to say the least.
I left my old ER job for the "greener grass" of an Ambulatory Surgery department back in October. After some run around getting into the department, which should have been my first warning sign, I took the only position they had open- a part time position. It was a 3-day a week job, Mondays-Fridays, no weekends, no holidays. I was in at 6am or 7am and out by 3:30 or 4 the latest. Pretty awesome schedule, I could pick the kids up from school every day, have the weekends off with them, go to basketball practices, games, etc. It was the dream hours. I wanted to get my foot in the door so when a full time position opened up, I would be first in line. The schedule was less than ideal for a part timer, however. I never knew which days I would work until a day or two before. Since I only worked 3 days a week, I only worked on the busiest days, and in a outpatient surgical department, that all depends on the surgeries on the schedule. Also, as a part timer, I was always the first to go home when it was slow, or not come in at all.
A full time position opened up pretty quickly, but nothing was mentioned to me regarding it. A person had gotten fired, so I was expecting a position to open, and I kept my eyes opened on the website for a job posting and withing a few days, there it was. So, I asked about it and if I would be getting the position, and once again I was given the run around.
Just about that time, I had received a call from an ER, a very, very big ER, level I Trauma Center ER, asking me to come in for an interview. Initially, I had applied for a per diem position to help supplement my days off in the Ambulatory department. I went in the next day, met with the nurse manager, and after we were done, she checked to see if anyone was available to do a peer interview with me, which they were. So then, I had a peer interview, and then took a tour. I spent a total of 3 hours there, the longest I have ever spent for an interview process. I had a good feeling, but I've had those before, and I was still unsure of what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted out of my new department, and out of my hospital. My overall experience there had been less than stellar, and I knew it was time to move on, but I didn't want to jump into the first thing that popped up. Plus, the only full time positions they had available was on night shift. Gulp. I had never worked full nights before. At my old ER, I started working the 2pm-2am shift, then did 1pm-1am, then moved to day shift 7am-7pm. Well, the very next day, the hospital called me with an offer that literally made me cry- partially with happiness, partially with confusion and frustration. The offer was too good to turn down, I'd have been an idiot to do so. But I didn't want to give up my awesome hours and no weekends, even though I knew it just wasn't going to work. I wasn't meshing with the people there, either, so even if I got full time, I felt like a fish out of water. I missed my old ER team something fierce.
I took the weekend to think about it (as the offer came on a Friday) and accepted the offer on Monday morning. The pay was good, I could put my name down on a waiting list for days that should move pretty quickly, and I would get tons of experience that I may never get anywhere else.
I started my new (mis)adventure on January 16th. I did a bunch of hospital orientation, nursing orientation and computer orientation classes. Then, last week I started in the ER, with my first day being in triage. I've been on the floor with someone 2 other days as well. It is quite a change from how things were at my old place. We have 64 beds and probably about half that many in hallway beds while my old hospital had 23 with only room for about 7 or 8 hallway patients. I left the ER the other day and we had 90 something patients roomed. My old ER usually saw that many in one day. I had never seen so many people waiting in the waiting room before, or for so long, and especially at my old hospital.
At any rate, I thought with the start of a new year and a new job, maybe now would be a good time to restart my blog and share my journey as a ER nurse navigating her way through life in the one of the busiest ERs around. At night.
I'm going to need A LOT of coffee......
So, welcome back!