Sunday, March 24, 2013

F-R-double-- No, the long way!

F! R! E! E!

It's time for my biggest announcement yet:

I QUIT!!!!!!!!!

Three weeks ago I gave notice to my employer. Saturday was my last shift as an RN. Oh, I will keep my license up, for sure. But I won't be a dialysis nurse for the time being.

Inevitably when I tell someone I quit working, they ask “What are you going to do now? Work at a chronic clinic? You got another gig?” “Nope,” I tell them with a grin on my face. “I'm going to be a mom for a while.”

While having a nanny/child in daycare is possible, and we certainly make more money with two incomes, we learned that it's not the lifestyle we want. Ben and I decided it is very important to us that we have a parent in the home. Not only to raise our child/ren but to be the head of household and keep our family running. Lots of things have fallen through the cracks with us both working. We have been feeling like we are barely making it through each week since Ben went back to work in September.

Not only is it hard with both parents working, MY job in particular was hard. I was exhausted after every shift. We never knew how long I would have to work. I was on call more days than not, plus callback increased frequency from 33% two years ago to 75% now (I tracked it). Ben could never commit to activities with friends because my job controlled our life. I feel like I have been living with a heavy net over my head.

Plus the job has gotten out of control with work or duties in addition to my shifts: daily emails about apheresis treatments and patients for the next day, classes required for each hospital every time they roll out a new product or policy, maintaining personnel records at every hospital as well as our own company, staff meetings, weekly emails extolling all the things we are doing wrong, etc. It felt like I never had a day off. Even if none of the above applied, I'd be trying to gather my strength to make it through the next marathon day.

The negative feedback was continuous, even if it is aimed at others who are doing things wrong (I freely brag that I am quite obsessed with following policy and documentation, so rarely did these emails apply to me). Morale was low. Every aspect of our work has become more complicated over the last few years. Chloramine checks went from 10 seconds three times a day to 18 minutes 5 times a day. Jugs went from bleaching weekly to bleaching daily. RO water checks doubled in frequency on portable runs. We triple document some charting at every hospital. We record on/off times SIX times for each treatment. The daily To-Do list has doubled in length. Etc etc etc. It's ridiculous really.

The work itself is fine. I like being a procedure nurse. I'm really really good at what I do. I will miss that part of it, and miss my co-workers too. I will miss that proud feeling that swells when I read stuff like this.

But when I faced the choice to go part-time I declined. Less hours wouldn't mean less stress. All of the above would continue but with a lesser paycheck. No, I wanted a clean break. I'm burnt out.

Sure, I might go back to dialysis some day, or certainly another nursing job. I'm well trained and had a fantastic (nearly) four years. But for the next few years, I'm going to be a mom for reals.

. . . . 

Except for my new work-at-home gig for The Retina Center, because a little pocket money and insurance assistance is still welcome. But working for my parents at home is a LOT different than the above. So I have been loudly singing in my head all day:

Oh, what a word!
Oh, what a word!
Say it again.
I often thought,
I often dreamed how it would be--
And yet I never thought I'd be--
Once again.

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