Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flushots, FNP and the end of Funemployment

it's nearly the end of october, and i feel like for once in my life, i have something to show for it! my life this autumn can basically be summed up by this post's title, so let's break it down as such:

I. flushots

when i first got this gig, i was super ecstatic. i get paid an obscene amount of money so that i can stab people without end? awesome. i'm not a huge fan of needles (although i've gotten much better since the venipuncture lab incident in which i watched my buddy alfred poke around with a needle under my skin looking for a vein), but i'm totally fine sticking them in people.

it's a pretty simple, yet sweet deal. i show up to the main office, pick up a roller bag of needles, gauze, alcohol pads, and other bits and pieces, pop over to the program site (metro card and directions included). i get paid for transportation, i get to wear cute clothes and walk around the city in the autumn. i get to meet all sorts of people and often tell hot young 30 something men to take their clothes off (professionally, naturally), and of course, i get all sorts of fun stories.

oddly enough, the people who cringe the most about the flushot are the tough guys with the tats up and down their arms. these men will whimper, cringe, and ask to close the door in case they cry. once i had one actually yelp. generally i can tell which women have kids and which don't because the latter are really jumpy (today i had one that jumped so far that she actually removed her arm from the needle and i had to stick her a second time--wow. just... wow.) my favorite incident was when i was trying to get this particularly well-muscled man to relax his arm so the injection wouldn't hurt so much. i politely requested a second time for him to relax and when he told me he was, i realized that he was so ripped that his resting muscle tone was actually harder than when i actually tried to flex. sadface.

however, after nearly a month of this, i think i might be over it. the commute from home to the main office is long. sometimes i have to be there an hour and a half early. i have to drag these awful roller bags all over the goddamned city and they're all falling apart so that i have to stop every once in a while to kick the wheel back on. still, money is money and i have to remember this is technically the first RN job in my life, so i should remember it fondly.


... or perhaps more familiarly known as family nurse practitioner, which is the program i'm currently enrolled in. i have been ambivalent all summer about starting school and right at the beginning i had a small kick of enthusiasm, only to find myself extremely disappointed. the professors are even busier and less interested in our education. the curriculum is disorganized at best. sometimes i feel like everyone--administrators, educators, and students alike--can't make heads or tails of what the hell is supposed to go on. suffice to say, fnp has fully earned its nickname, effin-P, because that's what we feel like every day we're in class. i have my doubts about this program, and i'm not sure if i want to finish, although like a friend pointed out over dinner tonight, we've invested so much time and money into this goddamn program, we might as well suck it up, see it through, and find someone who will teach us everything we need to know in the real world. it's also only been a month and a half, so perhaps it will perk up (one can hope).

however, despite my days being saturated with policy and NP-MD power struggles, when i explain what i'm studying to the basic layman i will inevitably get the "what's the difference between an NP and an RN?" and then "so... you're like a doctor, right?" to which i can smugly (albeit unjustifiably) say: "yes, but NPs care more." (doctor friends, please limit sarcastic comments to private message, thank you!)

III: the end of Funemployment

yes, it's true. i found a job! after months of searching, futile resume sending (which, oddly enough, is the least helpful thing you can do for yourself, as it turns out), crying, whining, and yelling, i've been hired at this hospital down the street starting the beginning of november. it's awfully fast, and i think i've cleared basically every hurdle they've asked me to jump, including an additional pharmacology exam (eek), and i'm all set to go.

i'm really thankful to those friends who patiently listened and sympathetically clucked in all the right places and prayed for me and gave lots of hugs. of course i'm thankful for them. and i'm thankful for this job. after all, isn't it what i wanted? i guess what i forgot to factor in was the extreme lifestyle change this is going to bring. i can't help but feel like my social life--screw that, my LIFE is going to take a serious hit. i can't go home for thanksgiving this year. i might not be able to spend christmas with my family--something i've never ever done, even when i lived in japan (and i've been told it's quite lonely). my free time will be monopolized by studying for class. will i see my friends ever again? will i ever make it back to california?

is this the real world, what it's like to have a real job (and as much as i have passionately defended it, i'm ready to face the facts: JET was not a real job, no matter how much it paid)? it's not that i'm ungrateful, although it may seem that way. i see now that i've mostly been used to a life of leisure... er... i mean, education, and now have this impending feeling of doom that can be nothing other than the end of funemployment.


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