hospital vs. office nursing

  1. Hi everyone. I am a new RN. Started my first job in a Family Practice Office. I really wanted to be in a hospital but the office job was appealing because no nights/holidays/weekends. I am 44 and have a family. I have been at my job for 6 months now and feel like I am not learning much about nursing. I do phone triage which is very difficult at times and room patients, give injections and assist with minor procedures. The goal at our office is to see as many patients as possible. I am not really spending more than 4-5 min with each patient. I am second guessing my decision to start my career here. I love the people I work with and do not want to be disloyal. If I go to a hospital it will most likely be evenings or nights for a while until I can get days. Is it worth it? Any advice or thoughts?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   jamonit
    3 12 hour shifts do have a certain appeal, no? as far as monetary compensation and benefits, i'm sure you'll find the hospital to be much better. also, you will be able to practice the skills you learned in school. as a new rn, i think working in a hospital setting is especially beneficial. i say try working at the hospital, stick around for a year or 2, then if you don't like that setting, check out hospice care or home health care as an alternative--or maybe something in community health. that's what i would do.
  4. by   ertravelrn
    Hi,
    I started out in physical rehab and realized I wasn't learning anything. Our patients didn't have IV's or anything. So, after my one year was up (I took a sign on bonus) I went to work in a hospital, and loved it so much. Good luck in what you choose to do.
  5. by   randybayrn
    I think it depends on the kind of practice. I worked in a plastic surgery office for 10 years as an LVN. The Dr had his own OR suite right there. I was able to learn to scrub cases and also learned to be an OR nurse (circulate) and learned how to do recovery room after they sent me to ACLS and PALS. The laws were different in the state I got my LVN in, so I was able to learn these things. When I got to CA they said I could not use these skills as an LVN so I went to school to get my RN. I now work in a Children's Hospital in the NICU. I just started so I can't tell you about that yet, but I am sure I will learn a lot as we are a level IIIC NICU. But.....in the area I was in private practice before hospital work I DID learn a tremendous amount. So I guess I am trying to say it depends on the area of private practice. Also, depending on the area of private practice you can make the same as hospitals and in some cases like where I was at, we made more. Areas like dermatology would also open the RN up to a great deal of learning like peels, laser, Botox, fillers (Collagen) etc.....it just depends on what part of "nursing" you want to learn or do. In the plastic surgery office we did IV's, bandage changes, triage etc also. If you work in primary care, you're going to do primary duties like RX teaching, vitals etc, but if you work in GYN/OB for example you might help with small surgical in office procedures as well. I am a new grad RN and I got day shift, so I think that is definitely possible if that is the route you want. Some places like UCLA have rotating shifts (1/2 days and 1/2 nights). HOAG in CA hired me to orient on nights, but said that within 6 months I would move to days. When I did office/OR work I did not have to work nights or weekends this is true. I don't know how it is were you live, but a lot of the hospitals around here in CA make you work 2 weekends a month. I guess it depends on your priorities.

    Anyway, hope that helps a little.
  6. by   RNsRWe
    I started off in the hospital, working 3 12-hour night shifts BECAUSE I have a family. I get home in the morning in time to see the kids off to school (90% of the time, anyway) and am home when they get home. I start dinner, then leave my hubby to finish it and put them to bed. When there's a school holiday or snow day (like today!!) I don't worry about who's going to watch them; even if I'm sleeping, I'm home and they know that if they need me. I haven't used a babysitter since I can't remember when, as my daytime husband trades off with me. So, nightshift is very compatible with raising a family. Even working alternating weekends is no big deal; I'm still on a night schedule, so I still have several daylight hours to share with the crew. Not a problem, and I've been able to work time off around evening kids' programs, too

    As for getting experience, I say it's the hospital hands down, and I've learned so much in med-surg you can't believe it. Perhaps one day I'll move to a different type of environment, such as an office, but for the forseeable future I really like the extra $$ the hospitals pay, and the flexibility of scheduling. I only work 3 days a week (and more if I want, which I don't, LOL).

    Check it out
  7. by   Mudwoman
    The older you get the harder it will be to do hospital nursing unless you get into some type of management position.

    You might find that a more specialized Dr's office will provide more opportunities. I have 2 nurse friends that work in offices and I'm amazed at all the stuff they get to do. One works for an OB/GYN and he has taught her to work with him in the OR as well as do many procedures in the office. My other friend has been a pediatric nurse for 15 years and she knows a ton of stuff. Maybe it is just family practice and the particular office that you are in that is the problem.

    Three 12 hour shifts do give you more time off, but those 12's are really hard on you mentally and physically.

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