October 21, 2010

Dr. Pepper - 55-Cents!

Yesterday I started my new job. Yes, the third nursing job I've had since we moved to Denver the first of August.

My friend, Floyd, called to congratulate or tease me - I'm not sure which, but he probably doesn't either. lol

"What is this? Your third job"?, he asked without much of a prelude as is typical for him.

"Okay, Kaiser doesn't count. I was only there for three horrible days", I answered when I could only recount one job.

Fact is, I've discovered with my 40-year nursing resume, I can have a choice of many, many, nursing positions here in Denver. When I posted my resume on CareerBuilders, I had at least five offers - firm offers - without even an interview! So why not find one that has the organization, leadership, and professional opportunities I deserve?

I told Floyd (and later Tania who also got on the phone for a delightful 'family' chat), that I knew the last job was going to be a challenge when I went in knowing there was no nursing leadership. But, I thought I would be able to make a difference.

After about a month, it was clear this facility is mired in its inadequacy and is too far mucked to care about anything but survival. I offered to step in, but administration didn't care enough to even know my name. (I got a chastising note from an interim DON with my name spelled as "Erkle".)

I could write a book on my frustrations and challenges there, but readers appreciate "good news" stories, and I enjoy writing about the positive events of my life.

Needless to say, my first 'official' RN job quickly became very bittersweet, and I saw that the situation was only going to get worse. When they called me at home and very rudely ordered me (and all the other nurses) to 'get in here yesterday" and do some charting regarding an incident report that had been done without our knowledge, I was ready to quit on the spot. (Jim talked me out of that.)

I gave a polite two-week notice and said good-bye to many great nursing friends and even some patients and their families who didn't want me to leave.

So yesterday was an orientation day at my new nursing job where I basked in the sunshine of good leadership, excellent presentations, clear chain-of-commands, specific job descriptions, policy & procedures for every situation, organized med rooms, unit secretaries to transcribe orders and answer phones, patient assignments based on care needs, and safe, comfortable, desk chairs that don't fall down when you sit on them.

My family & friends know that my one 'weakness' is Diet Dr. Pepper. And, the magical number for hubby and me is the number 55.

That's why when I called hubby during a break and said simply, "They have diet Dr. Pepper in the machines here, and it costs 55-cents", it was all he needed to know.

I'm saying a prayer that my instincts are to be trusted, and this new position as RN Charge Nurse on the rehab unit of a very large Denver Center will be everything I'm looking for, and I will enjoy many years of happy nursing for this company.

Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life,

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