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transitioning from acute setting to ambulatory

Ambulatory   (162 Views 4 Comments)
by thomas76 thomas76 (Member)

3,611 Visitors; 52 Posts

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I have worked in a hospital environment for over 15 years. I recently got an offer to work at a family medicine center nearby. I am nervous and excited at the same time. Its 5 days a week, with no holidays and weekends as opposed to 12 hour shifts in the hospital. Iam wondering those who have made this transition are you happy with this change? And what's a typical day at this type of outpatient center? thanks for all your input. 

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TriciaJ has 35 years experience as a RN and works as a Retired.

1,103 Likes; 5 Followers; 30,770 Visitors; 2,770 Posts

It's still very busy and hectic, but most patients arrive on their own two feet and leave the same way.  There'll be a lot of variety and don't mothball your critical thinking skills just yet.

The schedule will put you back in sync with the rest of the world.  You won't have to wonder if it's your turn to have Christmas off this year.

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advicenurse1 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN.

1 Like; 26 Visitors; 4 Posts

As a nurse who worked bedside nursing for about 10 years, ambulatory nursing is definitely my niche. No call lights going off, no bedpans, no incontinence care, I don't have to worry if I'll get the pt who is on the call light all day and best of all...no weekends, nights or holidays! I don't have to worry if I'll get xmas or thanksgiving off this year because" we are closed"! Never thought I would ever say those words in nursing. It gets busy but not hospital busy. You'll love it and wonder why you didn't make the move sooner.

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1 Like; 6 Visitors; 4 Posts

I agree with the above posters for the most part. I left the ER because I was 26, had been dating my now-husband for a year and was working nights, weekends and holidays. I was missing too much in life and had missed holidays with him family for years so it was time. I love the flexibility of a salaried clinic position that you can leave early for an appointment or flight if needed, and you don’t have to swipe in and out at my clinic. That being said, we are always short staffed and constantly hiring new doctors (which means more patients) but hiring nurses at a much slower rate. The burnout rate is high, the turnover rate is high, and unlike the hospital, you know what you are coming back to the next day (and then add new stuff to that). Worst part of my job is insurance- I HATE having to spend so much time on hold and answer questions that were already part of the office notes sent in. Also, the work distribution is not equal at all but because the less busy nurses say they are “busy” when management asks, instead of being honest or trying to help someone else who is on the verge of tears from stress, nurses who work hard and fast are punished with more work because they get it done. 

There are definitely pros to this job, don’t get me wrong. But I miss the hands on part as most of the job is phone triaging or insurance stuff, and people are sometimes disappointed that the nurse is calling back instead of the doctor when they are seeing patients in clinic. Lastly, my family lives in a different state, so it’s great to have the actual holidays off, yes, for sure. But nursing does still stink in the sense that you can’t just take your PTO when you want to, it has to be approved by teammates and then requested from management. Would be amazing to travel home for several days with my whole family since they can all do it with their non-medicine jobs but I always am the last to get home and the first to leave. 

I dont mean to turn anyone away! Some people say they could never do any other kind of nursing, and it seems to be a great option for people with kids, I just don’t have them yet. Just being honest so you can compare and weigh all options. Good luck!

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