The Pros and Cons of Working in Private Practice and Hospitals

If you are interested in a career in the healthcare industry, there might come a time when you have to decide whether you would like to work for a large hospital or a smaller private practice. Whether you are a physician or a nurse, there are benefits and deterrents to both places.

Being a nurse in a large hospital can be both rewarding and incredibly stressful at the same time. With hectic schedules, sometimes working through the evening for days at a time, many nurses find it hard to be on their feet for that long. But with a much larger patient-to-provider ratio in a hospital than at a private clinic, nurses can sometimes earn extra money working overtime during their shifts or being on-call. They can also gain valuable experience by taking care of a wider range of illnesses and injuries. Being a nurse in a private clinic can provide people with a more flexible schedule and perhaps more holidays off. Also, as less patients visit private clinics than hospitals, nurses can focus on fewer patients at once and provide them with individualized attention. But because private practices are also businesses, nurses there have a great chance of having their shifts reduced or even cut should the business begin to slow and lose money.

Being a physician in these two places is much the same as being a nurse. At a hospital, a physician will see a greater number of patients and a much wider range of illnesses and injuries. But this could lead to doctors becoming "burned out" from so much extra work. At a private clinic, the physicians are often much more in control of their own schedules and how much they would like to work. Also, at a private clinic, physicians are in charge of running the practice as a business. Therefore, they are tasked with ordering supplies, hiring and firing employees and sometimes general maintenance, all things a hospital physician would not generally be responsible for.

A career in healthcare, whether in a private medical clinic or a large hospital, can be very rewarding. Just be aware of the pros and cons of both environments before you seek out employment after graduation. Perhaps even shadow physicians or nurses in both settings to better understand which would be right for you.

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