Saturday, April 11, 2009

The world is your oyster

When newFNP decided to become an NP, it was really because she wanted to take care of patients in a community health setting.


So when that gig burned her out, she looked around to see what else was out there.  Her research position just happened to be waiting for her.  Serendipity.

So now newFNP alternates between mellow, organized, important work days and hectic, clusterfucked, important work days.  It's pretty cool.

And that is a pretty cool part of being a health care professional.  

We have options.

Both positions have their positive aspects and their negative aspects.  

At the community clinic, newFNP practices independently.  She is an authority on certain aspects of care.  She makes connections with patients and nurtures those connection as best she can.  Yet she is expected to see 30 patients daily.  Her patients wait hours to see her.  And did she mention already the utter clusterfuck in regards to organization (or a lack thereof)?

At the research clinic, newFNP is really, truly treated well by her supervisor.  She has more than adequate time with each of the research participants.  She is learning about conducting research in an academic environment in which doing things correctly is the respected and expected modus operandi.  She is learning a lot about drug addiction and is appreciating the importance of discovering new treatments for it as she meets with and learns about her patients and their lives.  And there is a crazy delicious burrito stand mere footsteps away.  Yet she makes no independent decisions, which, for newFNP is kind of a drag.  That's the only real downside.  Perhaps that will come in time.

As soon to be NP grads are hitting the job market, newFNP would offer this speck of advice:  take the tough job first.  Work in an environment that challenges you to become a better, more skilled provider.  Learn.  Sweat.  Make mistakes.  And, after a few years, look around and see what is out there.


Kerry said...

I just wanted to say thanks for your blog - I find it entertaining, informative and both encouraging/discouraging. I am an FNP student and am almost finished with the first of three years of study, and it is really nice to read about the reality of what I have to look forward to in the future. I am, of course, encouraged by your successes and what you have learned and discouraged by the inadequate healthcare systems that we are expected to function in (and scared, too, of how I will be able to ever know enough to take good care of the patients I will see! My brain feels overloaded already!) Well, thanks again for your humor, insight and fabulous grammar - you brighten my day!

Kerry RN, FNP-student

Anonymous said...

I agree--after working in a crazy community health clinic for 2 years, I feel like I can handle any other job I might take in the future. Just FYI, I think I have avoided burnout because our clinic caps the number of NP appointments at 16 per day. For people looking for jobs, ask about the max # of patients you will be expected to see a day--including overbooks, doublebooks and urgent walk-ins!

The dish said...

I also wanted to thank you for your blog. It brightens my day to read about someone else with similar experiences; love the glasses, Mirena and all the patients too! I'm sure we'd be friends if we ever met! I'm interested in how you found your research position. Will you drop a few lines in your next update about how to search for research?