That description came to mind with all changes that have happened in just 24 hours and now I feel a little bit like I don’t know what side is up, or down.
I think I shared that I was hired back with the company who employed me about 5 years ago–the medical group that contracts with hospital systems to provide Newborn Hearing Screenings prior to discharge. I became an employee of the local practice on June 30th. I have been waiting ever since to get official clearance by the hospital facility where I will actually be doing the screening. My coordinator, who has been short staffed for months, has been pulling her hair out, waiting to get this onboarding process completed.
She went out on a limb yesterday and had me come into the site to observe, even though technically I was not supposed to be in patient rooms without my official badge. I could only take notes and watch, but at least it was something. Much of the process came back to me rather quickly, although this facility takes a bit of a different approach than my previous position.
Overall, it was great to be back with the babies, even though I couldn’t touch them. It was also a little difficult because this facility still uses the LDRP approach with their moms. Once admitted, moms labor, deliver, recover and spend their postpartum 24-36 hours in the same room. Passing rooms and hearing moms in active labor had my educator/doula motor running on high gear. I wanted to dump the screening machine and offer them labor support. I can imagine that it’s going to be a challenge to have to pass those room in the future.
Anyway, I left there with no news and no idea of how much longer it might be before I could actually begin this job. Being in limbo for 2-3 months is not unheard of I was told early on.
Out of the blue, as I was eating lunch today, my coordinator called. “We can get your badge!” she said into the phone. “They still haven’t assigned you an official ID, but with the badge you can start screening and we will work around using the electronic health record.”
While extremely glad, and also excited that I was finally given the okay to do my job, I knew that much of the stress the other screeners had been facing was now going to be transferred to me. They are/were sick of filling in and covering the holes in scheduling. My coordinator especially has worked 30+ days straight, no time off.
I was rather taken aback though, when she began rattling off day after day this week and early next to do some “hurry up training” with the intention of my taking off on my own by the Labor Day weekend. Ironically, I had been reviewing my notes from yesterday when she called. I had no idea what I wrote or why I wrote what I did on quite a few pages as I was trying to watch, listen, and write at the same time. I think I used to be able to do that…when I was 18. She was talking, making plans, and I was half listening, wondering how I was going to make sense of things with 3 or 4 days training and ongoing restricted access to some vital areas that proved to be a part of those unreadable or illogical notes.
Long story short: I threw on some scrubs, drove to my facility, did part of a hearing screen, again without my badge, to get a little hands-on experience. I then drove to the main facility 40 minutes away in (almost) rush hour traffic to get my badge. I was being prodded to screen a few babies while I was there, for more “training.” I think, perhaps by the look on my face, that it was clear that I wasn’t keen on that idea.
Fortunately, my coordinator stopped, took a breath, and allowed me to give some input. Just that short hands-on time today allowed me to see that I really haven’t forgotten everything, even after 5 years. I know that I’ll be slow again, at first and while being watched, but I can already anticipate being on my own. The autonomy of this job is one of the things that I love. Until I have full access to every process, I’m taking the viewpoint that I just have to roll with what comes, do the parts that I already know and can do with just a little practice, and ask questions when I need to.
We parted with the plan that I will co-screen with two different screeners this coming Saturday and Sunday. I will be shadowed by my coordinator next Monday. If all goes well from both our points of view then I will be on my own September 2nd. I have the option as well to seek more training time, somehow working around my days watching the granddaughters.
The frenetic spinning in my head has slowed. I am remembering to breathe. I am reminding myself that this will all work out. I am reminding myself that I was a competent screener once before, and that I will be again. I am hoping that if the whirling begins again, it will take me to a deep, meditative state where I will lie in an open field and let the sun wash over me and calm will prevail.
I am refusing to think just how close September 2nd is…