Sunday, April 28, 2013

Job Satisfaction

I've been thinking about this lately. What makes a job satisfying? I think I'm pretty lucky because I have a supervisor who is very flexible. My co-workers are supportive. Our unit is small and helps each other out. My clients, although they are forced to have PHN support, are pretty much thankful after they get to use our services. My charting and paperwork is pretty basic and although I have a million and one log-ins that change every 90 days, the actual software is not super complicated or in-depth. It's not a nursing charting system it's a social worker system for the state. Even though we don't have goals for our unit (like, improve A1Cs by 10%, or prevent pressure ulcers by turning q2 hours), we're mainly focused on giving the clients what they need as soon as possible and when they've got it, we close the case. Most cases I've closed are voluntary (versus court) because they have fewer needs (more medical or general negligence versus actual documented abuse) and they have a 30 day- 6 month timeline. The social workers usually close the case before I do. So I get to meet new patients just about every week or at the most every other week (when we get new referrals). My longest case so far has been 4 months long. The shortest has been about 2 weeks (family moved or their Medi-Cal arrived). So I get to really know some clients because I see them at least 4 times a week for about an hour each visit for several months. I get a lot of variety in the type of work I do. I set my own schedule. I drive my own car. I drive the county car. Whatever car I want/plan for that day. I can buy/bring my lunch. I have a pretty big cubicle compared to some of the other PHNs (my cubicle is right under the A/C so it's freezing). The ladies going through menopause envy my spot and I envy theirs! I get to got o a lot of trainings on Child Abuse and nursing/social work in general. The benefits are great where I work. My hours are generally flexible (I can come in between 7-9 AM and leave 3:30-5:30 if I wanted to). I can flex my time. When I pass probation I can do 80 hours in 9 days versus 80 hours in 10 days to get every other day of 1 week off. I can work over-time. I can do voluntary time off where if I want 10% of my time off so 4 hours a week, I can get paid 10% less for each hour that I work to be considered full-time for benefits (and it kind of saves the employer some money without losing a great employee), but it is only available after probation. My job allows educational leave of 40 hours and $550 towards continuing education. They have educational benefits of about $150-300 per class and $25 per 1 book per class. I'm in the office, at home visits, at clinics, at hospitals. Sometimes if clients can't meet me at home because it's not private enough I can meet at a café or park. I get mileage reimbursement. I don't have to wear scrubs everyday. I can wear almost anything I want (minus provocative or overly expensive things). All these things help contribute to a good work-life balance so I enjoy a lot of those things.

The only downside to this position is that for me it's about 25 miles-45 minutes from home. I'm also forgetting some of my nursing skills and knowledge that you get from being in a clinical setting. However, if this is what I'll do for a long-time it won't matter much. That's the benefit of nursing, you'll always be a student learning new things and re-learning old things.

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