Ambulatory Care RN responsibilities

Specialties Ambulatory


Specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

Hi All!

I worked in Ambulatory Care many years ago as an LVN until I became an RN. Since then I've worked primarily in Pediatrics in PICU, Trauma, Peds Med-Surg, NICU. For the past 2 years I've worked in an Adult Acute Psychiateic Hospital.

Im wanting to go back to Amulatory Care in just about any specialty, but would love Family Medicine. I'm just don't know what RNs do in this setting these days and wondering if anyone can tell me the typical role of the RN in Ambulatory Care...if there is such a thing!!!!

Thank you! Any info will be helpful.

Specializes in Ambulatory Care.

Cardiac clinic nurse here. I will input the general responsibilities I think will be true for most clinics: rooming the patient (specifics depend on how much time you're allowed with a patient; I think in family med the volume of patients is high and therefore you may only be responsible for med review, vitals, and asking the patient about major concerns), drawing blood to run an in-house lab the provider requests, possibly administering immunizations, telemedicine with addressing calls/ messages from patients, sending prescription refills and dealing with prior authorization requests from insurance companies, requesting records on patients, charting, and following up on test results that patients have completed. I think that these days telephone and patient portals take up a huge chunk of time, so much so that in some practices there is a person dedicated to doing just that (great luxury to have!).

It completely depends on the type of clinic you are in and if it's attached to a larger medical facility or is a stand alone. In my clinic we do everything from calling in refills to doing CPR and everything in between.

Specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

Thank you! I appreciate the information. It actually sounds similar. I worked in a big medical center ambulatory department. First in Peds, then float. Depending on the specialty there were differences, but the basic duties the same. The only differences now would be prior authorizations and tele-medicine. Those weren't around back in the day...We did "telephone advice/triage", but sounds similar.

Specializes in Peds, Neuro, Orthopedics.

I just started an ambulatory care job in peds 4 weeks ago. I LOVE IT!!!!

I room patients by taking vitals, asking standard questions like chief complaint, do you want a flu shot, etc. Then the doctor goes in the room, at which time I return to my desk to answer emails, phone calls, etc. Then the doc comes out and tells me when to schedule a follow-up and I return tot he room to schedule that follow-up and provide any education or reminders such as how and when to take meds, please get these labs done prior to your next appointment, etc. It can get busy and families can get angry at times when they're late to the appointment and can't be seen or if there was a scheduling mix-up, but for the most part the families are great to work with. Much better than hospital patients!

I no longer have to respond to codes, worry if my patient is going septic, or deal with any other emergencies anymore.

The hours aren't as great as they used to be as so many clinics are moving to Saturday hours and late hours since no one in this country can get a sick day anymore, but the good part is that I'm able to work 12 hour shifts at my clinic so I only work 3 days a week.

I hope you got something by now and love it.

Specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

I haven't yet found a position. I'm planning to start looking in a few months.

What you described is what I did many years ago as an LVN and LOVED it. I went back and got the RN and went into acute care, then PICU/Trauma for 20 plus years. I loved that too until a few years ago when I left for

Various reasons. I am very hopeful I can find another Ambulatory care position.

What I loved...Getting to know families. Watching the babies and kids grow and develop. Meeting the new babies added to the family. Helping those with chronic illness make strides and get better. Even the horror of some who got devastating diagnoses and then seeing them on the other end of treatment. The whole circle, if you will. I loved the teaching aspect and supporting new moms. I loved getting to know the doctors in a more personal way, even residents and interns and seeing them grow over the years.

As you can tell...I really loved it and pray I'll get another chance to work in this environment.

Thank you for posting!

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