I have done something bold and new this week. I have reversed my days and my nights and signed up for some night shift work. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a girl who likes my sleep. And I like my sleep to last seven to nine hours. And I like my sleep to happen when it’s dark out.
However, my unit at the hospital is having a bit of a staffing issue, as it’s the summer and people like to go on vacation in the summer (unless, like me, you are chained, like a slave, to a year-round nursing school program…but that’s an issue for another day). Therefore, the hospital is offering some incentives to make it a more attractive option for me to give up my usual nighttime activity and instead do what I usually do during the day, which is take care of the sick and also stick needles into them to get their blood.
Yeah, good times.
The first night of this experiment was Sunday night. I spent the day at my community health clinical, which ended at 4:30. I went immediately to my parents’ house to get some sleep. After a 3 1/2 hour nap, I got up and, reasonably refreshed, headed out the door. Luckily, we were pretty busy, so I didn’t have trouble staying awake for those hours when I would normally be curled up in bed with a pillow over my head, getting some shut-eye. I headed home after the shift to lounge around and catch some ZZZZZZZs and get ready to get back into the normal sleep patterns to which I am accustomed.
And then I was at work yesterday, and it was mentioned that more night shifts were available and more help was needed. Well, we have discussed here before how I am Broke as a Joke. Once school ends, things will be looking up, and I will do such things as pay off my credit card bills and buy myself a new wardrobe. However, right now, we are struggling to get by. Well, I am struggling to get by with my portion of the bills. Bill is a little better off. I am still relying heavily on my credit card, with the breezy attitude that I will take care of it when I can. But once in a while, mini panic attacks come on at the thought of just how much I owe to my lenders and how much it will cost to pay them off. And also, the school loans? Not helping so much.
Anyway, I signed up to work tonight. Now, tonight will be a challenge because I have clinical from 5:00 to 10:00 and will then have to head right to work. I won’t be able to sleep right until the eleventh hour and then roll out of bed and head out. Instead, I will have to sneak in a nap during the day today and hope that it carries me through. And hope that we are busy enough tonight that it goes quickly and I don’t have a lot of down time. And hope that I don’t fall asleep on my feet. The good news is that I don’t have anywhere to be early tomorrow morning, so I can head home and get some rest.
So this is really what it’s like to work in health care. You might have to give up your normal habits sometimes, and you might have to work when you would really rather be asleep. But as long as your employer is taking care of you and your patients give you a “thank you” at the end of your shift, it’s not a bad life to lead…
20-22: Finished college. Although I was Catholic and didn’t quite “get it,” I accepted Christ as my Personal Lord and Savior several times, just to make sure he heard me. This was big at Grove City College. I learned how to pray out loud in a group, which was outside my comfort zone. I became a volleyball manager because Sam played, and that kept me busy. I joined a sorority and became the president. I student taught and hated it. My heart stayed back home with my camp friends, and I drove my new car home almost every weekend behind my parents’ backs to be with them. I continued to love shoes and shopping. I loved to go out to a bar called Butterfields and eat wings and do shots with the locals. I spent a good amount of time throwing up the morning after. I was introduced to the Indigo Girls and was hooked. I still listen to them incessantly and am amazed at how their songs speak to me.
23-24: I met my first after-college boyfriend. I got my first job. I got my first apartment. My best friend Sarah and I spent a lot of time at the Tally Ho, which was our bar-we-could-walk-to. We liked Yuengling Lager and electronic darts. We did some on-line dating. I met a man that I am marrying in October. A friend from camp died in a fire, and it changed my life. Sarah and I had a bit of a falling out that probably came from living together and driving each other bat shit crazy. We fought about whose turn it was to do the dishes. We moved into our own apartments.
25-26: I lived by myself. Bill and I broke up for the first time. It wasn’t all that different from being together, except I called him my ex-boyfriend instead of my boyfriend and also spent an equal amount of time with that first after-college boyfriend. I still bought lots of shoes and drank my fair share of beer. I worked a lot, and toward the end of this time, I got a new job with the Girl Scouts.
27-today: There was a shooting in my neighborhood, so I moved home with my parents. I ended up staying there when I went back to school to get my nursing degree. Bill and I broke up and got back together a few more times. My two best friends from high school found their forever-loves and got married. I was a little jealous. I broke up with Bill “for the last time,” determined to find someone else. Before I could do that, he proposed to me, effectively cancelling the break-up. I became a blogger. I became baby-obsessed. I couldn’t wait to get my own dog. I left the Girl Scout job to work at a hospital. I miss Girl Scouts and can’t wait to find my own place in the organization again. I proved to be surprisingly good at drawing blood from people’s veins. Poop and vomit stopped triggering my gag reflex. Bill and I worked at planning our wedding. I moved in with Bill. I am working at making our house a home. We are going to get a puppy. And finally, in just a few months, we will start trying to have kids…