(Photo courtesy of Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com )
Today like every day, there are quite a number of subjects bouncing around in my head waiting for me to write about them. The inside of my brain sounds like my kids arguing with each other. You know what I mean: Me, I want to, I was first, let me…..There has been a very heated battle going on in my head as to which topic deserves to see the light of day today.
The decision as to which thoughts to put into words now and which to leave for another day has not been easy. I probably would have wrestled with my thoughts a bit longer, but I am working the evening shift tonight and I am going to need to leave to work in a little while. In the end it was the thought about work that made the decision for me.
Why do you ask? Because thinking about work right now causes some type of visceral unpleasant reaction in me.
Btw-this is not complaining and I am not looking for sympathy. I am working things through for myself and just wanted to share my insights about how the body reacts to the emotional. Sometimes we see the physical before we even realize the emotional.
So yes my body is talking to me, but it is even deeper than that. Like usual, I am going to have to digress a bit in order to get to the point. So here is some background first.
As you might know from reading this blog I am an ER nurse. I have been a nurse for close to 20 years. Sure I have not always worked and I have definitely not always worked full-time. I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to have 2 years off from work twice and I have gone on maternity leave a few times. I have even had two, or maybe it was three summers off.
(Photo courtesy of Taber Andrew Bain )
I think those breaks are the reasons I have actually managed to stay at this job for so long. Where I work, there are even those who joke that they get pregnant in order to have time off from the job and not lose their positions. That’s how mentally and physically draining the work is.
So yes it is about the place I work but it is not just about the place I work. I think I have finally come to grips with the truth that nursing is not my life’s calling. Sure I am good at it, but if I am honest I probably would not say I am great at it. From an emotional point of view I do feel I am great at my job, but from a clinical point of view, I have much to learn. That is probably because I am not enthusiastic enough about my profession so I don’t make the effort to advance my professional education.
In short, I just feel that this was not the way I was meant to make an impact on the world. Everyone is here for a reason and I know I am meant to help people. I just now know that nursing is not the way I am supposed to do it.
So I am taking steps to correct that. I have started blogging about things that are important to me. I am looking into going back to school and I even have a vision of what I want to do with my life. It is not a quick fix and I know I have to be patient and head in the right direction one step at a time.
In the meantime, I still need to make a salary. Five kids and a house is not cheap. I am okay with working. I am even okay working in nursing until I am skilled in something else that makes me happier.
Which brings me back to work. I am not happy with where I am working right now. Whew-I came out and said it. I am not happy working where I am right now.
Sometimes it is the work itself. We rotate departments within the ER. Sometimes we do triage, sometimes walk in, sometimes surgical/orthopedic/trauma and sometimes internal medicine. I do not like traumas. I can work them, but do not enjoy it. On any given day, any of the departments can be horrible to work in. Depends on your luck.
Sometimes it is the stress and the fact that we are understaffed. We are there to help people and sometimes we are just trying to tread water to even see all the patients. For someone who likes to talk to the patients and hear them, it is a terrible feeling.
Sometimes it is the co-workers and the boss. Enough said I think.
I think however a big part of my dissatisfaction is that I don’t have a set schedule and I work shifts as well as morning hours.
I work half time because my husband travels a lot. I am Sabbath observant, so I have a deal where I don’t work on Sabbath or holidays that are like Sabbath. I do however get stuck with a lot of Friday shifts and Saturday night shifts.
Here in Israel, Friday is the day off. Sunday is a work day. It is also the day to get all the cooking and errands done especially if you are Sabbath observant because there is no cooking on the Sabbath, just warming up.
On the one hand it is good because hubby is almost always home. On the other hand I find the preparations for the Sabbath even more stressful because I don’t have Friday free. I also have to worry about what my work schedule is going to be around all the holidays. It is not pleasant or easy.
For the past few days, I have been physically ill. I have been horribly nauseas (again, NO I am not pregnant) and I have had terrible stomach pain. I very much believe in the mind body connection. (BTW that’s a story for another day about how I came to believe).
It was not however until a good friend pointed out to me that maybe my body was talking to me and maybe it was even about my job, that I actually started putting the two together. I had an unpleasant episode with my boss last week and it was after that episode that I had decided to myself that I needed to look into other options in my hospital.
I haven’t moved all these years because I do like the changing fast pace of the work. I also don’t work on the Sabbath which is not available in all wards. Last but not least, sometimes what you know is easier than moving. I also don’t want to go over my boss’s head until I have some idea of what is out there. Not an easy dance. So I have been dragging my feet.
So I haven’t been listening to myself and my body has decided to do something about it and give me a really unpleasant reminder that I am not happy at work and that I deserve to be.
I even tried making a call today to inquire what was available in the oncology units and clinics. No answer. I guess I better get looking for something else. I don’t think I can handle much more nausea or stomach pain.