What is it like to work in a clinic?

  1. =) I am sure I will enjoy it more than LTC where I am hating my job now lol.

    Please tell me about your clinic jobs!
    Last edit by JZ_RN on Jun 13, '12
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    About JZ_RN

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 597; Likes: 1,293
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in Oncology


  3. by   Elleveein
    Putting pts in rooms, vital signs , ekgs, blood draws, injections, ua's......it really depends on the specialty. I work for internists, its ok but theres no critical thinking or real nursing involved (unless you triage, in my clinic the receptionist sends a message to the doc and they triage for themselves) in my opinion a monkey could do it.
  4. by   nursel56
    I loved my years of clinic nursing. I don't know what type of clinic you will be working in, but depending on that you may be doing nursing tasks and answering phone calls which involves critical thinking. The other factor is the size of the clinic. In small clinics you learn how to do things normally done by RT, PT and lab techs.

    When I worked in dermatology and allergy I assisted with minor surgeries and processed biopsies to be sent out. I did a full set of allergy testing as well as ordering and mixing the serums. You might be doing vision and hearing testing, and pulmonary function testing. You'll probably be doing lots of immunizations and well-child checks.

    There is quite a bit of patient education in most clinics. The hours are great. If you like seeing the same faces and getting to know your patients clinic nursing offers that opportunity as well. That was one of my favorite aspects of the job. Anyway, those are just a few general observations. Best wishes in your new job!
  5. by   JZ_RN
    Thanks guys. I will be working in an "everything generally" clinic so I hopefully will get to see a lot of things. But I couldn't take the nursing home and the stress of working in an unsafe environment with no supplies or staff and 50+ patients all the time. I'll take the salary without wanting to pull my hair out and cry and scream while running around that place any day.
  6. by   RNKK718
    I currently work for an internal medicine physician, we have a 1:1 nurse to doctor ratio and medical assistants. Where I work I occasionally room the patients, but that task is more for the MOA. I do a ton of telephone triaging, educating patients over the phone or in person about test results, medications, diagnoses (especially diabetes), prior authorizations (I hate these!) etc. I also have nurse visits for BP checks, phentermine checks (monitor weight and bp for this appetite suppressant), tb tests, immunizations, ear flushes etc. Some of the offices that work with me have their MOA's doing these tasks, but I like to educate and assess if needed. We also have several "medical emergencies" within our building (2-3/week) and nurses are to respond we use our assessment and occasionally critical thinking skills. I work 4 days/week and it is really nice to have every holiday and weekend off. I like working in internal medicine because you aren't just focused on one area you are focused on all of the patient's problems. It also gives you a great amount of time to build long lasting relationships with some of your patients. Let me know if you have any questions!
  7. by   notmanydaysoff
    i'm a float and work in the primary care clinic, internal medicine, ent, vascular clinic, cardiology, urgent care, occupational health, and anywhere else they send me.

    by far, my favorite place is urgent care - we never know what's coming in the door next. is it gonna be someone w/a laceration needing suturing; maybe someone with a broken bone; sob; chest pain; etc...


    the clinics that i find to be routine and not so interesting - like rooming pts, taking vitals, doing in-house lab testing, calling pts w/lab results, doing ekgs, ear lavages, filling rx, prepping charts (making sure all the paperwork/results are in the charts or have been scanned into emr when there is a f/u), and all the other perfunctory tasks associated w/clinic work.
  8. by   RN58186
    I work in a transplant clinic. I have a case load of around 200 pts that I follow from the time they leave hospital with their new kidney or kidney and pancreas until they either are back on dialysis or they die. I monitor all the bloodwork for my patients and flag anything strange for that particular pt for the doc on duty (our docs rotate q2weeks). I handle phone calls from pts with concerns about a cold that won't go away, can I take this med with my transplant meds, I need to change my appt (only nurses can double book appts so we get the call if that is what is needed), I have this, this and this going on, should I go to emerg? Pts will call to ask about lab results. I get to call pts and tell them why they need a biopsy or about med changes. We see pts 3x/week starting the day after their discharge and we do a lot of teaching, dressing changes, insert/remove catheters, assess BP, blood glucose if diabetic, assess incisions, take out staples when ready. When a pt comes into clinci for follow up appt the nurses go through their meds and make sure our list jibes with what they are actually taking, we review their labs, do vital signs, and find out about any concerns for the docs. After clinic we follow up on any diagnostic imaging ordered, do the forms for biopsy/CT scans/X-rays/whatever. We touch base with the clinic phamracist to see if there is anything that should be followed up on (eg new BP meds, call to find out BP in one week). I write referral letters and fill out insurance forms (then get the doc to sign them). We do a dermatology clinic q2weeks for transplant pts, there I will help with biopsies, send off the specimen, see the pt first and look at the problem area, do a history questionnaire for their first visit and tach about importance of sunscreen. I love it and don't plan on ever leaving.....
  9. by   JZ_RN
    I am excited. I know there will be lots of phone calls and paperwork, I don't mind that stuff. What I am excited about is not being the person who has to deal with the fact that no one reordered grandma's meds for 2 weeks now there are none, there's not 50 elderly people on their lights wanting pain pills or toileted and I'm the only nurse there. If I can spend 5 whole minutes with one patients without being guilty 'cause I have 50 others waiting.. I'll be happy. I don't mind fast-paced but stress that I can't deal with (so and so is screaming and I've tried every nursing intervention and the doctor won't return a call and if something bad is happening my license is on the line) I can't take that. Soooo happy. I love to educate, I loved doing admissions when I was in school (back before I was forced to do an admission at the same time as a 50 person med pass in 1 hour) and I am happy I will be able to hopefully give good care to patients, not just run run run and hope they're all okay, which is what LTC felt like.
  10. by   happyclinicRN
    The clinic I work for has family practice, ortho, peds, obgyn, ent, walk in,cardiology, and a Coumadin clinic. I am a float who is cross trained in all areas. I absolutely love it. I never have to worry if it is my turn to work a holiday and I only work nights and weekends in the walk in if I choose to. I am casual but work nearly full time hours. We do iVs, dressing changes, ekg, injections of all kinds, triage, point of care lab testing, etc. in obgyn I do NST. In coumadin clinic I am responsible for doing the inr and adjusting dosing. Yes, a lot of bad things can be blamed on float pool, but if you have the right attitude and go with the flow of each office you can become a very valuable employee. I have been told by many of the physicians I can never leave and some of the nurses have planned their vacation time according to my availability. It makes me feel good to know that when I go to work people are happy to see me just as much as I am happy to be there. I have worked very hard to build a great reputation and rapport with all my coworkers. In short, working in a clinic can be very satisfying and very low stress. There is a great deal of work involved but it is a different kind of work than in a NH or hospital. If you have the opportunity to work in a clinic I would highly recommend it.
  11. by   JZ_RN
    Glad to hear you are so happy at your job! I have set up simple EKGs and placed a few IVs as a new nurse. Some of these skills are new to me but I am a hard worker and learn fast, plus I do not give up and will tackle anything I am required to do. I am so excited to work with A+O patients and a doctor, other nurses, and people who WANT the care I am giving them. I am so pumped up for my new job. I hope they like me.
  12. by   JZ_RN
    And I don't mind having a lot of work or tasks, but when there's 50 things I'm expected to do at the exact same time... that is stressful. I am not lazy lol.
  13. by   happyclinicRN
    It is exciting! I really think you will be happier in a clinic vs the NH. That was my background also. I would never return to NH. Good luck with the new job. Keep us posted on how you like it!
  14. by   DogWmn
    I worked rural and I mean RURAL (remote) Family Practice and we had cradle to grave care for a community of 15,000 or so an I loved it.