Working in a doctor's office? - page 2

by mushberry 7,898 Views | 19 Comments

I've always just assumed I'd work in a hospital, and so of course, that's where I'm starting out. But eventually I plan to move from the hospital I'm starting at in one state to Kansas, and when I do, I was thinking...maybe I... Read More


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    I started out in a Nursing Home, then changed to a Family Practice office. I don't feel like I have missed out on anything, by not working in a hospital. In the acute care setting, I get to see healthy people along with ill people. I have a broad knowledge of different ailments for both young and old. I am IV certified. I do blood draws, EKG's, injections, triage, pt flow.

    I like being part of a team. I work 8-5 M-F, with a day off in between. I have holidays off and I make a decent amt of money (paid by the hour).

    I love being part of people's lives both when they are healthy, or when in time of need if sick.

    Just my 2 cents.
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    Quote from julieK
    It sounds as though your office is different from most. I guess I was picturing an office like my dad's (he's a pediatrician) where the nurses don't even give injections. The extent to which he uses his RN's is that they take a health history. That's it. Otherwise, they are not much above the medical assistants who take heights/weights and deal with the front office.
    Anyone can give an injection. The nurse part comes in knowing why you're giving it, when not to give it, what to educate the patient about regarding the medication, procedure, side effects.

    I do a lot of prior authorization of meds. Anyone can call an insurance company. The nurse part comes in knowing what meds to patient has used before and why it isn't working and why he/she needs this med.

    I do a lot of clerical things that require nursing knowledge - even just taking a health history . Anyone can ask questions. The nurse part comes in knowing where to probe and get more detail. Defintely I don't feel that my nursing knowledge is "wasted" in this setting .
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    I worked in a Peds office and it was by far my favorite job in 14 years.
    My position was about 50/50 clerical (as Ratched discribes), phone advice/triage and hands on, mostly IVs, non-vax injections, caths, infant blood draws and a lot of patient/parent education.

    The postion also paid .01 more than the management position I had been at just prior to the clinic.
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    I was hesitant to work in a doctors office after working my entire career in critical care, mainly ED. I miss many aspects of working in a hospital, but overall I am really enjoying the office setting.

    The office has 7 very busy Family Practice physicians. We see more patients in a day than any of the EDs I worked in. At times it reminds me of the fast track part of the ED.

    Yes there is paper work, but I don't do any clerical work at all. I spend a large portion of my time pre-certing medications. I do not feel that it is a "waste" of my nursing skills. I still do dressing changes, give plenty of injections, patient teaching, assessments. I deal with the drug reps and have learned more about current medications than I did in the ED. The pay is not the same, but neither are the hours. There is overtime, but no mandatory OT, no weekends, no holidays.
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    I work in an outpatient clinic/ Dr's office that's part of a major HMO (Kaiser) and it's wonderful! The hours and every weekend off just can't be beat.
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    So how long were you working in the hospital systems before you got jobs like these? I'm assuming it wasn't right out of nursing school. See, I'm starting in a hospital, but I'm hoping to move after 3 or 4 months tops, and so I'm wondering what my options are. I have limited experience, being just graduated, so I guess I'm wondering what the reqs are for working in a doctors office as well, and if it's hard to get a job in a place like that.

    Thank you all so far for the info! I never even realized a nurse could work in an office setting until recently, and I kind of like that idea. It's definitely appealing to me.

    I'm guessing people work in a lot of different types of clinics, from family practice clinics which was what my original questions were about, to other types of clinics...would they differ in ease of getting a job there?
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    Quote from mushberry
    What is the turnover rate like in clinics? I would have thought actually that a clinic nurse would get paid more than a hospital nurse, but I'm only just learning about it. 3 12 hour shifts does sound nice...I'm not used to that...where I did all my rotations in nursing school, the schedule was 2 on, 2 off, 3 on, 2 off, 2 on, 3 off. You worked every second weekend, all the time. It actually kind of sucked, especially if you worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and then had to start Wednesday morning on days. You don't really get to recover. So 9-5 does sound appealing to me, but maybe that will change once I am in the hospital, but not only that, I like the idea of working in a clinic, especially if it's like what ivsandy described. It sounds pretty varied.
    With all the HMOs across the country now, the 9-5 M-F is no longer a given for office nurses.
    The pay rate always has been less but you might find clinic work in a university type setting where the pay would be the same as the floor nurses.
    You may loose some of your bedside skills but you will gain many new skills in interacting with pts and families in an ambulatory setting.
  8. 0
    Quote from Dixiedi
    With all the HMOs across the country now, the 9-5 M-F is no longer a given for office nurses.
    The pay rate always has been less but you might find clinic work in a university type setting where the pay would be the same as the floor nurses.
    You may loose some of your bedside skills but you will gain many new skills in interacting with pts and families in an ambulatory setting.
    The way I figure it, a skill is a skill. You pick up and lose them all the time. I mean, no matter where you work there are some nursing skills you are going to use on a regular basis, and the other ones are going to fade a little...and you can always relearn them.

    What is an HMO though?
  9. 0
    Quote from mushberry
    The way I figure it, a skill is a skill. You pick up and lose them all the time. I mean, no matter where you work there are some nursing skills you are going to use on a regular basis, and the other ones are going to fade a little...and you can always relearn them.

    What is an HMO though?


    We agree on the skills! I love it when somebody around here agrees with me! LOL
    Health Maint. Organization.... health insurance
  10. 0
    I am taking a phlebotomy program in my school that is under the "medical assistant" umbrella. One of my instructors indicated that dr's like MAs a lot better in that a) they are trained to do the clerical ("front office") as well as back office skills; and b) they make a lot less.

    A physician at my Church who retired recently from Kaiser indicated that the trend is for Dr's offices to hire MAs and not RNs, since MAs can do just about everything an RN can (except IVs). His wife is the only RN in the pediatrician's office she works in. I'm surprised that someone said they work in the dr's office (clinic) at Kaiser; the Kaiser in my area it's almost all MAs.

    heart, EMT, SN (RN: March 2006)


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