Monday, October 29, 2018

our new normal | a job update

i've been working at the hospital since early June, but this week i am officially a full time employee! i've been PRN these past 5 months (which stands for "as needed" in the healthcare world), which means that although i was working full time hours, i didn't have benefits or vacation days! it's hard to explain what PRN is, because it's not temporary and it's not part-time, it's just its own thing! but basically, i wasn't eligible for benefits or vacation time since i wasn't full time.

when i graduated, there weren't any full time positions open at the satellite campuses of the hospital, and i really wanted to work at a satellite campus rather than the main campus. so, i took a PRN position so that i would get experience and work hours, but be in place for when a full time position came open! at the time that i started my job in June, i had no idea how long it would be until a full time position opened up. my hospital is in the middle of merging with another health system, so it was anyone's guess what the future held for positions.

our hospital just gained a new satellite hospital, which opened up 2 new full time social work jobs! two of my colleagues at two different satellite hospitals got those new positions, which means that i was able to apply for the positions they were leaving! i was so excited to learn that one of the open positions was at the satellite hospital closest to my house, and the one i really really wanted to be at! so, I will now officially be a full time social worker at my number one pick of satellite hospitals, and i couldn't be more thrilled!

for the past 5 months, i've been working random hours as i filled in for people taking PTO at multiple satellite hospital campuses. there were a few days where i covered a 12-hour shift at a hospital that was an hour and a half drive from my house, making it a three hour drive round trip. so i had a few 15 hour days due to all that driving. another satellite campus i worked at pretty frequently was an hour away from my house, so i have done a lot of driving these past few months! i have also been working different shifts (7a-3:30p, 8a-4:30p, 11a-5p, 9a-9:30p, 11a-11:30p) so it has been hard to get on a normal sleeping schedule! i am excited to now have a consistent shift time and adjust to a sleeping schedule now that I'll have a consistent schedule! well, as consistent as a rotation can be haha!

it has been good experience and i have gotten to meet so many different people by working at different campuses, but i am SO thrilled to be at one campus permanently now! driving long distances and having to carry my computer and "my mobile office" with me everywhere i went, was starting to get tiresome! i got a rolling bag to help ease some of the weight on my back - but it is a long 10 minute walk up a hilly parking lot with that weighty rolling bag and the other 3 bags i'm carrying! ;) i am so excited to have a permanent desk that i can store all my notebooks in also! i will feel like i am living the high life, just carrying one bag into work everyday! haha!

one thing about the job i am taking, is that it is not a Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00 job... so me and Thomas will be adjusting to a new normal with our routines. Thomas works Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00, but my new job will be on a rotation with 12 hour shifts. i will only be working 7 days in a 14 day period (84 hours total), which means i will also have 7 days off each 14 day period. but my shift ends pretty late at night, so on the days that i work, i literally work all day. on the days i work, i won't really see Thomas because we will be on opposite schedules.

i will also work every other weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) which means we will only have 26 weekends together a year. the nice thing is that every weekend i have off is a 3 day weekend though! i am also excited about having a few weekdays off each week to get things done! and the rotation means I won't always be working 5 days on with 2 days off. I'll work more hours each day I work, but I will have more actual days off than a traditional Monday-Friday job. however, I will actually work more hours per week on average than a traditional Monday-Friday 9-5. so it's a give and take. I will have time off of work, but a lot of the time I will have off is when Thomas is at work. and then when I am working the entire weekend, Thomas is off of work. so we will have less time  off together, which means we will have less time to plan things with other people, so we will have to be intentional on what we commit to!

working a rotation is new to me, and working a rotation that ends late at night is completely different than a 7a-7p type shift. since me and Thomas will be on opposite schedules the days i work, and only have half of our weekends together, we will have to be more intentional about how we spend our time on the days that i don't work. we will really only see each other 3-4 days each week, since i won't see him the nights that i work. so we will see each other less, but probably still have more time together than when i was in grad school! we are excited about my full time job and all the opportunity it brings (vacation days! an actual routine! full time income!), but we just know we have to be prepared to adjust to this new normal for us and be intentional with our time!

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