I never know quite what to title these posts as this is pretty much a summary of our work week in a nutshell. This week I was scheduled Sunday, Monday, Tuesday day shift. Sunday was one of those days where all the mommies come in with their water broke who knows what the barametric pressure change was but there must have been an environmental factor. It was a kind of fun change of pace to take an ambulance ride to Eugene and back. (I enjoyed, later in the week, talking to the manager at Silverton FBC finding out that since we can’t transport a non stable patient and to date they had never had an ambulance delivery, they no longer send an RN on maternal transports unless medically the patient needs the advanced level of care.) I was under the impression that once a patient presented to a certain level of care (RN) we could not pass them off to a lower level of care (paramedic, although paramedics are awesome they are not a fan of obstetric emergencies) it makes sense and it would have made staffing the unit much easier as we called all employed RNs to try to get an additional pair of helping hands. No worries though it all worked out just fine. Monday had a record number of out patients: triages, NSTs, and follow up newborn appointments. It went so smoothly the nursing team worked like a well oiled machine. Tuesday promised to be busy with a few scheduled procedures and for sure the clock was kind to us as we were continuously on our feet with every room full the minute hand may as well have been a second hand. The day flew by, steady but not insane. The manager came up from her office and helped with a discharge and NST. She, a midwife and the nurse that was on with me were working out the details of a nursing conference then turned their focus on housing for me saying, “What can we do to get you to stay here? We are going to find you housing!” I am really enjoying this assignment so far. I hate to allow myself to feel that way this early when I am still in the honeymoon phase, but I do. The nurses, the manager, the providers, the unit. They are not only happy people who enjoy their job, they are passionate about providing a positive birth experience promoting family autonomy by supporting their choices in a loving non judge mental way that I have not experienced since leaving Silverton.
Housing continues to be an adventure and we have pretty much given up on housing and embraced the hotel lifestyle. Chad’s mom gifted us a crockpot and Chad has dove whole heartedly into the challenge of preparing all of our dinners with this food artist’s medium. Breakfast of cold cereal or oatmeal the fixing for sandwiches for lunch have managed to be great meal options as well. Who would have thunk it… A mini fridge and crockpot could be sufficient to keep and feed a family of five for four days every week. The fact that Chad has happily taken on this challenge has relieved a lot of stress off of me. Meals out plus hotels each night would have quickly broke our budget. As much as money is not our primary motivator for working as a travel nurse family. We can’t exactly afford to spend more on living than we are bringing in, really who could?
Chad is a certified carpet cleaner which is a notable accomplishment it requires a lot of classes and continuing education credits to maintain. He was due to take a few credits to remain certified so he had been scheduled for a water damage restoration class this week in Portland too. As a one car family we were thinking of every option to manage my work schedule and Chad’s class schedule being three and a half hours apart. Not to mention what would we do with the kids? Chad and the kids stayed with me until Monday he then reserved a room for me in a hotel with in walking distance and then headed back to Salem where Stephanie offered to help us by watching the kids. Eve declared that she has always wanted a four or five year old brother follows by a, “Cyrus, will you be my brother?” (Thank you Steohanie and Jayson for all of your help especially with the kids.) After work I walked to the hotel and crashed then got up early got ready walking to Dutch Brothers on the way to work for a Coconut Dutch Freeze breakfast. The sunrise was beautiful! I was thankful to get to witness it. Mary Beth came and picked me up after work we enjoyed dinner at the Tiki on 51st for dinner, my treat. Ahi wraps and a wicked mocha with extra cayenne…Onolicious!!! As always and perhaps more than usual we enjoyed our time together and conversation. Thank you Mary Beth for coming and picking me up I loved the quality time.
We loved the beautiful flower baskets by the Tiki on 51st.
Today was a scheduled Epic refresher in Albany. It made for a very short day thank goodness. We had some tears, stress related over housing this morning. Even though we know it will all work out it is not coming very easy and as of today it looks like we will be going with the most expensive route (hotels every night) just because no door we have knocked on has opened yet. I did get to visit Silverton FBC again this evening at change of shift and at the end of a staff meeting which means I got to see a lot of the nursing team not just who was on for one shift. Of course they all asked me how traveling is going and over all it is good since we are doing what we set out to do although there are so many tough aspects. Some one said, “you have to be really smart to do that!” Lol not really just willing to look like a fool.
This time the I’m nervous feeling didn’t start until we were in Newport about 12 hours out of time to start my first shift. Even at that it wasn’t too bad until the last 45 minutes. It is in these first days that I have to frequently remind myself that it is good to be outside of my comfort zone. And that in the long run the positive consequences of hard work way out weigh the ease of laziness. (This is an internal battle that I am always fighting and don’t always win.) Ariving 40 minutes early I waited in the car 10 minutes then headed in to try to find my way to L&D. A small hospital can still be quite disorienting, but I made it upstairs and to my new unit. The nurse that I will be covering for maternity leave was on, it was fun to meet her and get some idea of what my schedule will look like. We chatted for a little while as day shift arived. Everyone was friendly. We got most of the first day stuff done, name badge, door access, computer access, med system access, unit tour, scavenger hunt, first admission and delivery giving me some familiarity with the paperwork, process and a few of the providers. That is what everyone hopes their first day is like. You don’t want to go too long with out an admission or a delivery because you don’t get very many orientation days as a traveler and you have to know how to do those things (charting systems and some processes are all a little different at every hospital). I love it when people tell me it’s ok to ask questions…fair warning now I ask a LOT of questions. There is no way to learn everything in two days of orientation. 1915 came quick enough, I was definitely ready for the shift to be over. A headache was starting to creep up on me and I was eager to catch up with Chad as he had been working all day on our housing situation.
Chad picked me up out front bearing gifts from The Gluten Free Place, a delicious pineapple upside down cake.
Admitting that we may just be spending too much money there this assignment because they had tasted a few things that were all delicious and it wasn’t too far from the hospital. I have been given a huge gift in Chad as my husband, he is beyond supportive always thinking of ways to make me feel loved by doing something special for me. So, good news with an awesome GF place in town, but bad news as far as housing goes. There are a lot of private campgrounds with long term residents, but they (all the ones he drove by, talked to, called) were full. We could see empty spots on a few that we drove by Sunday but when he called they said they have no monthly spaces available. There was one (the most expensive one at $700 a month) on a paved lot with no grass say that they probably could do it, but we would have to shuffle around and move sites every week because they also were booked. We don’t want to pay that much to be in a paved lot and move around every week so, we will continue to look. We will be checking on a few more places today, as well as our next options.
With computer training in Albany on the schedule next we headed home to Salem.
I have no idea why housing on the Oregon beach has been such a bear! Using Craigslist for our main resource we have put out emails, texts and phone calls with very few responses. Those that have responded have said, ”We don’t want to consider anything less than a six month lease.” It is hard not to get frustrated… We maybe thinking outside the box a bit on this one. Maybe tent it for a while and a hotel when we can’t get site, I’m not sure I’m ready for that unsettled of a lifestyle. I think I’m doing a fairly good job not stressing out since our next assignment starts in < two weeks we would love this all to resolve soon. We know the right thing will come along, and would love your prayers on this matter.
It is so good to be home in our own house and in the last couple of days we have visited with couples from our Sunday school class and family’s from our homeschool group. My agency has been sending me things that have to be done for the next assignment and I feel the pressure of all that mounting. As glad as we are to take a few weeks off it doesn’t feel like it will be enough.
Honduras seems like so long ago now that it was longer back than our departure date is forward.
If you ever get to go on a mission trip you should. Don’t think that you don’t have any skills to offer. Take the opportunity and just do it. Our trip this last January brought a group of 18 people of various skill sets together for the common goal of bringing some basic health care to needy communities in rural Honduras. We had a doctor, a Labor and Delivery Nurse, a retired RN, three good spanish speakers for translators, a 15 year old that taught the older kids origami and had a whole line of littler kids hoping his next demonstration would be theirs, three people coordinating activities for the children, a former CNA and a student planing to become a nurse. Practice (for the student) to use their new found skills to take names and get blood pressures. Someone to coordinate meals, the team leader, three more people who helped maintain lines, and were runners and a lot of other important things. We ranged from 15 years old to 75 with a even spread in the middle.
The day would start off after making breakfast and packing lunch. We would pile into two 15 passenger vans with all of our supplies and drive the bumpy but scenic roads to the villages. We would set up, arrange tables and chairs, and start taking names and blood pressures at 9:00am. We saw many patients, 670 total in our 5 days of clinics.
We came away feeling like the Honduran people, their smiles and thankfulness, blessed us so much more than we could have imagined. We went to give them a gift and didn’t expect such a big blessing in return.