Weighing my options for telehealth triage

  1. Hello. I've recently had some health issues that I won't bore you with but let's just say I experience vertigo all the time. Meds don't really help since I have vestibular damage. Right now I work in an ICU but every shift is a struggle. So, there are new openings for telehealth for another company (HCA).

    Pros
    - Lower physical stress
    - Won't have to go through panicky feelings/anxiety just going to work.

    Cons
    - Huge paycut per hour (38 down to 25ish)
    - Will have to work more hours to compensate for paycut.
    - May have to get licenses for other states.

    My questions are basically, what am I looking at work-environment wise? This is a standalone office, not a work at home deal. I am wondering about what they expect you to wear. Can you wear casual clothes?
    Are you stuck in a closet or micro-cubicle (typically) or is your work environment more open?
    Finally, probably the biggest question, would you go down to $25 an hour from "over 35" for a telehealth position? Is that too low?

    Thanks if anyone can help me on this. I'm desperate, and lost.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   MyCityLights
    That would be quite a significant pay cut. For me, that would be a very hard choice. However if floor nursing will ultimately render you disabled otherwise then it might be worth it.

    I think all work environments are different. I have my own office but keep the door open between calls to chat with the other nurses. I wear casual clothes when working nights and evenings. It's just us nurses - no management or administration so we like to get comfy. Personally, I absolutely LOVE my job. Patients appreciate the comfort and advice you give. Sometimes I work 56 hours a week. I don't feel my job is stressful so I have no problem coming in for extra hours. I feel like Telephone Triage, in the right circumstances, can be a sanctuary for the weary and burnt out nurse. You might really enjoy it.

    That being said, why such a large pay cut? Would you moving to another area for the job?
  4. by   Cape47
    That's just what the offering company sets the rate at. I asked in a telephone conversation with the recruiter. Haven't actually seen the work environment so I don't know what I'm getting into. Right now I'm at part time in my ICU job but I can survive on the current pay rate. To match that @ $25/hr I'd have to go up to a 40 hour work week, plus the drive would be a bit longer to and from. So, I'm not sure what I would be getting into.
  5. by   MyCityLights
    Well, good luck with your decision. I hope a comparable job becomes available that pays what you make now.
  6. by   westieluv
    Most telephone triage jobs pay quite a bit lower than an acute care job in a facility, that's just the way it is. I work doing telephone triage from home and I took a $10/hour pay cut to leave my previous job (acute dialysis nurse for one of the Big Two doing treatments in hospitals).

    I look at it this way; I don't have to buy uniforms, I don't have to buy gas to go to and from work, I have less wear and tear on my car, and I save money on little things that add up over time like buying snacks from the vending machine or buying special foods to pack in my lunch. Add to that the fact that I live in a state that gets snow in the winter, so I don't have to get out and drive to work in bad weather, which is huge to me.

    Of course, that is all based on working from home, so the things like gas in the car, etc. wouldn't apply if you worked out of a triage center. Still, I feel like my mental health and peace of mind is worth a lot too, and having been an RN for 25 years and being burned out by my years of acute and LTC, to me the idea that my commute to work is a ten second walk from my living room to my office and the fact that I can work in my PJs is worth quite a bit to me, definitely worth the pay cut that I had to take.
  7. by   Cape47
    Just wanted to stop back in and say thanks for all the responses. I am still on the fence but I did get an offer for evenings.
  8. by   Itshamrtym
    Good luck to you!
  9. by   SpotAlbert
    Westieluv, I'm assuming by your profile picture and your username that you have at least one dog. I think I'd like working at home, but I'm afraid I'd be in the middle of a call, and my dogs would look out and see a squirrel and start barking their heads off! How do you maintain a quiet environment? Thanks for any info you can give me.
  10. by   Pat_Pat RN
    I'd love some information about getting one of these jobs. I think I'd really like working from home. I am an uber-homebody.
  11. by   Farawyn
    Quote from Pat_Pat RN
    I'd love some information about getting one of these jobs. I think I'd really like working from home. I am an uber-homebody.

    I work per diem HH and we deal with TeleHealth all the time. In NY they make BIG bucks. Seems like a really nice, low stress job.
  12. by   westieluv
    Quote from SpotAlbert
    Westieluv, I'm assuming by your profile picture and your username that you have at least one dog. I think I'd like working at home, but I'm afraid I'd be in the middle of a call, and my dogs would look out and see a squirrel and start barking their heads off! How do you maintain a quiet environment? Thanks for any info you can give me.
    I just now saw this, sorry!

    I no longer work from home because we lost my husband's benefits and my company did not provide them so I am going back to work in a chronic dialysis unit.

    In retrospect, one thing I really did not like about working from home was the background noise issue. If my husband was home, he would have the TV on. He works hard all week so I don't think it's fair to ask him not to relax and watch a baseball game or whatever when he's home. However, I did not have a closed off work space, just a small office off of our foyer and close enough to the living room that I could hear the TV, him talking on the phone, etc. On the flip side, my phone constantly ringing and me talking on the phone was also disturbing him, especially when I worked until 1 am and he had to go to bed early to get up for work.

    Working from home was nice for a while. It gets lonely, and I'm actually an introvert who loves being at home who learned that I always took it for granted that having coworkers to bounce things off of, vent to, etc. can be very nice. I also found that having all of the stress and paperwork from my job in my home, which is my haven and place to go to "escape" my job was not good either. I look at the desk where I worked now that it is completely cleared off and go, "Ahhh...that's nice!"

    As far as my dog, she is actually relatively small and quiet, and I mostly worked evenings when she was winding down for the day, so no issues with her.

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