There's a partner institution with my hospital that many of my former co-workers have flocked to--"Come on over" they say...not unlike the proverbial grazing sheep. =) For a few years, I've occasionally spoken with some of them, and they always have glowing things to say, like:
"You most stressful day at Specialty Oncology Center will still be 1,000x less stressful than your average day at your current floor."
"I get to spend more time with my patients, and have some time between admissions/discharges to really spend time getting familiar with the patient and their history."
And about 4 months ago, I really started to feel restless with my current job, with my life in general, and desiring a change. So I looked around--thought about labor and delivery nursing, thought about going back to school, thought about trying to do free-lance writing, modeling, you know, the usual. ;) But what I kept coming back to was that I really love being a nurse, and more than that, an oncology nurse specifically. (A far cry from the pediatric nurse I'd initially envisioned myself being back in the distant days of nursing school!)
I had an initial job interview for a clinical nurse coordinator position with the clinical nurse manager and charge nurse about a week ago at Specialty Cancer Center, and a repeat interview today with the specialty I'd be working in. Both meetings went well, and I am so excited at the possibility of a set schedule with weekends and holidays off. (Woo hoo!) Coincidentally, I have yet another interview tomorrow with the physician with whom I'd be primarily collaborating. (Yeah, that's THREE, count 'em people, THREE interviews. And YOU thought there was a nursing shortage. So did I!)
I'd be working closely with some physicians I have worked with in the past and respect; in addition to 2-3 other nurse colleagues. It also sounds as if I'd have more independence which is appealing. A large part of the position requires telephone triage and consultation, as well as meeting in person with patients to do initial chemotherapy teaching (another favorite nursing role for me). Applying nursing assessment skills via telephone will be a new endeavor for me. A lot of my work will involve a palliative care approach, as many of the GI cancers, such as liver and pancreatic cancer, generally are not possible to cure.
So while I know there's some things about my current job that I will never miss, such as moving the obese patient, handling multiplicities of body fluids, and gowning up for the zillionith time to go into an isolation room, I'm a little sad about hanging up that stethoscope. I have wonderful coworkers and managers who really listen and care to make a difference. I've been present for the some of the darkest moments for my patients, and some of the happier ones as well. I've mentored new nurses who have since developed into outstanding, competent oncology nurses. I've laughed with my colleagues about the funny things patients said or did. I've helped them care for both the living and perform the final care for the dead. I've vented to them, felt better, and listened to them vent and then feel better.
My oh my, I am nostalgic, aren't I?
But overall, I am excited to be more specialized in my practice, and work with patients in a more longitudinal fashion with a focus on quality of life. And perhaps, just maybe... resurrect some of those cuter shoes that have been sitting in my closet for far too long.