When you say an 'intake' nurse, do you mean admission nurse? If so, that is what I do. I actually worked a year doing admissions, then switched to case managing for 2, then just recently switched back to admissions. My pointers include the following:
1. Try to limit appointments. If I have a family who wants to be seen in the afternoon, I tell them I will call them around 1pm and let them know when i can be there. This keeps me from breaking appointments as more important admits come up.
2. Recognize you can only be in one place at a time, and live it. A lot of nurses have a hard time with admissions, because 4 come in at once and it is stressful. One of the other things I keep in my mind, as hard as it is to see someone suffer, their failure to prepare is not my failure, or my crisis. I will get there as soon as I can, but often there are 2 crises at a time.
3. Learn CAHABA, COPs, and your companies regulations. This will save lots of heartache.
4. Recognize and accept that sometimes you will walk into a situation full of grief, and anger, and you will be the one that anger is directed towards. Do your best, and know that you served an important function for that family.
5. Admissions requires sharp assessment skills, and solid knowledge of disease process and symptom management. Medicare does not say you have 24 hours from the admit to start really managing symptoms. A lot of times I am changing meds and reviewing disease process for most of the admit visit, because I know I have 24 hours to get pain and other symptoms managed.
By the way, I did not happen to end up doing admissions again, I actually chose to go back to it. The reason why I left case management is because it was so stressful and so much accountability. I feel like with admissions I get to meet great people, give them hope, and then hand them off.