Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A New Job

I've just begun orientation for a position as an RN in the pediatric intensive care unit for an inner city hospital. It's funny; I still feel a strange sense of loyalty for my old workplace. I suppose it's natural for outstanding facilities to leave a lasting impression. It doesn't matter, though. The real loyalty will be for my patients, no matter what roof is over my head. Truly, either hospital makes a great roof.
Hospital orientations are usually set up quite similarly. First, you go through a period of general hospital orientation. This part of orientation is gruelingly boring. At one point, I figured that my head bobbing up and down trying to fight my lids was probably drawing more attention away from the speaker than if I just rested my head on my hand and let my lids do their thing. I'm a few bucks richer for having gotten through it alive.
We've moved through hospital orientation and general nursing orientation. We're on to departmental orientation: pediatrics. I haven't gotten to taste the buffet I came for yet, but I'm a step closer to the nitty gritty. Today, I met with the peds nurse educator and all of the nurses that are starting new positions within the peds department. Interesting things were said today, things about magnet status, about professionalism, collegiality with doctors and other healthcare staff, education. This kind of language is making me feel comfortable again, like I really am in the right place. Each nurse in the room told how we became nurses. Only one of ten desired to be a nurse from childhood. The rest of us happened upon it, you could say, and didn't really understand what nursing was about until we found ourselves to be one. "Nurses are the only ones who really know what nurses do."
In a few days, I'll start my specialty orientation: PICU. I'll be in orientation a total of 16 weeks. When I'm through, the goal is to be competent to care for two stable patients on my own.
Nowadays, I'm feeling patient with myself. I'm not pretending to know anything, not even to myself. It's all new, and there's a certain period of time where it's okay for everything to be new. It's okay to be able to be picked out as the newbie. I'm the one wandering around the building with my mouth open looking to the ceiling for answers. I figure it enriches everybody to have a newbie around. I'll take one for the team. Inner city life, commuting life, where to park, which place not to stop in the cafeteria, whose faces and names to remember...not to mention policies and protocols, IV infusions, and expanding my knowledge of peds anatomy and pathology. It's a new job. It's the name of the game.

"There are three kinds of people in this world: those who watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what happened." -lady in orientation.

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