All in a Day’s Work: Sue Nicholson, RN, a nurse at WestHealth Urgent Care in Plymouth, talk about her job.
Q: What's a typical workday like for you?
A: I help manage patient flow with the staff and providers, who are a physician and two physician assistants. We have express care and urgent care, with patients who need less laboratory work going through express care. I triage patients to see if they need to be seen immediately, splint, dress wounds, do injections, draw blood, do EKGs and IVs and send patients for radiologic scans. I also run some of the simpler tests such as the rapid strep test, complete blood count, blood glucose and pregnancy tests. I do a lot of patient education, too.
Q: How does your role fit into the bigger health care picture?
A: I am considered a first step or a first stop. Sometimes patients can't get in to see their regular doctors or are from out of town. Other patients who are unsure where to go come here first and sometimes we transfer them to the hospital.
Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?
A: I interact with patients, doctors, physician assistants, medical assistants, licensed practical nurses, clerical staff, my supervisor, laboratory and radiologic staff, pharmacy and the patient's primary clinic.
Q: Why did you become an urgent care nurse?
A: I had small children at the time and it worked well with my schedule. And I stayed in it for many years because I liked it.
Q: What do you like about your work?
A: You never really know what kind of patients you're going to get. I can use all of my skills. It's a good learning experience that doctors and physician assistants are ready to teach you. You're always learning something and everybody works well as a team.