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Nurses That Never Worked In A Hospital...

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Specializes in Peds. Has 17 years experience.

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Do you find that patients assume you are inexperienced or unskilled as opposed to nurses that have worked in a hospital?

Do you feel "less than" a nurse that has worked in a hospital, or do you feel you missed out on something pertinent?

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

I've had hospital jobs and non-hospital jobs.  None of my patients knew where else I had worked unless I told them.

The marvelous thing about nursing is that we're needed in all kinds of places.  Nursing experience is nursing experience.  What's so magical about hospitals?

Runsoncoffee99

Specializes in Peds. Has 17 years experience.

9 hours ago, TriciaJ said:

I've had hospital jobs and non-hospital jobs.  None of my patients knew where else I had worked unless I told them.

The marvelous thing about nursing is that we're needed in all kinds of places.  Nursing experience is nursing experience.  What's so magical about hospitals?

I think hospitals  are magical because you can learn everything there. 

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 25 years experience.

1 hour ago, Runsoncoffee99 said:

I think hospitals  are magical because you can learn everything there. 

Sarcasm, I hope??

Elektra6, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Home Health, LTC, subacute. Has 16 years experience.

I never worked in a hospital. I started out as an LPN and no hospital would hire me. After I got my RN I never got a hospital job. I DO feel like I missed out. I wish I would have have applied after I got my RN. Now I feel I’m too old to try 😢

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

8 hours ago, Elektra6 said:

Now I feel I’m too old to try 😢

Nope. Unless you are physically disabled due to age, you're not too old to give it a shot! Although I'm not recommending it because you missed out, only if it's something you regret. 

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

When I first graduated from nursing school I did five years in long term care. When I would randomly run into a former classmate out in the community and they asked where I worked I got many responses of "oh, I'm sorry." I didn't know how to take that at first, I was employed and using my degree, what was to be sorry about. 

I've posted a few times that I think that my first experience in long term care invaluable to improving my assessment skills, my time management skills and my confidence as a nurse. After a 30 patient assignment with two med passes and a treatment pass in 8 hours, an 8 patient med surg assignment on nights isn't nearly as intimidating. Yes, the LTC patients are more stable and don't require the same level of intervention, usually, there were times were my assessment skills were vital in getting a patient the care they needed. I really enjoyed that job in many ways. However, I did transition to a hospital med-surg position and then critical care. But I'm no more of a nurse now than I was in my LTC position. Those patients needed me just as much as my critical care patients need me know. Different skill sets, same nurse. 

T-Bird78

Has 6 years experience.

I’ve only worked ambulatory care as an LPN. When I tell people I’m a nurse and they ask what hospital I work at. When I tell them I work in a doctor’s office, I get “Oh, okay” and they lose interest. I did get pulled from my office to work in a hospital during the post-Christmas COVID surge and was in a med-surg unit with postop, telemetry, and COVID+ pts for several weeks. The main difference, to my anyway, is you’re in a bubble in the hospital. You have your 25 beds on the unit, 7 pts per nurse, your CNA, and you’re fairly confined. In the office, we see 40-50 pts a day, up to 60 in one day, the phone’s ringing with people begging to be seen (or other docs or the ER begging to have their pts be seen that day), you have multiple providers with different setups, you have pharmacy requests, you have instruments to clean/sterilize, you have an autoclave to run, you have a lot of little details to keep straight. It’s a different kind of crazy. 

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

Outside of nursing people don't really care what kind of nurse you are or judge you about it. Within the nursing community I think there is sometimes a glamorization of critical care/ER/trauma. I totally glamorize flight nurses. I'm sorry but if you can take care of critical pts alone in a helicopter while looking amazing in your cool jumpsuit, I give it up to you!

I've never had pts care where I work. In the community clinic some pts didn't know the difference between a hospital and a clinic (which was bad when they needed to go to ER but came to us instead!) Same in the outpatient PACU where I work now, half the pts call their ride to pick them up from the "hospital." I did get a lot of praise and attention when I worked on a covid floor. And some people seem more interested in hearing your "nurse stories" when you work inpatient, but all nurses have stories! If you work with people, you have stories. Anyway, don't pick your job based on what other people think of it. All nurses are valuable. 

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

On 5/2/2021 at 5:48 AM, Runsoncoffee99 said:

Do you feel "less than" a nurse that has worked in a hospital,or do you feel you missed out on something pertinent?

Guilty as charged.

I became an LPN in 1983 and badly desired to work in a hospital because...

On 5/3/2021 at 7:17 AM, Runsoncoffee99 said:

 hospitals  are magical because you can learn everything there. 

I could pontificate prolifically on my years of nursing experience in and out of hospital settings, but suffice it to say that my original feeling of working in a hospital carried with it a certain glamour.

"You're So Vain" - Carly Simon 

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

1 hour ago, Davey Do said:

Guilty as charged.

I became an LPN in 1983 and badly desired to work in a hospital because...

I could pontificate prolifically on my years of nursing experience in and out of hospital settings, but suffice it to say that my original feeling of working in a hospital carried with it a certain glamour.

"You're So Vain" - Carly Simon 

Do you remember where that perception of glamour came from, Davey?  Was it television or did your instructors convey it?

I ask because I'm not aware of having any such perception in my younger days but it seems to be quite the thing now.  There's some sort of a nursing hierarchy thing going on.

The most shocking example was on this site a couple years back.  Rembember the new grad who was dismissed from her hospital orientation and proceeded to apply for 30 different nursing positions in that same hospital, some of them highly specialized?  She eventually took our advice to give her LTC opportunity a shot, but she did voice a belief that she was slumming it.

I really do hope she was able to let go of silly notions and get some career traction.

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

46 minutes ago, TriciaJ said:

Do you remember where that perception of glamour came from, Davey?  Was it television or did your instructors convey it?

I had this idea from being a Candy Striper (white and pink/red striped uniform and everything!) when I was about 14yo. The nurses all wore white and the hospital was always clean, under control, patients were all nice etc. Then years later when I was doing clinical rotations I though uh oh what have I got myself into. Needless to say I will never ever never miss working in the hospital!

But I also wonder why newbies think it will be great. 

OP, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, magical about working in a hospital, the only way it will benefit you is IF you need the experience for a specific job you have in mind. Good luck!

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

2 hours ago, TriciaJ said:

Do you remember where that perception of glamour came from, Davey?  Was it television or did your instructors convey it?

The very best conversationalists I have ever known were the ones who knew what the right were questions to ask, and I accuse you of being one, my dear TriciaJ!

My perception of glamour came both from reality and television. I spent three months in a major St. Louis  medical center when I was 19 years old after a horrific MVA. I was in ICU for three weeks, comatose for the majority of the time, and spent the remainder on an ortho floor.

My experiences there left me with an insurmountable respect for medical professionals. My girlfriend's Dad, who I looked upon as a second father, was a physician, so my respect was multiplied.

In October 1982, the TV show St. Elsewhere debuted, and I began my LPN program the following January. I would watch the TV show and pick out medical terms, partially understanding what the characters were saying.  And, it was just a darn good show.

Having worked not only in a few hospitals, but also in LTC, HH, and mental health facilities, I learned that there are licensed & ancillary professionals deserving of respect everywhere.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

1 hour ago, Daisy4RN said:

I had this idea from being a Candy Striper (white and pink/red striped uniform and everything!) when I was about 14yo. The nurses all wore white and the hospital was always clean, under control, patients were all nice etc.

Those were the days, my friend!

The only people who have pissing contests where hospital nurses are above everyone else are within nursing. Even in the hospital, there's a hierarchy where critical care is allegedly supreme to the other units. In LTC it's the skilled unit. We're our own worst enemy sometimes.

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

1 hour ago, Davey Do said:

Those were the days, my friend!

We thought they'd never end!

(But, something ugly this way comes)

Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg ED, LNC, COB. Has 51 years experience.

On 5/3/2021 at 8:17 AM, Runsoncoffee99 said:

I think hospitals  are magical because you can learn everything there. 

One thing I learned with my first not-hospital job was that I had a helluva lot to learn about nursing outside of hospitals, LOL. 
Nursing school teaches very basic nursing to non-nurses, in largely hospital settings ; many, understandably, get hired in hospitals (perhaps for years) and think that’s mostly all there is, hospital nursing. 

Covidnursedropout

Has 14 years experience.

I worked in the hospitals in the ICU/ER, LTACH, and SNF.  I didn't work in a SNF until I had already been a nurse for 8 years in the hospital.  The misconception that hospital nurses are "smarter" or "better nurses" than nurses who work LTC is a misconception.  Your assessment skills have to be on point to work LTC.  Why?  Because you have zero resources.  There is no telemetry, no on-site lab, no EKG machine, no CT scanner, it can take an entire shift to have an x-ray performed and get the report faxed to you (if they fax it all), no pharmacy, and the doctor only visits the facility once a week.  If you call the doctor because something is "wrong" they are going to expect you to be able to explain what you think is wrong, and whether it's mild enough to be treated in the facility or if it requires a trip to the ER.  Which gets even more interesting if it's a skilled patient who is there for rehab instead of a LTC resident.  All of the x-rays, lab work, medications, that the skilled patient needs during their stay, the facility pays for out of their own pocket.  So you need to make doubly sure with these patients you aren't just calling the doctor and getting things ordered for the hell of it.  Not unless you want to be called into the DON's office regularly.  If send a skilled patient to the ER, and that patient doesn't get admitted to the hospital, the LTC facility has to pay out of pocket for the ER visit.  So you have to really know your patients and what exactly constitutes and emergency.  Your assessment skills have to be superb.  You pick up on small things.  8 years in the hospital and it took working at a SNF to realize that you should always check for a UTI if one of them starts vomiting repeatedly.  Working in a SNF made me a better nurse.