November 14, 2014

In which Meriwhen realizes she needs to learn about unions

Received a message recently...long story short:  "Meriwhen, wanted to let you know that we're going on strike, so please don't take any work during that time."

Oh.  Good to know.

The only previous experience I've had with unions was that my father was in one.  Every few years, they would go on strike...the only effect that we experienced from it was that strikes meant our dad could spend more time with us during the summer instead of having to go back to work after just two weeks.  I'm sure the financial ramifications of not working were there too--my sister and I just never heard about them.

So now, here I am in a union...two of them, actually.  Membership in one was automatic; joining the second was voluntary.  I waited a while before joining the latter...not because it was a union, but because I didn't know a lot.  It wasn't until after going to a couple of the union meetings as well as spending several months working on the same unit as one of the stewards that I decided to plunge in. 

So now here I am, faced with a strike.

I have no desire to be a scab.  At the same time, I don't know exactly what or why or even when this is happening.  So I better find out before this strike hits and before my next day at work there.

November 6, 2014

Last shift I worked, we had a new grad orienting on the unit.  Very enthusiastic, friendly, and happy to be there yet appropriately wary enough (rule of thumb in psych nursing:  it's better to always be a little wary than get complacent in your surroundings).  She also had an actual interest in seeing her in practice during the day, she wasn't one of those "I just want to get my year's experience and then go to a glamor specialty" types--it appeared she had a bona-fide interest.

Of course, she made me feel old, as my new grad days were a few years ago.   Her age range was quite a while ago for me as well.   I feel my age more at some times than at others.

Still, it's heartening to see new grads who actually want to enter the specialty.  

It was a good day.  Good coworkers, a new grad who was more an asset than a liability, good patient population, and no major issues.  A couple of minor ones:  I was Pyxis-challenged at one point in the shift, and later on I had to literally chase down a doctor to get a PRN order.  Fortunately, I was able to corner him, also literally.  That's the nice thing about both small units and my wearing running shoes to work.

I also got approached by the unit manager.  Apparently my reputation has preceded me, and it's a good one.  She (and some other staff as well) was feeling out whether I'd want to work on the unit permanently.  And I actually like the unit I was on, so such as offer would not be unwelcome...just not now.  Hopefully she'll feel the same way about me next year when I can do it.

I worked on a paper for my class today...I whacked out a rough draft and hope to have it turned in by Sunday.  Originally, I set the deadline for this assignment a couple of weeks prior.  I figure if I can do the paper and two more assignments this month, this leaves me nearly two weeks in December to do the final exam.  Though this means I still have to get through all of the remaining video lectures and readings in this month as well.  Fortunately my schedule did fill up but not to the critical mass point of the last few months.  Though part of that was due to having to block out several days for dental, medical and psychiatric appointments, as it was due to fluctuating census and staffing needs.

November 1, 2014


I met my therapist, and my therapist met me.  I like her and want to give her a try, and she's willing to work with me.  So we set up the next few appointments and she had me order an anxiety workbook that she likes to use with her anxiety patients.  Our sessions will be a combo of talk therapy and assignments/homework.  It's promising. 

In the meantime, I downloaded CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) for Anxiety for Dummies to my Kindle.  I figure I need to learn to change my thinking, so I've been flipping through that.

So I've been cancelled three days in a row.  I got a lot of reading done...I'll be careful not to give away any spoilers.  I read Gone Girl.  Eh.  Somewhat predictable though with a few unexpected twists.  I've no desire to see the movie though.

The Stepford Wives.  Spooky.  Do you think that's what men are looking for in their partners?  Do you think women would want the same thing?

Children of the Corn.  Ends differently than the movie does.  And after reading the story, I was let down in the movie.

Carrie.  I'm glad I had two boys.

If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name.  The joys of living in a very small town in Alaska.  I'm not wild about very small towns, where the population is a couple of thousand and close-knit.  I like my small town, where it's small enough to have a sense of cohesiveness but not so small that everyone knows you and your business.

Escape From Camp 14.  Beneath the PR facade, North Korea is not a very nice place.

Nothing to Envy:  Ordinary Lives in North Korea.  Tales from the escapees.

West of the West:  Witnesses to the California Experience.  I'm currently in this one.  I figured since I live here I may as well learn its history.