Published Apr 13, 2021
I don’t know if to quit or just wait it out. So I recently got hired on as a patient care technician at a local hospital where I live here in Dallas, Texas. I got the job after I completed a Pct program last year. I went through that program and applied to this hospital because I really wanted to get my foot in the door in healthcare and get into this hospital to apply to a nursing program that they have to offer to their employees. Well I’ve only been here at the hospital for barely two weeks now doing training and I’ve come to realize that this isn’t what I genuinely want to do career wise. After working a couple of nights shadowing my Pct preceptors, Im starting to see just how much heavy the workload can be for them in dealing with direct patient care for in-patients at a hospital and the same goes for the RN’s. I know I’ve only been here for a small amount of time but I no longer can see myself going back to school for nursing. I honestly want to have a career in healthcare but I don’t want to deal directly with patients where I’ll have to be constantly turning and moving them to clean/bathe them. I’m a small person and I’m already seeing that I’m struggling to do that. There’s times where I couldn’t even help others in moving patients and I felt useless. I really would much rather work at an out patient clinic for the time being while I can go back to school for a degree in Health Technology Information. I feel at a clinic, I’ll be able to learn more about how to organize medical records, navigate patient charting systems and learn about medical coding,etc. I’ve been doing a lot of research on this degree and I can honestly see myself working behind the scenes in healthcare and away from direct patient care. I actually dread going in to work and I’m not looking forward to being on my own next week with my own patients. I just really wish I would have been more patient with myself in regards to finding a job, thought things genuinely through, and/or applied to a out patient clinic. I really want to make a difference in people’s lives and help others but I just can’t see myself doing this type of direct in patient care in the future. I guess I was also in desperate need for a job since I lost my old job due to the pandemic. I was told by the hospitals HR that I would have to wait/work 6 months on my unit until I can be considered to be transferred to any other department or clinic within the hospital franchise. I honestly don’t know if to just suck it up, give it my best/all and work here for these next 6 months or see if I have any luck finding a job at a clinic through another hospital(s) in my city. I also worry if I leave this Pct job right now, it’ll bite me in the butt in the future when future jobs look at my job history. I really don’t know what to do at this point.
A one sentence problem here is that your PCT job is your bird in hand. The degree (training) you seek will not necessarily lead to immediate employment or even employment at all. The bird in the bush. Always keep in the back of your mind, also, that any kind of job is going to go to the candidate with experience. There are many, many CNAs and HHAs who would kill to get your hospital job. You have it made and don't know it. Take your time to research your next move. It would be nice if you could get a job promise in writing, maybe, even a grant or scholarship to help you pay for your training. Short of that, you are taking a gamble to leave your PCT job. And we are not even talking about the limited career path for the clerical, record-keeping type job you are looking for. Talk to some people who actually have these jobs and see what they have to say. Look at the employment websites for job openings, and for those, see what the pay ranges are. But I would not quit the PCT job now, unless you have a means to pay for more school and to pay for your own upkeep while you go to school. And yes, there is the matter of your resume.......
Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN
It’s a common fallacy that all nursing involves heavy lifting and butt wiping. If you want to have a terrific career with great opportunities and are mature enough to take the long view, think about a career as a nurse informaticist, which will neatly tie together all the things you mention. Get online and search that term, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
As an aside, working as a PCT/ medical assistant in a clinic will not give you the experience you think in medical records navigation, organization, and coding you expect, not in the least. But working even just a year as an actual RN will, and thus give you a very solid basis for nurse informatics AND make you more desirable than being just a Health Tech Info grad.
It would be a pity to close alllll those many, many doors that having a nursing degree will open for you just because PCT scut work sucks now. It does, been there. My advice: hang in there, eyes on the prize. Life is long.
Stick it out! Being an internal hire in the hospital system is a huge advantage. I am in a similar position to you in a way, but the opposite side of the coin. I am in a non patient care role (Telemetry Tech and Unit Assistant) and am itching to get into the "action" of caring for patients. I'm sticking it out with this job because being an internal hire in the hospital system I work for is one of the ways to have an edge in a competitive area once I graduate nursing school (Dec 2022 cannot come soon enough!!). The other commenters are right about there non patient care roles that RN's can work in. Not every future RN dreams of being at the bedside and that's okay.
Why don't you give yourself a time line? If you go to work day after day and nothing changes, how long could you stand to be there?
Meanwhile, you might discover yourself hitting your stride and realize there are good things to this job (beside the regular paycheque). I think while you're still new and uncertain, it seems thankless. When you start catching on and making a difference to people and the occasional one thanks you, the whole thing starts to feel different.
So decide how long you could stand it if it just doesn't get better. If you do decide to leave, know that you're living life on your terms and trust yourself to navigate the next step. Good luck!
Although I agree with the idea to stick it out (at least for 3 months or so I think), I've gotta say that if you already know in the back of your mind that you don't like wiping butt/ lifting patients then I don't think med surge hospital nursing would be a great fit for you. Look at the med surge nursing topic and you would be surprised how many of them dying to leave their job especially with all these unsafe ratio nowadays. With that being said, you don't need to be a nurse to have the happy feeling of helping people. Healthcare has lots of career that you can look into! However, being an RN can be a good payoff since after several years you can work in a clinic (depending on where you live they would require bedside experiences). I know that majority of people say you should stick it out but I think you should really be honest with yourself and ask these questions: Do you imagine yourself doing this job years in years out? Do you really love helping people hands on or just love the idea of it? Do some research if you can find other paths that would deal with less direct patient care but still provides you the career satisfaction of helping people and pay a living. I know that it is a lot to digest but its better to ask and see for yourself now than wasting time and money go to nursing school and then quit!
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