This Might Take A Little Adjustment

February 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm (Day to Day, Employed Posts!, Nurse News) (, , )

Training for the job and actually doing the job are definitely two different things. And then doing it at night takes it to a whole other level I didn’t even know about. I guess I have been lucky? Or unlucky? But I have only worked the day shift, and never weekends, pretty much my whole life. In an office. Without any inherent danger or threat to life, for me or the people I work with. Now I am in a job where I actually get to help people. But consequently, I can also hurt them, so I need to be clear and focused.

Now I have this second shift thing going that takes me from the chaos of the day people to the relative calm of the night people. We are the transition group. Everybody’s here! Tick tock. Everybody’s gone! Tick tock. Time to go outside and drive home! The best part is that I don’t have to get up early the next day because I start in the afternoon!! Oh wait. Yes I do. I have kids. Things to be thankful for today:  Not a school day. No bowling this morning.

I was wise to start on the weekend because I am definitely going to need some adjustment time. I was planning on working until 11. Get home by midnight or so. And still be able to get up at 6 with the kids. And I probably can do that. After I get used to being butt-ass tired when I walk out of work. And because I will be able to go right back to bed after they leave. Crikey! My feets hurt!! My eyes hurt! I was hungry and thirsty and had to pee. And truthfully, I didn’t really do anything last night. It took me about 5 hours or so, to get more comfortable and not feel so “new”. I imagine today will be better. The time will go faster. My contribution will be greater. But hopefully my feet and eyes won’t hurt as bad because I am wearing my old comfy shoes instead of the ridiculous new ones I bought (they’re good but not ready yet for my tender, inexperienced feet) and I won’t have been up since 6 am.

I only have one uniform right now and it’s in the wash process so here’s  two funny stories and then I am getting the hell off this computer. One. The weather is trying to F with me. I get out of work to a fairly clear crisp night, with my contacts rolling all over the place, but adjusting to drive mode, when it starts to drizzle. Then sprinkle, then rain, then downpour, then snow and rain, and snow and rain and snow and rain, and all the while, I’m doing 60/65 on the expressway and jack holes are still trying to pass me. My contacts get sticky and dry the later it gets and the more my eyes have to move around in my head. For a while it was really hard to see. It’s like my worst nightmare, being tired and my eyes hurt and my feet hurt and having to drive at night in some kind of sleet storm. But then as I got closer to home, the weather decided rain was good enough and stayed with that. I guess that’s not really funny, in a laughing way, but I thought it was kind of cruel and fitting at the same time. No job to full time job. Starting right now. You get to work days and days in a row and drive home in crappy dark cold weather because you’re going to need the experience anyway so why wait?

The other funny story, although in reflection may not be as funny to you as it is to me, is really more observational and field related. As a student nurse, I noticed at our clinical sites that all the nurses in the break rooms would be wolfing down their lunch or breakfast or whatever food they had. Like, really shoveling it in. Talking fast and cramming food into their mouths while fiddling with their phones or reading something. Or just sitting there. Staring into space and eating fast without saying anything. I remember one particular woman who was stabbing stabbing stabbing at a salad with her fork, holding the Tupperware bowl she brought it in right under her chin, and talking, reading and checking messages all at the same time. I was very impressed but also a little grossed out.  It happened in the lunchrooms and the cafeterias, younger or older. Same hunched, feral look about them or glassy eyed distance. I remember thinking to myself, “Damn. I don’t know why people eat like that. Geez, take a minute so you don’t choke. It cannot be that serious.” Well. HA. HA. HA. HA. Jokes on me. I know now.

As you may or may not know, I have a problem eating when I am nervous, and yesterday was no exception. I had coffee and some toast (zero sodium) in the morning, and a fruit snack pack on the drive over because I didn’t want to go into low sugar shock walking around. Usually nerves will keep me upright and alert and that was working until about 6 pm. I left my water in my bag because I wasn’t sure about drinking it on the floor. I brought way to much crap and had no where to put it. So it all got locked into a med room that I don’t have keys for yet. I forgot my breath mints in the bag. I had to pee. And I was starving by 7. We were supposed to go to lunch then, but it got delayed until 8. I still had to pee. I was thirsty and dehydrating. When my preceptor said we could go to lunch and handed me the keys to the med room, I practically sprinted to the door and to the break room. I grabbed all my crap, walked fast to the stairs, pushed into the bathroom, peed AND drank water from my bottle like a dying person, on the toilet. Sorry, but it’s true. Washed my hands, went to a table, pulled out everything to get to the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I made on a whim right before I left (thank god) and shoved as much of it into my mouth as I could without choking. If it weren’t for the extra large bread I made it on, that kind of stuck out of the top of the sandwich bag when I opened it, I might have eaten the plastic it was wrapped in. I alternated chugging water and cramming sammy. That sounds like a rock band. Chugging Water and The Crammin’ Sammy’s. HA. The other girl that was sitting there barely even looked at me. She was staring into space spooning soup into her mouth very still and quiet, but constant and steady. In fact the only thing moving was her arm and mouth. It is amazing. The mystery is solved. Very little time and very big hunger and thirst. While still trying to go to the bathroom and take care of anything personal you need to do, in 30 minutes or less. These are my people now. I am one of them. You all have a great weekend and watch that Super Bowl for me and eat lots of crap and drink lots of alcohol. But be safe. I get to work! Later.

1 Comment

  1. Lorraine said,

    Wow! I am tired thinking about your time at work!

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