Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back to the Grindstone

Well, this week I rejoined the working class. After 6 weeks of unemployment, I am sweating it out like a grunt. Everyone has been nice....mostly. I have run into a few personalities that I can tell are not going to be fun to work with at all, but that's work I suppose. The doctors have all been relatively nice, or maybe tolerant is the word. I only screwed up the orders 3 times in 3 days! The nurses are optimistic that it will work out for the best. Well, not all of them. I ran into a particularly nasty one last night. For the most part, what I am encountering most is people asking why I am doing this job. I'm getting pretty tired of explaining myself. I thought I was going to be ok with it, but its getting harder and harder when everyone acts like I'm lowering myself. The general attitude is that I should feel a little shamed for working as a Tech instead of a Nurse. Really? Is being
a Tech that shameful? I was a CNA for awhile and I don't remember being that ashamed about it. Maybe its only shameful if one goes from being a nurse to a tech in a backward-type motion?? I don't know, but I thought I was going to be fine with it and then everyone keeps responding in the same way when I tell them that I'm a nurse. I filled out a medicine list the first day and was told that I couldn't do that because "I'm not a nurse anymore", then last night I was copying down what the ambulance driver was telling me and I was told that this is the same as "taking report" and I'm not able to do that either...I'm not licensed personnel. I explained that I am licensed and was told (by the nasty one in a nasty tone) that I am not a nurse as far as the hospital is concerned, that my job description doesn't include clinical skills and I am a liability in the Emergency Room. Hmm. Tell me
what you really think of me Ms. Attitude. That did, unfortunately, make me feel ashamed and belittled and I didn't shake it for the rest of the night. Liability, huh? Well, I guess so. The problem is that some things seem so simple and elementary I don't think about it being a "clinical skill", like filling out a med list. My supervisor gave me a responsibilities list which reads like a to-do list that I make my kids, complete with take out the trash, but what I need to know are the things that I CAN'T do. These are the things that are getting me in trouble. Every time I do something wrong the only excuse I can think of is that I'm a nurse and I don't realize that I'm not allowed to do it, to which the only rational reply is " Then what are you doing here?" Its so hard for me to keep my place behind the desk when someone needs help. Its second nature for me to jump in and start doing
things. I've been told that I need to stay out of the way because there isn't anything I can do that is helpful...I'm just the secretary. There are 3 nurses in particular that are very supportive and one of them is the senior nurse. They all think that I should have an expanded job role. I agree. Why can't I do small simple things if the nurses are busy? The other night we were so slammed we had people in the hallways and had to go on diversion. I told the nurses it seems stupid that they are suffering and I'm sitting behind the desk!! There are things I can be doing! I can draw blood for them, give oral medicines, dress wounds...all kinds of small jobs that bog them down. I do understand that I can't do what they can do because I'm an LPN and they are RN's but that distinction I am used to. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing triage for instance because that is considered 1st assessment
and has always been an RN's job. The answer I got is that they don't want me doing things the other tech's can't do because if the nurses get used to me being able to do it then they might ask the other tech to do it and she may not know enough to say that she can't. Ok, I understand that but there has got to be a middle ground somewhere. I cannot work in a place where every one thinks I should be ashamed of myself. Its hard enough to do the job already, I don't need them making it more excrutiating. Yesterday I almost swallowed my tongue when a family member asked me if I was a nurse and I had to take a deep breath and tell her no. I pray that this gets easier. Please God don't let it get harder. What I truly pray for is that my brain stops thinking like a nurse and starts thinking like a tech, maybe then I will stop getting myself into trouble already! My supervisor was worried that
the other nurses would dump their work on me and use me....but in reality I think I'm the problem. I keep trying to do things that I shouldn't and if I perform outside my role I probably am a liability, legally speaking, whether I am licensed or not and I surely do not want to compromise the hospital just by being who I am. Only time will tell now, I guess. I just have to take one day at a time and hopefully one day I will find that its not hard anymore. Maybe one day I will find myself thinking like a tech, but then again by that time I will probably have moved into a nursing role and will have to retrain myself all over again. Oh, well. While I'm figuring it out, I am earning a living and paying my bills. I suppose that's the best reason of all.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I am worthy.

I am worthy of love...only if I do what is expected of me.

I am worthy of friendship...only if I make you feel good about yourself.

I am worthy of trust...only if I am painfully humble in your presence.

I am worthy of affection...only if my to-do list is all checked off.

I am worthy of relaxation....only if I have nothing else to do.

I am worthy of rememberance....only if you have nothing else to do at the time.

I am worthy of happiness...only if I can fit it in while you're gone.

I am worthy of respect...only if I earn it.

I am worthy of you....because occasionally I do everything you expect of me.

I am worthy of grace....because I need more help than anyone else.

I am worthy of life...only if I apologize for my existence constantly.

I am worthy.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Still Struggling

Well, its official. The holidays are over, unless you are from Alabama-which I am- then of course Thursday is a holiday because the Crimson Tide are playing in the National Championship Game, but I digress. As a follow up to my previous (extremely depressing) blog post I wanted to talk about my current emotional state. To start out with, I just wanted to apologize. I know that a blog is my place to vent and unload and I shouldn't apologize for that, but really...Damn. I re-read that later and thought to myself 'Someone should be calling the crisis hotline'. I shouldn't blog when I'm upset. I know better than that. I'm smart enough to know that liquor and email don't mix, so it should go without saying that depression and blogs don't either, right? Well, apparently I can't control myself, because here I am again. I managed to squeak through Christmas Eve dinner with the In-Laws, feign
total excitement over Christmas morning, even though I was truly touched by my childrens' presents (nothing could change that), and actually feel relaxed and cheerful for dinner with friends, I did have to restrain an "episode" when I found out that my mother's family had planned a Christmas dinner complete with presents and had somehow miraculously forgotten to include me! Hmmm. Whatever. My sister from Upstate Alabama (is that a real phrase??) came to visit the next week. Its always nice to visit with her but honestly I should have been a much better hostess. I couldn't get myself off the couch the whole week. She took advantage of the "lazy" time but I know that the real culprit is that I just don't care. I had an uneventful New Year's Eve. We went to a party at a friends house that was a bust because only one other couple showed up...still feel bad for them... and got up at the
crack of dawn to say goodbye to my sister all over again. Ugh. I managed to throw together a small dinner for the family, but really only because I DON'T wanna know what happens if you don't eat greens and black eyed peas on New Year's Day!! Somewhere inside it was still numb. NUMB. I'm so sick of it! On Sunday, God spoke directly to me at church. Its not an uncommon occurrence when I actually open my ears and listen. The sermon was about doing what God gave you the ability to do, where he put you, with the people he put in your life. I've heard this before but I think I've been getting my wires crossed. My focus has been on writing. I love to write so that must be what God wants from me, right? Well, maybe not. I've known (and have been ignoring) for some time that I have a unique heart for abused women, especially concerning rape and incest, because of my background. God has put some
amazing opportunities in my life recently to get my attention. After a year of counseling with my pastor I was able to break significant barriers toward healing this area of my life. Almost immediately it led me to make myself, my story and my prayers available to members of the church through a 'Care Network'. Shortly after that, I gave testimony at church about being raped when I was a teenager, not about my childhood however because we only had an hour. Since then several women have come to me for prayer and advice and I still follow up with them and stay involved with them mentor-style. These experiences, along with other random things (see my post "A Heart Response"), have been pushing me to turn my attention towards Christian Counseling as a career path. I keep putting it off, making excuses, trying to pretend that its a far-fetched idea. Who would take me seriously?? I finally
told my husband about it a couple months ago and didn't really get a response from him. So, Sunday I'm sitting in church and this conviction hits me: I have to go back to school. I mentioned it to my husband and didn't exactly get the response I was hoping for. "We can't afford that, you need a job, I can't handle all the bills on my own!" If you know my husband, you know that tact is not his talent, so it didn't come out so nicely. In fact, he apparently didn't even remember having the conversation about Counseling because he sarcastically asked me, "For what??". I didn't even answer him, I walked away. I may not be perfect but even I don't think that slapping your husband in the church lobby is acceptable. I should be so happy right now. A few hours ago I got a phone call to tell me that I have a job. Yay. I know, I know, have a little gratitude. Its not a nursing position, in fact
its a Tech position (read CNA) which means its grunt labor that I thought I was done with, for less money and longer shifts....but to be fair it IS a job, it IS full time, it DOES have benefits and it WILL pay the bills. Can I just admit that it hurts my pride...just a little? I have a license...and I'm not using it! Nobody wants this job. The current CNA's don't want this job. Its a cross between CNA and secretary with a little butt-kisser thrown in for good measure because customer service scores are so low. I went to college for this?? I paid my dues as a CNA, I hated every minute of it. My mother was an aide for 30 years, hats off to ya Mom, it wasn't for me. That being said, I'm struggling. I'm struggling with gratitude. Now that I have a job there is no way in Hell I have time for school, not that Hubby would have allowed it to happen in the first place. He was born and bred in a
place where everyone hates their job, you're supposed to hate your job, that's why its called work. Well, so was I but that is the exact reason I don't want to spend my life doing something I hate! So we had a horrible fight and I'm on the couch. I know I shouldn't say things like that in my blog, but no one reads it anyway, including him. The only time he ever read it was the day I complained that he never reads it! I'm pretty sure that was the last time. That being said, my New Year's Resolution is to keep a gratitude journal. My friend Amanda gave me one for Christmas (its beautiful!) and this is its new purpose. I know how I sound. I sound horrible, self-centered, whiny, I have to go on? It truly reflects how I feel on the inside. It feels like a swamp in there. I truly believe God is trying to break through to me. I felt him trying on Sunday. The bog that is my
soul has just gotten so thick. The enemy has found a powerful tool in my husband because its working very effectively. I can't pursue a Master's Degree without his support! I can't even buy a lamp without his opinion!!! I barely made it through a 2 year Nursing program and I did have his support. Imagine a 4-5 year post-graduate degree with no support? Eww. My stomach just turned a little. So, tomorrow I finish my boys' lesson plans for the month to make work go more smoothly and Wednesday morning I report for duty at my new, yet shabby, job. I fear that years may pass in the numbness. I am convinced that keeping this Gratitude Journal will help...I don't know how much, but for right now its the only action plan I have. That and prayer...tons and tons of prayer. Oh, and Roll Tide :)

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