First Impressions in Denver

For those interested in the nursing part of my traveling, my first two weeks have been interesting to say the least. Here's a few bits that might make you laugh, gasp, or just nod along if you're like me.

-I didn't receive any information about orientation ahead of time other than the start time and the room name. Not knowing when the day would end or what I needed to do, I fell into the crowd of orientees. Then on day two I come to find there was an email I never received that had all that fun info in it. Looking back, I think I should've made my email address something boring like my name and less quippy. You live, you learn.

-I was doing their recommended scavenger hunt in the hospital, like every good employee :), when the term 'fish bowl' was next on my list. Asking several staff, no one knew what it was until one person stopped by and said, "Oh, you mean the penitentiary?" Still confused, he takes me to a set of windows overlooking a cement courtyard of picnic tables. Amazing how perspective changes everything.

-My host told me of a fun tradition at the local park called pick-up tennis. Whoever wants to play but doesn't have a partner sits on the bench next to the court. Then everyone asks each other to partner for the next game. I'm going to try to be braver and try this out soon. Playing tennis with strangers...intriguing...I think I need to practice more.

-The YMCA is right on my way home, so my first day at the gym I was running on a treadmill next to a girl who ran like a graceful. I kept wanting to look over and watch; then I'd lose my balance and make her look even better with my stumbling, caught in the machine. As we were cleaning up, she put on what looked like a tutu, tights, and leotard. Yeah, she was a legit ballerina at the Denver Ballet. How cool is that. I met a real ballerina. Now I need to introduce her to my niece who needs some pointers.

-As a traveling nurse, the orientations are very short. So this week I had two nights of 'orientation' where I basically had full patient loads and just asked tons of questions and had my documentation graded at the end of the night. The third night I am then let loose! On night 2, it was crazy! My preceptor was charging so I pretty much was on my own. I don't think I've ever given lipids, tpn, and blood to two different patients all within an hour while learning the process for the first time. Now I know!

-One of my patients this week was a young girl who gave me a big laugh one night. She said, "You know, I'm really really hot." I proceed to lower the thermostat, check to see if the blood she was getting might be causing a reaction, etc. Her vitals were all normal, so I asked what she'd like me to do. Her response was, "I think I'll just eat some butter. Yeah, these three packets should do it!" Stunned I watch her spoon out the butter squares and eat them whole. She knew what she wanted; she cooled right down :)

Details for fellow nursing travelers:
-my current agency is Randstad Healthcare
-my current job is at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center