I'm through with the stress of acute care inpatient nursing. I've been told by my doctor it's time to take care of myself. I've got arthritic knees that can't handle 12 hours on my feet, no lunch and constant multitasking. Time for some decisions. I've got about 10 more years before retirement. I have gone through the hoops and have landed myself a position in the top 10 on the for hire list for my county health department. We have a TB clinic, an ID clinic, a mother/baby clinic and an STD clinic.
I'm attracted by the 8-4:30, no nights, weekends or holidays aspects. No codes. Ambulatory patients and hopefully more autonomy. I love to educate and feel I have a solid general background in nursing that will serve the population well. I'm hoping for less time on my feet.
I would so appreciate some feedback on how you, the PHN's, spends your day and your insights.
BTW, if you see any "m"s missing, it's because the key is not working well.
Apr 21, '09
I think you will be very happy with your decision. I see that you didn't include immunizations and if that is true; you should be so happy. I work in public health and do all that you describe (including immunizations) and it is interesting and fun. I am totally independent; in fact I rarely speak with my supervisor. There is always something new to learn; I have been in public health since 2002 and am still learning. Congratulations; no more drama and stress!
May 15, '09
I LOVE the immunization part of my job! I dont work for the State Health Dept or anything, I work at a Native American clinic in their Public Health. I do all the clinic's children immunizations, as well as probably 95% of the adults. I do a lot more, but thats my fave.
May 18, '09
i say get out of acute care while you're still in one piece! god bless you though, for all your hard work and service!:wink2: i, personally, got out of acute care after about a year and went to public health, but i always knew that's what i wanted to do before becoming a nurse. i volunteered for many years in public health before working as a phn. i love the autonomy i get in ph along with the day schedule, weekends and holidays off. i can spend more time with my family which i couldn't do a lot of when i was on the floor. phn is a lot less stressful. i worked as a district immunization nurse and am currently a medical case manager. i love phn. i hope you enjoy phn as well! good luck!
May 22, '09
i am currently a nursing student. i don't like the acute care setting at all, too much stress. right now i am volunteering in a public health dept in my community and i love it. a lot of pt teaching, but no supervisor in your back.
you teach the same thing over and over and it become a second nature.
i love to interact with people and like to do pt teaching. no hollidays,no week ends. i encourage you. that's what i want to do after i graduate.
May 29, '09
How I spend my day depends on what day it is. I do: WIC, immunizations, STD testing & treatment, family planning, cancer screening, well child exams. It is all centered on patient education and prevention. It is so much more different than acute settings because of that. You actually have the time to talk to your patients and educate them. Be prepared for busy days and then high no show rates. It is a very rewarding job, that does not kill you in the process. Your acute care knowledge will still be useful, especially in referrals and education. Good luck with your change and enjoy it.
Oh, and by the way, public health nurses are a different breed. They actually encourage and participate in teamwork. I also have not seen the petty stuff that comes along with working with a group in the hospital or other larger settings. It is also not competitive. The focus is the community and the patients.
Jun 8, '09
At last I have an interview scheduled. I look forward to a rewarding career move that will allow me to interact with my patients. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed. Thanks to all of you who took the time to respond.
Jun 11, '09
I hope your interview goes well!
Sep 30, '09
Thank you. The interview went very well but I did not get hired. I was an alternate candidate and could only be hired if the eligible candidates refused. It was a big disappointment to me and I felt sure that the interviewers felt the same way. Now that same position is open once again and I am eligible. It's for the WIC clinic. I will most likely be interviewing with the same nurses who interviewed me last time. So here we go again. By your responses, I believe I will find public health more rewarding than my current job. Thanks everyone.
Nov 13, '09
Don't know if anyone is keeping up with this thread but good news! I was hired as the WIC nurse for my area starting next month. I'll be servicing different areas within the county. Advice is welcome.
Nov 17, '09
Congrats on your new job! I think you will find Public Health so rewarding! I personally feel that this area of nursing fully explores your abilities as a nurse. Good Luck in your new position :smiley_aa.
Dec 9, '09
good job!!!!!!!!!! i'm a new grad and i got my PHN license.. i'm hoping to find something in this bad economy.. hows your new job treating you? i bet its a lot less stress than the hospital!
Dec 11, '09
I'll let you know when I've got some time in. I won't be out in the field until after the new year. So far it looks really good. I've had some great exposure to outreach in the very short time I've been there thanks to a boss with a passion for people. Very different from acute care and the routine of hospitals.
Congrats on your graduation and licensure. Hang in there if you can. It took me months to land this position.
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