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Apheresis nursing, interview soon, help?

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skydancer7 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Operating Room, CNOR.

1,927 Profile Views; 60 Posts

Hello,

I have an interview in a week for a level 1 trauma center hospital apheresis nurse position.  They do total plasma exchange, extracorporeal photopheresis, LDL pheresis, stem cell collections, CAR-T collections, RBC exchange (for example for sickle cell patients) and WBC depletion (for example in leukemia).

I have no idea what the environment is like, stress level, etc.  This unit is mostly outpatient but nurses do take call and can end up going to the OR or ICU for patients who need an apheresis procedure urgently.  

I have been an OR nurse for 9 years, med-surg for one year, and some IV therapy here and there.  Hoping it's a good fit.

How steep is the learning curve?

How is the stress level compared to other areas of nursing?

Am I crazy taking on a new (part time/per diem) apheresis nurse gig while also in grad school full-time? 😄

Thank you so much!

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subee has 45 years experience as a MSN, CRNA.

1 Follower; 1,801 Posts; 18,398 Profile Views

Why would you change to such a demanding job when you are in grad school full time?  Of course the learning curve is steep and you won't have back up.  It's a great opportunity to learn hematology if that is your interest but it will be very stressful.  Even if you are in a non-clinical master's, it will be demanding, but hey, maybe you are young enough and energetic enough to pull it off.  I always take off my hat to nurses who work until the end of the pregnancy:)

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skydancer7 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Operating Room, CNOR.

60 Posts; 1,927 Profile Views

Ah, sounds like it is a stressful specialty. I honestly just had no idea whether it would be better or worse than OR circulating in that regard. Thank you so much for the heads up.

I am not super young. Late 30's... would rather just focus on school, but trying to keep student loans to a minimum. Hmmm maybe circulating would be better. I know the job inside and out, but I am soooo burned out on it.

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skydancer7 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Operating Room, CNOR.

60 Posts; 1,927 Profile Views

Interview went well.  Manager mentioned there is some "drama" since it's such a small unit. Only a handful of apheresis nurses serving a giant hospital including going over to pediatrics as needed.  She said there isn't much MD oversight; there's no medical director for the unit, though the hem/onc docs try and help out... and the docs are always trying to get nurses to write orders.  Pretty typical? Red flags?  Run, don't walk?  The good thing is, most of those nurses have been there a long time; not a high turnover place, which I take as an overall good sign.

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

3,000 Posts; 29,292 Profile Views

11 hours ago, skydancer7 said:

Interview went well.  Manager mentioned there is some "drama" since it's such a small unit. Only a handful of apheresis nurses serving a giant hospital including going over to pediatrics as needed.  She said there isn't much MD oversight; there's no medical director for the unit, though the hem/onc docs try and help out... and the docs are always trying to get nurses to write orders.  Pretty typical? Red flags?  Run, don't walk?  The good thing is, most of those nurses have been there a long time; not a high turnover place, which I take as an overall good sign.

I am not at all familiar with that specialty, which sounds interesting by the way. But... I do see a couple of red flags there. If the manager actually admits to some "drama" I'd expect it be well, pretty dramatic.  That and with no MD's  covering the service I can see the potential for chasing your tail trying to get those orders.  If the MD's that do help out are asking the unit nurses to write the orders that's a little scary to say the least.  I mean it might sound like no big deal to the experienced nurses on the unit  but what happens if something goes wrong? That nurse would be finished career wise at the least, practicing medicine without a license is in no way a good idea. So stick to your guns about actually getting those orders if you take the job.  

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skydancer7 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Operating Room, CNOR.

60 Posts; 1,927 Profile Views

Thank you so much for your responses!  It turns out the manager is also in charge of the vascular access team, and we both decided I would be a better fit there after all, instead of apheresis.  So it all is working out for the best!

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