To be honest, when I first applied for the position of Medical Staff Auditor, I had no idea what I was signing up for except for the fact that I had to be an RN (which I was)…and it dealt with the non–clinical aspect of the nursing field (which is what I wanted since before starting nursing school). Many people wonder why one would become a nurse if he or she wasn’t interested in patient care. For me, it is not that I don’t enjoy the patient contact, in fact I still work PRN in the ICU, but because I thoroughly enjoy studying a chart and making sure guidelines that are in place to provide top quality patient care are being followed. To me, this may not be the "hands on" patient care that most think of when they think of an RN, but it is an indirect way to help improve patient care.
Bethel College prepared me for this field mainly by providing me with the basic nursing knowledge needed to perform this job adequately. For example, I have to be knowledgeable about the various classes of anti–hypertensives to determine if the proper drugs have been ordered for Core Measure patients. I also have to educate fellow nurses, nursing students and even sometimes doctors on the various aspects of Core Measures…keeping them updated on changes and reminding them about things they may have missed…Bethel prepared me to deal with these sort of situations in the Nursing Management Rotation by teaching me the proper way to provide constructive criticism, the right way to approach and deal with conflict, and how to do it in an uplifting and positive way.
I find this job very rewarding for several reasons. While I may not be working directly with patients, I know that ultimately I’m working behind the scenes to make sure that our hospital provides the best patient care possible. The checks that I do ensure that we are following regulations that help to keep our hospital accredited. I also love getting to know the nurses. It is exciting when they come up to me and show me a Core Measure that they completed, or tell me how they found a patient that didn’t have the proper documentation and how they fixed the issue before I even had a chance to see it. This shows me that the training that the nurses are getting in this area is proving a success.
When I was asked to participate in this, I said yes, mainly because I think that it is important to educate nursing students that there is a lot more to nursing than just patient care! Everyone thinks of nursing as patient care…and that’s simply not true! I think so many nursing students get discouraged because they sign up thinking that nursing is one thing, discover its something different and assume they wasted $40,000 on a degree they won’t use…never considering just how many different types of jobs nurses actually do have!