Published Oct 24, 2015
Hi everyone, I am a new grad RN who since July has worked in a post-acute rehab setting. Next week, I am interviewing for a job in urgent care. Not sure if all urgent cares are the same, but this urgent care center has a wide scope of practice. It's almost like a fast track ER. Here is what they treat:
In addition to having a BSN and working in post-acute rehab, I am an EMT-B that rides with a volunteer fire department. So, I've seen patients with a high level of acuity. My question to you all is this... What is working in an urgent care setting like? Do nurses have a high rate of satisfaction from working in urgent care? Is urgent care a good setting for a nurse like me with limited experience? I'm used to working under stress and having a high volume of patients... I currently manage 15 patients a shift with all of their IVs, tube feeds, TPN, etc. Is working in an urgent care center a good way to get experience to work in a hospital in an ER or Med-Surg floor (that's my ultimate career goal)? I would greatly appreciate everyone's input.
dirtyhippiegirl, BSN, RN
I think most urgent cares prefer ER (or maybe ICU) experience first because you don't have many resources when things go wrong so you need a solid knowledge base -- GERD ends up being a MI or whatever.
NickiLaughs, ADN, BSN, RN
If your looking for the most experience it's probably not a good place to start although the hours are nicer. Most of what you treat is going to be minor and if it turns out to be more you'll be calling 911. All you would do for the mi is do an ekg, maybe start a line and give some aspirin. You may get frustrated with your limited scope in a urgent care. You are probably getting more experience at the post acute rehab. I'd start applying to ICUs and ERs. They will be more interested in where you are working now over a urgent care. You probably deal with invasive lines where you are at. Your time management skills have to be in point and you are working with a lot more Meds and sicker patients. Good luck to you!
I work as an RN in an urgent care. I honestly do not know why I am there. And the company is slowly realizing that too. Employing RNs in an urgent care setting is a waste. They should be utilizing LPNs and Mas since they are able to perform the same job except IVP yet there is always a provider there to do that if necessary.
Your nursing skills and assessment will not advance themselves in this setting. The only thing I use my stethoscope for is blood pressures-no assessment skills what so ever.
If you are an EMT, i think you will find this setting extremely boring. You do need to act quickly when an emergency comes in (MI, stroke etc) however the only thing you do is call 911 and start an EKG, line, oxygen and wait for EMS.
Why are you leaving your current job after only 3 months? Your first job as a newgrad is always overwhelming and anxiety prone, however I think the urgent care is not a great fit for new grad RNs.
I currently work on a med/surg floor, but before that I went back and forth between an urgent care and primary care clinic. I have to agree that I think most nurses who work in urgent cares get frustrated because of your limited scope and not being able to use a lot of your skills. When I would go over to the urgent care the only thing that I could do that the MAs weren't able to do was start IVs, give insulin and give morphine injections. Other than that our jobs were the exact same. My friend who is an RN is currently working at that urgent care now and she is in charge of all the MAs and does just general administration stuff. She loves it, but she worked as a floor nurse for five years and appreciates the change in pace. For me I got frustrated because I wanted to develop my skills more. I also did no like being a new nurse and not working with other nurses (I was the only nurse at both places). I felt it was unsafe since often the providers were unable to answer my questions about things such as how to give certain medications.
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