As most of you already know, I am a Travel Nurse. I had actually been at the same facility for a year before this coming assignment. I had signed over and over with them because I really liked it there and they really liked me, good combination. Of course, you can’t stay at the same facility more than a year without losing your travel benefits and most of us have to have those benefits to pay for housing, gas, and whatever else. So, unfortunately I had to either take 30 days off, without pay, or get another assignment for at least 30 days. Well, no place wants to give you a 4 week assignment. That was the dilemma. I ended up taking an assignment that was closer to home this time and actually in my own state. It’s still far away enough to be considered travel but close enough to drive to on working days and back home. I’m happy to get to sleep in my own bed but I already miss the prior assignment and the people I worked with there.
Being a traveler is interesting in that you get to see all the things hospitals do differently. Some are good and some, not so much. I got my curriculum from the new facility on Friday. I’m always amazed at the things that different places deem important. One of the things I was supposed to do was contact my supervisor before Monday. Well, this was Friday. I did call and left a voicemail but she never called me back. I guess, I did my part? I hope they feel the same way. Another thing I read was I was supposed to be ready to give a urine sample for a drug test. I don’t see where this will be a problem since I’m driving over an hour to get there drinking coffee or tea. The issue I have with this and a couple of other things is this. I just had a drug test done 2 weeks ago. Also, I’m supposed to have a ppd gold test done. For those of you who don’t know what that is, as I didn’t either, it’s a blood drawn tuberculosis test. Where most tuberculosis test are the skin test. That’s where they instill medicine under your skin and see if it reacts. I’ve had so many of these as a travel nurse I can’t even count. This facility however does not do those. My problem with this is, I just had one drawn. I thought I had to have it drawn to be able to take the job. However, I was informed that I would be having another drawn by them. Uh? Why? This is the sheer madness of being a travel nurse. Your company has you do things and then the facility redoes them. I’m thinking this is a complete waste of time and money. Besides the fact that it is a waste of my urine and blood! Craziness.
I got a little off subject there. But I was talking about different hospitals and their different ways of doing things. Another thing I read on the curriculum paper said, and I quote, “We are a perfume free facility.” Okay? So, are you a “pro body odor” facility? I think this is totally ridiculous. I like to smell good. I know how to, not overdo it. I mean, I didn’t fall off the nursing truck yesterday, but I’m not coming to work smelling like dirty underarms or God forbid, dirty ass. Please people, some of us sweat. Even if I put perfume on it’s going to be mostly sweated off by the first start of the shift. Anyway, I’m thinking they did say “perfume free” not “cologne free” so maybe that’s doable? I can’t afford “perfume” anyways,[Insert devious laugh here].
Another thing is I have to fill out six pages of medical history. Six pages? I don’t even think I have six pages worth of medical history? These are the things that I have to do that I don’t get paid for. This is to be done when I show up at Employee Health on Monday morning. Wow. Is all I can say to that.
Travel Nursing is not for the faint of heart. It’s like starting a new job every 13 weeks. It is now Saturday and my stomach feels sick already. As I’ve stated before, in a previous post, I’m a closet introvert. The idea of having to speak in front of a room full of people I don’t know, petrifies me. But I know the drill by now and I know that we will have to do this, all of us scared new people. “We’re going to go around the room and just tell your name, where you’re from and what department you’ll be working in.” That will be the inevitable speech. Then they may make it worse by asking us to tell something personal about ourselves, like if we are married or have kids or pets and the like. Ugh! I hate this crap. Number one, nobody cares! None of us really care! We are already scared shitless and don’t care if Betty Sue is married and has fifteen grandkids. I don’t care and I’m sure she doesn’t care if I have four dogs. Really.
The other part of starting a new assignment that I hate is, the getting lost part. I finally found my way around the old facility and now I get to stand in the middle of everything with that, I have no clue as to where I am, look of confusion on my face. But, I am working in the south and I’m from the south and in spite of what people think about our culture, we are quite friendly people and someone will see my look of confusion and try to help me. However, also knowing that, being from the south, our directions can be rather vague, “Yep. You just go a little ways down yonder and take a rite at the yeller elevater and look fer the…” Okay, so that is not how we actually talk, well, most of us don’t talk like that. That was my best fake ‘Steel Magnolias’ accent. But we can be bad direction givers.
And so, I’m mentally preparing for the dreaded first day. I know that Sunday night I won’t be able to sleep and I know that Monday is upon me. I will try to push the thought out of my mind, but as I know, unsuccessfully. I know that I will leave my house ridiculously early on Monday. I can’t stand to be late, now that I’m old. I had abosolutely no problem being late in high school. I will, hopefully arrive and get my bearings before I have to be at Employee Health. I will do my test and have the dreadful name tag picture taken. It all just comes with the territory of being a Gypsy Nurse.