Hi everyone! Just a disclaimer that this is a post is a mixture of me talking and also asking for advice, all fueled by anxiety. Sorry if anything doesn’t make sense!
I just wanted to get opinions about transitioning from inpatient to outpatient. I currently work on an inpatient BMT/Oncology unit and was recently offered a position at my hospital’s outpatient oncology infusion center. I currently work night shift in my current position, 3 12s. I’ve been there for a little over 3 years now and unfortunately, night shift is starting to take a toll on my health. Our patients typically require a lot of blood products and IV medications and get quite sick. I’ve functioned as the charge RN but at the same time I’m feeling a little lacking in general onc knowledge because I see the same few BMT conditioning regiments (rituxan, antithymocyte globulin, IVIG, thiotepa, fludarabine, BEAM, etc) over and over. I know those extremely well, but rarely see other chemos such as vincristine or really any IV push chemo. Additionally, all patients have a central line for their transplant so I’m very familiar with those, but have probably inserted 3 IVs during my 3 years as a nurse (one for each year, haha).
I’ve been told our infusion center is quite busy, sees about 150-200 patients a day, and requires a lot of IV starts (which worries me). Being an onc infusion center, they also see a wider variety of treatments which is great because I want to expand my onc knowledge. The shifts are 4 10s with rotating Saturdays and no holidays. I have my OCN and am chemo certified, but BMT is so specific that I’m not very knowledgable on drugs other than what I’m constantly dealing with (aka I haven’t used the knowledge so I’ve mostly lost it). So basically, I feel like I appeared qualified to them but it’s all a farce!
Starting a new role is always a stressful and worrisome time and I know I won’t be perfect from the beginning. Im just worried that it’s going to be too fast paced, as everyone says that my hospital’s infusion center is extremely busy (they call it a zoo). I’m also worried that I might be jumping into something that I’m going to hate and am better off remaining in my current role until a day position opens up on our unit.
I just wanted to hear from those of you who have transitioned from inpatient to outpatient: What is the difference in workflow/what is a typical day like, was it a huge adjustment, do you feel like your work-life balance is better or worse, and just any other tips/advice you may have for someone possibly making the transition. Im excited at the opportunity to learn new things (and finally be on a day schedule/not have to work holidays) but also extremely nervous that I’ll struggle due to my lack of IV skills and very specific chemo/biotherapy knowledge. I’m also worried that I’ll be miserable if it’s as horrendously busy as everyone says it is and would be better off waiting on night shift until something “better” comes along.
If anyone actually got this far, thanks for reading!