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Interview with a pain clinic- red flags?

Hi all, I am a new grad and I have an interview soon for an ambulatory surgery/pain management clinic. The hours are great, the guy seemed very positive on the phone, and this could be a real opportunity. However, in researching the facility online, I found bad reviews- mainly complaints about wait times, rude doctors, etc. I already know some pain clinics have a bad rap, and now I have concerns about this job.

Can anyone give me some key questions to ask in an interview that would raise red flags? What is the most diplomatic way to ask about poor patient satisfaction? What should a newbie nurse watch out for in one of these clinics? Thanks!

needshaldol specializes in Pain management, Med/Surg.

Difficult to help as you do not say what prior patients had to say. Remember people who have chronic pain are "different". I am not saying that they do not have pain. All the medications cause their brain to behave differently. And often they have no clue of this.

I worked in pain for 15 years and it was the best job I ever had in nursing. But, the pain clinic was small so maybe that made a difference. Non of the staff left. There was absolutely no turn over. This was a high tech clinic where we not only treated chronic pain with meds, but we did lots of nerve blocks and surgical implants. I would suggest seeing how the turnover is as that is often helpful. And remember, many, not all, but many pain patients are just different due to the emotional component of being in pain and the drugs.

heron specializes in Hospice.

Also keep in mind that online review sites tend to attract people with complaints ... people having positive experiences seldom go to the trouble of posting a review.

Thank you, needshaldol. The "reviews" were on a few different websites, and were just polls about satisfaction, wait times, etc. I didn't see a lot of free response. But out of about 4 such sites with 10-20 responses each, the place only had a 30-40% approval (mostly directed at the lead doctor). But I realize that people usually only write reviews when they are unsatisfied, you usually don't hear from the happy patients on the internet.

Thank you for a pain nurse's perspective. I'll keep an open mind. This would be great experience in procedural care, which I really want to get into.

No doubt that in general, people who are unhappy tend to generate much more of the reviews. You should be asking about the rate of turnover in the staff, how much the practice has grown over the last 3-5 years, why the position you are applying for is available.

What is the patient greivance process? People who have chronic pain, as with many chronic illnesses, can develop very negative atitudes about life.

I have diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, and sciatica, among my diagnoses, and on any given day can be depressed about any and all of it. I hope I am not developing a miserable personality to go along with it all.

Best wishes!

whd13b specializes in Med/surg, Telemetry/PCU, Bone & Joint.

Nursing jobs for recent grads are not as easy to come by as they used to be. My advice to you is to not mention anything about what you read. No matter how diplomatic you are, it will put your interviewer on the defense. It's a job and your foot in the door toward your nursing career. Knock them dead on the interview, land the job, and if it is truly that bad, at least you are employed in the field until you find something else.

skulskcc01 specializes in N/A.

Nursing jobs for recent grads are not as easy to come by as they used to be. My advice to you is to not mention anything about what you read. No matter how diplomatic you are, it will put your interviewer on the defense. It's a job and your foot in the door toward your nursing career. Knock them dead on the interview, land the job, and if it is truly that bad, at least you are employed in the field until you find something else.

I agree completely.

Nursing jobs for recent grads are not as easy to come by as they used to be. My advice to you is to not mention anything about what you read. No matter how diplomatic you are, it will put your interviewer on the defense. It's a job and your foot in the door toward your nursing career. Knock them dead on the interview, land the job, and if it is truly that bad, at least you are employed in the field until you find something else.

I disagree. It's important to have your first job be a good experience. Nursing Jobs aren't incredibly hard to come by everywhere. Even if jobs are difficult to find in your area you want to make good choices especially this early in your job history. Putting value on your skills and trying to find a good fit for them is never a bad idea, especially in a bad economy it's better to be percieved as an applicant with choices who isn't deperate to work just anywhere.

whd13b specializes in Med/surg, Telemetry/PCU, Bone & Joint.

I would definitely debate the current job prospectus for newly graduated RN's with you. I stand by my assertions that in this economy and job market, if a job is offered to you (that you applied for), take it and then with time, evaluate whether or not you want to stay or leave. If you decide to leave, at least your able to pay your bills until you find something else.

patekgtech specializes in Focusing on Epidemiology.

According to the DEA. Make sure the Pain clinic is legit. Do they only deal in cash. Is the Pharmacy conveniently next door. Are people lined up around the building very early before opening hours. Is the office run like a fast food joint, get them and get them out quickly mentality. Are the MD's only prescribing just 2 to 3 medications only. DEA has been Busting a Number of these "Pain Clinics" and acquiring the MD's assets. So be careful where you work. No matter how good they Pay! You worked too hard to get that License. If you think I'm joking or being unrealistic, then go ahead and take your chances. Visiting hours are on every other Sunday with the Feds, they aren't as Nice As The State!

skulskcc01 specializes in N/A.

I disagree. It's important to have your first job be a good experience. Nursing jobs aren't incredibly hard to come by everywhere. Even if jobs are difficult to find in your area you want to make good choices especially this early in your job history. Putting value on your skills and trying to find a good fit for them is never a bad idea, especially in a bad economy it's better to be percieved as an applicant with choices who isn't deperate to work just anywhere.
In my area and many others (according to many posts on this website) the job market isn't as hoppin' as it use to be. The poster clearly stated she was interested in working in a pain management clinic. If the interview goes well and it is a reputable pain clinic then take the job. If down the road you see poor patient care then quit.

SHGR specializes in nursing education.

I work in a primary care clinic and although we do treat chronic pain for some people, many of them are sent to a pain specialist, or request to be sent to one when they don't get what they want from us. Many of the patients are dissatisfied for whatever reason (not getting enough narcs, drug screens come back dirty, or negative for what is being prescribed) and go from pain specialist to pain specialist...looking for what no reputable doc will give them. Keeping this in mind, I would be very surprised if anonymous online boards were not full of complaints about even the best pain clinics. As other posters have said, consider the audience.

Also, I firmly believe that a good doc is worth waiting for, so wait times do not necessarily concern me.

Thank you for the input everyone! Lots of great feedback. I'll treat the interview like any other- do my homework, and not judge the place before I even get there. I won't ask about the internet ratings, but just try to feel the place out for myself.

I know that pain management is important, but the few bad apples and government crackdowns in my state make me a little nervous about starting out there. My ultimate goal is OR nursing and I'd like to get experience in a procedure clinic like this, but I don't want to be naive. Thanks again!

nursel56 specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty.

Nursing jobs for recent grads are not as easy to come by as they used to be. My advice to you is to not mention anything about what you read. No matter how diplomatic you are, it will put your interviewer on the defense. It's a job and your foot in the door toward your nursing career. Knock them dead on the interview, land the job, and if it is truly that bad, at least you are employed in the field until you find something else.

I agree. Best wishes, Rocketeer! :up:

patekgtech specializes in Focusing on Epidemiology.

I had thought to throw out to you before you apply at this Pain Clinic. Get the Doctors names who practice there and look them up through the state medical board site. U get their school, their speciality, any violations in practice and any fines paid. Also look for Anthesiologist as pain doctors. Due to their extensive education with the CNS and Medication they are some of the Best and Respected Pain Management Doctors and they are less likely to endanger their $180,000.00/ Year income on a non-legit operation. You will always be one of the best if you fly with Eagles. And don't mention any of this research in your job interviews or to fellow employees. Just let them know what you can do to help improve their quality of patient care. That's what they want anyway is an asset to help the team do a Better Job. I didn't say Superstar, don't be Cocky. Just be confident, tell them what you have done above and beyond the average student or employee and be positive. Don't complain about your past and be positive about growth and learning in the future. I wish you the best of luck. I hired people for 14 years and I speak from experience.

Edited by patekgtech
misspelling

needshaldol specializes in Pain management, Med/Surg.

Patekgtech

I can't imagine one of those "pill barn" places hiring a RN. They are not giving conscious sedation, nerve blocks, stimulator implants. I saw the same program on these places and interesting that most are in Florida. But I agree, good to check it out.

I would definitely debate the current job prospectus for newly graduated RN's with you. I stand by my assertions that in this economy and job market, if a job is offered to you (that you applied for), take it and then with time, evaluate whether or not you want to stay or leave. If you decide to leave, at least your able to pay your bills until you find something else.

I'm not really interested in debating the job market for new grads. I know that in many areas it's difficult right now. My point was that most on here seem to assume that is the case everywhere but there are areas that doesn't hold true (at least yet). In my area, (which I don't really disclose because of safety/privacy concerns) almost all of the grads found jobs shortly after graduating. Many before graduation and most at the local hospital.

My main point was that while you certainly can't hold out for your dream job in many places, you should still be cautious about making your first experience one that is going to help you toward your goals. If it feels like it's not a good fit, then it probably isn't.

And I don't think I was as clear as I should have been in my first post. I certainly wouldn't mention that you viewed low patient satisfaction ratings online. I would mention that patient satisfaction was important to me though,and contemplate their reaction. I'd also ask other questions about the clinic when given the opportunity, and generallly try to get a good feel for the place before excepting a positon.

Edited by BelleNscrubs04

Update: I got the job! Thank you again for all the advice. I researched the facility and MDs' licenses and it appears to be a completely respectable place with a good record. It may not be a forever job, but it's a great foot in the door!

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