Published Dec 7, 1999
I have been working in a variety of inpatient settings over the past 16 years,(except ICU, Critical care,etc). I have been wondering what it would be like to work for the Red Cross, or in other ambulatory type clinics/settings. I sometimes feel I need a change! Any responses/insights are appreciated!
I'm a former hospital nurse that's been gone from the hospital part time for 12 years, full time (completely) for 4 years. I have done community health nursing in a medium size health department giving vaccines, working in a family planning program, doing HIV counseling and testing, and working with at risk mothers and babies. (I was never a peds or OB nurse in the hospital.) I also did medicare physicals called KanBeHealthy's or EPSDT exams in that setting. Next I did case management on tech dependent kids (after acquiring a MSN) and now I am doing substance abuse prevention in a middle school and high school. Additionally I am a board member on our local American Red Cross.
Community based nursing is a whole new critter and some people miss the adrenalin and the acuity of the hospital. I was moving into a wife and mom role and my "adrenalin days" were over (well almost over; I weaned myself away from the hospital). American REd Cross uses nurses employees in their blood donation programs and you might seek out or at least apply for other roles if they appeal to you. In a community we lived in a nurse was the "main" red cross employee and she wore many hats. Red Cross has a broad mission that is based on the needs of the community and identified red cross goals like disaster relief, being a communication link for the military notification system, health and safety [under which comes HIV ed, water safety and a ton of other] and much more. You can get a glimpse of the American Red Cross by volunteering for them and making them very aware of your interest in them as a potential employer and then you can look each other over. But don't forget the many other community health roles: public health, home health care, industrial nursing, school nursing to name but a few.
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