Tuesday, May 10, 2011

National Nurses Week

I start my new job next Monday.  It is with mixed emotions for sure.  I have loved the WeeCare program and have made some improvements that I feel good about.  I have also learned a lot, as I have with each job I have done in the past.  New is always a little bit scary.  The learning curve makes it uncomfortable.  The new names, schedules, politics, etc. are always challenging.  I'm doubtful I will have the same flexibility of hours I have had here.  The other nurse, Kathy, likes early mornings; I prefer to come in later and stay later.  This may not be an option there.  To top it off, the legislature overturned the governor's veto meaning we will be losing our four-day work week.  It was one of the few remaining perks in an otherwise often thankless and underpaid place of employment.  Even with cost of living costs rising we have had no COLAs or any other raises for about 4 years.  I have been with the state almost 8 years and the transfer to a different division is still within state employment so it should be pretty seamless I think, aside from the learning curve, the stress and the summer I was not planning to start a new job - much more I would rather be doing. 
Not me!

In honor of nurse's week I'm posting a photo of a cap similar to the one I had, but refused to wear.  The age of caps was coming to a close and I chose this as an area of rebellion.  If the male nursing students didn't have to wear one, we should not be required.  Since we had about 4 or 5 male students and several of us protested, they had little choice but the requirement was dropped with some ill-feeling.  By graduation most of the nurses decided to do the "cap thing."  As a result I was one of only a few in my class who graduated capless.  It was a stand I took and was unwilling to compromise for the sake of pageantry.  I felt if my point were valid, and I believe it was, adding it at the time of graduation would be hypocritical.  Most of the younger students were unwilling to stand out like that.  I suppose part of it was about what it represented but I found it somewhat laughable that those 20 year olds (I was in my early 30s) were not that strong when it came to ceremony.  I felt they watered down the cause but we all have to do what we have to do.

Caps never made sense from what I can see and I don't regret being one of the first to lose it officially.  I don't often rebel but in this I did.  I did feel badly that more of the students didn't stand up for what they claimed to believe!

It turns out last week was Public Employee Appreciation Week.  Ironic that it was just prior to the change in our benefits - not for the better.

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