Monday, February 11, 2013

Month 2: Driving

I've been at my job now for about 7 weeks now. It's been a good pace. Initially I got about 6 cases given to me and that felt overwhelming at first, but the way that my cases go it's basically targeted case management with some medical record obtaining and referral making. My favorite part is the home visits doing Denver developmental assessments and infant assessments for kids under 12 months. This week we'll be getting students from a local university. I am excited about teaching a student. It's amazing to know that I was a student just 8 months ago. At the same time, I know I have to be extra careful because I have a license now to keep safe.

Anyhow, in these past 7 weeks I've been driving around the county getting to know the different neighborhoods. I haven't found any delicious places yet since I've been bringing my lunches mostly to work. It's better that way because I never know when I'll leave for a meeting somewhere. I try to pack things that don't need refrigeration or heating if I know I'll be out. Surprisingly I do spend quite a bit of time in the office doing charting and research on the conditions the children. Some of them are quite rare so I won't mention them because it could single them out (how I wish I could!). Salads and sandwiches seem to work best out on the field. I have a BUILT lunch bag that can carry a good sized small lunch. I need to invest in more plastic containers and maybe some cold compresses to keep things cool during the summer.

My commute is actually the worst thing. It takes me about 50-60 minutes in the morning and about the same in the evenings. Though Friday mornings are light and Wednesday mornings are heavy like Monday mornings. If I leave before 7:30 AM, it's also lighter than after 7:30 AM and if I leave work by 5 PM, it's also a little lighter than leaving at 5:15 PM. So I try to take short lunches and short breaks so I can leave a little earlier at 4:58 PM to get home a little faster. I could potentially get to work in 23 minutes, which I did during Christmas and New Year's weeks since it's only 22 miles and most of it on 1 highway, but the traffic is terrible. Luckily I'm not going in the other direction because that's even worse. My husband works 4 miles away from me and if there was a carpool lane, we might try harder to carpool everyday, but since my job only requires 8 days a month to carpool for an extra $20 incentive, I don't do it everyday. I've also heard that I'll be placed further south in 4-6 months since we are regionalizing. That sounds terrible! My husband and I are considering moving, but if I want to do my MS at UCSF, it may be best to stay where I am. Plus, I love my church group where I live and we have a great deal on rent $1575 for a spacious 1-bed/bath, 2 large closets, a parking garage, and mini storage box, plus water and trash. The unit upstairs is not $1695 and its smaller and on the 3rd floor instead of 2nd like mine. Our lease is up so we can move at anytime. I hate moving though so I hope this move at work is temporary. My unit is hoping to add 3 new nurses and if that's the case, I'd be moved up to the north county by where I live with my current co-worker who will be moving there in July or so since she is Cantonese speaking. The Spanish speaking families are everywhere so I could go anywhere but since I live up north my boss would place me there if we get 3 new hires.

The thing I love least is the driving. It's such a waste of time. I've managed to handle it by checking out audio books from the public library. So far, I've heard in 2 months: The Bonesetter's daughter, it was ok. Maybe I should watch the movie. I've also heard Book 1 of the Hunger Games and am now at Book 2. I'm extremely fascinated at this point since I haven't seen the 2nd movie yet (I don't even think it's out), but the first movie ended right before the first book ended and the love story gets more interesting! Thought sometimes I forget my earphones and in my old long car, the cabin doesn't have much soundproofing installed so I set the iPhone wear my sunglasses would sit when they are not in use. As long as I don't do any u-turns, which I don't on my way to work, it works out well.

I like the team now as it is, but it'd be cool to have a few more co-workers. We'd be placed with the Social Workers so having another nurse would be nice when you're outnumbered. I also love my beautifully and colorfully decorated desk and I'd have to pack up all my stuff just to move again. Especially with my 4 little plants. Though moving would be good if we got the 3 new hires so that I could get to school easier. We'll see...

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