I’m having a hard time believing we’re already well into April, and that we’ve lived in this apartment, and in California, for two months tomorrow. The time has flown by, between the initial unpacking, adjusting to my new job and new schedule, and reuniting with family and friends. I’ve been meaning to post about my new nursing job for awhile now, but I have difficulty sitting down to write when I don’t have more than one to two days off together, and almost none of them completely free. I got spoiled by my old schedule of seven-on, seven-off (yes, twelve-hour nights) that it’s more of an adjustment than I expected to try to get things done on only a couple days off in a row. I suppose that’s for the best, though, since I am now better able to discuss the differences between my old job and the new, having finished orientation and switched to nights – finally!
I know, some people want to feel bad for me, thinking I’ve been stuck working nights, but actually, I prefer them by far. Nights are quieter, more laid back, with less people around in general, and certainly less people whose company I don’t miss: doctors, administrators, visitors. Not that I dislike them, exactly, but… well, I’m sure you get the idea. More importantly, we have fewer transfers, fewer procedures both at bedside and away (CT, etc), and all of that means I am not so crazy busy. All of this is pretty much true everywhere. Now to compare my new job and my old one…
The first thing that always comes to mind when I talk about my old job versus my new one is the computer charting system. I really disliked Cerner, and my coworkers and I had a laundry list of things wrong with it (or that we could’ve designed better), and I thought when I left Mississippi that it had to be the worst, most basic, cheapest one on the market, so I couldn’t wait to use the new one at my facility in California. I don’t think I have ever been more wrong. I disliked Cerner, but now I would go back to it in a heartbeat! Not just because I dislike change, mind you, but because CPSI absolutely is the worst, most basic, cheapest EMR system on the market. I have learned the system now, which didn’t take long since it’s a glorified Excel file, and I still hate it. You might think this is not that much of a deal breaker, since it’s just the computer system, but you have to understand that that’s like saying it isn’t that bad that your cubicle’s only two feet by two feet. The computer system we nurses use can really help us – save us time and effort, make lab results and meds easy to find – or it can really frustrate and limit us – make us enter vital signs manually, run slowly, make things take twenty clicks to get to. Alright, rant over.
That’s the major difference, and major negative for my current hospital. On the whole, though, I otherwise like my facility pretty well. It doesn’t strike me as hugely different than my old facility; the patients are a similar level of acuity, we don’t do trauma, and we’re not a teaching hospital (no residents). The people I work with are generally cool, helpful, and friendly. I like having an Omnicell for supplies (charges patients for items as you pull them out) versus having to manually charge for items, usually at the end of my shift. It’s larger than my old facility, but the area I work in doesn’t force me to go to lots of other areas all the time, so while I’m basically useless if visitors ask me for directions, I’m not too overwhelmed. There are many more doctors here (I could probably name all the doctors I’d commonly work with in Mississippi on both hands), but thankfully at night I mostly interact with them over the phone, so I’m not expected to recognize everyone.
I had a more than adequate orientation period, so I feel like I have the routine down well, and I certainly still have plenty of resources for my questions. Although the patient acuity level is similar, I’ve still gotten to see new things, and I know I will have the chance to see more new things. I’m excited to broaden my experience and continue to grow my skills as a nurse.
Otherwise, things in my life have been much the same as in Mississippi, though we are thrilled to see family and friends here again. We have a long list of fun things to do, some to make up for things we missed in MS (the beach, the OC fair, the Getty) and some cool new places we've heard about like new restaurants and things. We'll see how quickly our budget allows us to check out all these new places, though.
That has been an adjustment, too, the financial differences between here and Greenville. Funds are tighter, at least til Andrew starts his job. He got rehired at Disneyland! We're excited for his benefits to kick in so we can go to the new Cars Land, Ghiradelli Factory (though we'll miss those tasty fresh tortillas from when it was the Tortilla Factory!) and see the amazing shows World of Color and Fantasmic again.
We love our new apartment, and new city. We downsized, so I'm still working on getting rid of a couple of boxes, but I love that our unit is situated in our complex so that we have a barbecue, laundry center, and best of all, jacuzzi, within sight of our apartment! I've already gotten plenty of use out of the jacuzzi -- I think I went nearly every night after work when I was orienting on day shift! Now that we got our couch from IKEA (which I've had my eye on for nearly 2 years), we've really enjoyed having people over for dinner and swimming. Andrew loves that we live so close to downtown Brea, and keeps bugging me to go walk down there to dinner sometime. I think he has a misperception of how close it actually is, but we'll go to dinner and movie and maybe the farmers' market sometime soon. Brea is a lovely area, and I like having so many of my favorite places so convenient: Target, Souplantation, Old Navy, several grocery stores, and the regular and discount movie theaters!
All in all, we're settling in nicely here, and happy to be back. Greenville was exactly where God wanted us for the last year, and we are so glad we met so many people we love there, and grateful for the lessons we learned while we were away from our network of family and friends for our first year of marriage. We will never regret moving to Mississippi; it was our little adventure as newlyweds, but we are also very happy that God provided for us to move back home.