Rehab... Stuck???

  1. Hi,
    I'm a NEWER nurse. Graduated in December. Got my first job in April and still currently working. I work in rehab. I've heard that
    the experience I am currently getting is not considered ACUTE. I'm trying to get acute experience and I've applied to alot of hospitals and haven't gotten anything back. I don't want to be in rehab forever. So my question is will I be stuck in rehab forever if this isnt considered acute experience?
  2. Visit Blue2011 profile page

    About Blue2011

    Joined: May '11; Posts: 8; Likes: 4

    13 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    I've been working at a freestanding rehab hospital for a little more than one year. I received a job offer at a local acute care hospital back in December, but turned it down due to the low pay and the distance from my house. The moral of my story is that the hiring manager at the hospital had no problem hiring me, although my only nursing experience is in rehab and long term care.

    One of my coworkers at the rehab hospital was recently hired at a suburban acute care hospital, and another coworker was hired at the local county hospital. Therefore, rehab has not been a hindrance in our cases. Hiring managers at the hospitals in your area would probably feel more comfortable if you had a year of nursing experience before they take a chance on hiring you. Good luck!
  4. by   JRP1120, RN
    What kind of rehab facility is it you're in? I graduated in May and just started my first nursing position in rehab in a hospital setting. I worked my first shift the other day. I think it's going to be a great experience, however, I'm worried I won't get to practice some skills I was hoping to. Most patients come without IV drips going (but some still have IV access in-to which we have to remove once we know they won't need the IV anymore), so, no IV sticks and starts, running IV pumps for me. I'm kinda bummed about that. There are other things I won't get to do that I would get to do on a regular med-surge floor and I'm a little worried about that. I really want to work neonatal/L&D/Mother-Baby someday and now reading your post scares me! I had a few interviews for other positions, didn't get the ones I really wanted but finally was offered two positions in a new grad residency and chose rehab over nephrology, for a few reasons. I really love my unit, my preceptor, the residency, so far! I will be SO disappointed if after a few years in rehab, those other places won't consider my rehab acute experience (it is not long-term rehab but the pts stay an average of 14 to 21 days). We rehab brain injury, stroke and spinal cord injury patients mainly...I pray this experience counts for something! In the end, I had to take the position I felt would be best-now I'm hoping I didn't make the wrong choice?
  5. by   Blue2011
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I've been working at a freestanding rehab hospital for a little more than one year. I received a job offer at a local acute care hospital back in December, but turned it down due to the low pay and the distance from my house. The moral of my story is that the hiring manager at the hospital had no problem hiring me, although my only nursing experience is in rehab and long term care.

    One of my coworkers at the rehab hospital was recently hired at a suburban acute care hospital, and another coworker was hired at the local county hospital. Therefore, rehab has not been a hindrance in our cases. Hiring managers at the hospitals in your area would probably feel more comfortable if you had a year of nursing experience before they take a chance on hiring you. Good luck!
    This is alittle relieving. I just dont know if I can stay a year. Its hard to even just stay 6 months.
  6. by   Blue2011
    Quote from JRP1120, RN
    What kind of rehab facility is it you're in? I graduated in May and just started my first nursing position in rehab in a hospital setting. I worked my first shift the other day. I think it's going to be a great experience, however, I'm worried I won't get to practice some skills I was hoping to. Most patients come without IV drips going (but some still have IV access in-to which we have to remove once we know they won't need the IV anymore), so, no IV sticks and starts, running IV pumps for me. I'm kinda bummed about that. There are other things I won't get to do that I would get to do on a regular med-surge floor and I'm a little worried about that. I really want to work neonatal/L&D/Mother-Baby someday and now reading your post scares me! I had a few interviews for other positions, didn't get the ones I really wanted but finally was offered two positions in a new grad residency and chose rehab over nephrology, for a few reasons. I really love my unit, my preceptor, the residency, so far! I will be SO disappointed if after a few years in rehab, those other places won't consider my rehab acute experience (it is not long-term rehab but the pts stay an average of 14 to 21 days). We rehab brain injury, stroke and spinal cord injury patients mainly...I pray this experience counts for something! In the end, I had to take the position I felt would be best-now I'm hoping I didn't make the wrong choice?
    My rehab is general rehab. the acuity is pretty high on my floor. We get a mix of patients on my floor BI, Stroke, and Spinal.That was also my concern I'm going to be forgetting my skills. I dont use alot. I got to do one IV but missed (go figure) tons of tube feedings, dressing changes but they arent hard. I did trach care once. I hang IV antibiotics once in a blue moon and that's about it.
  7. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Blue2011
    This is alittle relieving. I just dont know if I can stay a year. Its hard to even just stay 6 months.
    I can totally understand and appreciate this. Staying put at a job is hard if you dislike it.

    However, look at it from the hiring manager's point of view. In this sluggish economic climate, they do not want to invest loads of time, money, and effort on hiring and training a newer nurse if they feel that (s)he might turn out to be a job-hopper. If you've been with your current employer for only a few months, how can you prove to the next facility that you will not quit if 'something better' were to come along?

    Since the nurse manager does not know you personally, they're basing their decisions on your work history, and quitting jobs after a few months is sometimes viewed as a huge red flag. This is just some food for thought.
  8. by   hopebewild
    you guys crack me up with the whole no iv experience think. i graduated may 2010, started my first nursing job in an icu this past january and haven't started a single iv yet! (we have people for that lol).

    you might not have the most acute patients but you are getting nursing experience everyday that you work. just remember that.
  9. by   tokidoki7
    If anyone has ever worked on a rehab unit and has successfully been able to transfer to med surg unit after at least 6 months, please share your experience.
  10. by   JRP1120, RN
    Quote from Blue2011
    My rehab is general rehab. the acuity is pretty high on my floor. We get a mix of patients on my floor BI, Stroke, and Spinal.That was also my concern I'm going to be forgetting my skills. I dont use alot. I got to do one IV but missed (go figure) tons of tube feedings, dressing changes but they arent hard. I did trach care once. I hang IV antibiotics once in a blue moon and that's about it.
    Sounds just like my unit!
  11. by   Dalla
    I graduated with ADN in Dec. 08 just as the economy sunk. The only job I could find as a new grad was in LTC on the rehab unit. Did it for 18 months. Unemployed now for 1 year. Still can't get hospital job. Rehab does not count as acute care in this area of WI. I became a nurse because I wanted L&D. I am kissing that goodbye. Looks like I will be stuck in nursing homes.
  12. by   Quickbeam
    I spent a career in rehab (20 years) and went to acute care for a year in 2010. It just wasn't that big a deal. You get better with IV starts and the pace. I prefer rehab but I had zero problems getting hired. I'm CRRN.

    Now, doing case management. Easier on the joints!
  13. by   tokidoki7
    I'm lucky if I get a patient with an IV or a PICC line. What makes me uncomfortable is that I was told after 6 months- when I'm off probation- I'll be pulled to Med Surg floors, which is what happens to the nurses on the rehab unit. When I asked would I receive additional training to prepare for Med Surg, I was told that I wouldn't. From waht I've heard from my colleagues, the rehab nurses who are pulled to med surg always get the worse assignments- but these same nurses have prior med surg experience. So I guess if that time comes for me to be pulled, I'll be a deer in the headlight.
  14. by   OBigdog26
    On med surg floors patients aren't as critical. I think the biggest issue would be time managment. Also, it depends on the acuity of the patients.

    I'm currently in ICU as a new grad nurse....but I'm hoping to get into rehab to just try something different.

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