Sunday, December 27, 2015

Professional Treatment

The strangest thing happened.

For two days, I was floated into an office that does intake.  From what I could ascertain, this office coordinates the patients who are admitted through the emergency department and need to transition to a longer-term arrangement.

The shift supervisor told me that it's my job and always has been.

I remember other nurses covering this particular office.  I also remember that they get paid extra for it, though I don't know how much.

I tried the union rep.  "Why would you get paid extra for doing YOUR JOB?" she replied.  Well, when you phrase it that way, I wouldn't get paid extra.

The office was amazing.  Windows to see outside.  A secretary who was polite and did work and actually stayed in the office for her entire shift.  No supervisor called me and stopped in throughout the day to question me about what work I've done, what work I have left to do, and asked me to justify my existence.  A few people did stop in.  They knocked first and asked to be excused for interrupting me.

It was almost as if I were working in a different hospital.  It was as if I were a healthcare professional.

I bumped into the person who keeps track of the nurses' time.  (By hand- no computer.)  She said, "Oh, nobody told me you were working in that department.  I'll put your slip in to payroll right away so you get the differential."  I didn't mention that my own union rep was not in favor of my receiving this differential.

I felt myself relaxing.  In the back of my mind, I knew that this would not last.  But I found myself dreaming about a different job.  Are there places like this office, where people do not bother you all day, accusing you of doing nothing, or committing a malicious act against them, or dumping more and more work on you?

When I finished my shift, I felt as if I had not worked.  It makes such a difference when the phone is not ringing off the hook with a line of people hovering around you throwing more work at you.  I was able to sit down and look at each referral, make notes, and then discuss each person calmly with insight.


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