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Career Story: Nurse Practitioner In A Transitional Care Unit

Nurse Practitioner In A Transitional Care Unit

Job Title: Nurse Practitioner

Type of Company: I work in a hospital for the hospitalist service in a small community hospital.

Education: MSN, UMass-Boston

Previous Experience: I worked for twelve years as a staff nurse before going back to school to become a nurse practitioner.

Job Tasks: I work as a nurse practitioner in a transitional care unit, a place where people recover after surgery. In this role, I assess and evaluate patients medically. I can order tests and medications. I have prescription-writing privileges as well.

A sample day is coming in to work at 8AM and leaving at 1PM. During that time I review patients' current medical status. New patients have to be admitted. Patients going home have to be discharged. Anyone who is sick has to be cared for as well. I have to work collaboratively with the staff nurses, therapists, other health care providers, family as well as the patient.

One part of my job that's really interesting is evaluating and interpreting lab results. If a patient has an abnormal result I have to figure out what is causing it and decide what action to take to correct it. This job has a lot of responsibility. When a patient becomes ill it is up to me to figure out why and how to make them better quickly. I have to collaborate with the physician I am working under. I learn something new every day, sometime many things.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the same as the worst part of my job: the responsibility. The responsibility I have to make important, even life-saving, decisions is great and can be very rewarding. The possibility that I might make a wrong decision is equally real and scary.

Job Tips:
1.) When studying to be a nurse practitioner, I would recommend working in health care in order to get a picture of how the system works.

2.) Go to the school that offers you the strongest training opportunities.

3.) Do not go into this career thinking you will make a lot money. Do it because you want to help people.

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