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thelittleRNwhocould specializes in Community Health.

Graduated with my ASN in May 2017 and passed NCLEX in June 2017. Employed as a staff RN at a community health clinic in Illinois.

thelittleRNwhocould's Latest Activity

  1. I'm a clinic nurse in GI. The vast majority of my time is spent fighting insurance companies to obtain coverage of biologic medications for our Crohn's and UC patients. Patient care seems to often come second to submitting prior authorizations/pre-determinations, calling insurance companies, submitting appeals, and trying to coordinate site of care issues (insurance won't cover hospital infusions any longer). How do you manage these issues and still take care of your patients? I'm drowning here.
  2. thelittleRNwhocould

    What is it like to be a nurse in Public Health?

    I am not directly in public health nursing, but I do work as a community health nurse (staff nurse at a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center (FQHC). We serve uninsured, underinsured, and medicaid/medicare. We have a large hispanic patient population (roughly 30%) and a small French-speaking population (~5%). Our facility provides a range of services to individuals. Our largest component is essentially family practice, but we also have prenatal, mental health (psychiatrist and several therapists), internal medicine, peds clinics, etc. In my role as a nurse I am responsible for patient education, immunizations, office procedures (giving depo-provera, toradol, ear-washes, PPD placement/reading, etc). We assess any patient who is high BP, chest pains/SOB, potential stroke, allergic reaction, etc. and call report to the ED. Our MAs/CNAs are the ones who room the patients/take vitals and perform ECGs. We do a LOT of STI treatment and education (trich is very common, but we see a decent amount of gonorrhea and the occasional chlamydia). A large portion of my role as a nurse also focuses on the medication management/insurance side of things. I have my own desk, where I call patients to clarify medications/inform them of results, triage over the phone, submit prior authorizations for medications, speak with pharmacies, etc. We handle a lot of other miscellaneous stuff, as well. One of my co-workers refers to us as detectives - and it's a pretty accurate description sometimes. The flow of my day really just depends on our patient schedule and who shows up to their appointments. Sometimes I am busy running around doing the more patient-oriented care, and then when I get a quiet moment I do a lot more of the paperwork/insurance/medication management. Overall, I find my job pretty enjoyable and fulfilling - I've found my niche in nursing (I hated hospital nursing from the very start of clinicals). It's not that the job isn't stressful (I honestly wanted to cry today... it was a very long, crazy day), but it's a kind of stress that I find doable. I also love the screening/health maintenance/preventative/chronic management aspect vs. acute care.
  3. thelittleRNwhocould

    I'm loving Community Health nursing

    I am actually the second new grad hired this year at our location - the other one was hired this spring right after graduation, and she is already in school pursuing her doctorate to become an NP! I think it mainly depends upon what the clinic in particular is looking at; it may vary at different places. I was worried about not being able to find a clinic job as a brand-new nurse, but this was the first job I applied to, and I was offered the position within a couple of days. If you know for a fact that this is what you want to pursue, I think it's doable. A large percent of the providers at our clinic are actually NPs, and they are great to work with! I don't deny that working in the hospital would help a nurse gain an understanding of acute care, and how to handle emergencies, but I've already learned so much about healthcare (and prevention, and screening, and maintenance, and insurance, and loads of other things) since starting a couple of weeks ago. :)
  4. thelittleRNwhocould

    I'm loving Community Health nursing

    Al Kalosis, it's always worth giving them a call and seeing if they're interested in hiring an RN - the place that I'm now employed at didn't have any job openings listed; I just emailed them and asked about the potential of applying for employment. :)
  5. thelittleRNwhocould

    I'm loving Community Health nursing

    Surprisingly, my school cut the Community Health course/clinical for the RNs (they kept it for the LPNs, though). I never had the ability to see community health nurses work, so this is all new to me! I just figured that it sounded like something I would like, and I applied. :)
  6. thelittleRNwhocould

    I'm loving Community Health nursing

    Lil Nel - thank you! I'm already learning so much in the short time that I've been working here. :) Everline - I'm pretty sure that I'm the only person out of my graduating class (approximately 30 students) who went on to become a community health nurse - everyone else went to hospital floors, and quite a few went straight into the ICU setting. That was just never my desire, and I'm very glad that I've found a niche where I feel at home. I'm looking into taking Spanish classes so that I can better serve our patient population (we have only two translators at the moment, and they are kept extremely busy!).
  7. thelittleRNwhocould

    If not nursing what other career would you have done?

    If I were going purely on my heart's desire, no concerns for finance/sustainability, I would have gone with photographer, as I have a natural eye for photography and tend to compose/capture lovely photographs.
  8. thelittleRNwhocould

    University of Southern Indiana

    I have many friends who are currently attending USI to get their BSN (they graduated from Ivy Tech with their ASN). USI is a respectable school for nursing, and from what I've seen the education quality seems to be better than Ivy Tech's. Even though I don't live in the state anymore, I've considered doing the completely online RN to BSN program.
  9. I can empathize with what you're going through. While in nursing school, I struggled with severe anxiety, panic attacks (complete with wheezing/stridor, curled up in the fetal position crying), and bouts of depression. In my estimation, approximately a third of my cohort were on antidepressants or anxiolytics, and most were at least moderately, if not severely, stressed. I tried Xanax - once. I found that I couldn't function on it, unfortunately. Medications shouldn't be your first resort (and any good counselor will tell you so), but if you end up needing them it's nothing to be ashamed of. Nursing school is crazy. It is overwhelming. It is hard. Does your school provide counseling services? When I was at my worst with panic attacks, I made an appointment with one of the therapists that the school kept on staff. She helped me discuss what was stressing me, gave me suggestions for how to decrease my anxiety (one of which was biofeedback, which was actually very helpful - it's an awareness of your body, and using your breathing to slow your heart rate and relax your body). Remember to breathe. Take a second, set the book down, and breathe in and out deeply and steadily with your eyes closed. Schedule in times to relax (whether that's coloring, taking a walk, taking a hot bath/shower, drinking a cup of tea or decaf coffee, etc). Limit your caffeine, drink more water, eat food that is healthy (your body feels better when you eat better). Reach out to your support systems (family? friends? nursing school friends? church? Whatever will help you feel supported). And just know - this will end. The endless papers, homework assignments, care plans, textbook reading.... it will all end, and you will be so proud of that RN you get to sign behind your name.
  10. thelittleRNwhocould

    I'm loving Community Health nursing

    Throughout the entirety of nursing school, I found myself feeling frustration at the heavy focus on hospital/bedside nursing. From the first day of clinicals to the last and during my time as a patient care tech in the hospital, I genuinely found no enjoyment in med-surg. I toyed with the concept of psych nursing, I found a brief interest in L&D, but none of them felt like they would be a good fit. I am a very new nurse (as in, I graduated with my ASN this spring/passed the NCLEX a month after). I moved states a few months after graduating and went through the process of transferring my brand-new license here. Recently, I started working for a community health center (FQHC, not-for-profit) that provides services to the uninsured and lower SES populations, along with a significant portion of Latino and French individuals. There is a dental and prenatal component alongside the family practice aspect (which is what I primarily work within). We give a lot of kids immunizations, do a lot of depo and some STI treatment, and work with providers, pharmacies, and insurance providers. It's a lot of paperwork, a lot of prior auths, and a lot of phone calls. However: this is the most fulfilled I've felt since beginning nursing school several years ago. I look forward to my job each day. The ability to work on health promotion/maintenance, screening, immunizations, etc. is right up my alley. After a multitude of doubts about becoming a nurse (most of which were influenced by the heavy-handed push towards hospital nursing), I am thrilled to have found something that fits me so well. I'm not sure what my purpose in posting this is... I guess just wanting to share my thoughts/feelings as a new nurse in an area that doesn't tend to get as much attention. Are there many other community health nurses on this site?
  11. thelittleRNwhocould

    Shoes, uniforms, shower after clinical?

    Depends on the day. If it's a clinical day where I'm doing more observation, I generally don't shower. If I've been elbow deep in an incontinent patient's stool and urine all day.... Different story. I will shower when I get home from my tech job because I work on a pulmonary/oncology floor and I swear I can feel the germs from pneumonia/flu patients crawling through my hair. I just wash my scrubs with normal clothes in warm water. Take my shoes off at home. If they've been visibly soiled, I generally just clean them at the time that they become soiled. If you think about it, in a hospital setting you have great hand hygiene, protection from pneumonia, the flu, cdiff... You're probably exposed to more germs in a public restroom or talking to someone out in public than you are in the hospital.
  12. thelittleRNwhocould

    Tell on yourself, if you dare...

    I'm currently a tech at a decent sized hospital (until I graduate in May... Yay!). Just last week, I was busy doing morning care, everything was a little chaotic, requests flying like bullets... You know the drill. As I was helping a patient use the commode and fielding approximately three million calls about another patient's telemetry that kept going off, a nurse popped her head in the door and said, "Hey, 12's going home! Can you take her IV out?" I tossed out a "Yep!" and helped my patient finish up and get back in bed. Soo.... I charge down the hallway and come to the closed door. I hastily don my gown and gloves (already sweating and flustered from going at breakneck speed that morning) and then knock and enter the room. "Hello, Ms. X!" I exclaimed in a very enthusiastic voice, "I'm here to take your IV out so you can go home!" The patient and her son stared at me with very blank faces and an awkward silence hung over the room. "Um... What?" she finally asked. "Your IV..." I started, and then glanced up at the room number on the board. I wasn't in 12. Needless to say, the patient and her son didn't let me forget that one the entire twelve hour shift. I didn't tell any coworkers, though.
  13. thelittleRNwhocould

    Questions About Carle Hospital (Urbana/Champaign)

    Catlady257, thank you so much for your response! I plan on applying once I get home from clinical this afternoon.
  14. thelittleRNwhocould

    Questions About Carle Hospital (Urbana/Champaign)

    Hello! I will be graduating with my ASN this summer and plan on moving to Urbana/Champaign, IL. I have been looking into Carle hospital as a place of employment, and I have a couple of questions... Thank you in advance! :) Note: I do know that I will need to eventually obtain my BSN, and I plan on doing so within the next couple of years. 1. I saw on the website that Carle offers a nurse residency program. Is that a stand-alone job, or would I need to apply separately to a specific floor? Does the residency program work with you to find a home unit? 2. Is there a specific floor that I should avoid/any floors that have a great environment? My interests right now are oncology and hospice, but I am open to trying other areas. 3. What color of scrubs do nurses wear at Carle? I already have some scrubs (one navy set, two "galaxy blue" that I would need new tops for d/t embroidery). Thank you! :)
  15. thelittleRNwhocould

    Do you study over the summer?

    Break? What's that? Joking aside.... I'm working on my ASN/ADN right now (last semester.... whew!) and last summer I had to take microbiology and I worked. This summer I plan on doing some NCLEX style questions, reviewing common diseases/illnesses, and reviewing labs/procedures. I plan on working as little as possible (I'm a PRN tech right now, so I have a lot of flexibility). Finally, I plan on scheduling myself to take the NCLEX asap following graduation, and then hopefully have a chance to relax before I move and get a job as a nurse in another city... Not to mention all the packing and logistics of moving three hours away!
  16. thelittleRNwhocould

    What are your clinical times at Bloomington or Columbus Ivy Tech?

    I attend an Ivy Tech (though not one of those) and our clinical start time has been 6:30 consistently through all of nursing school (I'm 4th semester right now). I would hazard a guess that it's comparable at the schools you mentioned, but a quick call to the nursing offices at each college should let you know. In our program, the people whose kids needed daycare ended up having family or friends take their kids to daycare if it opened after 6:30-7:00, since the expectation is that you will be present *before* 6:30 or be counted tardy. Good luck with nursing school!

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