Monday, February 18, 2013

Local Flavor

Yesterday I went to a theater near UCLA campus and watched of all the Academy Award-nominated (live action) short films. Of course, this activity would be available to me in indie theaters around the country, but being in this industry town spurred me to check them out for the first time. So, I'll have an opinion about the short films come Oscar night. One of them ("Henry") had me sobbing like an idiot in the theater, but "Death of a Shadow" is the one I hope wins.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

If You Don't Have Your Health... don't have anything, right? Isn't one of the benefits of bedside nursing to force us, almost on every shift, to silently given thanks for our own health? I know I sometimes find myself thinking things that non-healthcare-professionals might find strange, like, "I'm lucky to be able to shower on my own, whenever I want."

So, when taking report for my upcoming night shift the other night I became SOB and dizzy and had to be taken down to ED (dx: elevated WBC, probably a virus making its way around the hospital, and a heretofore undiagnosed heart arrhythmia), I was forced to take a hard look at my own health and its impact on my ability to provide for myself.

It can be scary out there as a single person doing contract work of any kind. If I don't work, I don't get paid. I've never had any significant health problems, and although I'm scheduled to follow up with a cardiologist, I'm (naively?) hopeful the EKG change will turn out to be nothing. Still, this work incident has reaffirmed my belief that health is the greatest of possessions, and it's caused me to consider: is traveling still a financially reasonable option for me?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Working on My Night Shift

Last year, I took a class in which we had to write a descriptive scene using all five senses. At the time, I was a day-shift RN, working 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. I wrote a paragraph about the experience of waking up early and the joys of coffee. It started with "Every 5 a.m. is the worst thing thing that has ever happened to me...."

It was in the middle of winter in the Indiana, and I truly felt horror and misery at having to wake up at 5 a.m., scrape the ice and snow off my car, and hit the frozen roads of Indianapolis. Maybe I have a little Seasonal Affective Disorder?

So, now, it's one year later, and I'm what I never thought I would be: a night-shift RN. And although I do think the night shift is wreaking havoc on my skin, I'm actually relatively at peace with the night shift, especially as a traveler. Who wants to have to learn how to utilize the crazy, disparate paper-and-BASIC-computer-charting system to learn how to, say, discharge patients?

I do, apparently. Well, want is not the right word. For the upcoming schedule, I'm being moved to days. Now the 5 a.m. wake-up call looms again. However, this time I'm in SoCal, not the Midwest. Will that early morning be as gruesome without a frosted windshield? I guess we'll see.