Now, if you know anyone who is a nurse or trying to make YOU become a nurse, one of the things you’ll hear a lot of is this: “But nursing has so many opportunities.” And it’s true.
IF (and there’s always an IF or a BUTT–hehe–isn’t there?) you have sucked it up and completed your floor rotation for a couple of years. Which I had not done. And I was not about to do, because I’d have ended up in Happy Horse-Shit Sanitarium drooling and twitching. Having an autistic kid had tried my sanity enough and it just wasn’t going to happen for me.
So, when staring down the nose at paying two mortgages, my (significantly less) fat butt kicked into gear. I interviewed for such positions as a 3-11PM on an Ortho/Neuro floor where the average patient ration was something like 6-7. That’s a fucking ton of people who can’t walk needing you to help them do, well, anything.
Then there was the Sunshine Nursing Home. I walked in, interviewed, noticed that the small vestibule between the outside and inside smelled like piss and was told by a very sad looking RN that if I wanted this job (gestures around sadly) to just call her back. Yeah. No. Thanks. Not thinking that suicide is in the cards for me.
My last beacon of hope (before I went to the dark side of case management) was through a temp agency. While I wasn’t thrilled about being given an hours notice of potential work for a night, they paid really fucking well, and I didn’t have to go on a gazillion interviews and explain yet again why I’d taken a break between graduation and that point in time (a couple of months). Tedious, is thy name.
But something that they had for me that didn’t require huge amounts of floor training was at a prison. A Juvenile Prison. I’d be filling in for a staff nurse who was going to be out for brain surgery. Weekends, hours were great, and it was about 20 minutes from my house.
I drove to my parents house, anxious to share the news and pick up my son, and was greeted with a whole lot of, “you’re kidding, right?” and “please tell me you’re kidding.” The Daver was okay with it but no one else could believe that not only was I about to go work in jail, but that I was thrilled about it.
I reported for duty on the ass-crack of my first morning and was immediately given a huge ass key chain. See, now you make fun of janitors for having a fucking pocket full of keys, but I thought it was rad. I was given a brief orientation by the head RN and left to my own devices after being warned not to let the kids lock me in the med room.
Okay, that mental picture is making me laugh. O! Vicodin you wily bastard!
This, this I could do, I told myself as I wheeled the cart of meds around passing out drugs and making sure the kids swallowed them. Apparently they’d been having problems with kids hoarding NSAIDS.
(no one said teenagers were smart all of the time)
It was a fucking great gig: I never had to put any of the kids in the time-out room, and despite the head RN worrying about my pasty ass the kids and I got along pretty well. No one locked me in the med room. Not even once.
I *loved* it. I’m a rare breed who happens to love teenagers–even the fucked up asshole ones–and despite the fact that I appeared to be a pushover, they learned pretty quickly that I was a force to be reckoned with. Plus, how cool is it to work in a prison? Seriously now.
The lady I was covering for recovered much more quickly than she’d anticipated (mayhap like a certain DAUGHTER of mine who kick the ass of brain surgery. Hells yes!) and I was summarily left jobless again.
The rest of the story is even more boring and tedious, but a quick recap: ended up in case management/hospice and worked on extending benefits for those at the end of their life.
(Do I know how to pick uplifting jobs or WHAT?)
But shit, if I could go back to work at the jail again, I’d do it in a heartbeat. If for no other reason than that I could legitimately whistle Folsom Prison Blues while I worked.