Which job would be the best while in nursing school???

  1. Which of these jobs would be the best to have while in nursing school?
    a. Medical transcription job at home with somewhat flexible hours, pretty much five days a week.
    b. Unit secretary working three nights a week 7pm to 7:30 a.m. with the possibility of working just weekends if it were to interfer with school during the week.

    I've been offered both but I don't know in the long run, when I am finally in nursing school, which would be the better job to have while attending school. The hospital offers more benefits ie.. paid vacation, tuition reimbursement, but the hours suck. The MT job is at home, no benefits, and I have to type a certain amount of lines to get a good paycheck but I can be home with the kids.

    I've read previous posts where people have said that a unit secretary job is a good one to have because you will get the feel of the paperwork associated with being a nurse.

    I just don't know which would be best. Anyone have an opinion?

    Thanks.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   RudyMvp1
    Im on the waiting list so i dont have much advice on which would be better..BUT..at my school we have to have HEALTH INSURANCE to do clinicals! So if the job with benefits includes BOTH tuition reimbersment AND heath insurance...ya might wanna take that one.
    Id double check with your school to see if you have to have health insurance when you do clinicals.
  4. by   dramaluvr
    Have you ever done medical transcription? I am in my second to last semester of the RN program and have done medical transcription for 11+ years, doing it as well while in school. If the doctors are foreign, etc. or difficult to understand or do operative reports which are more difficult it takes up a lot of time. However, if you get clinic reports or are working for a clinic and you are quick it saves you time. I have been doing transcription while in school and if you can find a job that lets you create your own hours it is great because you can work around your family as well as your studies. It is difficult when you do it from home though because your mind usually is focused on what needs to be done around the house as well as what you need to study for tests, etc. Hope this helps.
  5. by   studentnurse3
    Hi Dramaluvr,

    I have been doing medical transcription for 10 years as well. I have worked out of my home for eight years now. I type for a clinic with no ESL so I can get going and get done in a timely manner when I can be disciplined to sit down and do it. That is why I was looking for a different job, I feel like I am burned out on the MT and I applied for the nursing unit secretary as a way to maybe get away from the transcription while I began my journey to becoming an RN. Now that I have been offered the nursing unit secretary I am not sure which would be the best route during my schooling since one has the 7pm to 7:30 am shift with full benefits and the other offers flexibility but no benefits, although flexibiltiy is a benefit. I just don't know how my body will do on that shift. I have three kids to consider as well. Two are in school and one won't start school for another two years so that is another question I would need answered is what to do with my 3 year old when I get home from work and she is just getting up to begin her day. I think I might have answered my question right here.

    Have you been able to get your transcription done in a timely manner while attending school? Have you run into any problems at all?

    Thank you for your input.
    Last edit by studentnurse3 on Oct 25, '05
  6. by   mauser
    Studentnurse3,

    I have been doing MT for close to 30 years (gulp!) and am in nursing school. Some days it is very rough - but I manage. Of course, I get up at 2 am most mornings and rarely get more than 5 hours of sleep during weekdays, but I am in my senior year and I will survive!
  7. by   jenn_rn_nj
    I currently work as a unit secretary in a pediatric ER and I love it.

    I get a chance to see the nurses and docs actually doing their job. I have the opportunity to ask questions and see how the nurses do things. They give me little pointers as they are doing a procedure - just little tidbits which I think will help boost my confidence when it is my turn to learn / carry out these procedures.

    Also, like your job offer, I have insurance and tuition reimbursement which has helped take a lot of stress over going back to school.

    Goodluck with your decision.
  8. by   ICRN2008
    Third shift can be really rough on your body, especially if you have to be up during the day as well. How much sleep will you be able to get after you get off work? Just something to consider...

    Good luck with school
  9. by   studentnurse3
    Quote from rn2be_nj
    I currently work as a unit secretary in a pediatric ER and I love it.

    I get a chance to see the nurses and docs actually doing their job. I have the opportunity to ask questions and see how the nurses do things. They give me little pointers as they are doing a procedure - just little tidbits which I think will help boost my confidence when it is my turn to learn / carry out these procedures.

    Also, like your job offer, I have insurance and tuition reimbursement which has helped take a lot of stress over going back to school.

    Goodluck with your decision.
    What shift do you work?
  10. by   GenesisEve
    I agree with the previous post. I also work as a unit secretary on a telemetry unit at the hospital and I'll be starting clinicals in January. Being a unit secretary is GREAT experience. You get familiar with the tests involved with different procedures, what lab values are critical, etc...and let's NOT forget practice at reading the doctors orders. Many times a nurse will come to me to dicipher what exactly was written. Grrrrrr...why can't they write neatly?

    Also, the hospital in reimbursing my tuition and I have medical insurance. Currently I work fulltime from 3-11:30 and I'm finishing my last 2 pre-reqs during the day before clinicals start. When I start clinicals I am going to drop my hours and work both weekend days (which the other unit clerks are grateful for) and ONE night during the week.

    My opinion, take the UC job.

    Yvonne
  11. by   studentnurse3
    Thanks for your input. The main sticking point I have right now is the hours and how in the world will I be able to work and go to school. I know it is possible but some days I might have to go straight from school to work and vice versa. I have insurance through my husband so I don't need to worry about that. The tuition reimbursement would be great. There are so many pros and cons for either job that's why it is such a tough decision.

    Do you feel that since you have been working as a unit secretary it has also helped you get your foot in the door at that hospital and maybe if you wanted to get a nursing job there when you are done with school that you might have an advantage?

    Thanks again for your input!
  12. by   stn2003
    i vote for the US position. working only three days a week at night can be good because it leaves the other days open for nursing classes/clinicals and you will definately have some down time during the night lull that occurs 1-4ish to catch up on studying/homework.

    most hospitals offer some type of benefits and tuition reimbursement to pt or ft employees, which is a definate plus.

    also, think of how familiar you will become with the charts, the orders, the computer system. i think that will make that part of nursing much easier.

    i chose to work as a pct during school, but i wish i had been a US : ) they got paid better lol.
  13. by   jenn_rn_nj
    My shift is 3-11:30, which unfortunately for me is the busiest shift so I don't get to study except during my dinner break (which I sometimes miss if it's crazy). I take classes during the day - 4 days a week. I usually try to plan class no earlier than 9am, but next semester I had to take an 8am class 2 days a week.

    The schedule for the nursing school at which I'm accepted is 9-3:00 so I will go right from there to work 3 days a week. Everything (including clinicals) occur during the day, Mon-Fri. I work every other weekend so I only work for 3-4 days at a time, then I get a day off; 2 days off in a row every other weekend.

    It's a tight schedule - next semester will be tough with A&P II plus micro (2 lab classes = yuck) but I need to stay full-time for the benefits and higher tuition reimbursement rate. I have all my PTO time saved up and I use that as I need to for school (studying, etc).

    I wouldn't trade the experience I'm getting for the world, though.
  14. by   Ayvah
    I would suggest the medical transcriptionist position. Especially for those semesters where life just gets terribly hectic, that flexibility is a godsend. There are many parents in my class, and one that I am particularly close to tells me she feels like she takes turns being a good mom and a good student. That would be extremely hard, I think, to be away so many hours at work and school not being able to see your kids that much. That's good that you have health insurance through your husband. Overall I'd think the unit secretary job would be a slightly better 'job to learn things', however, for your sanity I'd strongly recommend the medical transcriptionist position. Think about in the future, what if you take the unit secretary position and find out later that you need to drop your hours, and they can't accommodate?

    I chose an office job over a CNA job due to the office job's flexibility and every time I go to work I know I've made the right choice for me. I've had to cut down my hours a few times, and switch around the days that I've worked. I wouldn't have had near as much ability to do that with the CNA job.

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