Saturday, June 23, 2007


I made it. My first day back was a breeze. Well at least that was after I had a panic attack in the garage downstairs and the Boyfriend had to talk me out of. I was so petrified, with good cause to. In the alternate universe I existed in, the one in my head, I thought I wouldn't know how to do anything and everyone would laugh at me for being a total ditz until I ran from the unit, ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated.

That turned out not to be the case. The unit I was working on was chaotic when I first got on, but as soon as I got introduced, got report and a short unit orientation, I was on the roll, completely in my element. My patients were ideal and there was only one that was really busy and complicated. For some reason, I was able to keep him calm all through the night, and the other nurses were so amazed because he normally is a very hysterical and agitated patient.

The night flew by so well and the nursing supervisor of that unit even came by and offered me a job. The nurses I was working with had talked me up to him, and he told me that he'd observed my bedside manner and would love to have me on the unit. Now I know that if things don't go so well at my real job I can always swoop over to here and will be warmly received.

All in all, it was a great shift and it really did help to rebuild my confidence. My next night at a different hospital was more intense, really busy and I was out of my depth a few times but the nurses rallied and kept me afloat. Big ups to them.

I was supposed to work tonight but got canceled so here I sit...blogging. It's good to be alive, well and working!! Go Me!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Tomorrow is my first day back into nursing. And I'm scared out of my mind. I'm nervous like it was my first day in school. I can't really fathom why I'm so antsy...well probably because I go from being inactive in nursing for 2 years to straight on a floor as an agency nurse with the lives of 4 people dependent on my skills.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I haven't prepared---I've done ACLS, read my Kaplan books exhaustively and taken every test I could get my hands on. It's not the procedure and tasks I'm nervous about...I'm afraid that for some reason, it won't come rushing back. I'm afraid that I'll falter or maybe miss something very important in my patient's that will determine their outcome.

I'm working tomorrow night shift for the first time in 2.5 if there is anyone reading this around then...say a prayer for me. I need all the help I can get.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Home Free

I got it!!! WOOHOO!! Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah!!!

I just got the phone call and pending work approval, I'm in like Flynn. And they are offering pay commiserate with my previous experience, putting me on the level of a year 4 nurse (when I actually only have 3.5 years backed with 2 years of no nursing, so that's great! I'm so giddy and excited that I don't even know what I'm going to do with myself. I get 4 weeks orientation like I asked, and don't start until the first week in July.

So thanks for all the positive vibes, they didn't go astray, I got the job!


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Interview: Redux

Remember last week when I was whining (and I use that word most sparingly) about the job interview that I tanked the week I fell sick? Well, today I had another one with a hospital in Oakland on the same kind of unit that I used to work in back East. I had so much angst heading over there because although it's been 2 weeks since the Interview Freeze I still hadn't gotten my confidence back. I actually came back inside the house and almost called to cancel in a fit of nerves but my roomie whipped me into shape and told me to stop being a punk.

Okay...for the most part I'm not a punk. But I hate to feel like I'm an idiot. I consider myself reasonably smart...perhaps even quite intelligent, so when my brain/memory fails me, especially in situations that I should be able to breeze through, I absolutely detest the feeling. I didn't really go into details about how bad the last interview was on was so bad that I came home in tears and ended up bawling all over the Fiance as I mumbled how many times I had screwed up in a 30 minute interview. I still had flashbacks about it all through the day, and the nursing questions keep playing over and over in my head.

Fast forward to today...I KICKED ASS! Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah! *doing booty shake*. There was this calmness that came over me from the moment I stepped into the office until hours later when I stood outside the pavement jumping up and down. I felt no pressure to perform whatsoever, and just talked to the Supervisor about my previous nursing experience and how I would make a good fit into their unit. He asked me far more questions than the last interview, in much more nursing depth than before as well and I nailed each question leaving him more than satisfied. The best part---no eyes boring into my skull. He was so laid back and chill, it made me more relaxed.

"Why should I hire you?" he asked me towards the end of the interview.

"Because I'm fabulous!" was my first response, which I later segued easily into a list of great reasons. This was the best interview I'd ever had.

He introduced me to the other nurses working that day as Vixen, a registered nurse that will be working on their unit sometime in the near future. Say what?

Oh yeah. He told me twice during the course of the 85 minute interview that he likes me and plans to offer me a position. He is checking my references and then will forward my info directly to HR for a direct hire. This means I skip going to HR to beg for a job from the hospital, this time the hospital is coming to me. It doesn't get much better than that.

Take that, mean lady boring holes into my head with your horn rimmed glasses and PMS-ey attitude. You just lost out on hiring a great nurse. Actually---you just lost out on hiring a fuckin' fabulous nurse.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Interview from Hell

I'm still working on my website, but let me tell you about my first lousy interview. There was a job fair in a hospital about 4 miles from my house. I went there on Saturday about six weeks ago, thinking about filling out an application and turning in my resume alone. The HR people were really excited with me and passed me straight through to interview WITH A POTENTIAL MANAGER.

Holy Mary and the orphans. Gulp!

I soooo wasn't ready to interview. I didn't have my lucky underpants on. I didn't have my interview mindset. I didn't have the slightest clue what I was going to say. Holy fuck! It didn't help that when the manager finally came up to see me, I was stuffing my face with a sandwich. It had onions in it. I hurriedly swallowed my last bite, wiped my hand on a napkin and shook her hand. She gingerly accepted it, as if knowing that the mustard caught at the edge of my lips was on my hand as well.

As we proceeded into the office, I managed to clean up a little bit more and gain a modicum of propriety. "So," she said as she had me sit down on the other side of a huge, organized desk. That should have been my first warning sign. What nice person has an organized desk? Only an anal obsessive type person would have one. She's not gong to be nice. She gave my resume a cursory glance. "Tell me why you got out of nursing and why all of a sudden you want to come back."

Damn lady, just delve into it won't you. "Ummm," fuck. Never start a sentence with ummm, isn't that the interview no-no? Her eyebrows went up at that and I slogged on, determined to recover myself. I started babbling. When I'm uber nervous, I either babble or giggle. Neither are good interview responses. She asked me a few more cursory questions and then hit me with a big one. "What steps have you taken before you started interviewing preparing you to re-enter nursing." SHIIIIITTTTT! No steps, no steps at all, this was just a spur of the moment thing. Don't panic, don't panic. "I have been re-reading my NCLEX Kaplan book---" I started nervously. "Did you take a refresher course?" she pursued relentlessly interrupting me. No heifer, I didn't take a refresher course, that shit costs like 1500 bucks---do I have that kind of loot sitting around? Hell fuckin' no! "Did you take ACLS yet?" "No, but I'm on the wait list for it." She nodded, then brought in her assistant manager to grill me.

Together, with 2 sets of brown searing eyes, they ran me through this interview questionnaire with medical questions to see my critical thinking skills. My actions were appropriate, even I knew that, but they kept asking for the rationale behind everything, and I dithered on the first question so long that they didn't even ask me the rest on the page. After that, Manager lady showed me a VTACH strip and asked me to identify it and give the appropriate treatment. Of course, I incorrectly said VFib which made me look more like an idiot. Fuck a duck!

On my way out, even I know that I tanked the interview. "We'll call you and let you know," Manager said. Yeah right, when hell freezes over. I'd never done so poorly on anything in nursing before. The more I thought about it, the more upset I got, until I ended up parked on the side of the road crying. I managed to contain myself enough to get home but only enough to rush through the house, bid a terse greeting to my hubby and head straight for the bedroom to cry my eyes out.

He came in moments later and between my hysterical tears he managed to piece the sorry interview together. "Don't worry sweetie, it was just a dry run. You'll do better next time, now you know what it's like and everything. You didn't even really want that job anyway," he continued as he soothed and comforted me. "And now you know what to study and focus on and the kind of attitude to have."

It took a while with his positive energy but I was finally able to put things into perspective and get over myself. He's right, there are hundreds of other opportunities and if the last Manager didn't want me, someone else will.