Public Health Nurse for Health Dept

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    Hello all!

    I will soon be leaving the hospital for a public health nurse position. "Excited" is not even close to what I'm feeling about this opportunity; however, I have zero experience in this area. I was told the orientation will take some time because there is a lot to learn, being that Im inexperienced. This location focuses on family planning, HIV testing, OB/GYN, and more. Does anyone know in general what a PHN does in this capacity?

    Thanks for taking time to read!
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

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    Depends on your specific job description. Are you going to work in all the depts? In CA RNs can dispense hormonal birth control under a standing order, order STD labs, etc.. This is my area of specialty and I love it! I get to work very independently.
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    Quote from NickiJules
    Hello all!

    I will soon be leaving the hospital for a public health nurse position. "Excited" is not even close to what I'm feeling about this opportunity; however, I have zero experience in this area. I was told the orientation will take some time because there is a lot to learn, being that Im inexperienced. This location focuses on family planning, HIV testing, OB/GYN, and more. Does anyone know in general what a PHN does in this capacity?

    Thanks for taking time to read!
    Fp- you can expect to do annuals/initials (with the doc to renew orders) and help with wet preps, Pap smears and herpes testing, etc. and supply visits you can give refills of birth control with standing orders. HIV testing we usually do with STD screenings and well test for HIV, syphillis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. We don't usually do HIV testing alone unless that's the only thing the pt wants. We have OB days and we see many many patients on that day. We educate, draw labs and whatever else they need. We do so much I still have questions about some details after 2 1/2 months on the job. I love it though we also do pediatrics and WIC.
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    Thanks so much!! I don't think I've read one post on here from a PHN that stated they did not like their job. I'm excited to start but very nervous because I feel like I'm starting from scratch, in a way.
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    I too have many many questions. I put my application out at my local health department. I want a RN job there. I don't know what they will ask me in the interview so that is one of my questions for you and how can I prepare myself? What are some things I need to study and know off the top of my head? I want the job because I will get to spend time with my family and I will get to teach and assess as well. We had a separate on class but not very much OB and pediatrics clinical rotation. I never got to do any health department clinicals. I know they do school physicals and they do shots for babies, kids, and adults and i know they so pregnancy tests as well. How long do they train you? What if a patient asks something that I can't remember from my textbook?
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    That is awesome you get to do this kind of a job in a health department. I'm working on my masters in nursing education, so I feel like public health would be a good field to go into. I just really want to teach and have a normal life with my family. Your post has inspired me to keep looking! Thanks
  9. 0
    Quote from akc_RN
    That is awesome you get to do this kind of a job in a health department. I'm working on my masters in nursing education, so I feel like public health would be a good field to go into. I just really want to teach and have a normal life with my family. Your post has inspired me to keep looking! Thanks
    Yeah that is why I want a health department job because I have two children with special needs and so they are grown now but will be at home for a while. I want to spend more time with them because before it was always hustle and bustle and struggles. I know our health department doesn't pay that great but having less stress and more time with family is something I want to do.


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