HIPPA approved

This is my first post about work. I assume all of you know what I do for our livelihood. I say our because I’m bringin’ home the bacon these days. Actually, I like to say bringin’ home the chicken. Or bringin’ home the fish. Because we almost never eat bacon. Although there is some bacon in our fridge right now. I think it’s expired.

I’ve been a nurse at Lutheran General Hospital for six months. I was hired last July and I started in September 2011. Some days I feel like I’m hitting my stride. Some days are overwhelming and I have to ask for help from my fellow, more experienced nurses. I cannot believe how much I have learned and grown over the past six months. I am so thankful to have gotten this job. New nurse positions are quite hard to come by in Chicago. Actually, my nursing assistant yesterday is a nurse herself; she graduated last May and still has not found a nursing position despite applying to hundreds of jobs. I think that hospitals in Chicago can be selective and only want nurses with experience because it is such a big city with many prospective nurses. I understand why hospitals would want nurses with experience. Obviously, they know more. And it’s cheaper for the hospital to train them because their orientation is much shorter. However, it presents a catch 22 situation for new graduate nurses… how does one gain experience if nobody will give her a chance!? The world is a competitive place. It’s scary.
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
Now that I have been working at Lutheran for six months, I am eligible to float to other areas in the hospital. Floating means going to work on a different floor with different ailments, different fellow nurses and a different layout. Talk about intimidating. Yesterday evening, I floated!! I was so very nervous. I had never even stepped foot in the area that I would be working in for eight hours. See the picture of Lutheran General above? Behind the beautiful new tower there is a yellowish brick building. See it? That’s where my floor is. It’s called the “classic” building. Also known as, the old place. I floated to the new tower last night so everything was different. It was quite fancy! I am glad to report that I had a wonderful experience. The nurses there were equally as helpful as the nurses on my floor. And I was given a fair patient assignment (meaning they didn’t give me the really challenging patients or several admissions just because). I hope this sets the tone for my future floating. Of course, I’m sure I will have some difficult days when I float, just like there are difficult days even when I don’t float, but I’m glad to know I can survive it. I will be floating quite a bit over the coming months! 

Why would our floor float nurses to other floors? We float nurses when we are overstaffed for our patient census. Why are we overstaffed these days? Because we are under construction! As I mentioned above, our section of the hospital is older. But we are being remodeled! Soon we will keep up with the new part of the hospital and have better amenities. Part of our floor is closed because of the construction so our patient census is always low these days. We are usually floating at least one nurse each shift.

As much as I was dreading floating, I think it will continue to be a good experience. It’s always beneficial to learn to adapt to a new environment and be flexible. I believe it will only make me a stronger nurse.
My momma, also a nurse, pinning me at my pinning ceremony last May
There you have it. My first post about work. I always hesitate to talk or write about my job because of HIPPA. I take patient privacy very seriously and I would never want to share any sort of confidential information. I think this post is definitely HIPPA approved, though. :)
xo, ltw

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