Today was the big day! As I wrote in my Facebook status: "Today was the first day of the rest of my life, y'all!" I guess technically you could say that on any given day, but I think it really get's its oomph on days where something big happens; on days where you really cross that threshold separating yesterday from today or the past from the future. It really isn't a huge deal, since I am not on the floor yet, but shoot- I am a paid employee of _______ ______! <-- Mom, I bet you appreciate that ambiguity! (She doesn't want me being stalked, I can't imagine why...)
Anyway, what we discussed today were benefits, life insurance, tax brackets, letter/number codes I don't understand that have something to do with earnings, etc. The kid next to me (he was 23 or 24) complained almost the entire day. "This sucks.", "I'm gonna die.", "When will this eeeenddd?" He had a really great attitude. I didn't think it sucked at all, I didn't think I was going to die, and I didn't care if we went over on time a little because I felt excited to finally be at a point in my life where letter/number codes that I don't understand matter!
In health care, I rarely see fence-sitters when it comes to job satisfaction. I see people who love what they do, and people who hate what they do and complain about it all the time. I am determined to be someone who loves what they do. I don't even care if I sound naive. I will admit that I have had days on the floor in school where I wanted to leave, or I felt mistreated or unappreciated, or I thought that maybe I was in a little bit over my head. But I never allowed myself to hate it. And I never will. It isn't an option. When you don't give yourself the option to hate something, you will learn to love it- or at least like it enough to make everyone think you love it (and you may even convince yourself after awhile!). In a field like nursing, you hating your job is hurting other people's lives. Even if you are jaded, miserable, and feeling completely unappreciated, taking your misfortune out on others-- on SICK others-- is cruel. I believe that.
So, tomorrow is my second day at orientation, and I am going to sit my naive ass in the seat for as long as they tell me, and then I am going to take my naive ass to the floor and help sick people feel better- knowing that when they yell at me, or speak rudely to me, or ask too much of me, they are doing it because they feel like crap. I will not hate my job, I will not allow myself to become jaded, and I will not let anyone make me feel bad for that. And if I ever have a really bad day, I am going to come read this and think... "Maybe I was naive," and then maybe I'll laugh a little.
Obligatory First Day picture. Do I look tired? It was 6:39am.