What kind of office jobs can nurses hold?

  1. I know that there are nursing jobs that does not require patient care and I do know that you need prior nursing experience to hold those jobs..but was wondering if you know any careers where nurses work in patient free environments, like insurance, medicare, legal, etc.

    do you know any nurses who chose to work in those areas? THanks

    also is it true that as a nurse you deal with a lot of poo, pee and vomit? hope this question doesnt offend anyone ...
    Last edit by nursestudentx on Apr 13, '05
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   Dixielee
    I am not offended by the question, but I do have to wonder why anyone would want to go into nursing and be in a "patient free environment". Nursing by it's nature involves caring for those who can not care for themselves, either in the short term or the long term.

    If you want to work for an insurance company, then look into other avenues. Nursing school is a long and sometimes arduous task. It requires committment, dedication and a desire to help others. There are many reasons to become a nurse but they all should revolve around helping others. If you are turned off by the bodily functions of others, you should not consider nursing. It is part of the package. While I doubt any here enjoy cleaning up "poo, pee and vomit", is is part of the deal.

    In order to get thru nursing school and pass your boards, you are going ot have to do patient care, the more the better. You will need to decide early on if this is something you want to do. There are nursing jobs that entail sales of pharmacuticals, medical equipment, etc. as well as auditors for insurance companies. But I doubt any of those would hire a nurse who had no experience actually taking care of patients.

    Of course you could go straight thru, get your Masters or PHD and become one of those instructors or managers who does not have a clue what the real world is like
  4. by   ColdFusion
    also is it true that as a nurse you deal with a lot of poo, pee and vomit? hope this question doesnt offend anyone ...

    The rumors are true.
    You do have to deal with "poo, pee, and vomit."
    However, this is preferable to alot of the DOCTORS!
  5. by   Cassinia
    I work in such an environment. I worked in the hospital for about 18 years and, frankly, after my last hospital job (I was there for 13 yrs) and what they did to me (long story) I wouldn't go back. Also, since I'm in my mid 40's I think my body deserves less abuse. There are reasons Dixielee people like this environment, and it's usually age.

    I work at an independent nurse case management company which deals with numerous types of health plans. I am constantly using my nursing knowledge and learning more things all the time. The company I work for is nationwide. And, it's not the type of case management most people think of...workers comp. or the insurance company case manager who doesn't have to have a medical degree and does nothing but deny claims. I deal with doctors, hospital, home health care workers, patients, and other health providers on a daily basis.

    I had one doctor tell me, as I was getting update on my patient, to get a real job. I ripped him a new one explaining I was a registered nurse, I worked in the hospital setting for 17 years, and what I was doing WAS a real job. I informed him I was a professional and as such deserved to be treated as one. Then, I informed him if he did not provide the information I was requesting, my recommendation to the health plan would be to withhold all of his claims for payment until I did get the information so I could be sure his treatment plan was medically appropriate and a standard of care for this patient's condition. I guess he wanted his money because he immediately changed is attitude, apologized, and proceeded to answer all my questions.

    As for nursing experience, the company I'm working for requires five years of previous nursing in either case management, hospital, home health care, physician's office, etc. There has to be previous patient contact.
    Last edit by Cassinia on Apr 13, '05
  6. by   Ex130Load
    Having said those things, you're most likely going to encounter at least some poop, pee, and vomit during clinicals. I think I had less than 10 occasions during my clinicals and that seemed to be about the average experience for other students. I'm a gagger at the hint of a bad smell, but found that a tightly placed surgical mask greatly added in smell reduction--always had a couple in my pockets just for the occasion. For me, eliminating the smell component went a long ways toward avoiding gagging in front of a patient. I had one young patient become very mad at me when I gagged at removing and cleaning his colostomy bag. Couldn't help myself, but I'm digressing...

    If you don't have jobs in your area like sales of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, auditors for insurance companies, etc., consider ones that are less likely to include the undesirable aspects of nursing. They include school nursing, dermatologists using laser treatments for hair removal, dental surgeons, and some aspects of community nursing. However, the money may be less than bedside nursing.

    As another poster said, yes you could go straight thru, get your Masters or PHD and become one of those instructors or managers who do not have a clue what the real world is like. My school has a program where students matriculate immediately post-grad into a doctoral program that requires less than normal credits to obtain a PhD. They're doing it for a reason. The school is trying to produce PhD nurses earlier in a person's nursing career so that the nursing community can benefit longer from that nurse's education. Typically, the PhD prepared nurse works 10 years or so and then retires. My school would like to see the nursing community reap 20 years or more from the education afforded to a PhD nurse.

    An instructor told me there's a place for everyone in nursing. I think that's especially true today compared to previous nursing generations. I do agree that the more patient care experienced, the more likely you are to get through nursing school and to pass NCLEX. I don't agree that you must decide early on if this is something you want to do. On second thought, I retract that statement. Make that decision to avoid poop, pee, and vomit because I know first hand of several classmates who did precisely that. Understand however, you may be somewhat limiting employment opportunities.

    Good luck!
  7. by   nursestudentx
    thank you for the comments. im starting to worry because i thought i wanted to go into nursing but im not even sure anymore..and i feel like i have to make the decision soon so i dont waste time in college :uhoh21: were you sure that you wanted to go into nursing when you started? im not sure if nursing is the right job for me and i cant think of anything else that i want to do as a career..it feels like there's something wrong with me because my friends are all studying what they want to study in college and i cant seem to fidn interest in anything :stone im gonn cry!!!!!
  8. by   live4today
    Quote from Cassinia
    .................................................. ........................

    I work at an independent nurse case management company which deals with numerous types of health plans............................................. ..............

    I had one doctor tell me, as I was getting update on my patient, to get a real job. I ripped him a new one explaining I was a registered nurse, I worked in the hospital setting for 17 years, and what I was doing WAS a real job. I informed him I was a professional and as such deserved to be treated as one. Then, I informed him if he did not provide the information I was requesting, my recommendation to the health plan would be to withhold all of his claims for payment until I did get the information so I could be sure his treatment plan was medically appropriate and a standard of care for this patient's condition. I guess he wanted his money because he immediately changed is attitude, apologized, and proceeded to answer all my questions.....................................
    You're my kind of nurse! Isn't it great being a "mature nurse" who takes no flack!
  9. by   mugwump
    also is it true that as a nurse you deal with a lot of poo, pee and vomit? hope this question doesnt offend anyone ...[/QUOTE]

    Yes bodily fluids are a part of nursing but that is by far the least things I worry about. You have to keep things in perspective. I firmly belive if you asked any nurse about her worst day, pee wouldn't even be close on the list probably not vomit and it would have to b a LOT of poop to make that list.
    By far everyones worst day would be a patient going bad or dying.
    Granted I do want to go into management some day ( I've been a bedside RN for 5 years) Although my whole goal in nursing was to stay away from poop (when I was little I would throw up if I got mud on my shoes because it reminded me of poop) I work in antepartum (high risk pregnancies) most women can go to the bathrooom by themselves, Although still occasionally we need to put someone on the bedpan or have incontinent patient and I don't know how but someone got poop on the top of their shoe (don't know how that happend)
  10. by   nursestudentx
    Quote from mugwump



    Yes bodily fluids are a part of nursing but that is by far the least things I worry about. You have to keep things in perspective. I firmly belive if you asked any nurse about her worst day, pee wouldn't even be close on the list probably not vomit and it would have to b a LOT of poop to make that list.
    By far everyones worst day would be a patient going bad or dying.
    Granted I do want to go into management some day ( I've been a bedside RN for 5 years) Although my whole goal in nursing was to stay away from poop (when I was little I would throw up if I got mud on my shoes because it reminded me of poop) I work in antepartum (high risk pregnancies) most women can go to the bathrooom by themselves, Although still occasionally we need to put someone on the bedpan or have incontinent patient and I don't know how but someone got poop on the top of their shoe (don't know how that happend)
    im sure no one likes cleaning out poo, pee or vomit..even your own grosses you out..and i sure dont want to get near them. is this bad? i would love to work as a ob nurse and i dont think i would mind changing baby diapers..i would love to manage too someday but it's going to require patient care experience. i would love to be an interior architect but i want job security and i know nursing provides that. i think nursing would be a fulfilling job because you get to help people who need your help the most and i would love to meet different people everday but poo, pee and vomit? it would seem like this would be the least of my worries when i become a nurse though but it's discouraging me. im CONFUSED......i hope i dont start my nursing education and at the end dread working..ive never provided care but for my own and i cant even squish bugs with tissue papers..i guess there isnt such a thing as a "perfect job" and the good sides of nursing overweighs the bad side :zzzzz a nurse on this forum told me that a baby's poo pee and vomit are less offensive than adults and i think this is true. just a random though :chuckle

    OH and when youre a nursing student do you have to do some "cleanings" or do you mostly learn and study?
    Last edit by nursestudentx on Apr 13, '05
  11. by   Jetaime684
    Okay, I'm gonna try to put this nicely...but I think you could maybe re-examine why you want to go into nursing. I think too many people are going into nursing for the "job security". You will "make a difference" if u go into nursing, but there are many ways that you can influence society...it doesnt have to be healthare related!!! Start by volunteering (your local news website should have a listing online of volunteer oportunities, or contact your school)/ Or maybe look at Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, etc where u wont have to deal with peoples' bodily fluids. I hate to break it to you, but its REALITY. People puke, get diarrahea, and pee all over themselves sometimes. They dont do it on purpose! God made us this way, and we're beautiful no matter what.I hope you are able to overcome this dilemma.


    Quote from nursestudentx
    im sure no one likes cleaning out poo, pee or vomit..even your own grosses you out..and i sure dont want to get near them. is this bad? i would love to work as a ob nurse and i dont think i would mind changing baby diapers..i would love to manage too someday but it's going to require patient care experience. i would love to be an interior architect but i want job security and i know nursing provides that. i think nursing would be a fulfilling job because you get to help people who need your help the most and i would love to meet different people everday but poo, pee and vomit? it would seem like this would be the least of my worries when i become a nurse though but it's discouraging me. im CONFUSED......i hope i dont start my nursing education and at the end dread working..ive never provided care but for my own and i cant even squish bugs with tissue papers..i guess there isnt such a thing as a "perfect job" and the good sides of nursing overweighs the bad side :zzzzz a nurse on this forum told me that a baby's poo pee and vomit are less offensive than adults and i think this is true. just a random though :chuckle

    OH and when youre a nursing student do you have to do some "cleanings" or do you mostly learn and study?
  12. by   rach_nc_03
    Quote from nursestudentx
    OH and when youre a nursing student do you have to do some "cleanings" or do you mostly learn and study?
    When you start clinicals, you do littles in the first few months besides clean up poop, pee, and vomit, since you haven't learned many clinical skills, and you can't pass meds yet. believe it or not, you're learning a lot from that (odor and cloudiness in urine can indicate UTI, for instance). you're also busting your posterior studying.

    seriously, if you're truly phobic about bodily fluids, you should think long and hard before you decide to go to nursing school. a cheaper, quicker way to see if you would be able to deal with these substances is to take a CNA class. you might discover you really do NOT want to touch someone's feces. better to know it early on, I think.
  13. by   Audreyfay
    Quote from ColdFusion
    The rumors are true.
    You do have to deal with "poo, pee, and vomit."
    However, this is preferable to alot of the DOCTORS!
    BINGO!
  14. by   Ventjock
    you should candystripe at a hospital and see things for urself. everyone here could give u their opinion, but ultimatley its ur decision. would u buy a car by just hearing what people say about it? wouldnt u go out to see it and maybe take a ride in it? same way for a career. u need to see things for urself and see if you are comfortable. the same thing happened to me. i have seen that nursing is not for me. i totally respect nurses for what they do and what they go thru everyday, plus i still work beside them. there will always be "nasty" stuff to do in a healthcare profession, but u have to deal with peoples bodies/fluids/feces. Even docs do colonoscopies (did i spell that right?). i decided to go into Radiology school and guess what i have to learn to do barium enemas....so everywhere, even where u least expect it, u have to do something that isnt so "pleasing". if u dont mind mucus and phlegm (did i spell that right?) maybe you should look into respiratory therapy.

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