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Feb
20

Speechless (So To Speak)

When Nurse Teeny promises, Nurse Teeny delivers…

My Crazy-Making Week: Part I

Caveat: If I miss any details, forgive my trespasses. Come to think of it, you won’t really know if I miss anything, so don’t sweat it.

Where to begin… How about with the hell that was my Thursday?

The dean of my program e-mailed me earlier this week with the name of a oncology nurse (“J”) who had graduated from my program a couple years ago and now works at a major medical center in town. She is about to move out-of-state, and the dean was hoping that even if the departure didn’t create an opening for me, I’d at least be able to pick this nurse’s brain about working in oncology. Sweet.

Even better, this nurse was amenable to letting me call her, pepper her with questions for an hour and set a date to shadow her on Thursday afternoon (which happened to be her last day of work). She also offered to introduce me to her manager!

I was thrilled. Even if it didn’t get me a job, I’d at least have personally met an oncology nurse manager and gotten my name out there. Going the usual online route has been getting me nowhere. Not to mention this particular hospital is part of a larger hospital system with very close ties to my school of nursing.

Oh, Nurse Teeny, you jest. Nothing could possibly go that smoothly in this job market.

Red Flag… On the morning of my big day, I got an e-mail from J letting me know that the manager was fine with me being on the floor and was willing to meet with me, but wanted to “make sure” I was aware ahead of time that there were absolutely no job openings. A little deflating but I tried to shake it off and go in with confidence.

Then I arrived and J was super duper busy. I’d done two clinical rotations in that hospital, so I was familiar with the layout and flow of the floor. But she wasn’t exactly sure what she could and couldn’t tell me and she didn’t seem comfortable with letting me interact with patients. Understandable, since I wasn’t there in any official capacity. But it meant I did a lot of standing around and staring at paintings on the wall while she dispensed meds, counseled family members, charted, etc. At one point she came out of a room, stared at me and actually admitted that she had forgotten I was there. Peachy. Nursing students are masters of invisibility, but come on people!

Then came time to go meet the manager (“L”). I stood behind J as she stuck her head in the door of L’s office, apologizing profusely for interrupting L’s obviously busy afternoon (it was clear from an expression or gesture I could not see that L was quite annoyed). J reminded her who I was and said I just wanted to introduce myself and give her a copy of my resume.

L’s response. “Just have her give it you.”

Seriously.

I was standing RIGHT THERE. It took longer for her to complain about the fact that I was there than it would have taken for her to shake my hand, apologize for being too busy to meet with me but thank me for dropping off my resume (and then throw it in recycling once I left).

Seriously.

I was absolutely dumbfounded. And near tears, by this point. That was so wrong on so many levels. I still get tense and worked up when I think about it or talk about it.

Seriously.

But just wait, folks. I’m not finished. Haven’t even gotten to the good stuff…

*BACKGROUND: The hospital system in question has a close relationship with my university, as I mentioned. Every year a small group of BSN students gets a substantial scholarship (a full ride, I think) for their education and a guaranteed RN job after graduating within the hospital system – I’ll just call them the “Chosen Ones” because I’m feeling particularly bitter ;). In return, they have to commit to work for the hospital for a certain number of years and they don’t have much say over where they are placed. This isn’t an unusual set-up – a lot of hospital-nursing program partnerships exist throughout the country. However, as second-degree students we are not eligible for this scholarship.*

Before I left J informed me that she felt bad because it was probably a waste of my time, since the only new grads the hospital system was hiring right now were “Chosen Ones.” This was news to me. I knew that jobs were hard to come by as new grads, but J was telling me that the current policy was no new grads except those special scholarship holders. The rest of us were up a creek without a paddle.

So in other words, I had applied to 116 jobs. 40 of them had been within this hospital system. If what J told me was true, then almost half my applications were a complete waste of time. And my school failed to inform us of this juicy little tidbit.

I am still trying to investigate how true it actually is. Since it’s hearsay, I’m taking it with a grain of salt and trying not to let my already-negative emotions cause me to say something I’ll regret to someone official and burn bridges in the process. I still have two years left at this place and a Master’s degree to earn – I would like not to be the prodigal grad student. But you can bet I shot off a quite curious e-mail to my dean the minute I got home. I’m still trying to decipher the response.

So there’s Thursday.

I do have good news though. I wore my new navy Timberland PRO Renovas to try them out at the hospital…and fell madly in love! The wider version was exactly what I needed for my feet. It was like I was wearing the world’s comfiest slippers with the world’s strongest support. Amazing. Their Professional line could run circles around Danskos, in my opinion. I’ll be going with Timberlands for my nursing footwear from now on. I already told them if I had a pair in every color, I’d be set for life. 😉 ‘Turns out Jennifer Vitti, who was the lucky winner of my Timberland Milestone Giveaway a few weeks ago, also just posted her own review of the Renovas. She’s a fan too! Check it out on her blog here!

To be continued…

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