I wonder where the term "getting your feet wet" originated? Is that the first stage of "diving in" or does it lead to "swimming with sharks"? As it relates to my first nursing job, I think it applies to both.
I was hired "on call". That wasn't what I applied for, but it was what I got. I wasn't happy about it, and I regret that everybody knows that. I do tend to be up front about my disappointments, and I really wanted a full time permanent position on one unit with regular hours, vacation pay, sick leave, blah blah blah. What I got instead was a comprehensive education on how things work on several units specializing in different populations in a psychiatric hospital. Not only are the clients different on these individual units; the procedures are different. Equipment, paperwork and other items I use to do my job are kept in various places in the unit nursing offices - and no two units are the same. To make it even more interesting, two of the units are mirror images of each other, so everything is literally backwards.
About three weeks ago I left work one morning (I work nights) and stood in the parking lot for a minute realizing that I almost, kind of, maybe a little tiny bit know what I'm doing on the job. It was a shock - the thought hit me like lightning. Scared the hell out of me.
I'm in line for a permanent full time position and will probably interview for it this week. I'm looking forward to having a more normal life. If working nights in a psychiatric hospital can be considered normal. I'll know what nights I'm working in advance, every week, and where I'm working. I'll get to know my colleagues, and in some cases, my clients. I have my fingers crossed. I love holiday pay and vacation time and paid sick leave.
A few thoughts about working nights. My body wants to be up all night and asleep during the day. It always has. I DESPISE having a job that requires me to be at work early in the morning because I cannot fall asleep before 1 am. So, I love working nights. I am particularly grateful for my open all night gym, and open all night grocery stores. I love not having to drive anywhere in rush hour traffic (such as it is in Anchorage). I am also grateful for an AA meeting that starts at 6:30 am. I can go to that meeting on my nights off, do a little shopping afterwards, then go home, watch some tv and go to bed.
I've enrolled in an online college to start working on my Bachelors degree beginning November 1st. That will necessitate fewer hours of Tivo during the night, but I think I can live with it.