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Marian gets a new job at a totally normal hospital with totally normal humans
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Marian starts looking at other jobs around the two-year mark after graduating nursing school. It's supposed to be easier to get hired if you have two years of experience, and - well, it's not that she doesn't like many things about Montfort, but it's kind of objectively not a well-run hospital and she's starting to worry that it's training bad habits or something, and also a couple of her friends on her shift schedule are leaving and that does actually make it less appealing, especially when Isobel is back on the opposite-shift pattern and Marian ends up having to give report to her kind of a lot.

Her friend said you can make more in the US, so she does the paperwork to get her license recognized - technically in Minnesota but it's pretty easy to transfer it to most other states. 

 

Applying for jobs is the wooooooorst but also wow Marian is starting to feel like she was being seriously underpaid? A lot of the big city hospital postings are intimidating, but here's this job posting in a smaller town - 15-bed ICU, which is actually bigger than Montfort - she would be making 50% more even before you take into account that it's in US dollars, it doesn't sound expensive to live there, and the benefits package is really good which seems important for the US. 

She applies. 

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Two days pass before she gets a call. A kind-sounding woman named Beverly asks her a bunch of questions about her nursing experience, only some of which is included in her resume, then thanks her and says someone will be in touch if they move her to the next step.

A day later she gets another call inviting her to an in-person interview at the hospital. They (casually) mention that they'll cover her flight and hotel, and ask if any day in the coming weekend works for her.

And then she's there, landing at a small airport in western Massachusetts, taking a taxi through the mountains and into the hills around Haven, whose welcome sign proudly declares it "home to 11,300 souls." The cloudy day gives a muted filter to the brown-red-yellow-oranges of the Autumn trees interspersed with houses and shops.

 

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A quick stop at her motel, the taxi driver happy to wait for her, and then she's finally at Haven Hospital, the clouds parting just in time to light up the white trim and columns around its ivy-covered brick walls. A long driveway splits into parking lots in front of four different wings of the broad, three-story building.

By the time she's out of the taxi and stepping through the front doors, the sun is behind the clouds again, and a gust of chilly wind enters with her.

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Is it normal to pay for flights and hotels for people you haven't even decided you want to hire yet??? Marian isn't going to say no, obviously, she likes traveling and the only cost is getting time off at Montfort (she hasn't officially given notice yet though she did have an awkward conversation with the nurse manager about her vague possible plans to leave) and also it's, like, pretty flattering and makes her feel like they really care about her wanting to work there, which is a weird but cool experience. 

She hadn't actually looked up the town population before and wow that's small, she's kind of amazed they can support an ICU that size. Maybe it happens to be the best hospital in the whole region and they get all the rural patients too? 

It's pretty! It's not at all what she expects a hospital to look like but what does she know. She likes it better than Montfort. 

 

- oh no job interview. She spent the flight over practicing her answers to possible interview questions they might ask but she's still so nervous aaaaaah. 

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The inside is as modern as any hospital she's seen, and familiar scents and hushed, distant sounds surround her as she's directed from the front desk to an office, where the woman she spoke to on the phone, Mrs. Reed, is waiting with a quick smile upon her entrance.

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"Hi there! You must be Marian. Welcome to Haven Hospital!" She rises to shakes her hand across the desk, then gestures toward a chair as she sits back down. "Please, sit while you can, we'll have you walking around before long. Was your flight and drive in okay?"

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This is a more intimidatingly nice hospital than Marian would expect in a very small town - it feels fancier and more modern than Montfort - she's slightly confused but mostly just feels an uptick in nerves. 

"Yes, thank you, it was fine." Is she supposed to make small talk. "It's a lovely town." Was that too gushy? 

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"It is, really, I'm so glad you came in the Fall to see how everything looks with color before we lose it." She beams for a moment longer, typing some things on her keyboard before deliberately turning back to Marian and lifting a manila envelope out of a drawer. "So, I've got an orientation packet here that'll answer most of the basic questions you might have, and goes over the organizational structure so you know who's who—plenty of time to get into that later—but for now why don't I just outline how your day will go? We've got a few people interested in giving you a thorough soul searching, aside from myself."

She winks as she hands the envelope over, thick with organizational charts and policies. "First, our CNO will give you a tour of the hospital and introduce you to a few people, then eventually hand you off to Carla Foster, our ICU Nurse Manager, to guide you around there. You can meet most of our other ICU nurses, along with Dr. Lamb, who heads the ICU. Then there'll be dinner in the staff lounge, if you'd like to join, and afterward you'll meet the Nurse educator, and then you and l will meet back up to go over some things and answer any lingering questions. How does all that sound? Do you have any questions before we begin?"

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That sounds like a really long day and Marian isn't used to job interviews containing the word 'soul-searching' but what would she know, she's only had the one adult professional job. 

"No, that all makes sense." She'll try to memorize the relevant names. 

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"Great! I've let our CNO know you've arrived, she'll—"

There's a knock at the door.

"—take you from here. Come on in, Amanda!"

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The door opens, and the Chief Nursing officer smiles and holds the door open with one hand while offering a handshake with the other. "Thanks Bev. Nice to meet you, Marian. I'm Amanda."

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"Bye, Marian, I'll see you later!"

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"Now, let's get started back at the lobby, shall we?" And back through the halls they go, toward the entrance she came in through. "Tell me, Marian, what was it like back in... Montfort, was it? I've never been. What sorts of patients did you all get up there?"

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That's a really general question and Marian didn't think to prepare an answer for it so hopefully she doesn't sound incredibly stupid!

"Uh. It was one of the smaller hospitals in the city, the ICU was twelve beds. We were, like, the only French hospital on the Ottawa side of the river, so we got French-speaking patients. Lots of cardiac patients, flu and pneumonia in winter, sepsis - a lot of ODs, I think we must've somehow gotten, like, most of the overdose patients from the whole city - oh, we used to have to transfer out anyone who needed dialysis but recently our unit got dialysis machines, I was one of the first cohort to train on them."

There, she said a thing that makes her sound proactive, she hopes. 

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She clucks her tongue. "Must have felt awful, not having what your patients needed. Here at Haven, our CEO always makes sure we can address the town's ills, whatever form they come in... within reason, of course." They pass an orderly, who gives Marian a curious look, and Amanda smiles and waves. "Not that I'm judging, mind, it's all thanks to a very generous benefactor. Donated a small fortune to various town infrastructure a few decades ago, sort of a 'paying back to his roots' situation. Didn't even ask for anything to be named after him, though you'll see some plaques around, if you pay attention."

They arrive back at the lobby, where a couple patients are sitting. One is filling out paperwork while the other scrolls on their phone. “This is where most visitors first arrive, of course. Our reception team, like Sally here, is fantastic at making everyone feel welcome and ensuring they get to where they need to go." She gives another smile and wave to the brunette behind the counter, who returns both. "You mentioned flu and pneumonia in winter, that's all the same here no matter how much we push the vaccines each year. Sepsis, yeah, infections of all kinds, and a number of injuries from hiking and skiing. In the Spring we'll see a lot of allergies flare up, and the ticks get active again, so we try to stay well stocked for diseases—do you all have Lyme up north? It's getting terribly common down here." She starts to lead down a hall. "Some injuries from the farms and ranches, but thankfully not too common. And yes, a few drug problems, but not as many as you'd expect given the opioid crisis all around us; people in Haven know it's important to be responsible with their vices."

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Huh. That's pretty cool, actually. Maybe that's why they can pay so much? It does seem really exciting to work somewhere that will never end up having to transfer a newly admitted patient to another hospital at 4 am (incidentally, during terrible winter weather) because every single ventilator in the building is in use already. 

Marian nods along and waves at the receptionist. "I think we have Lyme but probably less, we didn't see it that much." 

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"I'll pray it doesn't spread that way more, then." They pass through a cafeteria. “Most administrative offices and staff areas are on the third floor, though a few others are peppered around. Right above us is Human Resources, where Bev normally works with her team, but if you use the private staircase there," she gestures, "you'll come out at the staff lounge, nestled right between HR and our training rooms. We've got a dialysis machine up there you can check out later if you'd like, see if it's the same sort you're used to. Either way, our Nurse Educator, Rachel, will be going over some things with you in there after dinner, along with some of your competition."

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"Huh, is there a shared staff room for the whole hospital? That's - actually pretty cool." Montfort didn't have that, only a cafeteria also open to families - where Marian basically never went - and staffrooms per-unit, which did mean that she mostly didn't know anyone from the other units socially.

(Also there are so many naaaaames. Hopefully the orientation packet has some of them written down, it feels too socially awkward to stop and write it down every time - shit - every time Amanda, that's her name, mentions another person who Marian hasn't even been introduced to yet to attach a face to the name.) 

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"Each wing has its own break room, but yes, it is nice to share space with everyone for meals!" She smiles as they pass through another hallway, wide, tall windows showing that they're transitioning from them main building to the Western wing. "This is our psychiatric center. We have two wards, with the minors on the second floor."

She swipes a key card to open a door, then makes sure it's firmly closed behind Marian before they move on. "Color coded hospital gowns and bracelets, green for psych, will let you know if a patient has wandered into the wrong wing... or, more likely, is attempting an escape." She grins as they pass by a security guard who's sitting opposite a door aimed further into the wing, this one made of metal. "Have you had to sedate many unruly patients, up in Montfort?"

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"- Heh, yeah - I do work in the ICU so they're normally, uh, not actually capable of escaping." 

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"Oh, sure, but better they don't hurt themselves trying, isn't it?" There's another guarded door, this one less intimidating. "Initial involuntary intake," Amanda explains as they pass by. "We do our best to get them evaluated quickly so they're not stuck waiting for hours, but we're low on psych clinicians after an unfortunate incident in June. Fingers crossed on some of our applicants working out." 

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"Oh, yeah, definitely." 

Also, yikes??? Is Amanda just not going to say anything more about the 'unfortunate incident'? It feels incredibly awkward to ask when she hasn't spontaneously offered more information but what if it's some weird test where she's supposed to ask?

...Well, if they do offer her the job that shouldn't matter since she isn't being hired for psych? And, like, nurses gossip a lot and they have a shared staff lounge so she'll probably get to assuage her morbid curiosity sooner or later. 

She settles on. "Oh, oof, yeah good luck," after an only slightly awkwardly-long paus. 

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"We'll manage, either way... though worth noting, if you'd ever like to broaden your skillset to psychology, we have a very generous continuing education program." They pass more doors (none of them guarded). "Assessment rooms, voluntary intake, filing room... aaand we're heading to the pharmacy." Another locked door, another long hallway with lots of natural light pouring in as they head back to the main building. "Do you have a partner, or would you be moving here alone?"

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That’s probably not a weird question?? “Uh, no, just me.”

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"In that case, see if you can chat with Evelyn or Linda during dinner. Ev is a nurse in psych, and Linda works in the lab. If you get along with them, they've been looking for a third housemate."

They pass into a long, thin room paneled with warm brown faux wood. Various shelves of over the counter drugs line the walls, and a pair of windows labeled Consult and Pick Up give a glimpse into the white room full of medications that makes up the rest of the floor. "The lab is upstairs, but Tom or Katy aren't client facing, so should usually be free to consult on dosage, or verify prescriptions, or help with anything else you need. Also, as it mentioned in the benefits package, as staff any prescriptions you need filled are covered by the hospital, but you're also welcome to off the shelf stuff too...  within reason, of course." Amanda smiles.

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....Right. That's a little weird - Marian thinks, it's not like she's an expert on what is or isn't weird - but also kind of neat? 

(It's maybe a little weird to suggest she live with colleagues but, like, Marian hasn't arranged an apartment here yet so she appreciates the recommendation and will try to memorize the names?)

"Oh, cool." 

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