Thursday, August 11, 2011

Welcome... AGAIN!

I say "Welcome... AGAIN", because I officially start my NEW JOB next week!! YAY!

I will be working as a Critical Care Nurse at The Potomac Hospital. It's actually in Woodbridge, VA. About a 25 minute drive when traffic is moving. In other words: day shift will be simple. All traffic is coming North (to DC) when I'll be going South. Night shift: NIGHTMARE! Going South when Everyone else is going South!?!

I really didn't think that one through when I agreed to be 100% night shift.... did I?

Well, in all honestly, we planted ourselves in a really great location for Todd. His daily commute is actually great... I think he saw more traffic on his evening commute from Charlotte to Salisbury. Soooo... I'm very grateful that his daily grind is much easier, drive wise, than it has been in years. My original intention was to work close to here: INOVA, Virginia Medical Center, GWU, Georgetown (eh?), or maybe even a doctors office. I wasn't ruling out much (only oncology, L&D, and huge Med-Surg floors where pt:RN ratios were absurd).

My heart was (and still is) really set on working at GWU (because my "re-found" friend, Jancie, works there AND because they've got a nursing school with a lot of options available in my interest - BONUS: they help pay two-thirds of it too!!) and VA Medical Center - because the community RAVES about it. I've asked SOOO many nurses, strangers, bus drivers, neighbors and grocery store clerks "Which hospital would you go to, as long as you had the choice, for your medical needs and WHY??!?".

Most of them had the same response: Babies at INOVA and everything else: VA Medical Center - "They're the best" and "their staff is so kind". To hear the PUBLIC say that about it's community hospital... when they're amongst some of the nations most innovative and advanced hospitals, means a lot.

I care about the perspective of my patients and their family members. It makes a huge difference to EVERYONE involved. If our patients are happy, it makes my job easier. If I'm happy, my employer's job is easier. Happy patients make a happy community too. Nursing and medicine in general are services provided to everyone whether they want it or not, but to leave a good taste in the mouths of consumers regardless the circumstance? Something good must be happening. ---- One day, I'd love to see how they're doing things.

Potomac Hospital of Woodbridge, VA

Until then, I will enjoy being back at the bedside, at the small community hospital. Here, I'll have lots of room to grow and learn, lots of flexibility with scheduling, no med students and time. My patients won't be nearly as sick as what I would see at FMC, but really - I don't care!!

I jumped lots of hoops and hurdles trying to get a position closer to here, but either they didn't have an opening in ICU; HR was moving so slow that I was fearful if I waited on them, Christmas would be here and I still would not have a job; or for some reason (unknown to me or anyone else actually - b/c no one can check my answers) I didn't "pass" this assessment they require all clinical staff (0-100 years of experience) to take called a nursing career battery (NCB). The NCB is supposed to be on critical thinking skills and some personality. Allegedly, the NCB has been approved for new grads alike, but even the Director of HR at GWU said she's really beginning to rethink that for new grads.... but she also said she's seen nurses with 20+ years under their belts not pass it either. Unfortunately, corporate policy states that you must "successfully complete" the NCB to be hired and you can't take it again for six months. So, after bumming out a few potential employers and co-workers, crying and carrying on a bit, I found a few more hospitals to look at and practically the next day, Gina from Potomac called me. (How's that for Gods timing?!)

Instantly I felt good about it. Gina and I hit it off immediately and she "talked" the ICU manager, Sharon, in to interviewing me that week. All things have moved smoothly from then on. Fingers are crossed I don't show up next week sounding and acting like an idiot because I've not been working for two months or at a bedside since May. [YIKES!]

Needless to say - I'm giddy about having a patient again. SOON! :)

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