Job Title: Registered Nurse
Type of Company: I work for a company which contracts with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to provide disease management via phone calls to members.
Education: BSN, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Previous Experience: I worked as a staff nurse at three different Virginia hospitals, I worked as an office nurse at Kaiser Permanente, and I worked in research at Quintiles and PPD.
Job Tasks: I call members who are in various disease management programs based on their personal health history. Examples of different programs are coronary artery disease, diabetes, and asthma. I call members at the preferred time they have previously indicated and ask them how they are doing with their health. I inquire about their medications and if they are taking them as directed by their doctor. I address standards of care for their condition: I may ask a diabetic, for example, if he is checking his blood sugar levels at home and how those levels have been lately. If the patient says "no," I try to find out why he hasn't (not being able to afford a blood glucose meter?) and how I can help.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is being able to help people and provide them with the information they need to take the best care of their health.
The worst part is sitting at a computer and being on the phone for 6-8 hours every day.
Job Tips: Consider doing volunteer work in a hospital as a candy striper or an aide to get a first-hand look at what it is like to work around nurses and patients. This will help you evaluate whether or not nursing might be a good career choice for you. Talk to nurses and see what their experience has been.
Additional Thoughts: Do not limit yourself in where you look for a job. Besides hospitals and doctor's offices there are more community health options for nurses. There are also possible jobs in research, with insurance companies, schools and factories. Some nurses do home visits in the community and others do consulting work for lawyers.
I would also suggest, if possible, to find an experienced mentor when you start your first job. An experience nurse can be a tremendous help in easing the transition from school to real life.
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