Guess who got floated off of the oncology floor to take care of COVID patients?
Tuesday, November 02, 2021
Sunday, October 31, 2021
I never planned on coming here. It's expensive and it's crowded, at least in the Bay Area where I'm working right now.
But it's also really, really beautiful here, the weather is generally fantastic, and everyone at the hospital I'm working at has been very nice and helpful.
I'll keep you posted on any fun activities I do and/or craziness I see (or perpetrate, lol). Since I've been here, I've been so overwhelmed with orientation at work and all that goes with it, that I've just been taking long walks around the neighborhood.
I'm renting a house with another nurse who I befriended a couple years ago when she was a traveler at my old hospital in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, she had to delay her arrival because her car's engine shit the bed in Colorado! She should arrive by this Friday, fingers crossed!
That's another reason I haven't explored much. Exploring and adventuring can get expensive, and since my buddy isn't here yet, I've been paying the entire rent on this place myself, ugh. Speaking of expensive, HOLY SHIT, housing is expensive here!
The unit I'm working on is Medical/Surgical Oncology, which again is a slightly different discipline than I'm used to, but it's so awesome that I'm learning new things with a new patient population!
Let's see, most of my experience is inpatient Hematology/Oncology in NH. Then I did inpatient nursing on a dedicated Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in TX. My last gig was at an outpatient chemotherapy/biotherapy infusion center in Minneapolis! Now med/surg onc in California. We see a lot of post-op urological and gynecological cancer patients.
Obviously, the core of my job is still the same, and my goals are always the same: take the best care of my patients that I can!
I'll keep y'all posted.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
I pull back the curtain of one of my three infusion rooms and greet my patient. He's going to have an hour-long immunotherapy infusion.
I have all my supplies set up to access his implanted port.
I ask him to show me his port site, so I can visualize and palpate it prior to accessing. And he whips off his shirt. Completely.
He's sitting there in his slightly grubby jeans, smelling like cigarette smoke, just looking at me, as if daring me to question him or comment on his action.
I stare at him thoughtfully for a moment, then I say,
"Oooookay...as long as you keep your pants on!"
He didn't give me a lick of trouble after that, though he didn't put his shirt back on until he was ready to leave, either!
Saturday, September 11, 2021
I guess I haven't checked in for quite some time. Like, my entire contract in AUSTIN, TEXAS.
I worked on a Bone Marrow Transplant unit, nights. It was quite the educational experience for me, and I learned a lot. I learned a lot about myself, too! I learned that it is NOT OK for me to take too much time off with no plans or anything to do. I turned into a depressed sloth. No, a SLUG. It was absolutely disgusting and it made me realized that if I'm not working, I still need something the fuck to do!
I give myself permission to do absolutely nothing at least one day a week, though. I'm an extroverted introvert, so, since I'm around people all day long, interacting and taking care of them, I need my alone (*cough*hermit*cough*) time to decompress. So, in my jammies I stay, allllll day long!
Anyway. Austin happened. It was fine. Considering that it was only the second hospital I've worked in since I became licensed, it was a great learning experience. Some of the practices made me raise my eyebrows. Some made me shake my head. But I knew going into this travel nursing gig that I would encounter sometimes big differences in the way things are done from place to place, organization to organization, facility to facility. I've bitten my tongue, but also pointed out some questionable things. I figure, as long as my patients are safe and I'm not doing anything that could cost me my nursing license, I'm ok with whatever.
Now I'm in Minneapolis, and have been since the end of June. I'm close to wrapping up my assignment here, too. My last day is October 1st, and I already have a contract signed for another night-shift hospital gig in the Bay Area starting October 18th, medical oncology this time.
The interesting thing about my job here in Minnesota is that it is an Outpatient Infusion Clinic! I have never done outpatient anything before, so this is an incredible opportunity. I'm learning so much about chemotherapy regimens that we just don't give in the hospital. I'm also getting very good at some important nursing skills that they just don't teach in nursing school anymore, and which we weren't even allowed to do at my "home" hospital in NH, like STARTING PERIPHERAL IVs!!! Something so basic, the average person on the street just assumes every nurse will know how to do it. Nope. But now I do, and it makes me sooooo happy.
ANYway, I'm here in Minneapolis because my oldest child SystemsReady (aka Silver, or Silver the Evil Chao, way back when), lives here! I'm totally crashing in her living room on a queen-sized air mattress, lol! I took a job that honestly pays peanuts, just to spend time with her, since we hadn't seen each other in so long (THANKS, COVID). Soooo worth it. We've had a blast, and I'm going to miss her terribly once I leave.
She's doing great, BTW, thanks for asking. Kick-ass, Goth Chick, computer-programming, stick-shift driving, Manic-Pixie-Dream-Asexual-Autistic-Girl!
So proud of her.
She turned THIRTY this year, BTW!!! She was fifteen when I started blogging. Damn, I'm old.
And here I will stop. I have an anecdote from work to share, but I will time that particular post for a few days or maybe a week from now. I want this one to sit here for a bit. Maybe some of my loyal readers (hi, you two!) will wander back over and find it.
Saturday, February 20, 2021
The joy of working with youngsters...
Like when your pod partner (*cough*Tyler*cough*) writes your name on a white board in LARGE letters and places it at the foot of his dementia patient's bed where she can easily read it, and over the next few hours you really grow to hate your own name..."CHRISTINA! CHRISTINA! CHRISTINA! CHRISTINA!"
It can get really old, really fast. But, yes, it *was* funny!
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Well hello there, Strangers!
I'm embarking on a new adventure in a few weeks:
I'm finally going TRAVEL NURSING.
I'm hoping for my first assignment to be in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area, but we'll see. Anywhere in the Southwest is fine in my books, I just want to get out of the fucking COLD. And snow. And ice.
I really don't want to bust my ass in the parking lot again. Just my luck, I'd break something and be out of work for a while.
Yep, really need to pay off those nasty student loans before I hit retirement age. I'm in my fifties, after all!
Gotta think ahead. I would like to eventually own my own home and have a place to settle down to enjoy my golden years. ;)
Anyway, that's it for now. See you on the flipside!