Sometimes you find yourself in the right place at the right time. Or so it seems in the moment…
After working pro re nata for approximately 5 months, I was ready for something more permanent. Lucky for me, the sister hospitals I was typically assigned to were hiring!
I went through the usual hiring process of applying, interviewing, and accepting the position. I felt very fortunate to be hired as a “DAY” nurse, which meant ALL my shifts would be during the day! Amazing!
As a TN/NAFTA hire, finalizing the paperwork would include a quick trip to the mother land (Canada), and a stop at the border services for a stamp in my passport (more about this process in previous posts). Although this is a necessary and often stress provoking task, once you have all the paperwork together it’s not too big of a deal and usually turns out fine.
Knowing from previous experiences with this employer, orientation was a requirement, even though I had already completed it previously, it was still expected to be completed again. Also, our facility would be changing the computer software, so extensive training would be required to be prepared for the change-over. I will be writing about the EMR/EHR’s in the near future, so staying tuned for that!
Staying on at a familiar hospital/unit was a relief. The “get to know” stage was shortish, and friends were already being established. Although I had a choice of where I could work, there were a few factors to consider with both hospitals offering pros & cons at each. The northern hospital, offered a night shift (con), was a new hospital (pro & con), in an upscale neighborhood (?), and had lots of new younger nurses (pro & con). Whereas the southern hospital offered, day shift (pro), older & stand-alone department (pro & con), a more established staff (pro), and a more impoverished population (?). Guess it really depends on what you are looking for in your department that will guide you in your choices. The day shift and established nursing staff was what I desired at the time, I needed structure & foundation.
Now, it wouldn’t be me if I painted this picture as all rosy and lovely, LOL! In the end this job did turn out to be the best I had while working in the USA, it’s where I met some amazing people, learned many new things, and cried when I had to leave, but there were still a few struggles along the way! What I was about to learn about myself was what burnout felt like and I guess being in this perceived “safe” environment, I started to speak out in a negative way about many things I thought were not “fair” or “right” within the department. I was only a few months into my employment when I was pulled in an office and some hard truths were spoken. No, I didn’t want to be THAT person! No, I didn’t realize I was BEING that way. Yes, I wanted to BE a leader! I don’t KNOW why I am acting that way. In the moment, I was incredibly embarrassed, I had NEVER had this issue before!
Months later, while reflecting back on the situation, I recognized the symptoms of negativity, frustration, anger, and resentment as symptoms of emotional exhaustion or “burnout”…
(and not the cool kind)
Turning a negative into a positive, I found a friend through all this. SJ was my rock, my reminder, my smile when things got tough. She kept me in check and guided me with humour, love, and role modeling. She will always be my friend, maybe not a “talk every day” person BUT a “you’re in my heart” person!
Are you a travel nurse who found your “people”? Leave a comment with your story!