Taking a Nursing Job Outside Your Community

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by a guest RN, if you’d like to write for our blog contact us.

I don’t work in my community.  I drive 25 miles to the northern end of another county to work as a cardiac nurse.  I didn’t think about the location affecting my interaction with patients and other health care staff when I took the position.  I didn’t know it could.

When I first began the job, I struggled a bit with spelling of the doctor’s names and learning their specialties.  After a year I still have to ask ‘what type of doctor are they?’  Patients refer to their doctors and ask if I’ve ever heard of them, or if I think they are a good doctor.  Sometimes they ask me for recommendations of doctors.  I smile and say I’m from a different county and am unsure of the best doctors in the area.  I have come to know a few of them well enough to know whether or not I trust their judgment, but in any professional setting I would not recommend one over another.

I sometimes feel left out of staffing activities outside of work as given the distance it is impractical for me to drive and I have a life firmly entrenched in my own community with my family.  And that’s another challenge in working outside of your community.  You don’t know the families that have been part of the community for years.  You don’t know the streets and areas of the town as well as your co-workers, so when someone says “I just live over on XXYY street, you know where that is,” I must shyly admit that I don’t.  Sometimes I feel a little removed from my patients when this happens.

There are a few advantages, however, to working outside your community that I have found negate all the negatives.  My personal life tends to remain private.  I do not have anyone driving past my house or stopping in unannounced (I have a family to do that).  I don’t run into anyone at work at the grocery store when I look like hell, and I’m not expected to take “call’ when I can’t there in under 30 minutes.

The greatest thing about living outside of the community where I work is that I do not have to constantly drive past work and be reminded of it, when I am not there and I can fully enjoy my days off!

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