Thursday, July 9, 2015

A PICU-less Update!

Well, well, and suddenly 6 months have flown by since my last post! Seriously how does that even happen!?

Well I can tell you life happens, and blogging gets put on the back burner.  Especially a blog about being a PICU Nurse Practitioner, which I still am at heart, but not currently employed : )

Since our move down south last year, I was thoroughly enjoying my time at home with Isabella. My initial plan was to be a stay at home mom for 6 months and then go back.  But 6 months came and went so fast.  We were buying a new house and moving when she was 6 months.

So then I thought, ok, let's give it a month or 2 so we can get settled in. Who wants to have a 6 month old, unpack a ton of boxes, furnish a new house, and just get organized all while starting a new job!? But after a month or two of settling in, I will be super ready to find something part time!  So over the next couple weeks I applied to 3 positions.

The first job was the one I felt very excited about! It was a part time, 20 hour a week (2 ten hour shifts) job through the children's hospital down here called a Fertility Preservation Practitioner. It was no nights, no weekends, no holidays, no on call! Schedule heaven!!  But even more, I loved the idea that I was still able to work with adolescents and young adults and also be able to combine my experience and passion for fertility help.

However, HR said that it was a brand new position, and it would take several months to get some details together.  Umm, hello, why post the position now!?.

Anyways, in the meantime, I applied for an urgent care position that was also part time and about 15 minutes from my house.  Although it was some off hours and some weekends, I was ok with that b/c I think that Urgent Care would be interesting, or at least more interesting than some specialty clinic positions that were available.

BUT then HR called back the very next day saying "Thank you for your application. We have filled the position within 24 hours with an internal candidate.  Thanks for your interest and please apply again!"

Ugh, the technicalities/legalities of job postings is crazy. If you have a person to fill the job, why waste anyone else's time in the application process if you know you aren't even going to consider them!?

But then, a second urgent care position opened up, once again part time and about 30 minutes from my hose.  And once again, it was filled internally.

I found out a few days later that they were removing the Fertility Preservation Practitioner position for now because they couldn't get together all the logistics of the position at this time, but it was something they were hopeful about for the future.

So strike 3, I'm out : )

No seriously, I was out of the job hunt market, at least for now. Not just because those 3 jobs fell through, but mostly because....

I found out I was pregnant!!!

It was a big surprise b/c with all of our fertility issues before, we didn't think we'd get pregnant so easily and effortlessly...ever!  But it happened and we couldn't be more thrilled.  I am almost 19 weeks and just chuggin' right along.

So in the last couple months I have looked a couple times just to see what was out there. I felt like if something was truly exciting or seemed like a great opportunity I would apply. But since I was told it takes 3-4 months to get into the hospital, get fully credentialed and privileged, at this point it doesn't make sense to start a new job that I could potentially be at for a month or so, then need to go on maternity leave.

So I continue to be a PICU nurse heart, at home : )

It's definitely not the life turns that I would have expected for myself, but I am truly happy.

I try to stay on top of some journals so I don't lose all knowledge completely.  Plus there is still our Noise Study publication that we are (forever!) working on, so at least I am still involved with some of my PICU colleagues which makes me feel connected.  

And regardless of what happens with my career next year, I look forward to what that will bring.  I may not (most likely will not) be in the PICU anymore.  Perhaps I will find something in a specialty that rounds in the PICU on their patients, but the likelihood of finding a part time, no night shift PICU postion down here is impossible (as in, they don't exist, b/c all their PICU practitioners do nights).

Until that time comes though, I will continue to enjoy being at home with my 1 year old, and embracing the fact that as sick as I have been with this pregnancy, I didn't have to throw up in a nasty old hospital toilet...that can be done in the comfort of my own home this time : )  Some things are just far better done outside the PICU!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Measures of Success

Well hello New Year. My, you came fast! In my last post I talked about getting a new job in the new year, and here we are.  And yet, in this moment, I am no closer to working then I was back then.

I will say I did a quick search for jobs in my area last week.  Nothing jumped out at me right away, and then Bella started crying so I got sidetracked and haven't thought about it since.  Well, a PICU position was posted which got me all excited, but then it listed the 16 hour night shift requirement, and the joy quickly escaped me. So then I stopped thinking about it.

What I have thought about, however, is how much my definition of success has changed in the last 7 months since becoming a mom.

In the PICU, a successful day was going home at a decent hour with my patient(s) still alive.

I suppose in the same arena, if I go to bed at night at a decent hour and Bella is indeed, still alive, that's a success.  

But I am thinking that this is where the similarities probably end.

In the PICU s successful day is not getting blood or any other bodily fluid on my white coat or nice dress clothes. A shower is assumed and not any measure of success.

As a mom, a successful day is one in which I take a shower (more than 2 minutes would be nice!) and get dressed (and yes, leggings or yoga pants do count as "dressed!").  A really successful day is getting less than 2 bodily fluids on my outfit by bedtime!

A successful day in the PICU has built in work-outs as I am constantly moving, and perhaps success is found in moments where I can actually sit.

A really successful Mom day includes a 20 minute dedicated work out.

A successful PICU day involves completing rounds, all procedures, multiple patient examinations, charting, and all phone calls before 6 pm. 

As a mom, a successful day means I have completed breastfeeding my baby 5 times, and solid feeding her 3 times all by 6 pm.  *Let me tell ya, we don't have many successful solid eating days around here!*

In the PICU, a successful day involves giving my patient multiple medications, stabilizing blood pressures, preventing bed sores, having many thought provoking and educational conversations, and providing comfort to family members in distress.

As a mom, a successful day involves remembering to give Bella her Vitamin D drop, stabilizing her booty so she doesn't topple over as she learns to sit, preventing total meltdowns by anticipating her next need, having one conversation that doesn't involve my voice sounding about 5 octaves higher than normal (and something educational would certainly be a successful bonus!), and providing comfort and cuddles to my little one in her moments of distress. 

After a successful day in the PICU, I leave feeling exhausted, accomplished, thirsty, fulfilled, and like I made a difference in the life of someone.  

At the end of a successful day as a mom, I feel exhausted, not always sure of what I accomplished, thirsty, fulfilled, and not entirely sure if I made a difference.

Yes, my life is very different right now.  Being a PICU APN is hard work.  Being a MOM is hard work!  And at the end of the day, many times it does not seem like I am as successful as I once was as a PICU APN.  Yet I know deep down that this is not true. I know that it takes stamina, knowledge, patience, love, and compassion to be a great mom.

So I guess while success can be measured in so many different ways, in the end it is the success itself we should be relishing in.  Yes, keeping my patient, or my daughter alive is a great success.  But it's the intricacies of all the other Mom successes, and PICU successes, that are just as important.

And until I have career stresses, and successes, once again, I will do just that. Relish in all of the good mom moments. Relish in the days where I know just what I accomplished.  Relish in all of the many, amazing Mama successes!