I'm a new grad - should I accept patient advocate job?


Hi everyone,

I need some job advice. I might get a job offer to be a patient advocate. I would be working with psych patients, going to different SNFs in my county, and going to hearings. I'm a new grad and have been looking for work for 8 months now, so this job offer is really tempting to me.

I want to work as a new grad in a hospital, but I feel like it's foolish of me to keep hoping that I'll get a new grad position. People keep telling, just keep your head up, just be patient, but I'm thinking what if I never get a new grad job? There are hundreds of applicants looking for the same jobs, and more new grads will be graduating. I'm not a fresh new grad anymore and I don't have experience working in the health field. I'm scared of the uncertainty of getting a new grad job and want to take this patient advocate job because it's related to the health care and I can be happy with it.

On the other hand, I'm thinking about the limits it will put on my career path. If I take this job as a patient advocate, I will have no hands-on patient care experience and would lose all of my skills and knowledge. No hospital, clinic, or home health agency would ever hire me in the future. I am also interested in public health, so maybe if I could explore that, but other than that, I feel like my career choices would be so narrow.

So what should I take this job offer if I get it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Take the position and then maybe look for weekend or part time work that will let you get hands on experience.


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In my state, the client advocates are people who are not necessarily nurses (in fact, most of them are not), but they have a lot of experience within the mental health system and are familiar with all the state/federal rules/regs and client rights and how facilities operate. I'm surprised someone who is a new grad would be considered for a position like that (unless you have a significant amount of healthcare experience in some other role), and that suggests to me that whoever is doing the hiring doesn't really care if the person hired can actually do a good job of advocating for the clients.

You are also correct about starting off your career in a non-clinical position like that limiting your possibilities later on.

On the other hand, It's certainly not my place to tell you you shouldn't take a job you get offered, when you've been looking for a long time. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, as they say. Wow -- tough call!

I would sure like to see a new grad start out in some other kind of position than this one ... I agree that, if you do take this decision, you should continue to look for something clinical you can do "on the side" (at least). Best wishes for whatever you decide! :redpinkhe