Thursday, March 22, 2012

Weird Day

It was a weird, long day.

I'm still in the office twice a week. My last day will be Tuesday. Everything has been handed over to my replacement and since I'm officially retiring, I'm not even helping her.
There was a meeting in the office with all of the eastern administrators, people I've known for years. I kept my office door shut. I felt odd. I really didn't know what to say if someone approached me.
It's not as if there was a retirement luncheon for me so all of us could say say our official good-byes. No official closure.

The closing of PennMed's Allentown office as been like that, a slow tortuous good-bye as people are let go every other week. I likened it to the multiple surgeries on a bad leg - first a toe, then the forefoot, then the entire foot...Well, you get the picture.
Today I felt like a hanger-on. Someone not invited to the party -- when I was the one that chose not to go.
Like I said: weird.

I did do some reading of professional material and reviewed new policies and procedures that were sent out--just in case.
I am going to PADONA next week to keep up my credits for my RN.
I'm not sure how long I'll do that. My back says no general duty nursing every again and I never did go back to school to finish my BSN. Now I don't want it.

It's hard to let go of something that's been a major part of your life, even when you're the one pushing it away.
Definitely weird.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Employment History - The Early Days

I actually started to work full time in 1968. I was a staff nurse on one of the oldest medical/surgical units of Easton Hospital - 3 North. There were two six-bed wards (no privacy with that) with running water and toilets down the hall. There were private rooms that usually held the most difficult patients as in confused with dementia (called senility then) who were restrained to their beds and who usually hit you when you tried to give them care. The private rooms were also reserved for isolation, mostly TB, and reverse isolation, usually for the severely burned. I ruined several uniforms with silver nitrate (then used for treating burns).

Uniforms - not scrubs. Nurses wore white, white stockings, white shoes and of course, the cap. If someone walked down the hall dressed in all in white and wearing a cap, you knew she (mostly shes back then) was a nurse. Today, everyone wears a scrub and their name tags shows their first name in huge letters and their discipline in very small letters. Nurse? Aide? Housekeeping?

I had a patient who hit me in the mouth and drew blood. I had another one who hit me on the head with a huge alcohol bottle (placed outside of an isolation room), knocking me out. I helped a newly admitted patient take off his leg prosthesis but the sock on the other foot was more difficult; it was stuck to his skin, having been on his foot for many months.

And with all of this and working weekends and holidays, I can say:
I hated every minute.
Not what you expected me to say?
I worked for low pay for lots of responsibility.
I have a bad back from caring for patients with no help.
I hated every minute because
it was not what I wanted.
But I made the best of it for almost 44 years.

I took care of hundreds, maybe thousands, of patients/clients/residents.

Now it's time to take care of Mitzi...and Morgan.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

More Changes

Now that "the company" has been sold and the office from which I worked closed, I'm coming to terms with more changes than just retiring.

I've worked with many of these people for more than fifteen years. I've worked with the people in our facilities for the same amount of time. Most of them I will never see again, or hear about.

When I decided to retire this year, I thought "the office" would always be there, my work-friends would always be there. I would be able to go back every so often, having lunch, go out to dinner, gossip, find out what was going on with people I knew and liked. But most of them are going out on their own, trying to find jobs (and jobs with health insurance - that's a biggie). Many of them are over 40 - some close to 60 or 60. They're worried.

And I'm worried for them. I like them - all of them. I "friended" a lot of them on Facebook.
But it won't be the same.
If I win the lottery, I'll have a giant PennMed reunion.
And then we can all catch up...and gossip.

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