Why this clinician prefers working in an ASC

April Aud, BSN, RN, the administrator of Black River Ambulatory Surgery Center in Poplar Bluff, Mo., has served as a registered nurse for 16 years — with experience in both the ASC and hospital settings.

"I have loved working in the ASC setting from day one," Ms. Aud said.

Becker's connected with Ms. Aud to find out why.

Question: What are the perks of working in an ASC? What are the downsides?  


1. Consistent schedules. I had small children when I moved from a hospital to an ASC, so having a "normal" schedule was very important for me. At ASCs, there are no nights, weekends, holidays, or on-calls. The days start early, but usually you are off at a decent time. 

2. Close-knit teams. The ASC I work in is small, so everyone has a close working relationship, and everyone has the same goal: to give our patients the best care and go home to our families. Hospitals have larger staff and it can be more difficult to connect with co-workers. 

3. More one-on-one care. You can provide more one on one care for your patients. The schedule is fast and furious sometimes, but providers have the ability to spend more time with each patient.


1. Lower reimbursements. ASCs are usually on the side of bad reimbursement from insurance companies so that makes for tight budgets. I am not saying that hospitals are not in the same boat, but they typically have a larger money pool to work with. Insurance companies are way behind in the world of ASCs. I only hope that one day soon they see the benefits of ASCs and reimburse accordingly.

2. More workdays. Working five days a week as compared to three 12 hour days. However, this can also be a benefit for some, for example, I do not mind this at all because that is what got me to have the same schedule as my family.  

3. Multiple responsibilities. One other potential downside I just thought of since we are currently doing inventory is the fact that most everyone wears more than one hat here. I am the administrator/manager here, but I am also a floor nurse as well as the infection control nurse. My certified registered central service technician is the materials manager, and my receptionist also helps with insurance verification and billing/coding. All of my circulators also work in the post-anesthesia care unit, and post-anesthesia care unit RNs crosstrain in the operating room. One of my other RNs helps with gastroenterology referral scheduling. Everyone is crosstrained to different departments.

When I hire anyone in, I always let them know that they will not be specifically assigned to one department. They will have a "home" department but can count on working in different areas. I have yet to come across someone who has a problem with that.

If anything, it makes you a more valuable asset to the ASC on top of getting additional experience in other areas. I think it would depend on the person whether that is an up or downside to working in the ASC. 

4. Lesser-known care setting. Many people, providers included, are not very familiar with how ASCs operate and they are not educated on the benefits of having their procedures done in an ASC setting. More and more complex procedures are being moved to the ASC setting and that is a positive thing for both patients and providers. 

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