Noc Noc

I mentioned yesterday that my interview experiences yesterday were quite pleasant. So I thought I’d recap in order to instill a little hope for new nurses in the midst of this process. Today I’ll review my hospital interview, tomorrow my afternoon encounter(s) at a community health clinic.

The morning began on a positive note – the assistant clinical manager on the medical/oncology unit where I interviewed was SO nice! For most of the conversation, I felt like I was interviewing her rather than the other way around. She was friendly and warm and very reassuring about my biggest fear: revamping my rusty clinical skills. No worries, apparently. They’d start me slow with a preceptor and build my skills back up. They’d also send me to whatever classes I thought would be helpful at a nearby university hospital (including chemo certification). Score.

One of the biggest perks of working for this particular hospital is its affiliation with a local nursing school, where you are entitled to have 90% (!!!!) of your tuition for post-master’s work paid by your employer once you’ve worked there for a year. Not to mention the loan reimbursement program that is also available.

Plus it’s a Magnet hospital and the people who work there genuinely seemed happy, even when they were grumbling good-naturedly.

They had me shadow someone on day shift for an hour and then invited me back to meet the night shift crew last night. What was supposed to be an hour turned into three hours and before I knew it, it was midnight and I been running ragged with the nurse I’d been assigned to. And loving (almost) every minute of it.

I had my moments of wondering whether I really wanted to return to the grind. Whether my cushy 32-hour a week community health nursing job where I set my own schedule was a better deal. Whether the pure exhaustion after only three hours of shadowing signalled that I was a crazy person to want to come back. But the fact is, if I want to improve my clinical and assessment skills, there is no better place for me to be. And I won’t be there forever.

The only question is whether I am confident in my ability to return to night shift. After my experiences two years ago, I am a little hesitant. But the money is SO much better and they are in desperate need of people to work nights. I have wondered repeatedly whether my migraine attacks had multiple factors contributing to them beyond just screwed up sleep patterns. Not to mention that I was doing residency classes by day and working by night, plus in grad school. And the migraines I have had since then have been trigged more by emotional stress than by exhaustion. Could it be that I hated my job so much that I became physically unable to do it anymore?

There was a palpable difference in my own attitude last night, as I was chasing down pillows and blankets and helping clean up patients and getting a crash course in their medical records system. I felt thankful to be there. I didn’t begrudge the physicality or the necessity of the less-romantic tasks of nursing. I noticed this in the hospital with my grandmother too. All of the optimism and gratitude that I experienced as a nursing student came flooding back and I was happy to be a nurse again.

Thank God for that.

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