So, I've been almost 4 weeks here at Valley Regional Hospital.
It's been interesting, and I feel like the main character perhaps in Eudora Welty's Why I Live at the PO. Both for the subject matter and also in the way that Welty wrote the book.
The hospital is tiny and I guess I can describe it as inbred. I have never worked anywhere where so many people were related in odd ways. There is a fair amount of little secrets that I have no interest in , but keep getting shoved in my face. One of the "as needed" workers who normally works at the Level One Trauma center (Dartmouth Hitchcock, Lebanon NH). calls the Emergency department in Claremont The Land of Misfit Toys, after the island where toys go when no one wants them. This indeed seems to be the truth.
The physicians are a mixed lot. They are all intelligent, but they practice without much regard to recent research or standards. Coming from a hospital that runs on protocol and standards of care, I find this a bit irritating. One physician routinely orders drug screens on people he suspects of using drugs regardless of the use of these substances affecting their treatment. And then there are some behaviors which would be considered unacceptable anywhere else….expressing negative opinions regarding other hospitals, entering patient rooms without knocking, and so on and so forth. Needless to say i've been a bit surprised by some of the behaviors, and amused at the childishness of others. These physicans still expect to have suture trays set up for them, phone calls placed for them, etc etc etc. It is a bit like working in the 1950's. In general though, I have found a way to get on with each of them. SO I should be alright for the next nine weeks.
The nurses…. well.
There is one "Mother daughter" combo which is actually Grandmother and granddaughter, and the daughter/mother inbetween works in the ICU, and is considered a "sister" to her actual daughter. I realize how this came about, but at this point the youngest is married and so I think dropping the facade which isn't fooling anyone would be an excellent idea. So this odd dynamic occurs because the two often work together and the Granddaughter seems to feel the need to call her co-worker "Mom" multiple times throughout the day.
At night there is a nurse who I feel really is an old hag. She started in on me right away…by trying to intimidate me. She would make all sorts of comments that were insinuating that somehow I was doing something incorrectly etc. Unfortnately, She succeeded only in irritating me, so that I responded to her in a irritable way. I was so irritated that I actually discussed it with the manager, and discovered that indeed, she has done this to every new staff member or traveler that has come through. So now I just ignore her. Each time she comes to work, she not very privately pulls someone into a room and closes the door, presumably to talk about me… initially i was a bit worried, but since talking to the manager, I now feel sorry that this is what she has in her life.
The other nurses are great to work with for the most part, I've enjoyed them. They are "Misfit Toys" but in the most cheerful and functional sense. They are just unique people. I've had invites out to dinner, and to have my dog play with others dogs, and to go out roller skating. This doesn't always happen when traveling, so I'm grateful. In fact, the nice people actually outweigh the nasty, so this is a "good thing"…
The patients are good people. I'm still astounded by the Whiteness of the population, and the amazing amount of tattoos sported by the population. The Whiteness is only apparent to me because I am used to a more mixed population, and I can't find a decent R and B soul station on the radio. In addition, I am also amazed that almost everyone smokes! I thought the land of the South was the smokig capital, but it seems to be NH. It's about 10% of the population that I see that does not smoke. Wierd.
So…work…fine, typical. I like it alright, but I don't love it. 9 more weeks, I'm looking already at a new contract for the next three months. It's looking like Idaho, or New Mexico. I'm torn between the idea of a WHite Christmas, and not freezing my behind off!!!!