Many of you have heard the phrase, "It was such a good learning experience." But what some people seem to forget to tell you is that phrase is usually the same as saying, "Everything went as bad as it possibly could've. I just keep reminding myself that God is good. God is good. God is good."
Well my first day was a great learning experience. It was like pulling teeth to get any information for my first day so I kept prodding my recruiter. One day before my first day I received an email giving me an address, time, contact name, and phone number. I thought, no worries. This is what a travel nurse is, being flexible. So I got there 10 minutes ahead and went straight to the elevators to get to level two. Except there was no level two. The buttons listed G, 1, 3, 4, and 5. So I went to the registration table and asked where I can find my contact person. She looked very confused as she stated that employee was let go several years ago. I just keep thinking, flexible, be flexible, it's all about flexibility. I nodded, thanking her for her time, and dialed the contact number. It was the main hospital dashboard. I keyed my way to human resources, asked her some general questions, and even though she had no idea who I was she pointed me in the way of routine orientation. I get to the auditorium and it was great, water bottles at each seat and even breakfast in the back. But as I walk in an employee stops me and asks who I am. I gave her my name, told her my story, and showed her my traveler badge. Apparently there was no record of my hire. I didn't know what to do or who to call since my recruiter lived in california and she wouldn't answer her phone yet. The employee offered me a chair until we could figure out logistics.
Several managers introduced all of the new hires, all except me. Was I forgotten? Did they find someone else better qualified? Did I have a job? Should I start planning on returning back home with my family? Should I try to push forward or back my Japan trip in order to go straight there or wait and find another job? Those were several questions blasting through my head as I tried to listen to general orientation lectures. The first break came so I decided to ask the lady I talked to earlier if she had heard any new information for me. Another new hire in the room was panicking she didn't have a badge yet. In my head i was thinking, "You don't know if you have a badge?! I don't know if I have a job!" I tried to wait patiently. While I had some time, I attempted calling my recruiter. Amazingly she picked up and calmed me down a bit saying that i definitely had a job and that she would make some calls. The HR lady still didn't know anything but said I was welcome to stay in class. Before this day I was told I had a couple things to do at occupational health before my first day. So over my lunch I ran over there and got fit tested and a tb shot. I got back a little late and found out the Peds manager had been looking for me. Six hours into the day I found I for sure had a job and my lawson number to prove it. A huge concern was lifted and I felt I could finally concentrate again. After the scheduled day I found my managers office and we chatted about everything. She also gave me a quick tour and worked with me to plan my entire schedule for the whole three months.
All of that being said, to the future travelers out there, you can be as prepared as humanly possible. You can have all the numbers written down, people contacted, details memorized, etc. But at any moment everything can seem to go awfully wrong. So don't panic. Remember to be flexible. And the absolute biggest peace for me was praying 1 John 4:18.
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
Labels: travel nursing