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Paleo Nurses/other healthcare professional: What kind of specialty do you work in?

Answered on March 25, 2013
Created November 09, 2012 at 12:15 AM

I am about to graduate nursing school and am trying to think about where I want to be, where I see myself in 5-10 years careerwise. I'm currently working as a nurse tech on an adult telemetry unit (cardiothoracic medical surgical) and have a love-hate relationship with working in a hospital. Love the teaching aspect, love understanding pathophysiology and knowing whats going on with my patients and why, love learning new skills, love seeing patients recover. At the same time, I get really frustrated with the fact that so many of the problems I am seeing in my patients are results of bad lifestyles, whether they knew it or not (due to conventional wisdom). I am going through my pediatric rotation and I am excited by the fact that many of these families are receiving their diagnoses for the first time, SO much opportunity to teach healthy habits! But at the same time, completely frustrating the lack of time given in the inpatient setting to teaching healthy eating habits. And not only that but every single kiddo I have worked with has a prescription for proton pump inhibitors as a prophylactic measure for...GERD? So frustrating!

Anyway where do all you Paleo healthcare professionals work? Are you satisfied with your jobs? Do you have masters/doctorate degrees and in what? I would love to hear everyone's thoughts!

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on December 07, 2012
at 01:15 PM

I would like to add to this thread. My Mother has been working home health for years. Before that she was in a hospital and hated it. She enjoys home health much more, and spends a good deal of quality time with her patients. She typically visits with them for weeks, and works with them to better take care of themselves. However... do note that after she gets home her job is not done. She spends hours doing computer logging, and making phones calls to tomorrows patients. She dislikes that part of her job. When you add the aforementioned, her work day amounts to around 10-14 hours.

73689d59af924127c99bab37ce42ac10

(109)

on November 09, 2012
at 10:55 PM

thank you for this!

73689d59af924127c99bab37ce42ac10

(109)

on November 09, 2012
at 06:26 AM

Yes! Home health sounds wonderful but it requires a couple years of experience first yes? Have you worked home health? Would love to hear any experience you've had.

73689d59af924127c99bab37ce42ac10

(109)

on November 09, 2012
at 03:16 AM

Thanks for this reply! I had an OR observation day and the teamwork was pretty impressive to watch.

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10 Answers

0
46d2d71df39b4a6336df6d8307b25d87

(278)

on March 25, 2013
at 04:10 AM

Medical lab tech here, although I always say that I would be a dietician if I had taken my elective nutrition course in my first year of university. I've been watching my diet since I was in high school, so I've picked up a lot of basic nutrition knowledge along the way, and although I understand that I'm a nerd and most people aren't absorbed by the topic of nutrition, the lack of general nutrition knowledge blows my mind. (Whaat, a chocolate bar ISN'T a healthy source of calcium?! But it says "milk" right here!) I'm very satisfied with my lab job, but also incredibly frustrated that our health care system is breaking down because we have crazy high levels of things like diabetes and morbidities associated with it. (I'm in Canada--love the free health care, hate the fact that it's easy to abuse. Just because you can roll into emergency in hyperglycemic shock doesn't mean you shouldn't at least try and control your diabetes.)

I, too, love the field of public health, and I'm thinking I'll be back in school for a masters in it (ideally with a focus in nutrition, and holistic nutrition at that). (Actually, it pains me that it has to be called "holistic" nutrition when you recommend eating more than two cups of vegetables daily and maybe not eating a loaf of bread every day.) I'd love to pursue an RD, but I don't think I can stomach any more undergrad university at this point. I'm hoping that my city's university will decide to pilot an RD-MPH program, but not holding my breath....

0
701e1c8fc3d22f2e43e8ed723f56cb9c

on March 25, 2013
at 03:29 AM

Paleo RN here, work in CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care) for non health pros.. Gives me a great opportunity to see the horrors of a lifetime of poor diet and lack of exercise. Put down those cookies, now. my .02!

0
C00b2aa7978b64c72b9951f51019ef87

on March 25, 2013
at 01:32 AM

I am currently a parish nurse. I work in health promotion while I'm finishing my BSN. Then I'll go back to pediatrics. I love public health! I teach cooking classes, do blood pressure clinics, teach meditation, and other fun stuff --I just don't get paid.

0
Dd61f42b211a69f5899fc1ae1d2460bf

(71)

on March 24, 2013
at 02:06 PM

I am a health coach for an insurance company. I love it. I worked many years in med surg, ICU, and with a hospitalist d/c planning.

0
62442eec80b7d248ccfa08f98f736748

on February 24, 2013
at 05:00 AM

i am a medical student going into neurosurgery and basically agree with annika. i mean it's probably most clear with surgery but in general, doctors see patients because they feel sick and want to feel better. you can complain about kids being on PPI's but think about how you'd solve the problem otherwise. a kid comes in with concerned parents...heartburn, night-time cough, difficulty sleeping...(by the way...a pediatric patient on PPIs? i don't think GERD is the first thing on the differential in a kid with heartburn...)

anyways, there isn't enough time in a 15-30 minute consult to effectively counsel patients on lifestyle choices, assess their current feelings about change, get a full idea of not only their dietary habits, but their life stresses, relationships...all these things that can influence whether they get heartburn or not. but you have 30 minutes at most to help them feel better. and it's just "symptomatic treatment" or not, PPI's in general do work and that's the beauty of evidence-based medicine. there's a reason why millions of PhD's make their living doing preclinical research to design pharmacologic therapy that is effective w/ minimal toxicity.

anyways my point is... that first of all, if you are going into nursing, my hats off to you. the MDs may have the authority to call the shots but i've seen enough to know that the nurses are the driving force and bridge the gap between the dreaded white coat and the patient. the attendings w/o dedicated nurse practitioners in their practice have shitty ass follow-up with their patients. but that being said, the other posters are right... it is a really difficult life but i would take pride in giving people relief from their symptoms. on the other hand, if u want to inspire change on a deeper level, ie. delve into the root causes of disease pathogenesis, behavioral issues, etc... then medical practice is the wrong field... go get a phd and do preclinical research or become a therapist so u have the time to see patients and follow them up regularly... just my two cents.

0
Cf92e17983971ec23c9db19041159bc6

on January 26, 2013
at 08:04 PM

I am an RN in the Recovery Room (PACU) and am currently in school for my Family Nurse Practitioner Masters Degree. I am looking forward to transitioning from an acute care setting to one focused on primary and preventative care. I am also looking forward to incorporating my Paleo/Primal beliefs about food and lifestyle into a more Functional/Integrative approach to Health.

0
851edf7b3d1edf4eac25edbadb2d5cc1

on January 04, 2013
at 02:44 PM

I'm a Clinical Social Worker in an outpatient mental health unit of a hospital and have my Master's degree in Social Work and my BA in Anthropology. I am a therapist for adults with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and stress-related disorders. My clinic is VERY conventional in their approach to mental health - everything is framed around "evidence based" garbage that I frankly don't subscribe to. So am I satisfied with my job? Absolutely not. I am trying to figure out what path to take next although it's not exactly the best employment climate right now where I am. I try to undermine the establishment a little bit when working with my clients individually but the reality is, the overwhelming majority of them come in wanting quick and easy solutions and/or pills (and I dopn't really blame them for this. Society has kind of set us all up to believe that this is how it works when it comes to our health) and are not willing to do the major lifestyle work, including changing their diets and reducing distractions/complications/stressors in their lives so it makes it challenging for me to work in this field.

0
629b9895e282d0ef15b465b064100f83

on November 09, 2012
at 07:55 AM

I'm a registered nurse and I have a master's degree in health care administration. My day job is working as a state surveyor to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations concerning quality of care. I absolutely love my job, although I no longer do hands-on patient care. I have worked in many areas of nursing though, including home health, which was my specialty prior to my current job. I loved home health because of the reasons mentioned above- you are able to spend one-on-one time with patients and really educate them on how to manage their disease process. It is also a very autonomous and flexible specialty, but I would recommend at least a year or two of inpatient nursing first. Working in the hospital has a lot of challenges and frustrations, but it is necessary to developing basic nursing skills. Good luck!

73689d59af924127c99bab37ce42ac10

(109)

on November 09, 2012
at 10:55 PM

thank you for this!

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on November 09, 2012
at 04:12 AM

You sound like you would love home health--plenty of teaching opportunity, a real chance to make a difference, and a degree of autonomy.

73689d59af924127c99bab37ce42ac10

(109)

on November 09, 2012
at 06:26 AM

Yes! Home health sounds wonderful but it requires a couple years of experience first yes? Have you worked home health? Would love to hear any experience you've had.

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on December 07, 2012
at 01:15 PM

I would like to add to this thread. My Mother has been working home health for years. Before that she was in a hospital and hated it. She enjoys home health much more, and spends a good deal of quality time with her patients. She typically visits with them for weeks, and works with them to better take care of themselves. However... do note that after she gets home her job is not done. She spends hours doing computer logging, and making phones calls to tomorrows patients. She dislikes that part of her job. When you add the aforementioned, her work day amounts to around 10-14 hours.

0
Bcb2f5436d11467e89123680c046b858

(1356)

on November 09, 2012
at 01:03 AM

I work in the OR. I started out on the med-surg floor with my ADN and worked there for 5 years before transferring to the OR 4 years ago, and have since gotten my BSN.

Med-surg is a difficult, punishing job. I work in a small community hospital, so our floor saw EVERYTHING. Many patients were admitted with exacerbations of chronic medical problems, so we saw them over and over again, and watched them deteriorate over the months and years. Very discouraging! I always preferred the post-op patients because they were generally healthy and they IMPROVED.

I love the OR - only one patient at a time, they are usually fairly healthy, and you are working much more as part of a team. Patient education is pretty minimal, though, aside from education about the procedure itself. No long-term health coaching here.

73689d59af924127c99bab37ce42ac10

(109)

on November 09, 2012
at 03:16 AM

Thanks for this reply! I had an OR observation day and the teamwork was pretty impressive to watch.

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