Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pick Fickle

So I've been interviewing, like I said. Did I say that? Well, I have been. There are these two facilities. Facility #1: orthopedic position. Patients walk in, get surgery; they walk out. Their biggest complaint is surgical pain. The nurse manager talks a lot about patient satisfaction. They're competing with all the huge, metropolitan hospitals in the area. They make it a priority to please their patients, so they'll pick their facility. Everyone's job depends on it. It's the nurse manager's biggest concern, really. Like a restaurant. Interviewed three weeks ago. Still haven't gotten back to me, because they are interviewing everyone, then picking from the crop. Everyone who gets an interview is qualified. Otherwise, they wouldn't make it that far in the process. There truly aren't that many positions open nowadays - even hospitals are crimping as much as they can. So she has a lot of applicants. There is a sheet of paper that some of the employees have to fill out on each applicant. Each response has a set score. The scores are tallied, and whoever has the best score wins the job. But all the logistics about this job make it something worth considering. It's close to my family, so I could live with them. Save a lot of money. Get to be part of their lives every day. My job would be relatively easy, truly. Ortho. Yes, I am a new grad. But seriously, people, ortho? From hematology/oncology/BMT to...ortho? It's just so different. I'd have time and energy to spend on things other than my job.

Job #2 is in one of those big, metropolitan facilities, the kind I'm used to. Everything is done, because it's been researched and proven to be the best. Everything is set up so well. It's on a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU, people say PEEK you, or PQ, really). I interviewed on Friday, got a verbal offer on Tuesday. This nurse knows what she wants. She's not afraid to make a decision. Because of her diverse patient population, her biggest concern is hiring competent nurses. The children are very acute. She has to hire strong personalities, because otherwise, her nurses won't be able to correct one another and get over it. They won't be able to handle the stresses of caring for a small life, of inner-city abuse, of congenital freak anomalies, of death.

I've been listening to this audio book on decision-making. It's something at which I am absolutely terrible, especially lately. Let me tell you how bad it gets. In general, my honest priority in decision-making is the most changeable option. For example, if one option allows me to change my mind, and the other does not, guess which one I'm picking. Recently, I've discovered: that's so stupid! Seriously, I pick the option most adaptable to change above, say, the best option? Another way I make decisions is to ask others to make them for me. Another way is to wait until I no longer have a decision, because all of the other options have ceased to exist (aka: procrastination). Well, this guy on this audio book is telling me that I'm a cop-out and a coward for it. And he's dead on. I make decisions by avoiding them? He says that I'm forfeiting my God-given opportunity to make my own decisions in life.

The nurse manager for Job #1 is doing the same thing. When she told me her methods, interviewing everyone who is qualified before offering the positions, it annoyed me so much. "Just make a good decision. You're competent enough for that. You're prolonging your own agony. You have the authority to pick someone for a reason." Should I really have to tell her that? Oh, it just hits too close to home. My sister said, "Katie, you have to trust yourself enough to know that the decision you make is going to be okay." Should she really have to tell me that? I am qualified to make decisions in a crunch that affect whether or not someone lives. I am trained to recognize life-threatening scenarios and do the right thing in response to them. But I can't decide how to cook the fish, what side to have, how to prepare the side... I can't decide so much that I ask someone else to do it! Seriously, kate, you can't handle fish?!

Big things, too, though. I think it all goes back to deciding to go away for college, and regretting that decision for such and such a reason. But I think I can lay that all to rest now. I made the right decision for me. To stay would have been like venous insufficiency. Blood is supposed to go, and so am I. There were difficult things. I would have saved more money. But I wouldn't be where I am now. I'm in a good place. Enough challenges to keep me interested, enough easy joys to keep me remembering that life is good. And even choosing to work at MJM instead of Bethesda, another decision I battled afterward. What it the right one? Bottom line: I made a good decision. They both would have been good. It's a fine decision that I made. It's just fine.

Anyway, for me, this decision all comes down to purpose. No, I won't save as much money. No, my life won't be as easy. Yes, there are definite sacrifices, the biggest, being further from my family. And I feel it. There will be a little grieving, starting right now. It's okay to admit that. But of the two jobs, where do I belong? I think I belong with those kids. It's never been me to pick the pillow over the hammer, and I won't start doing it now. I'm competent to make this decision. My whole life has been leading me toward this decision. And pretty soon, this decision will be a factor in leading me somewhere else in life.

1 comment:

J. Holo said...

My sister told me once that with God on our side, even we can't screw up our lives. That's probably been one of the single most comforting pieces of advise I've ever gotten from anyone. Something I forget a lot.

Best of luck in decision making!

And congratulations on the boyfriend!!! may the rug not be pulled out from underneath you!