My week.

I’m working through a week’s worth of orientation at the hospital – everything from how to put out (actual) fires, to what the retirement benefits are, from where to park, to how to document an admission onto the floor.  Infection control, organ donation, risk management, etc. etc. It’s a lot.  I spent 8 hours today deep into a computer system called Cerner, which is the electronic medical record system that they use to keep track of patients, orders, medications, lab results, etc.  I’ve seen it used many times before, but I’ve never had the chance to really play with it until today and it’s easy to see how things can be mixed up.  The software tries pretty hard to help you out by putting checkpoints in place, but you can still make many inadvertent errors.  And the charts are tied to billing, so any error in the charting can lead to errors in billing. Of course, there was an active shooter training and the training went like this: “If there is an active shooter in the building, what should you do?”  People said “run” or “hide” or “lock the doors” and the trainer said – those are all good ideas.  And then he went on to say, “if there is an active shooter, you do what you think is the best thing for you and after it is all over, you will know that you did the best thing that you thought you should have done.” 

I ended up working at a Catholic hospital, which I thought was a minus to accepting the job offer.  As I said before, I had put constraints on the job which limited where I applied to and truly, I would have preferred an academic hospital with no religious affiliation (long commute) or a hospital which downplayed their religious origins (they didn’t want me, sniff).  If I had taken this job in my 20s, I would have thought the religious stuff was ridiculous.  Prayers at 8:30am / 8:30pm, every meeting starting with an intention and a cross in every room.  Though I no longer think it’s ridiculous (I’ve softened on religion over the years, mainly because I like to believe that children who have died are all well and in heaven hanging out with Jesus and waiting to see their parents again and because many religious people have taken care of Edda over the years and I’m forever grateful for that), I thought I would find it to be a little too much for me.  But you know, it was incredibly soothing to me right now to have it said over and over again that one their core values is a commitment to the poor.  And that this core value guides them in all the decisions that they have to make.  It was so nice to not pay one bit of attention to the news and hear that the place that employs me doesn’t turn anyone away and that everyone gets the same service no matter their ability to pay.  Maybe the Catholic thing isn’t a minus.

With this job, I’ve restarted so many “regular” things – like a car commute.  The last time I commuted to a job by car was in 1999 or 2000.  It has been almost 20 years since I’ve had to be in rush hour traffic.  I’ve had jobs in the past 2 decades, but either Jeremy has carpooled with me or I’ve taken public transit or I’ve worked from home.  My commute is reasonable enough that I just get a small taste of traffic where 270 and 495 interlace, but I suspect that will disappear with nurse’s hours.  I also joined a 24 hour gym right where the two freeways meet in an effort to maintain my exercise routine and I walked into the gym today at 6 am fully expecting it to be quiet and relatively empty, but it was humming with a loud-music supported boot camp complete with an encouraging and enthusiastic trainer and at least 50% of the treadmills/elliptical machines in use.  These are my people – middle aged, suburban folks getting a workout in before work.  Ha ha.  I’m exhausted.  And I haven’t even started yet.

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