The First Day of the Rest of My Life

June 2, 2008

I woke up at 5 a.m. and got ready just like any other day, except I didn’t take a shower, because I had done that the previous night to relax me (along with taking a Tylenol PM). Also, I maybe went a little out of the way to distract myself from where I was going that day by reading gossip magazines while eating breakfast and checking my e-mail.

I drove to the park and ride, a new one that I’ve never been to before. I entered the bus, and noticed that it was the nice kind that seemed more like a charter than public transportation. I encountered my first roadblock when the bus pass my new employer had given me was not yet loaded with credit. Annoying, but not a problem because I had my own personal bus pass with me. I had planned to study during the commute, but I was too drowsy. The bus eventually dropped me off practically at the door of the hospital, and I checked my phone and saw that I was an hour early. Guess I misjudged that one.

I sat outside in the warm sun and rested until I thought it was an appropriate time to go in. I was relieved to immediately see one of my classmates there. I knew that many of them were also hired at Methodist, but everyone I had talked to was starting later than I was. But there ended up being five people there that I already knew.

The man who was leading our orientation, which was not just for nurses but for all new hospital employees, used to work at Disney World – and it showed. He actually said to us, “Good morning everyone, are you ready to have a magical day?” before admitting that he sometimes had to tone his enthusiasm down. At Disney World he has played the part of Goofy, Chewbacca, the muppet Sweetums, and Jafar from Aladdin. Interesting.

To begin the day we started out with one of those “mixers” designed to get you meeting people. I attempted, but didn’t do very well. I wasn’t too jealous when the winner received a prize of an umbrella. After that, we launched into orientation material. This consisted of a history of Methodist Hospital, strategy and organization, Methodist values (Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Excellence – I CARE), and “Business Practices” which was really just ethics and compliance. Some of it was interesting, parts were funny, and other parts were painfully boring.

Right before lunch a woman made an announcement that I was SO grateful for – she was handing out our nursing orientation schedule. See, I was under the impression from HR that the second day we would be on our units already, and I would have to undergo all this nursing orientation on my own. Very intimidating. So when I got the schedule and realized I would be doing another week and a half of orientation with my friends, I was relieved. This put me in such a good mood that I went and actually visited my unit and talked to my new manager. She was extremely nice and happy to see me, and she told me that I won’t have to work weekends for at least a month, maybe two. I can actually make plans now!

After lunch we had some more fun segments to sit through: customer service, multiculturalism, patient safety, and finally HR went over our benefits. Here are some things about this job that I am excited about:

  • Methodist is #10 on Fortune Magazine’s Top 100 companies to work for in the United States.
  • It is the official healthcare provider of the Astros, Dynamo, Texans, Symphony, and Ballet.
  • There is a fitness center in the hospital free to employees, along with classes of yoga and pilates that begin only an hour after my shift ends.
  • My transportation costs will consist of the gas it takes to drive to the park and ride, and that’s it.
  • I think I have a really great unit.
  • Those “I CARE” values I mentioned? The people at Methodist really seem to live them out.
So, although I almost had an anxiety attack the other night about starting work, I am no longer worried about it. Now I can transfer all that worry onto next Wednesday, June 11, when I take the NCLEX.

Posted in: personal

Comments on The First Day of the Rest of My Life

  1. 1

    From David, The Brother:

    Sounds awesome! 5 a.m. is ridiculously early. If I had to get up that early, you can guarantee I would not be popping Tylenol PMs. I wouldn’t be able to wake up!

  2. 2

    From Tabaitha Kaye:

    I said a prayer for you yesterday. I’m so glad your first day went well and the you will have alittle more time to take it all in before officially doing your job.

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