Sunday, January 29, 2006

Opportunity is Knocking

There is so much going through my mind right now - so this will probably be a long entry as I try to sort it all out.

First off, I got a job offer for the mother/baby unit.  I still have a few questions to ask, but essentially, the job is mine if I want it.  And I do want it.  However, a part of me is afraid to leave my comfort zone - which I know is a totally natural feeling.  This is an incredible opportunity & I won't pass it up.  This hospital is one of the best in Florida & it's actually expanding as they will move into a brand new building in May.  Compared to the three hospitals I've been employed by...this is a "real" hospital.  Real in the fact that it is a huge hospital with many, many different units.  It is also a Level I Trauma Center as well as a teaching hospital.  So it is seems as though it is a true hospital as opposed to these small town hospitals that I'm used to.  Heck, the NICU at this hospital opening in May will have more beds than my entire hospital has right now.  So it definitely is the place to be to learn what you want about nursing.

I'm not crazy about the's about 30 minutes which is fine...but there can be a lot of traffic & who knows how long it would take to get to work if there's an accident on the way.  I'm also questioning being on the mother/baby unit.  What do I know about any of that?  Nothing really...which is ok.  I learn quickly.  It will just be an adjustment & hopefully the nursing staff is nicer than the last hospital I was at.  The pay is decent, the benefits are good & the differentials are excellent.  So I am pretty sure I will at least sign on part-time to start.  I have to make sure I like it before I commit to full-time.  If I do end up really liking it, then I'll also think about moving closer.  There would be no reason for me to remain in this town that I'm in now - I have no ties here. 

I plan to keep the job I currently have in PCU also.  I am attempting to go per diem, but you have to literally become a stalker in order to get the manager's attention.  She won't return emails or phone calls.  At the same time though, I don't mind staying at the commitment level I'm at right now.  I only have to work 2 days a month to remain on staff.  It allows me the flexibility to try other things out while still having something secure to fall back on.  Plus they are shortstaffed, so it's quite easy to pick up shifts if I want to.  In fact, they already called on Friday asking if I'd work tomorrow night.  The drawback is that they are no longer offering bonuses/incentives to pick up shifts.  They say the staff is getting too greedy.  What a joke.  They are the ones that need our help desperately or else they end up paying an agency nurse twice as much as what they would pay a staff nurse...but we're the greedy ones.  Whatever! 

On top of all that, I also got a call from a nursing agency I am interested in.  The only thing I don't like is the numerous amount of paperwork that they want copies of.  I am not a fan of paperwork!  The incentive though is that they pay nearly $500 per shift.  Who could pass that up?  The only drawback I see is having to go to hospitals you've never been to before & not knowing anyone & pretty much having to wing it - because there is no guarantee that anyone else will show you the ropes.  At the hospital I'm at now, I don't think anyone treats the agency nurses any differently.  We really do have a very friendly nursing staff...which makes it hard to leave my comfort zone. 

I worked 4 nights last week & I think I've been sleeping the majority of the last 40 hours that I've had off.  It was a decent week...I have no complaints regarding the patients.  The doctors are another story.  Two of them were quite rude to me over the phone.  All I was trying to do was review a patient's medications before sending her home.  They both refused to review the medications with me.  One of them yelled "Send her home on whatever she came in on."  Nice order, huh?  He said he had too many patients to remember what each of them took - even though I was willing to go over the medications listed, he refused.  I wish patients could see how some of these doctors behave.  Luckily, not all doctors are jerks.  I have met a few that know how to act like normal human beings.  Right now the staff psychologist is my favorite - if only they could be more like him. 

My hospital has been filled this the point of holding patients in the ER until a bed would open up on a floor.  They were holding 20 patients one night.  I don't know if it's the weather or what...just a lot of people have been in the ER.  It has been feeling more like a nursing home than a hospital lately.  I think it will be refreshing in the mother/baby unit - younger healthy patients & new life as opposed to taking care of sick elderly people in their 80's & 90's who take a zillion different medications.

So that is what is going through my mind this weekend. I'll let ya know what I decide.


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