What It's like Working at a Start-up as a Nurse
Leaving the Bedside
Leaving the bedside to pursue the startup world. As if it wasn’t obvious already, there are stark contrasts between working in an office and on a an acute care unit of a major medical center. Having left the bedside and clinical care, enough time has passed that we’ve adjusted to our new "office." Turns out a nurse out of the hospital isn’t a fish out of water.
In addition to being both interesting and entertaining, this experience has left us wondering if elements of one can be integrated into the other. And as time progresses, we’ve also begun to realize how similar the circumstances and environments can actually be. Below are 10 things I learned as a nurse transitioning from bedside to startup.
Nursing to Startup: 10 Enlightenments
- It’s okay, and normal, to socialize. Having the time to socialize doesn’t earn you another admission or mean that you’re neglecting call lights.
- Yes, coffee is free. And it’s definitely possible to drink too much. Especially when realizing that..
- …#nurselife is definitely #fitlife… 5,000 steps vs. 50 (re: above, caffeine is metabolized far differently when you’re seated for hours at a time vs. seconds at a time).
- The technology we use in the clinical setting is outdated, basic, and certainly doesn’t make us technologically savvy. Being able to use Epic, a Voalte phone, a bar code administration scanner, and occasionally playing IT girl when attempting to fix a TV or tablet doesn’t get you very far outside of the hospital.
- 10AM is indeed still early (according to some). Though I guess if you’re a night shifter, this is not new news.
- A typical shift on a Medical-Surgical unit, despite how crazy and unpredictable, is actually quite structured. There is a method to the madness. Without timed medications, vital signs, and a hard start and stop to your day, it can be unproductive and seemingly endless.
- Being able to hand off your work phone for an hour a day is a dream. When your cell phone becomes your work phone, it’s a different story.
- Nurses are incredible human beings and have an instant connection no matter where they are, what their clinical specialty is, what they’re wearing, or where they’re from. Nurses don’t have to be working side by side to ‘get’ each other.
- Being on the move for 12+ hours a day makes you ravenous. We’ve finally discovered how people ‘forget’ to eat.
- Hours are not created equally. 12 hours can indeed feel far longer than 15 hours depending on your environment and what you need to get done.
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