amount of legal liability, they certainly have the right, and the obligation, to make sure you know THEIR way of doing things.
You might ask them if there is some way you can do some procedures, for example, while being evaluated by one of their qualified CCU people who would be willing to sign off on your skills. Or if you could "test out" of some facets of this training.
But YOU will have to come up with something they will buy into, if you want to be an exception to their reasonable rules. Otherwise, you'll just have to DO IT, like the rest of us. Some LVNs have reported the same kinds of concerns when going through school for their RNs, that they already know a lot of this stuff. True enough, but if you can't design a way to somehow satisfy the requirements other than those that have been prescribed, don't expect school or employers to simply take your word for your abilities and training, or certificates from other agencies that may well have different standards and ways of doing things.
Meanwhile, be glad you have this previous experience and training. It, and the ability to maintain a level head, will certainly serve you well.
You might also want to check out the "CCU" and the "Government Employed Nursing" forums on this BB to see what others in your position have done in the past or what suggestions they might have for you.
Last edit by sjoe on Dec 13, '02