Tuesday, September 01, 2009

desk jobs + unemployment + dvr = i'm soft, y'all

Yes, so my first full day of hospital work kicked my ass.

Obscure back and leg muscles I didn't know I had are already whining, and I've barely passed the 13-hour mark on the start of my day. Seriously, I probably sat down for a total of an hour (including lunch, during which my trainer, A, and I went for a walk outside).

I didn't have much of an idea of what I'd be doing, save for the fact that I'd shadow A and that a lot of people there think she's irreplaceable (she's switching to part-time so she can go back to school). A happens to have been my P.S. II (high school freshman science) lab partner. So we both knew the other wasn't a dummy, but not much else. However we had similar upbringings (she's Indian and Filipina) and as soon as she made sure I wasn't one of the freaks who've never seen Labryinth, we got along great.

Here's some stuff I learned today, which A says she still does*, even after nine years in the biz:

1) I don't have much clinical experience, as I've been a Manager of Reports all these years, not a licensed medical anything. So I really need an anatomy/physiology refresher and take an excavation trip into the recesses of my brain where I chucked all that medical terminology I learned at my old hospital job at the Breast Center, which was almost a decade ago. But you all can rest assured that everything I write will be spelled correctly. (Nurses don't have a dictionary handy, nor do they really have time for that nonsense.)

2) Things were moving and shaking so fast that I abandoned my tall skinny reporter's notebook somewhere during hour Two. God knows who walked off with the pen, anyway. I think I'm just going to observe for a week and then contemplate writing anything down.

3) I stopped counting the number of pairs of surgical gloves (for my own protection whenever I dealt with a patient) I put on and took off today somewhere around 38. That was before lunch. Every time you take them off you're supposed to wash your hands. Are you guys aware that you're should wash your hands with soap for 15 to 20 seconds? Have you ever timed yourselves? IT IS LONGER THAN YOU THINK. And speeding through the A-B-C song constitutes cheating.

4) I used to bitch about how taxing my old desk jobs were, being shackled to a desk for six hours at a time with knots in my back and aches in my head. It's an entirely different round-robin tourney when your body has to work nearly as hard as your brain and they both have to work TOGETHER. Plus, with a desk job you can at least check twitter.

5) Oh and those reports we slaved over day and night all the time? Nobody was going to maybe even die if we made the wrong call or were late or forgot something. Why the hell did everyone get so effing bent out of shape about that stuff? Oh, the ulcers I got started on back then...

Lastly, let me say that I have ABSOFRIGGINGLOUTELY NO IDEA how my mother, at her I-should-be-a-grandmother-by-now age, manages to put in 16 hours a day on four hours of sleep. I was on my feet for eight hours and practically collapsed upon entering the house. I didn't exactly want to make dinner, but felt like a jerk for even thinking about sticking my mom with it after such a day, which she faces more often than she should. For cheeseburgers' sake, woman, have I thanked you today?

As if on cue, as I typed that last bit, my mother called from her office to tell me to go to bed. It has become clear that A knows her stuff and I want to learn from the best, so I requested to work whenever she works--which is the 5 a.m to 1:30 p.m. shift. So guess who's setting her alarm for 3:30 right after she irons her scrubs?

I promise to catch up on the blogs this weekend when I'm back in the city with broadband access. Dialup refuses to acknowledge my Google Reader.

*Today we learned about trismus, after the obvious clarification that it wasn't a Christmas-related disease.


SupaCoo said...

OMG this sounds like real WORK!!! I'll appreciate my desk job more today for you.

BTW, the word verification word of the day is: glyinist. It sounds like a medical term to me. If it's not, it should be.

Lia said...

Congrats on the new job! I have great respect for hospital workers - and nurses have it really hard, yeah. Good luck with getting used to being on your feet all day! And the 5 am thing? It doesn't really get easier. Sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like quite a challenge. Good luck with all those gloves...

Becky said...

ok, first off, congratulations on the worky work. second, your mom should be a grandmother by now, for cheeseburger's sake. and third, the whole point of scrubs is the no-ironing-required. doi.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I just realised this, reading your posts that I missed while I wasn't blogging...when you do something, you really throw yourself into it with gusto. It's the best way to enjoy what you do, isn't it?

Hope your new job goes well.

Sphincter said...

You can still come to librarian world! Nobody ever dies from overdue books...
Don't forget to take care of you while you're working!