Friday, May 3, 2013
Being a nurse practitioner is a wonderful career! Here I sit at work, typing away on the iPad my employer has supplied--I can read a book, write a book, surf the WWW, watch Netflix...the list goes on. No, my employer won't get on to me for doing these things--as my co-worker and fellow NP said, "we don't get paid for what we do, we get paid for what we can potentially do." That's what my current locum tenens job is about. I'm waiting on a job to open up in a rural hospital--where I will work full time with a work seven 12 hour days and then be off for seven days. I took this temporary position as it offered more money than what I had been making (being honest--Medicare doesn't pay well) and I needed a little break before I started the 7/7 job. This job is 3/12 hour days a week rotating every 3 weeks so nobody is stuck always working the weekend (except Sunday--this office is closed on Sunday). See, a career in nursing (as a NP) is a great thing. The job market is wide open. The work is generally rewarding--it's a lot what you make it. The responsibility is awesome as a nurse practitioner--I remember when I first started I would lay awake at night or be jarred awake by the thought that I'd forgotten to check for allergies to certain medication or the dose of furosemide I ordered was gonna shoot their kidneys--or worse, what if that nurse didn't take the order off that I wrote or forgot to take the warfarin out of the med cart because I d/c'd it 5 days ago but the INR kept going up--only to find the night nurse HAD been giving it. There's a lot of what ifs. Eventually, you calm down and become a skilled, knowledgeable, overall "well seasoned" NP. Remembering to check for drug/drug interactions, allergies, noting of risk/benefit--all become second nature. For the time being, this job is a mini-break from the serious, chronic health challenges I had been faced with daily at my previous job. The worst thing here so far is poison ivy rashes otherwise it's DOT/CDL physicals, urine drug screens, breathalizer testing, occasional gluing someones skin back together, various injections for minor problems. We are prepared to suture if needed. Nothing REALLY life threatening, and for that I am thankful. Now don't get me wrong, I still love little frail old people and I'm sure the base population at the hospital will be these folks. I'm just being honest about the pay and getting a break from the stress of trying to keep old worn out bodies working and anxious and unrealistic family members breathing down your neck. I still say, there should be a law passed that declares it illegal to make a person with a "terminal illness" or in "end stage" disease a full code. Please, let them go with dignity. More later.