Monday, May 07, 2007

Proud to be a nurse...

This morning after working my 12 hour night shift, I went to my appointment with my therapist. Yes, I have no shame in admitting that I see a psychologist. I told him that I would meet him at 8:30, but I got there over 20 minutes early. (Yes, the DiVa was not fashionably late.) I fell asleep in the parking lot.

All this week I had been planning to drop my therapist because I felt that we had surpassed the therapuetic phase of our relationship. It had got to the point where he was like saying things in a suggestive way like, "Are you sure your insurance won't cover my full fee?" or "If you are going to stay in a bad situation just because the money is good, then accept it for what it is and get over it." It seems a bit harsh to me because I favor the Gestalt method of psychotherapy. I digress.

I was awakened by the knock of my therapist on my car window. It was a startling awakening, but I recovered and followed him into his builiding. I see a therapist who practices in a rural area. The trees were blossoming and the sun was shining. I must admit this morning was beautiful. So he asked me how things have been going. The topic of today's session was my job. I have spent a great deal of time weighing out the pros and cons of me staying at this job.

The cons
The lousy hours, the atrocious scheduling practices, the issue of seniority and its impact on practically every aspect of the job. I will have to work nights or evenings at least another five years unless someone dies or quits. In five years my son will be 17 years old which is too long to wait for a change. I need to spend time with him NOW. The bitchy nurses that I work with has been something I have grown accustomed to and I must say I have learned how to handle the doctors that seem to have a vendetta against me from time to time equally as well. But the number one reason why I feel that I really need to leave my job is that I can't stand to watch my daughter cry when they call me in to work on my days off. Or the look of disappointment on my son's face when he realizes that yet again, I have to work every weekend. And the fact that on most holidays I will not be home.

The pros
Yes there are pros! are that I love being a labor and delivery nurse. My job allows me to bring people together. Despite all, birthing is a collaberative and emotional process. I love being a part of peoples lives at such a special time in such a personal way. I am proud to represent my demographic in a hospital where the staff somewhat frowns against the unwed mother. I am not ashamed of being and unwed mother, a product of the welfare system that was able to turn my life around with strong will and determination. I love our patient population. I have the power to take the meanest uncooperative patient and make them warm and gracious. I love it. I love the human connection and I will miss it.

I almost hate it that I will have to walk away from this job soon, but I love my children too much to neglect them any more than I had to when I was in nursing school. I promised myself I would never do it again. So I have decided to start looking for jobs again. Surprisingly, my therapist supported me in my decision. My mother is indifferent. My kids can't wait for me to quit. And I am conflicted. But more than anything, I am proud to be a part of a profession where compassion is a requirement.



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