Posts Tagged ‘mind’

Age of Conversation 2 : 2008
(Photo courtesy of Ryan Rasmussen)

How many times have we hesitated about having a conversation or doing something with someone because we dreaded what might happen, what their reaction might be? We humans have this thing we do where we project our worries and insecurities on someone else.

If we are worried about someone’s reaction to something we have to say to them, we imagine the conversation. What we would say, what they would say back, what we would reply….In short we have a whole conversation in our heads with someone who we really have no right to speak for.

I would say that 9 out of 10 times, what we think a person thinks, is really not what they are thinking. (Try saying that tongue twister out loud 10 ten times.)

And even if it is, isn’t it better to just go and get the conversation over with instead of stalling and agonizing over it. What is the worst case scenario? That the person really doesn’t like you or thinks you are an idiot or whatever it may be? Big deal. You can then deal with it and move on.

For the past few weeks I have been agonizing over how to tell my boss that I think I have had enough of working in the ER and I want to find a different position in another ward. Part of my hesitation was also that I knew I wanted out of where I am but I was not sure where I wanted to go. The insecurity of making a decision to end one thing without a clear direction of what you want in the short term is tough.

If I am being completely truthful, I probably want a job in another field or career, but for now it is just one day at a time. I have an idea of where I want my life to head, but I still do need a paying job at this moment, and at this point my nursing career is probably the best one I can find. So I am staying a nurse, for the time being.

Ideally at this stage, I would like to find a position in one of the hospital clinics with no shifts or Friday work. (Here Fridays are like Sundays.) I had spoken to the head nurse of Oncology to see what was available and there is a position for me if I want it and the hospital management approve my transfer. I was told that it was best for me to go and observe the work day for at least a few hours to see whether the type of work appeals to me.

I didn’t want to do that without cluing my boss in because I didn’t want her hearing about it and thinking I had gone behind her back. So I sweated it out. How am I going to tell her? What happens if I don’t end up transferring out of the ER? Am I going to pay for it and get stuck with shifts I don’t want as backlash from wanting to leave? I finally just bit the bullet, called her and made an appointment to speak to her.

As usual, it turns out that all my worrying was for naught. While my boss can at times be unpredictable in her reactions (which is why I hesitated), she was as sweet as can be. She said she understood. She also said she would never try to forcefully keep someone who wanted a change.

So it seems that all my agonizing, worrying, planning and the simulated conversations I had run through in my head were a waste of time and energy and all unnecessary. I should have had this conversation weeks ago. Maybe it was my worry about disappointing someone or my concerns for my work status being compromised by a bad decision on my part. Or maybe what was really stopping me was the fact that change is hard. Starting in a new place from scratch after 15 years is not necessarily an easy position to be in.

What I have learned is that I should not hesitate and worry as much. My body and soul know when something is not right and I need a change. This whole conversation should have taken place weeks ago, because the problem was not with my boss, it was in my mind.

90/365 - Just feel better *EXPLORED!*
(Photo courtesy of Brandon P)

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Anatomy of a Blogger, from Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers
(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.

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