Monday, April 21, 2008

Working Girl

Back to the working world! This transition between assignments was a little strange, though, since there was only one week off between jobs! (That was a busy week, by the way, with packing up and leaving LaCrosse, hanging out with family and friends, re-organizing from winter to summer stuff, driving across 8 states, and getting settled into a new apartment! Whew, no wonder it feels like that all happened a really long time ago!!)

This past week I spent quite a bit of time at the hospital. Banner Desert Children's Hospital is part of a large organization, and they do a great job with orientation. I spent parts of Monday through Thursday doing hospital (classroom) orientation and learned quite a bit about the Banner orgainization, specific policies/procedures, using their equipment, and learning their computer system.

Here are some things I learned about Banner Healthcare (also found on their website):

We are one of the largest nonprofit hospital systems in the country.
We operate in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.
We have 22 hospitals and health care facilities.
We offer physician services, hospice and home care.
We are based in Phoenix, Ariz.
We provide more than $64 million a year in charity care.
We are the leading healthcare provider in all the communities that we serve.
We are nationally recognized for our patient-safety efforts.
We employ more than 28,000 employees.
We admit more than 190,000 patients to our hospitals every year.
We deliver more than 32,000 babies and we treat more than 510,000 people a year in our emergency departments.

Banner Desert, the specific hospital I'm at, delivers over 7,000 babies a year. That's the highest number for any hospital in Arizona. Busy place!!

Both last night and the night before, I was finally able to work a couple of shifts on my unit. They went pretty well! It's a larger unit than I've experienced before, 34 beds total. The usual staff/patient ratio is 1:4 which is a number I'm very familiar with, so that helps it feel a little smaller. The thing that was very noticeable with a larger unit, is that it was pretty loud at night! I just came from a small, 8-bed unit with two staff and typically less than 8 patients. All 34 beds were full, so that meant 9 RN's, 4 CNA's, 2 HUC's, a Team Leader (charge RN) and they also have a Clinical Manager on both the day AND the night shifts! That meant 17 staff around!! That meant I didn't really get to meet everyone (there are two nurse's stations and I was pretty much just at the one), it was nice to have extra hands when needed, but it was also loud just because it's hard to keep 17 people quiet! One important thing for the patients, though, is that the rooms were pretty quiet with the doors closed so the patients were definitely able to get some sleep!

It was nice to see that the hospital had the same philosophy of caring for their patients and families that I have (not a disease-in-a-room but a person with specific needs, sometimes not even medical-related). They have a pretty amazing set-up with playrooms, outside play areas, a toy closet that the kid can shop in after any "bad" procedure (IV starts, lab draws, etc), Child Life specialists during the day, and a host of other things. I also felt like even if I'm still learning the hospital-specific ways of doing things, I could walk into the room and know how to care for my patients well. That's a great feeling! I know I'll see higher-acuity patients than what I'm used to, but I don't feel in over my head. All my patients this past weekend are patients I would've cared for in any of my last three hospitals. Whew!

I was able to get my schedule as well, and learned that it won't be like it was in Seattle, working 6 days in row then having a week off, but it's also not like LaCrosse, working 10 out of 11 days in a row. Here I'll have 3 shifts a week, and they're either all together and then have 4 off and start again, or I'll work 2 on, have a couple off, work one, then have another 1-2 off. So, it's not completely clumped together like I enjoy, but it'll also be VERY nice to have some time off to do a few things around here! And, next week I get to head to California to see some of my favorite people in the world! Yippee!!

Sorry that ended up being a longer post about stuff that might not be interesting to everyone, but I was specifically thinking of past co-workers wanting to know what my next job situation would be like. If you got this far in the post, thanks for sticking with me! :)

More pictures to follow, of the fun time I had seeing friends!


Susan said...

Your new job sounds perfect! Please share some more info and pictures, maybe we can use the ideas in our unit. I miss our middle of the night talks. Take care. Susan

Candis Berge said...

Thanks for the update. I was happy to read it all!

doug&margarethe said...

Glad to read about your new job location and what it is like there. Enjoy your time like I know you will. We wish you were closer home..sometime soon again I hope. We love you and miss you. Mom