101 Careers in Nursing

By Jeanne M. Novotny; Doris T. Lippman et al. | Go to book overview
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Office Nurse
1. Basic description—Office nurses perform routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices and clinics of family practice physicians, internal medicine, oncologists, cardiologists, surgeons, advanced practice nurses, and others running smoothly. The goal of the office nurse is to provide personalized and efficient service to the patients they serve. They often play an important role in uncovering problems or concerns of the patient and alert the physician to them. They perform telephone triage and provide patient education about many routine topics. They care for the patients in offices, clinics, surgical centers, and emergency medical centers. Depending on the type of facility, the office nurse serves patients with a variety of needs— diagnostic, medication, monitoring, wound treatment, maintenance, preventive medicine, surgery, and education. One of the most important responsibilities of an office nurse is telephone triage, integrating appropriate attention to biologic and psychosocial issues with high-quality medical care. Another vital role for office nurses is that of patient advocate. Duties vary from office to office, depending on location, size, and specialty. Administrative duties often include answering telephones, greeting patients, updating and filing patient medical records, filling out insurance forms, handling correspondence, scheduling appointments, arranging for hospital admission and laboratory services, and handling billing and bookkeeping.
2. Educational requirements—RN preparation; experience is often a major requirement, but there are classes available to enhance telephone triage skills.
3. Core competencies/skills needed:
Good communication skills
Knowledge of disease processes and normal development
Office management skills
History taking and physical assessment skills
Patient and family education
Knowledge of medications
Skill in routine nursing activities such as dressing changes, vital signs, and assessment
4. Compensation—Varies according to place of employment and geographic location.
5. Employment outlook—High
6. Related Web site and professional organization:
The American Association of Office Nurses (AAON): www.aaon.org/


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101 Careers in Nursing
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