Thank God I have a good sense of humor. I’m not quite sure how you would get through this life without one. I think the ability to laugh at myself helps to keep me sane– especially when I do stupid stuff.
So I work my first three shifts on the floor at my new job in West Virginia. The night before my first shift I got all of my things together- my work bag, lunch, uniforms and all of that. The morning of my first day I woke up early, got ready, ate breakfast and left with plenty of time to get to the hospital, find parking and get to my unit early. I got to the hospital and parked in the parking garage. When I got out of my car I wasn’t sure where to go, so I asked another person in scrubs how to get to MICU (Medical Intensive Care Unit). We walked through ‘the tunnel’ and she showed me to the correct elevator. I get to the unit and put my stuff down- all with ten minutes to spare. I walked to the nurse’s desk and introduce myself. I’m asked- Did you float from another floor?- and I reply, No, I’m a traveler. The director looks at me and says that’s funny, I don’t remember hiring you.
Now I’m filled with dread. Did I come to the wrong place?! She texts the director at the ‘sister hospital- Did you hire a traveler named Jessica? Yes. She then tells me don’t worry, she’s my BFF. They give me directions to the other hospital, you know, the one I’m supposed to be working at and then I’m on my merry little way. The other hospital is only 2 miles away, but about 10 minutes travel time. Google Maps is fantastic, but it can’t help me back to the parking garage- you know- back through ‘the tunnel’? I finally find my car and drive to the correct hospital. For the record, this is the first time I’ve ever showed up at the wrong hospital.
So…. I get to my unit, MICU, the correct MICU, at somewhere around 7:20. I’m only twenty minutes late, but it sure feels like I must have missed out on a lot in twenty minutes. I get report on my patient and I go take care of him. First days can be challenging anywhere- where’s the med room, bathroom, crash cart, supplies- it feels as if you are running around trying to figure those things out. And, well, I felt a bit off kilter because of the way my day started out. But, I made it through! When I got off that evening I sent my husband a text- I’m taking an Uber home because I cannot find my car! In the mess of getting there that morning and trying to figure out where to park and everything and knowing I was late (I hate being late!) – I could not remember where I parked in the garage!
I found my car and had an uneventful drive home. The next two days of orientation went by pretty smooth and now I will be set loose to work on my own (scary, especially considering I can’t find my car!). I am directionally challenged and still struggle with finding my car. And now you may understand why it’s important for me to be able to laugh at myself!