My Reasons For Avoiding The Acute Care Hospital - page 5
I've been asked the same question by members of Allnurses.com, real-life coworkers, and even some of my own family members: "Why aren't you interested in working at a major hospital?" My... Read More
Jan 30, '13 by MandaRN94, MSNI can echo the same comments. I worked in L&D right after graduating from nursing school because I felt I needed the acute hospital experience. For the past 9 years I have been a PHN and LOVE it -would NEVER go back to hospital nursing. I am currently a RN manager for a public health/family planning clinic and finishing my Masters in Nursing with focus in PH. "Real" nurses don't just work in hospitals.
Feb 18, '13 by Oldest&Ugliest, BSN, RNThank you so much for this article. I always enjoy hearing from you!! I am a second career nurse who realized in my last semester of nursing school that acute care just wasn't for me. It was almost impossible for new grad ADNs to get hospital jobs here where I live anyway, so I was very lucky to get a job in corrections, which I really loved. Currently I am working PRN in corrections and PDN for a special-needs child. What a great variety, huh? Not as much money as I could possibly make if I had gotten that acute care experience, but I recently told a friend that at my stage of life I wanted work that enhanced my life, not shortened it. I know that acute care would drive me (or God forbid, someone else!!) to an early grave. If I was younger I know I would have wanted that acute care experience and I felt really bad about missing out on it for a while. Just recently though I realized I have grown into being a confident, competent nurse in my own specialties and possibly even have strengths that the nurses being run ragged in the hospital haven't had a chance to develop. Thanks again for your article.
Mar 9, '13 by JennyMaeSo...as a GN with a valid RN license, uninterested in hospital work...where do I find an employer? It seems that "golden year" for floor nursing if not 2 is the ticket to moving out of the acute care setting and into a specialty.
Even wound care centers want nurses with at least 2 years so it seems from the job listings I've read.
I want the oppertunity to assess patients and provide care but the nurse to patient ratios combined with the pace of the hospital setting is not conducive to me and I don't think it's really safe for the patient or my license.
Any suggestions are welcome.
Mar 9, '13 by JennyMaeI'm very interested in PH...but that floor experience...can I get into PH without acute care setting experience?
Mar 28, '13 by christine p. tobeyI've been a nurse for 10 years Always working Med. Surg. & Acute care settings. I must say I do understand where you are coming from after reading your article & respect your honesty about your feelings for this type of nursing. It does not make you less of a nurse & you are SO right about the fact that nurseing does not take place only in the walls of a acute care setting. You are so right about what you said & do NOT let anyone make you feel less just because your not into adrenaline rush settings. Me personally , I do not like routine & I work so much better stressed & under pressure. I"ve floated in hospitals all of my nursing career & that is what I love. Always different & never knowing what I'm walking into. Constantly learning & experiencing new & different things & people. It is definitely my calling & I truly love it & this type work is not work to me , it is such a joy. We are all different & the medical field requires many different people & personalities for all that is has to offer. You are just as important as us adreniline junkies !
Dec 25, '15 by twilatwiddle, RNQuote from TheCommuterI needed to see this. I am also a mellow type B kinda girl. I am miserable in the hospital setting.. As I suspected I would be. I've been thinking maybe I made a mistake starting a career change in nursing but I think I just need a change in scenery. Thank you for sharing.I've been asked the same question by members of Allnurses.com, real-life coworkers, and even some of my own family members: "Why aren't you interested in working at a major hospital?"
My relatively short nursing career consists of experience in long term care, rehabilitation (acute and sub-acute), and psych. For the past two and a half years I've been employed at a small specialty hospital that provides acute rehabilitation services, and to be honest, I think it's wonderful when a patient discharges to home with the ability to walk and talk when he was bedridden and unable to speak just two weeks ago.
My career is about to traverse into a new chapter when I enter the realm of developmental disabilities nursing starting next week. Twelve years ago, when I was 19 years old, I was employed as a direct care staff member and caregiver at a group home in a residential area that housed six developmentally disabled clients. I mostly enjoyed working with this particular patient population and will be thrilled to finally work as a nurse in this specialty.
Meanwhile, let's venture back to the original question. . .Why do I not want to work at a major hospital? Honest introspection is a major part of my career decision. In addition, my experiences while attending clinical rotations during nursing school at multiple hospitals in two different states cemented my choice to avoid acute care like the plague, especially after seeing how appallingly the nurses were being treated. After much painstaking self-reflection, I realize that an acute care hospital job is not for me. Some people would interject and say, "Well, you'll never know unless you try it!"
To be perfectly blunt, I know my personality is not compatible with acute care. I'm a mellow type B girl who does not like responding to codes. I dislike dealing with changes in condition. I detest taking off orders that constantly change on the whim of the doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician's assistant. I cannot stand constantly performing procedural skills such as IV starts, Foley catheter insertions, nasogastric tube drops, or blood draws. I despise having to drop what I'm doing to address a stat order. I do not look forward to constant interaction with physicians, families, dietary staff, visitors, RT, and other people.
I hate the liability involved with acute care. I do not enjoy the idea of not knowing exactly what I'm going to walk into. I do not like making decisions NOW, and in acute care the nurse must make decisions NOW. Acute care involves a pace with which I'm not comfortable. I'm not an adrenaline junkie. My preferences include low acuity patients, low liability, minimal stress, and the same old routine. I know that several years of acute care hospital experience would be vastly beneficial to my career as a nurse. After all, you don't know what you don't know. However, if I would likely be unhappy during those years, why follow through with it? If I could steer clear of the acute care hospital for the remainder of my career, I'd be content.
Some uninformed people insist that real nursing only takes place inside the walls of the acute care hospital setting. People can think whatever they darn well please. As long as I'm happy, secure, and comfortable with the work I'm doing, that's all that matters to me. Patients outside the hospital setting need nurses, too.
Dec 26, '15 by TheCommuter, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorQuote from twilatwiddleYep. Not everyone is cut out to work in the hospital setting. It is perfectly okay to admit this. In fact, the sooner one comes to this realization, the happier they'll be due to making more informed career choices.I needed to see this. I am also a mellow type B kinda girl. I am miserable in the hospital setting.. As I suspected I would be. I've been thinking maybe I made a mistake starting a career change in nursing but I think I just need a change in scenery. Thank you for sharing.
Dec 27, '15 by featherzRN, BSN, RNI never liked working in acute care.. I did a few years, then went off to be a software engineer for about 10 years. After that, never stepped foot in a hospital as an acute care employee again. I did outpatient for the most part, some research and case management.. I do work *in* an acute care hospital now, but I am sitting on the floor reviewing charts so I get to see what I am missing (not!!).
Mar 2, '16 by ASPIRING2BGREAT, LPNThe Commuter.......even rewind years in the past I enjoy anything you've written and write!
Always so on point and this one is exactly me, also. And just as expected people always try to convince me different but even after they exhaust all thier good excuses why......I still say I have no desire to work in a hospital.
I aspire you The Commuter!Last edit by ASPIRING2BGREAT on Mar 2, '16 : Reason: grammar
Mar 2, '16 by martymooseThank you for acknowledging that you don't like the liability of acute care nursing. I totally agree with you on that one.
Mar 2, '16 by not.done.yet, MSN, RN GuideI did four years of acute care with some internal drive that made me continually feel like I wasn't good enough, needed to advance, needed to compete, get ahead, eye on the next rung. I was barely doing the stuff I became a nurse to do and I was stressed out of my mind, though I didn't realize how badly. I knew it was bad but I truly didn't know HOW bad.
This past Fall a former employer requested I return. The job offer was one of those "too good to be true" things that only happen once. I jumped on it and man, has it been an amazing eye opener ever since. I miss some things about acute care, but not nearly enough to want to go back. I get sucked into Type A stuff easily but on the squishy inside I am a Type B educator type who wants to have all the time I need to teach and support both coworkers and patients alike. I love my new job.
I don't regret my time in acute care. I learned a LOT about myself and this career and it benefits me greatly in what I do. I am not sure the avenues open to me now would be if I didn't have that experience. However, I am not ashamed that I am unlikely to ever do floor nursing again. Life is far more balanced now.
Jul 30, '16 by nocturnallifeI'm going to be graduating in December. So far I don't think I want to start in acute care for the same exact reasons as the OP said. I'm a very laidback person and the hospital to me right now seems intimidating because there is too many things going on at once. I also like rountine and Knowing what I'm walking into. I'm currently doing an externship in the hospital and I think it seems like an unsafe mess. I choose nights thinking it would be a good pace for me to learn once I graduate but the night shift nurses get more pts than days. As an extern sometimes I have 16 patients and I don't even know the admitting diagnosis for some of them because I barely have time to look. The nurses are constantly busy they pretty much only have time to give medictions and barely have time to assess the patients. They just pretty much keep them alive.
I don't mind acute care but I just want to work somewhere at slower pace that will allow me to learn and think and build my knowledge base. Any ideas anyone?
Jul 30, '16 by TheCommuter, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorQuote from nocturnallifeI spent the first six years of my career in long-term care (a.k.a. nursing homes).I don't mind acute care but I just want to work somewhere at slower pace that will allow me to learn and think and build my knowledge base. Any ideas anyone?
One commonly overlooked option is group homes for the developmentally disabled. Other options include adult daycare, occupational health centers, psychiatric hospitals, jail intake centers, prison infirmaries, and blood banks.