Friday, June 6, 2014

::grad school::

  There is just a great deal going down around the Funny Farm right now.  Big news here - and if your mind jumped to another human baby SHAME ON YOU!!!  No more human babies.  Seriously - not feeling any pull to have another one.  Quinn and his mission of mass destruction finishes off the family perfectly, thank you very much.  No - the big news is I have started back to grad school.

Cause I don't have enough on my plate.

Cause I am a lunatic.

Cause I can't hold still.

Cause I am trying to make adult choices when all I want to do is really sleep in every day.
            maybe not every day.  Just twice a week.

   It all came to this - I love/hate this job of mine.  About three years ago I left my poor paying but well loved job at St Vincent hospital and jumped into the deep end of the unknown.  I joined the resourse team at a totally different network of hospitals.  I float between three different hospitals on three different corners of the city.  I am managed by a team of people that have not actually touched a patient in years and have never worked with babies in their entire carrier.  They know zero about what I do.  They call me with bizarre requests and odd statements.  I love the patients.  I love the adventure of going to different units all the time and learning new things.  I recently came off orientation to post partum and I am loving my interaction with all these little new parents.  In all honestly I also benefit from the large pay raise that being on resource has brought to my life.  I wish that was a non factor but my pay increased by about 50% with the new job, which is hard to ignore.  Some people get very annoyed about the floating from unit to unit all the time and not having a real "home".  I don't mind that for a second.  I kind of like having one big giant network wide family.  I often get called at 5am and told - you got canceled from North but South ED is going to use you.  I have to make sure I have the kids dropped off and am at south by 7am.  It seems like two hours would be plenty of time to do that, but it is often very stressful.  The negative parts are that my hours are not guaranteed.  I am the first one to get canceled if they don't have enough patients on the unit that day.  I get no benefits, so if I don't work I don't get paid.  I am expected to be very flexible in order to make my living.  If I get canceled on Monday, Tuesday,  and Wednesday I am expected to reorganize myself to work Friday, Saturday, Sunday.  I do not technically HAVE to do that, but if I would like to get paid I better.  There is also no further chance for growth in this job.  I may never get a pay raise.  I already do a ridiculous amount of units - I can't take on another one.  (I do NICU, special care nursery, post partum, and emergency room at north - east - and south.  That ends up being NINE total units.)  I have come to the point in the last six months that I realized that I can't do resource team forever.  It's too unpredictable in the income and it's too half ass in the management.  I need a way out, but it's not as simple as just hiring on somewhere else.  I can't make what I am making anywhere else.

     I have considered grad school for at least the last five years.  I never found the perfect fit.  Finally after watching how practitioners are hired and having some time to work with adults I decided that Family Nurse Practitioner was the right fit for me.  Below is my grad school application essay which is a good summary of how I came to this decision and why -

My husband, children and I live on a farm in Lebanon.  When my children were small we started going to a local practice that was run by an elderly doctor and a few of his partners.  He hired a vibrant Nurse Practitioner, named Jan Carnagie, and encouraged us to start seeing her.  Jan was a hero to me from the start.  I was considering going to nursing school at that time and she was very encouraging.  Jan stayed with that practice for several years and took wonderful care of my husband, my children and me.   Eventually Jan moved on to other things, but she left a long term impression on me about providing top notch care coupled with good patient education.
    Eventually I did get my RN degree and got my license.  I had to travel down my own winding path to figure out which specialty was right for me.   As I have gone through my nursing career I have looked several times at going back to school, but I never felt like I had found the perfect fit.  My first nursing job as a Newborn Intensive Care nurse taught me a great deal about infant and women’s health, but I knew that Neonatal Nurse Practitioner was too narrow for me in the long term.   After having my own children I thought that Pediatrics as a specialty might be the correct route for me, but I really enjoyed my limited interactions with adult patients and I felt that Pediatrics would potentially be limiting as well.  By that point in my career I decided that I wanted to take a risk and really branch out far from my comfort zone in the NICU, I wanted to work in an Emergency Room that saw all ages and kinds of patients.
    I left St. Vincent and took a job with the Community Hospital Resource Team that utilized my training as a NICU nurse but also cross trained me to Emergency medicine. It was a good fit and that first year of training was a whirlwind of learning and growth. I have really enjoyed my interactions with the variety of people that I have worked with in the Emergency Department.  My experiences on the float team with all different ages have helped me to decide that I think Family practice in my best fit.
   As a Family Nurse Practitioner I hope to work with underserved populations, rural or urban, in a primary care model.  I want to be on the front line of teaching people how to better take care of themselves and to be better advocates for their dependents.   I would love to eventually find a job with in my rural community but my time at Community East has taught me that I enjoy helping urban populations as well.  In my career I have found that I get the most personal satisfaction from helping people that need me the most.   It is very important to me to get a job where I can help high risk groups of patients. 

     Now comes the hard part - actually doing it.  I have just started the summer prereq course and it is giving me a beat down.  Just navigating the various systems and requirements to take this online class is like watching my grandmother try to use an iPhone.  I don't get it.  I have been out of school 8 years and things have changed fast.  You log on to this website that no one told me about then click on button on the third page which actually sends you the class site which them makes you pay $95 dollars to buy a digital book (why would a digital book be so expensive??) which you don't actually need then you to homework that would don't understand but you get three chances to do it right then it only counts for 30% of your grade anyway and the midterm and final make up the rest of your grade but no pressure because if you screw this up you only have to keep doing your dead end job forever and you might loose your mind and the kids are super supportive of this whole new studying thing but Josh is trying like crazy to help and you know you shouldn't be so stressed about it but you can't bring it back because your fuse is super short and you are wondering if you have finally gone too far and actually taken on more than you can chew.

~deep breathing

Thanks - 

     I needed to get that out.  I always struggle with transitions.  I get spinning out of control and can't see that some life situations take time let life adjust around.  Having a new baby takes time to let the rest of your life fall in around it.  School right now feels as invasive in my life as having another baby would be.  It's ruling over my brain even when I am not working on it.  I need to keep trucking and let myself fall into a new normal.  Let life fall into place as it always does.  Remain disciplined about my weight (down 25lbs!) and remain disciplined about forcing myself to not let the stressors affect my relationships with Josh and the shorties.  Prioritize and calm down.

~more deep breathing

Did I mention county fair is in less than a month?  Crap.  I have some list making to do and calmness to force myself into.

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