Disclaimer: This is more of an opinion piece.
Yes, you read that right… 30 patients presented to the urgent care yesterday starting at 4:30pm and until 6:15pm… Absolute insanity and totally unsustainable for 1 provider and 3 office staff to manage. We usually close at 8:00pm but I told the front office folks to close the door at 6:30pm. Enough was enough.
First, it is unsafe from a medical standpoint. You cannot provide adequate care to 30 patients over 2 hours… It is impossible. Plus, they would have kept piling in…
Second, burn out… If any of you have seen 30 patients in 2-3 hours, you know how taxing it is on the mind and soul.
Third, my men’s health practices and medical cannabis clinic are generating enough income to where I have what I like to call “F.U.” money. If you don’t know what that means, then look it up.
Forth, out of those 30 patients, 2 were actually sick… The rest were runny noses wanting COVID tests, have had foot pain for 2 years, or a family of 5 feeling “foggy headed” and needed school/work notes basically. Nothing was actually urgent and did not need to be seen then and there. It could have waited until the next day.
Many of you are thinking “I thought you left the urgent care?” and you are right, I did. But I stayed on PRN because I was able to negotiate a very lucrative production model AND maintain my benefits by committing to 4 shifts a month. This is what leveraging your worth can do for you, my friends. Remember, you are worth FAR MORE than what the established healthcare system wants you to believe. Each one of you are worth $100 an hour, at a minimum! Stop taking low ball salaries!
Regardless, the system is unsustainable for many nurse practitioners. How can these pencil pushers and greedy physician supervisors expect us to see unrealistic patient loads while paying us pennies on the dollar? It is absurd and I have a feeling that many of my nurse practitioner sisters and brothers are suffering every day at their “job.” And what do you receive in return? $55 an hour and a pat on the back.
“Thanks for your compassion!”
“You are a front-line hero!”
“We couldn’t have done it without you!”
But what about us? What about our mental health? What about our physical health? What about our souls? Take your compliment and give it to someone else, we are tired and expect to be compensated for what we sacrifice to take care of our patients and community. The established healthcare community sees us as work horses in many areas, not as free thinking and talented providers. It really is a shame.
Yesterday really shined a light on how the system is broken and solidified my commitment and choice to pursuing entrepreneurship full time. I make the rules at my practice and have created a model to where I am:
Helping my patients.
Working and living a BALANCED life.
Not leaving work exhausted.
Being compensated for what I am worth based off what I PRODUCE.
In a nutshell, it is great! I leave my men’s health practice ENERGIZED and FULFILLED… not burnt out and exhausted.
Even though I am PRN and have negotiated an awesome package, I am not sure how long I can sustain this with flu season, cough and cold season ramping up, and COVID numbers increasing in my area. It will only get worse due to the demands placed on us, and for the health of my mind, body, and family, I don’t know how much longer I can do it.
I know I am not the only one. I hear it day in and day out from other nurse practitioners on the Facebook Group, through messages/emails, and from chatting with my colleagues in person. Many of us are tired…
One aspect that truly concerns me the most is market saturation with everything I have mentioned. Why? Because you are a disposable asset and there is another nurse practitioner THIRSTY to take your place. What does this do? It dilutes our profession, salaries, and worth. It makes the system unsustainable…
The system is unsustainable for many of us, and I fear it will get worse in many areas and specialties. If you are in a specialty or a clinic that is sustainable and you are compensated what you are worth, then hold onto that, as it is truly special. For the rest of us, the best option is to venture out on your own and start a side hustle. It doesn’t even need to be healthcare related, it can be anything from consulting/coaching to real estate investing or landscape lighting… The possibilities are endless.
What a part-time business can do for you is to allow you to build that “F.U.” income. This is an income that allows you to say “I AM DONE! I AM OUT!” when placed in difficult and unsustainable professional positions that tax your wellbeing. When you obtain this “F.U.” income, your freedom increases exponentially as you can pick and choose your battles, not let the battle pick you. The ONLY way to obtain this is by starting your own business (unless you want to work in an unsustainable position for 20 years and invest as much as you can into other income producing assets).
Anyways, I just wanted to share with my nurse practitioner sisters and brothers what it is like having the power in your position vs. not. I was able to close the doors early because I am the one with leverage, not the other way around. This is possible by following a system that increases your freedom and allows you to have options. This system is simple:
Live below your means and avoid unnecessary debt.
Build income sources outside of your “job.”
Essentially, following the model I have created for my colleagues.
If you are in an unsustainable position, then begin making the positive changes in your life to build a balanced life. I was able to, and it only took 2 years of hard work. I have done it, and so have countless other nurse practitioners. Do not operate from a state of fear, instead operate from a state of abundance and begin taking ACTION in your life.
Thank you Justin. You are a breath of fresh air and wisdom and encouragement all wrapped up in one I too have said my current pace at my UC is not sustainable long term. You helped me start my Mobile Urgent Care LLC business so I’ve been able to scale back to Part Time and do my business on the side. Mostly Covid Care pts right now but I’m grateful that I can provide old fashioned care in the comfort of home !
That is so awesome! Good for you 🙂 I love to hear about NPs getting out there and shaping their own success.
Amen brother. Growing my side hustle as I work FT for the govt. Can’t wait to tell them to screw themselves.
Yep! You gotta get to that “F.U.” income! It is SO AMAZING once you do so. It is the most freeing action you can take in your life.
1000%! So happy for you that you shut and locked those doors.. congrats to all working towards that “FU money”!!
It felt great to shut the doors… If a patient came afterwards with a true urgent need, they could have went to the ER or to another urgent care in town, but I suspect the runny nose could have waited until today.
FU income, lol! What a perfect description! Trying to get there…
Haha, that is exactly what it is! You will get there, just keep pushing forward and build as many income streams as you can!
Just want to say how much I appreciate all the great tips and strategies you have laid out in your materials and on-line. Thanks for empowering NPs to reach unimaginable goals…..wishing all my fellow NPs God-Speed in their endeavors!
An absolute pleasure to help my nurse practitioner sisters and brothers. Thank you for the comment, I truly appreciate it 🙂
How do you feel about NPs opening up urgent cares?
Sure, just costs a lot to get started and you have to deal with insurance