July 20, 2014

As though I didn't have enough anxiety-provoking things to deal with

I found out that my father is having surgery.  Again.  He had a procedure done two weeks ago to stop some errant bleeding.  Now they're doing a cardiac procedure on him because between the atrial fibrillation and a ventricular rate of 200, it's any wonder his heart hasn't picked up its cards.

The procedure will be done the day we arrive.  But we won't be going to see him right away:  my mom's going to at the hospital all day, and the kids can't go up to visit him.  So we'll be going to see the the other half's parents first for a few days, and then come into the city on the weekend.  Though I'm going to be prepared to grab little one #2 and head into the city on no notice if--God forbid--they tell me I need to come see him.

*sigh*

My father has had cardiac problems for all of his life, so even though it can be anxiety-provoking at times, I'm used to dealing with him being sick or in the hospital or having some sort of surgery or procedure done.  I'm also aware that given his health and his age, he really is living on borrowed time.  While I would rather he have many more years on this earth, I know that the odds aren't in favor of that.  Then again, he sees his doctors so frequently, he may end up making it to 100.

After talking to my mother, I ended up taking one of my anxiety PRNs.  It's helped considerably.   Despite all of my anxiety issues, I am a proponent of not relying on medications unless they are truly necessary...well, given the last few days, it was finally truly necessary.

July 19, 2014

I had anxiety attacks for most of the day

It started at work and pretty much went downhill from there.  I was able to keep it together without taking one of my anxiety medications and do everything I needed to at work, but once I got home I sat in front of the computer and brooded for several hours.

So...

I'm anxious about when the other half retires and we rely on me to be the financial breadwinner.  I'm anxious about finding a permanent job that will pay enough for us to get by, based on my calculations.  I'm anxious that if I can't find a job at a good enough rate that we'll have to decrease what we're going to save and so we won't be saving enough money.  I'm anxious over working evenings (which I love) or nights (which is doable) because of the kids.  I'm anxious over finding a permanent job period.  I'm anxious about whether we can survive the cost of living here.  I'm anxious if we just shouldn't use that final military move to head straight to Texas, which is probably where we'd end up settling for good anyway.   I think.  The thing is, we pretty much want wherever we move next to be our final move and while Texas is the front runner, it's not the guaranteed #1.  And if we were to take that final military move, I'd be anxious over finding a job in Texas, finding a house in Texas, coordinating a move in Texas, not knowing enough Spanish in time to survive working in a hospital in Texas

I know, catastrophize much?

I spent from 2000 to 2300 pretty much in an anxiety warp.  Then I dragged myself away from the computer, opened up a bottle of wine, and made myself do my usual Friday night spa routine.  I was too anxious to process my feelings, so I figured I'd go straight for the bath and facial peel.  I didn't finish until well after midnight.  But it did help me relax...and my skin is very soft and smooth now.  That is, until the peeling kicks in by Sunday. 

*sigh*

I think that's part of the reason I need a break from all things work and career.  I'm catastrophizing more and more, and the difficulties in both my transfer application as well as them getting to schedule me more isn't helping. 

I'm going to start back up with therapy--I already got the referral process going and I'll return to my old psychiatrist.  Different therapist though.  The last one was nice but she kept bringing it back to herself, whereas I'm the patient and as narcissistic as this sounds, the sessions should be all about me.

July 18, 2014

I found out that I had been talking to the wrong nurse recruiter for the transfer that I applied to.  Apparently it's not my usual recruiter handling that position, but another one who I don't think I've ever spoken to before.  That would explain the lack of feedback about my transfer application.  Then again, my usual recruiter could have dropped me a note to say, "sorry, I don't handle this, but I'll forward it to the person who does."  It'd only take a minute or two to send it.

When I get back from vacation, I'll drop this new recruiter a note..but not about the position I applied for because I've pretty much written that one off.  I plan to write and ask her how I can improve myself as a candidate for the next transfer opportunity.

Though for the next two weeks, I'm planning to write off work period.  It's my vacation, and I intend to cut out the extra stress...and stressing over anything work is an extra stress I can do without.

July 17, 2014

One of the doctors that I dealt with at work the other day was a older man who is actually of the school of being polite and talking to--but not down to--you as a coherent adult, whether you were a patient or staff.   Even if you were a psychotic patient who was missing a few bulbs from the marquee, he spoke to you with kindness and intelligence.  For him, I was willing to play tech support and get his computer to talk to our printer.

The other was around my age and couldn't be bothered to interact civilly with anyone.  While I'm not expecting hearts and flowers every time from my doctors, I do expect at least coherent sentences.  As it was clear I wasn't going to get one out of him that day, I swapped roles with another nurse and let them deal directly with him.  He fared no better than I did, declaring the doctor more irritable than usual.

"More irritable than usual..."  I hope my personality never deteriorates to the point that someone says that about me. 

Anyhow... 

While being an internal candidate is no longer a lock for getting another position in the facility, it does have the advantage of letting one get first crack at the job listings.  That's because at both jobs #1 and #3, the position has to be posted internally first for a period--like a week or so.  Job #1 fulfills this by posting the job on a piece of paper somewhere in the facility.  Job #3 sends them to your e-mail. 

The last time I saw an internal posting for job #1 was about three months ago, in one of the smaller units where few dare to tread.  Job #3 sends me 8-10 internal postings EVERY DAY. 

A lot of these jobs at Job #3 are for ER/urgent care nurses, and from the looks of it, they are willing to consider those on the less-experienced side as long as they have completed approved training.  So I'm seriously considering that ED nursing course being offered at the local university.  It would start this fall, and between classes and preceptorship, it would take about 6 months total.  Perhaps after taking it, I'll be able to transition over to one of these positions and diversify my skill set.
 
Or I can ask the nurse recruiter at job #3 what training programs there are for a psychiatric nurse who wants to cross-train.  Mind you, I can't apply for an internal transfer at job #3 until I'm there for six months, so I look at these listings and then hit delete, as I'm not eligible to transfer anyway.  I'm not even going to ask about training opportunities until I hit the 6 month mark, which would be this winter.  But it's nice to see what they have to offer.

Two more work days until my vacation...whee. 

July 14, 2014

All of my admissions had substance abuse issues.  I always feel comfortable handling such patients.  I think chemical dependency really is my niche.   I should really pursue that CARN certification...except that I'm not consistently working in a CD/dual program so I don't have the required 2,000 recent hours. Bah.

So I didn't hear anything from the nurse recruiter about my transfer application.  As the job listing is still up, I'm guessing that the answer is "Sorry, but no" and they just don't have the courtesy to drop an internal applicant a note.  It's a shame...I mean, not responding back to any applicant to tell them "No" is sad.  It's really tragic to not even send a rejection note to an internal applicant.  Especially since all they need to do to reach me is look my name up in the employee directory and click Send Mail.  How much easier can that get?

It's also surprising that I haven't heard back from this nurse recruiter who happens to usually be quick to get back to me even if she has no good news.

Oh well.  Upward and onward.  If and when a new posting for the job appears, I'll try again.  I'll resume the holding pattern for now.

Meanwhile, the manager at the program I was working at today was asking me questions out of the blue about whether I liked working per-diem, was I working anyplace else, what my plans were...I think they were trying to feel me out for something.  Who knows?  It really was random...then again, it was before my first cup of coffee so maybe I'm reading something into it that isn't there.

Anyhow...

I'm getting ready for a long-overdue vacation.  I'm going East for a week.  It's not going to be a stress-free trip--it's more like we're going back to the motherland because it's fulfilling family obligations--but it'll still be nice.  Then when we return here, I have the next week off (though I did commit to one day of work).  Then if I want, another week off unless I schedule myself...which is my choice, as then I'm booked at jobs #1 and #3 from mid-August through mid-September.

July 5, 2014

So...

I applied for an internal transfer at job #1.   I'd still be working in a lot of the same units that I'm working in right now.  The pay is slightly higher, but I also have to meet a minimum number of hours including a weekend commitment that they're very firm about.  I figured that I had nothing to lose:  I wasn't resigning from my current position so if I didn't get the transfer, I'd still have a job at facility #1.

That was last Friday.  I haven't heard anything yet, not even a "hey, got your resume, will let you know" from the recruiter that I've dealt with several times in the past.

I realize that I'm suffering from some impatience.  E-mail and the instant gratification of the Internet can spoil a person:  one gets so used to being able to get feedback/responses via the Web in a very short time.

At the same time, I also realized that the position I applied for had been--still is--posted for more than two months now.  So I'm wondering if I've applied to a dead listing that they neglected to take down, or if they're just mining for applicants.

Anyhow...

I'm also looking at taking a certificate course in emergency nursing at the local university.  I'm not sure if I do want to take the plunge in the ED, but I figure the experience would be nice...especially since a friend is trying to recruit me to join him at his facility where he just got hired as a psych liaison in the ED.  As it stands, I don't have enough experience for the job posting as is...maybe in a couple of years.

June 30, 2014

So I'm liking job #3.  It's mostly triaging and handling refills and appointments, with the occasional in-person chat or VS/weight check.  This is going to nicely refine my assessment skills.  It's also going to push me to relearn Spanish, as about half of my patients don't speak English.  I'm getting really good at dealing with interpreters, though.

I don't know how often I will get to work there though, as they have a very strict seniority system.  I'm pretty low on the per-diem pecking order, and it's after they call everyone else--and everyone else turns them down--that they will call me.  I did manage to score a week in August though.

The secret is also out at my main facility.  I knew it wasn't going to remain a secret when I saw faces in my orientation that I already knew--they left my main facility to come and work for this one.   And I was surprised at who at job #3 knew who else at jobs #1 and #2.  Nursing REALLY is a very small world.

I guess there's no real reason for job #3 to remain a secret.  It's not as though I'm doing anything illegal or immoral, or violating any agreement between myself and either job #1 or job #2.

Anyhow...

Speaking of job #2, I was back there after more than a month away.  Of course, there's been significant changes in that month, but I'm used to it with this place.  I'm actually more surprised if there HASN'T been any changes since the last time I was there.   It was a smooth day on my unit, which was appreciated as we were short-staffed...whereas the other two units were adequately staffed, yet their acuities were off the chain.  Though as the agency person, I was recruited to fill some LVN duties in addition to my RN ones.   No worries...if anything, it helped the day go by faster (that's how mellow the unit I was on was).