Monday, October 17, 2011

Movin' On, Movin' Back

Have I ever talked to y'all about home care nursing?  

I have done a boatload of it.  AIDS patients, IV antibiotics, TPN, dressing changes; I've done them all.  The problem was, I could never make any real money at it.   Back in the day, the only ones with steady employment were the case managers.  

I finally left field work and went into education full-time, but I have always enjoyed being on the road, making creative work of patient care.  

Home care is another breed of cat, and the first thing you notice is this: the balance of authority is different when you are on the patient's turf, instead of him being on yours.   The down side of that is, you become more a partner in wellness and less a director.  Some nurses hate that aspect of it; they also hate the travel, dislike going into strange environments, and are easily frightened by anything out of the way.  

The things I dislike about hospital nursing have to do with the lack of those stimulants!  Lord knows there is plenty to stimulate you on a given hospital shift, but seldom do the stimulants have to do with pleasant surprises.  So, when I was offered a job doing regular home care I thought it was too good to be true.

Now I'm down to the last night of 11-7.  I love the people I work with on nights; they are The Best.   We've shared some truly awesome moments.  They have helped me grow and learn to be a better nurse than I ever was before.   I can only hope to find their equal over in Home Care, but I doubt if I'm going to try.  Some things are irreplaceable.  

So, to Blondie, Mr. Somber, New Kid, and all the rest, farewell but not good bye forever.  I will miss you all.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Year of Change

Do you ever wonder when things are going to go back to "normal," whatever you conceive that to be?  Me, too.  I thought when the threat of snow was past, things would return to Normal.  Then we had the longest hottest summer in years.  That should have taught me.  We managed to put in furnace/whole house air this year, approximately one week ahead of extreme summer heat.  Talk about cutting it close!

My youngest kid got married in May.  You know what a shambles that makes of your carefully planned routine.  It was a beautiful wedding, though.  Gave me an excuse to buy one of those snazzy imported beaded blouses.  I wrote an Irish-Scottish Blessing for the occasion and had the nerve to deliver it by way of a toast at the reception.  The bride went off in a cloud of tulle and ruching and I thought, what are we going to do for excitement now?  

I assumed things would return to Normal.  (You can see this one coming, can't you?)  What are we going to do, indeed.  Three things happened almost at once; the newlywed kid packed up hubby & household for Florida, Son's wife came down pregnant, and then the Middle Kid followed suit a month later.  "It's hardly fair" Middle Kid said, "We've only been trying for a month and I only took the pregnancy test because I was going out to eat sashimi."  Evidently the savvy Mom-to-be does not eat raw fish.  I don't think I'd know enough to be pregnant these days!  So we're coming up newlyweds and babies this year.  And that's just for starters.  

Truly, it seems that everybody I know has had a crisis or undergone some sort of change since January 1.  Every month a new thing pops up.  The Sainted Rector is retiring and the parish is somewhat agog.  A few friends' family members have died, and we're all going to miss Steven Jobs.  Although I never expected to count the newlywed kid in that number, a few friends are on the move to distant cities where there is more work than one can find in the frozen upper Midwest.  More than a few got living wage jobs, which was a real surprise blessing.  

Congress gives every indication of needing its meds adjusted; and now thousands of passionate but peaceful citizens are occupying Wall Street.  I love it.

What, I wondered, could I possibly do for an encore?  Well, I finally got serious about changing departments and at long last I have a transfer to a department where I will work when it's both daylight and when most other people are awake.  That will be a novelty.  Not that I haven't enjoyed the night shift because I have, but one day recently my brain tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Yo, Mama!  This swinging from day-awake to night-awake every week has gotta stop.  You've abused the privilege."  That's how I knew it was time.  

The other thing I am doing is getting ready to go back to college for a BSN, which shouldn't be too difficult considering I have a BA already.  Don't you love the variety of RN-to-BSN programs there are now?  LPN-to-BSN, RN-to-BSN, RN-to-MSN, RN-with-a-BA-not-in-Nursing-to-BSN, the list goes on.  I'm just grateful to have found a junior college with manageable class schedules for the 4 classes I need to enter the BSN program.  From there onward it's all online, thank the Lord.

We heard last week that Son's baby will be a girl, and we're waiting for intelligence on Middle Kid's baby next month.  Although I'm knitting blankets, don't expect me to turn into a gushy Gramma in a sweatshirt adorned with baskets of kittens.  I'm the intelligence-stimulating-book-buying Grandmama. The Grandmama who wants grandchildren to reply, "yes, Ma'am."  And, I'm having no end of fun.

I hope y'all are having fun, too.