This post has the following content warnings:
Marian gets a new job at a totally normal hospital with totally normal humans
+ Show First Post
Total: 192
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"What, you color-code the patients? Huh. Is it...generally a problem...that they might end up on the wrong floor?" It's also confusing hat they bother to color-code who's from out of town, but maybe that somehow makes more sense in a really small town like this one? For, like, insurance or something??

Permalink

Carla gives her another one of those assessing looks, and says, "We get a lot of sleepwalkers in Haven. Something in the water, maybe. It's not often a problem, of course, but once in a while it's helpful to have an extra bit of guidance, in case someone wanders to another wing, or even outside the hospital."

Permalink

That's kind of creepy? What sort of 'something in the water' causes sleepwalking of all things? 

...Also Marian absolutely feels like she's being tested on something! And has no idea what! Why are job interviews like this, why can't they just ask her the hard questions about mistakes she's made and how she learned from them instead of, like, ambiguously testing her on some sort of unspecified social skills thing?? Or, you know, make her run through an ACLS sim while someone watches her with a clipboard, that's not any less mortifying but at least it makes sense

"That's - unusual," she says carefully, with no idea whether that was the right thing to say. 

Permalink

"It is," Carla says, and turns to give her another of those half-smiles before opening the door to the second floor. "I did tell you Haven's different, remember?"

And then they've (finally) arrived at the ICU, near another nurse station. Half of the seats have nurses present, and Carla says, "Tour first, then some introductions. If we go this way... you'll see that all our ICU rooms are private, but this area is for contagious diseases specifically..."

Negative pressure rooms! Regular patient rooms! Respiratory therapy!

"Feel free to ask any questions as we go..."

Equipment storage! Medication! Clean utility! Soiled utility!

Permalink

This is definitely a distraction from feeling like she’s failing some sort of job interview test that she didn't know to prepare for. 

Marian does have a bunch more specific questions at this point! Do they usually try to assign a nurse to patients in adjacent or at least nearby rooms? Are you allowed to sleep during breaks on night shifts and if so is there, like, a place for that that isn't "in a recliner in the soiled utility? What shift schedule do most of the nurses here work? What's their policy on when patients need to be 1:1? (At Montfort it's approximately only if they're on continuous dialysis, and probably only that because it's new that they do it at all and people are still training, and Marian feels like this miiiight be a decent proxy for whether the hospital is understaffed in general. Montfort regularly had patient assignments that would have been considered outright unsafe at the Ottawa Civic Hospital where she did her final clinical rotation.) 

Also this is kind of a dumb question but, uh, how many copies of standard equipment like glucometers do they have? ...She will admit out loud that Montfort had, like, kind of a shortage of a lot of equipment and you would end up fighting over them with other nurses even in cases where it would be really nice to just keep a glucometer in the room all the time because you had q1h blood sugars or whatever. 

Permalink

Carla seems approving of her questions!

Nurses are usually given rooms near each other, yes, assuming they have more than one patient at a time in the first place. It's a very rare day that they're so understaffed that a nurse would need to move across the wing to tend to all their patients.

You can (and should) feel free to sleep on the comfy couches in the staff lounge above!

Nurses work in 8 hour shifts by default, giving them two days off. Some have arranged for 10 hour or 12 hour shifts on certain days to cover for each other if they need to leave early or arrive late, but there are a couple break nurses usually around to help step in if someone needs a shorter shift on a particular day or week.

Ratios can vary, of course, but they aim for 1:1 for everyone except those in step-down care. On the rare occasion where they've got more than a few patients at a time, they might call in some part-time help; mostly nurses who have semi-retired due to age or parenthood, and work per diem.

"Oh, that sounds annoying," Carla says with a slight frown. "Not to mention unsafe. We try to make sure all our sections are fully stocked. If you ever feel like there's a shortage of something, you let me know right away, alright?"

Permalink

Marian nods along.

(She honestly kind of prefers 12h shifts, but she feels like 8h shifts are probably objectively better for patient safety or whatever, and it's just that she got used to 12h and so always ends up feeling terrible at time management whenever she picks up an 8h shift and has to be caught up on charting and stuff by 3 pm. 

...It doesn't seem like that's going to be an issue here, though. Because, wow, they can usually be 1:1? That's awesome and hopefully doesn't mean Marian would be bored, she's really bad at sitting still.  Also it's cool - definitely not what Marian is used to, but cool! - that they're not usually in a situation where all the ICU beds are full and they're needing to keep track of who can most safely be kicked to a lower-acuity unit if they need to admit someone new. And they have enough equipment! 

So far she's even more impressed than she expected to be! Probably all of that makes if you're a small town hospital and have a wealthy benefactor?) 

Permalink

Carla shows her the extra workstations around the floor, then they head back through the quiet, clean halls to the central nurse hub. "Dr. Lamb should be free to meet soon. I'm going to head back up and check on him, maybe do a bit of work. We'll contact someone here to let you know when it's time to come up, alright? Feel free to shadow a few nurses, get familiar with how we do things, ask them whatever questions you'd like. They've all been informed you're here."

They reach the central station, which has two nurses currently manning it. "Hi Mal, Lucy. This is Marian, I'm leaving her here to poke around a bit before her interview. Help her out however you can, okay?"

"Sure thing, Carla," Mal says, and gives Marian a small wave. Lucy looks up from her computer long enough to flash Marian a brief smile before looking back at her monitor.

And then Carla leaves.

Permalink

...Okay but, like, it's rude to bother nurses who are in the middle of their work day doing their job? However, it's super weird to go wander around sticking her head in patient rooms, though, even if that's a lot of what she's curious about. 

Mal seems maybe less busy and more open to interacting? Marian smiles at her and waves back a little. "Hi. - So how do you like working here?" She's paying a lot of attention to whether Mal is giving indications that she would actually prefer to be left alone. 

Permalink

Mallory smiles at her again, and if it's a trying-to-be-pleasant-but-actually-leave-me-alone smile, it's a pretty bad one? "Hi! It's uh, pretty great? I've been here about a year, and, yeah, not looking for the exit anytime soon. It's tough sometimes, you know? But it's important work, and everyone above is pretty supportive. I'm Mallory, by the way, Mallory Hill, but Mal works fine." She holds a hand out.

Permalink

"It's lovely to meet you." Aaaand Marian is going to tell her social anxiety to shut up and go away; she was explicitly told to shadow nurses and ask questions, and she'll of course try not to be annoying but if Mallory wants to not be shadowed at this point then she should say so with actual mouth words. 

"And, yeah, ICU is definitely tough. - Though you guys seem, like, really well staffed and resourced? I don't know, have you worked other places before to see how it compares...?" It would on some level be fun to complain about how Montfort is sketchy as fuck compared to Haven Hospital but if Mal hasn't worked anywhere else she might just be judgy about it. 

Permalink

"Oh, no, I was born and raised here in Haven, so this is the only hospital I've been to. I've read some horror stories online, though, in nursing forums and stuff? Makes me feel really lucky, honestly. Where are you in from?"

Permalink

"Ottawa, Canada. And, yeah, I think my old job was - probably the kind of place you'd read horror stories about?" Okay it might actually be fun to horrify Mal a bit, but 'it would be fun' is less important than making a good first impression so she'll hold off. "I'm curious how many of the other staff here grew up in town? And what's the staff turnover like?" 

Permalink

"Hmm, maybe three in four? And I'm not sure about that, no one's left in the past year... well, voluntarily." Her smile dims. "There was that thing in psych, but... yeah, that's not exactly an every year thing, and most of the people I've met here have been on staff for years."

Permalink

WELL THAT’S OMINOUS. Does Mal seem like she's going to...explain more...? No...? Okay that's fine, Marian will just be over here being mildly unnerved then. 

Anyway, three out of four people being local is - it feels like a lot, given the minuscule size of the town, but it's probably not to an extent where it's super weird to be one of the only people on staff who didn't grow up here and isn't in the clique. (Marian feels too awkward to ask out loud whether, like, there is a clique of popular nurses and if so whether any of them are bullies.) 

"That seems pretty good - retention, I mean, not, uh, whatever the thing was in psych." 

Permalink

"Yeah, it's nice. I've got seven months left in my residency, and I could theoretically go to another hospital after that, but I'm not sure why I would? Or, I don't know, maybe if I want to see more of the world. How was Ottawa? Besides the hospital horror?"

Permalink

"I mean, I think it's a pretty nice city but I wouldn't move there specifically to see more of the world? It's, like, the sort of nice city that's good to raise a family in." Shrug. "- They have a nursing residency here? Neat. I was going to ask where you went to nursing school - is there one affiliated with the hospital?" She had kind of been assuming not, just because tiny town, but it seems unlikely that the hospital could get three-quarters of its staff from people born and raised here if they had to move away for college, surely a lot of them would decide not to come back. 

Permalink

"Oh yeah, the local community college is small but it's got a good variety of programs tied in with professionals and organizations all over Haven. My BSN just had seventeen students in my year, about half of which came from nearby towns."

Permalink

"Huh! I - sort of want to ask what that’s like but I’m guessing it’s just normal for you? …My BSN cohort had like 200 students and that was for the French program, I think the English program was a lot bigger.”

Permalink

"Lords and Ladies! How did you all even... okay, yeah, and I guess that's just normal for you... huh. Feel like I'd get swallowed up in that many people, all doing the same thing I was... but I guess you had plenty of people to be friends with, at least?"

Permalink

Lords and Ladies? That's, uh, not exactly a - swearword, exclamation, whatever - that Marian is used to hearing! It feels very...fantasy-novel??

...She's not going to focus on that right now, she's here to make a good impression. 

Permalink

"Yeah, I don't know, I didn't - feel like the point of college was making friends? Just, like - you know, I'd been waiting since freshman year of high school for the world to let me do something real–?"  

Wow okay that was - probably way too much honesty, oops. Maybe she can salvage this.

"- When did you know you wanted to be a nurse? I read a memoir when I was fourteen, by an ICU nurse, and I just - knew that was what I wanted." 

Permalink

"Oh, that's neat, what was the memoir? For me, this'll sound weird I bet, but I was just always fascinated with medicine and bodies, you know? Like, life and death, it used to be this big mysterious thing, and these days we can just... study them, figure things out, a bit, and hold the Reaper off a bit longer, if we try hard and get lucky. I'm sure others get satisfaction doing their own things, but to me there's nothing more meaningful."

Permalink

“No, that’s not weird at all! Bodies are super cool! And, yeah, so is modern medicine, right?”

Marian is definitely getting a good grade in bonding with her potential future colleagues.

“My grandfather was a doctor and my parents both have PhDs, I think everyone assumed I would do one of those things? But I think nursing is, like, the unglamorous but super important parts? …The memoir is A Nurse’s Story by Tilda Shalof and it’s - really honest? About the tough parts of being an ICU nurse? But also about the parts that are really really rewarding.”

Permalink

Mal takes her phone out and seems to be making a note of it. "That's really cool, about your family. My parents are supportive and all, but they run a bakery and cake shop in town. They're super proud of me, but not much I could talk to them about my interests, once I went off to college. Is it gonna be hard, being away from them if you move here?"

Total: 192
Posts Per Page: