Here I Go Again, and Unfortunately I’m Not Talking About The Whitesnake Song

As my blog implies I am a traveling nurse as most of my readers and followers already know. This travel assignment that I started Monday is at a facility that I’ve worked at before. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes maybe not so good? Somehow or another though I’ve only been gone from there for 13 weeks, actually 15 weeks but let’s not get technical. It’s been a short amount of time. That’s my point. God? I’m so ADD I think I’ve forgotten my point? Oh yeah, my point, my point is, damn how do I do this? Ok, so it’s not been that long since I worked there! And like I was saying, somehow or another I had to go through orientation, again. Now, it’s kind of a funny thing how travel companies work sometimes. My recruiter told me that the hospital wanted me to go through orientation and they were “requiring” that I did. But, they wouldn’t pay for me to do it. Tell me this makes any sense to you because it totally doesn’t make any sense to me. If you are going to require someone to go through orientation again, that just left there after working at your facility for a year, then you sure as hell should have to pay for it. That just would make too much sense though. So, my company is having to pay me to do orientation. They didn’t require me to do it but they are paying for it. Yeah, really.

I just made it through two days of being bored out of my fucking mind. I had to sit there and listen to shit I already knew and do things I’d already done for two days. This doesn’t bode well with me. I get bored very easily and thus have always had trouble in school. I have to have something to do! I stayed in trouble in school because most of the time I was bored out of my mind! And that was when I was learning something new. Can you imagine learning something I already knew? Not good. So, I got called down for eating beef jerky. Yes, I was eating beef jerky in class. But, I mean, damn, we are all adults here! The lady offered us water, coffee, and stuff so what’s going to damage a computer faster? Water or beef jerky? I think, water. I wasn’t hurting anyone. What’s the difference between chewing gum or chewing beef jerky? Not anything except you swallow the beef jerky. Anyway, this upset me and obviously she’s a PETA supporter who has some personal vendetta against beef jerky. Obviously. Then today she was such a bitch to one of the ladies in class that I was feeling quite stabby towards her by the end of the day. I have a soft spot for more, um, mature people and she was like riding this ladies ass over every fucking thing she did. We were doing computer training and she was just being so mean to this lady. Yes, it doesn’t bother me to eat cow but it does bother me for someone to be singled out and treated differently than everybody else just because of their age. Don’t mess with my old people because I get very defensive on their behalf, I’m just warning you. That and I hate rudeness and meanness. Go get laid or something lady but don’t be a bitch! Dang!

I had been through this orientation before. It wasn’t with the same person. It was actually pleasant. Guess it just goes to show you, it’s all about attitude. If you’re going to be bitchy then don’t even do that job. Nobody likes the first day at a new place. They’re scared enough already. You don’t need to scare them anymore. That and do you really want this to be someone’s first impression of your facility? I would think not but then, what the hell do I know? Obviously not to eat beef jerky in class, now. But what else do I know? Well, I’ll tell you what I know. I know how to treat my elders with respect. I know how to treat grown persons as adults. I know that someone who just left my facility 15 weeks ago probably doesn’t need to go through orientation again. I know eating beef jerky is not going to hurt a computer. I know that I’m a grown ass adult but still get called down in class because I’m bored as fuck and make sarcastic comments and still somehow at the age of 45, get myself in trouble in class? So, I know nothing much has changed for me since second grade. Funny, once a class clown, always a class clown. Even now. Leave it to me to disrupt other people’s learning. You’re welcome. I knew you were bored anyway.

Tonight I go in and work on the floor. Yes, orienting on the floor. Stupidity again. I know I shouldn’t complain because it’ll probably be a good night and maybe not so hard? But I know how I am. I know I’ll be upset with someone trying to show me things I already know. I know I’ll roll my eyes more than once. I know I’ll be the most sarcastic person on the planet. God help my preceptor is all I can say. But, I’ll get to work with my patients and I know that, that part of my job is the reason I do my job. I like doing the actual job of nursing. I love my patients. I am there for them. That’s why I became a nurse. All the politics, paperwork, classes, computer work, and filler. That is not why I became a nurse. I became a nurse to help people. I may have to get through the fluff of all these requirements to be able to do my job. This is why I can though. I want to just be a nurse. I want patients to take care of. Sometimes I’ve questioned why in the world did I want to do this job? I guess I’m deep down a true caretaker at heart. I guess I like to help people less fortunate than me. I guess I really do love people and truly want to help them. It’s why I became a nurse.

So, this troubled, ADHD, Dyslexic, non-conformist, beef jerky eating, elder protecting, nurse has successfully made it through another orientation, after two more nights on the floor and am now ready to take care of my patients. Though this little spill has been difficult for me, it’s all going to be worth it. I do love this facility and the people I work with there. It’s a pretty good place to work but the people make it bearable. I may not be your idea of a perfect nurse and there is no perfect facility or hospital but I can tell you this. You won’t find a more dedicated nurse and you won’t find a better hospital. At least I haven’t found one yet and I’ve been traveling now for 3 years. So, all in all I’m happy to be back and looking forward to seeing all my friends I left behind. And I’m available for class disruptions, anytime, just ask.



Oh, the Life of a Gypsy Nurse

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.