Working for a vendor

  1. I have been working as a clinical analyst for the last couple of years, in a hospital based rural health system.
    My job has been eliminated and I am interviewing with a vendor (whose products I know).
    Just would like some insight/advice from people working with vendors as compared to healthcare employers.
    Thanks a lot,
  2. Visit chrn profile page

    About chrn

    Joined: Nov '00; Posts: 51; Likes: 16


  3. by   Mariah
    I work for vendor, but not in the typical areas that nurses usually do for a vendor. But, I can tell you what is like in general. I think its absolutely great. The benefits are usually quite good, often better than a hospital. One usually has more independence and freedom to do things the way they think is best. Also, it is easier to adjust one's schedule for personal needs like sick kids or working from home. The things that are different is the people and the focus. The co-workers are often non-clincians, some who have very little knowledge or understanding of clinicians or the clinical environment. One cannot make any assumptions about what people know clinically. Being non-clincians, they also have different goals and perspective. What is important to them is very different from clinicians. We often think of what is best for the patient, but for a vendor or a person working for a vendor its more of what is the customer asking for, what do we need to do to sell more, etc. Also, the environment is different. There is no JCAHO and the strong focus on policies/procedures. But there are other processes that need to be followed like appropriate documentation for FDA regulations. I don't think I'll every go back to hospital.
  4. by   chrn
    Thank you Mariah, I accepted the position the vendor offered me. I agree with all you said. The main difference is the "focus". The company was very up front "we are a profit-making business and making money is our focus". I actually found that refreshing, because while my hospital claimed to be "service focused", the bottem line sure seemed to be what mattered most.
  5. by   Cqc_Cqb
    How can I get in touch with different vendors to find out who is hiring and what sort of positions they have? I am thinking of working for a vendor like Hewlett Packard just dont know where to start and who else would hire a nurse. Any information would be appreciated.
  6. by   renerian
    I am sorry your job was eliminated. That happened to me six times as a nurse due to mergers, buyouts, closures or budget cuts.

    I hope you find something soon and I know it is very hard.

  7. by   rninformatics
    Originally posted by Cqc_Cqb
    How can I get in touch with different vendors to find out who is hiring and what sort of positions they have? I am thinking of working for a vendor like Hewlett Packard just dont know where to start and who else would hire a nurse. Any information would be appreciated.
    Check out sites such as and
    to my knowledge HP does not have clinical, nursing or healthcare specific divisions. You may want to look at vendors who serve the healthcare market and would be insterested in your nursing background -- such as Cerner, McKesson, Meditech, etc

    These vendors also have their own websites which contain open position postings
  8. by   Mariah
    By the way, HP no longer has a medical products group. Their medical products (monitors, ultrasounds, CIS) now are owned and manged by Philips who also provides xray, mri, etc equipment. Same products, service, organization, but just a different parent company. The main division headquarters for medical products is in Andover MA.

    Vendor jobs for clinicians tend to be highly competitive. But you can always apply to the personnel department of that organization. Also, informatics head hunters tend to have openings for informatics nurse such as Belle Oaks and others. Also, looking in the back of healthcare informatics journals for postings is also a possibility. HIMMS also has a job list that contains vendor related positions.
    Last edit by Mariah on Oct 23, '03
  9. by   sailor444444
    How did you apply for the vendor job? Did you apply in person, or online? How
    long did it take for them to get back to you? What sort of background did you have as far as job experience or education? The reason I ask is I am trying to get a job in nursing informatics. I have a bachelor's degree in computer science and an associate degree in nursing. I have been sending my resumes online and applying online. I think I would enjoy doing this sort of work. I really enjoyed computer science in school-I liked
    analyzing problems and implementing a solution-we did programming in about 8 languages. I realize that a lot of informatic jobs don't involve programming, but they
    do involve the same skills such as analysis, planning, implementation, trouble shooting etc. I live in Indiana, and there aren't any informatic groups close by that I can attend. Even MANI is several hours away. Do you have any suggestions? I am thinking
    of going to the HIMSS conference in Las Vegas. They said it's a good networking opportunity, but it's more for upper management.
  10. by   Mariah
    Sailor - I got this job over 16 years ago and things were different then. The position I have is actually a software engineering position in R&D. It is not a nursing position and not an official nursing informatics position. However, I do a lot of nursing informatics like activities. In addition to a lot of programming, I write specifications, do software designs/architecture, design schemas/data models, design UI, project lead, support customer sites, and meet with customers. Minimal traveling. I have a MS in nursing and MS in computer science. But of course, for a engineering position, the MSCS is what really mattered. A BS would also suffice for such positions. We have some with a BS as well here. To get a technical position, the approach needs to be a little different. Unfortunately, technical jobs are competitive right now and there are many engineers without jobs right now. But with your nursing background as well, it would give you an edge. On-line applications for employment did not exist 16 years ago. I went the journal route right after I got the MSCS degree. Most of the health care informatics journals provide a vendor publication once a year that lists all the vendors in this field. I was interested in a particular area and I just found all of the vendors that were listed in that area. I checked them out as much as I could. Fortunately, there are web pages now. Then I sent them a resume. I got quite a few calls as a result. A nurse with a technical degree and willing to do programming is rare. Also, I looked in the newspaper for that area and actually found an add for the job I now hold. Also, most engineers also go through headhunters who focus on software engineering. Not the head hunters for nursing informatics, but the ones for engineering. You can ask some of the technical people you know for names. Nothing was more annoying than having them assume I couldn't do and didn't want to do programming because I was a nurse. The vendor got back to me in a couple of weeks. However, that was by std mail. I hear it takes longer to respond these days. HIMSS is a good conference to go to. It is upper management, but a lot of vendors go. They won't have jobs, but you can get to know them. If you join HIMSS, there is often a local group. Another place to check is the larger hospitals in the area. Sometimes, they are looking for programmers to work on their home-grown information systems. What you need to decide is which side of the fence you want to go on. The technical or the nursing. There is few jobs that require both. There are positions that will take either, such as system analyst in the hospital who does no programming. So it is more of determining which is your greater interest and your greater strength. Good luck.