In 2011 I was working as an NICU nurse at St. Vincent and thought I would work there till I retired a little old great grandma. I was pregnant with my third baby and thought I had everything all lined up. Then my life took a different turn. Our baby died at 18 weeks gestation and I lost my damn mind. I couldn't get out of the fuzzy cloud I was living in so I decided to make some changes. I was pregnant again and I wanted to be distracted so I decided to take a job that was exactly opposite of what I was already doing. I took a job on the Resource Team at Community Hospital. I took the job with the promise that they would cross train me to work in the Emergency Room. Which they did. It was very challenging. The Resource department was chaos, and I was used to really clear and able managers. The ER was SOSOSOSO different than anything I had ever done. But pushing myself professionally had the results I wanted, I spent my pregnancy with Quinn so distracted by all the new learning that I hardly noticed I was pregnant.
I had my sweet little Quinny and my plan was for me to go back to St. Vincent. The money was too good and the job was growing on me. I was falling in love with taking care of grownups and babies. I was then trained to work postpartum and peds, in addition to ED and NICU. I was enjoying all the growth and new experiences. I was getting addicted to not being bored. I just kept feeling pulled to go back to gradschool and become a practitioner, and at that point I knew Family Practitioner was the fit for me. When my nursing peers were talking about selling lipstick, face lotion, and what ever bullshit product of the week, I was out working my ass off to get a master degree so I could live up to my potential of helping people.
One day when the pressures of four kids, renovating a house, working, and gradschool started to seem like too much I got on our hospital website and did some job searches. The most perfect job that could every occur in the word came across. A nurse practitioner that does women's care and addiction care. BOTH!!! Two things that I knew for sure I hoped to do when I got out of school. It was November and I didn't even graduate till May. The job required two years of experience, I had negative 6 months. I had no real women's health experience. I had some serious negatives in my corner. BUT - I was meant for this JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I stood up and walked right into the managers office and started the process of begging for the job.
Part of school was that our last semester we had to find a preceptor to spend a ton a time with to learn as much as possible. I did everything that I could to make sure I used that time to be part of the practice that I was hoping to join. I didn't lie and I didn't kiss ass, but did make sure that there were no secrets about how much I wanted that job. Lucky for me no one else was crazy enough to take it while I was trying to get it. When they interviewed me they said that they didn't know exactly what the job was going to be. They said I was going to have to be flexible and creative, I took that very seriously.
My work picture
The job started off with a bang. I needed to learn to be a women's health practitioner and figure out what an addiction practitioner was going to be able to do. I had others to train me to being a women's health NP, but no one else had done my job before and I was going to have to pave my own way. All I knew what to do was be me and try to do this job the very best that I could. I took it really seriously and was given all the resources that I needed to make it happen.
My family says this looks like an Azkaban mugshot
I had the HUGE blessing of being paired with the very talent LPN, Kathy. She takes such good care of me and she makes sure to cross any of the T's that I miss. I have never worked in an office before but it didn't take long to figure out that as a provider, you are totally screwed if you get paired with the wrong nurse to run you. Kathy and I are exactly the right match.
My time at my job is about 40% taking care of pregnant opioid addicts in some way and the rest taking care of regular OB/GYN patients. With that said, my patients take about 2-3X longer than a regular OB/GYN patient. They have some pretty huge needs sometimes and my job is to take care of those needs. Anything from housing, safety, and regular old mom worries.
I have had so many unexpected good things happen since I started this job. I use to hate meetings. I did everything besides fake a seizure to get out of them. Now I have grown to like them. I get pulled to lots of meetings and get brought in on lots of different things. For example, growing the program to other regions, presenting our successes to other hospitals, communicating with support programs throughout the city, etc. It's a bit never ending, but it is an amazing way to keep improving our program every since day.
Another unexpected bonus is that I got hired to come do a presentation on making emotional connections with opioid addicts at a nursing managers conference. I had friend recommend me and the company called me to work out all the details. Just because my life is on a roll right now the conference happens to be in Disney World. The most ideal place it could possibly be! The conference pays enough for me to sneak Josh and Quinn along with me. We didn't take the entire crew because last year the older kids missed school for Disney and their grades didn't recover well. Since Q is only in first grade he can miss a few days of school and recovery. We have a family trip planned in June 2019 so the rest of the crew will have to wait till then for some Disney magic.
My last bonus was that I get to work with my sister inlaw! She is an OB/GYN in the same clinic and we actually spend 2-3 days a week sitting about 4 feet apart. I love her so much that being so close together emotionally and literally is wonderful for me. (I think she would agree.)
My name on the door.
The part I truly love the very most about this job, is the care of the women in the program. I LOVE helping them. I love helping them find hope and solutions. I love building them up and getting them ready to parent. They try so very hard. These women want so desperately to be good mothers and I love giving them tools to make that happen. When they first come in and they are so sick, their souls are not really present, and they look rough. Then very quickly you see a major change. Their eyes start to light up and they start to shine. It makes me so proud of them. I love being their advocate to navigate recovery.
Teared up with my first personalized labcoat
I am so blessed to get to do this job and that I get the support that I need to be successful. I feel like this job, more than any other I have ever had, takes my strengths and utilizes them. I am surrounded by people that balance my weaknesses, such as other practitioners that have stronger clinical skills and more experience than me. Our office is full of MD's that are kind and supportive. Our support staff is the very greatest in the entire city. I have Kathy to keep me sane and on task. Considering that I didn't even have the minimum requirements to get past HR when I applied, I think this is working out pretty well.