Ok, I'm sure there are people getting sick of hearing about how I'm adjusting to work, so those people should not click on the expander for the full story. Other details coming soon, I promise.
Made it through my second full week of work. It's been an interesting transition. At this point, I still have to ask occasional "how-to" questions of the other therapists or staff (often it's "what's the code to the supply room again?") but for the most part I am on my own. Reflecting back on when I started my first job and my fieldworks, I remember there being a longer period of easing in, getting comfortable, hand holding. I know that on my first licensed day at my first job that I did not pull my fair share in comparison to the COTA- I believe that I would look up 1 pt, formulate a treatment idea, go try to see them. If it didn't work out, I had to come all the way back to the office, and either look up the pt again to try to find something else, or look up someone new and start the process over. It's nice to actually feel that I have grown as a practitioner- I think I've been a lot more useful thus far to this job than I was in my first weeks at my first job.
I know I had talked before about trying to leave on time so that I wasn't working for free... obviously I don't have that down to a science yet. I found that if I left the house early (to try to avoid traffic, etc) and started work early, I still would not be able to drag myself away early at the end of the day. There's always more to be done at the end of the day, I just try to prioritize it. Sometimes a person only has to be cleared by therapy before they can discharge home- nobody wants the hassle and fees of another night in the hospital just because their therapist had worked their 8 hours already. Just trying to balance all that- it is the life of a salaried employee, which I knew coming in.
Learning the computer system has been pretty easy, since I used one of the programs at my previous job. Now I get to tote around a laptop so that I can slide in urgent notes immediately. I am a longtime laptop user (since 2002 my primary computer has been a laptop, and they have been used A LOT) but the added usage of the touchpad is trying to aggravate my RUE into RSI symptoms. Not happy about that, and of course don't want to cut back on personal computer usage, so it is a growing issue. My work computer is a notebook w/ stylus, however, the program we use for documentation does not communicate with the stylus program that lets you write with the pen and guesses your words. This is a major design flaw and I may need to bug my techno-savvy boss into finding something that will work with that documentation program. I will also need to bug her for a mouse, and just use that while at my desk.
I need to create a checklist for work because there's so many different things to do for each pt. in the computer system. Some of it is a little redundant, but it is important to the dept for their QI projects so I need to remember to remember.
I have access to the scrubs machine now, which presents a dilemma. Obviously, it's great to have access to free scrubs whenever, and I think that the experiences I have had with getting nasty stuff on my scrubs and having to sit in a locked OT office in my underwear while I ran them through the washing machine really make me appreciate that I could just get a new clean pair at any time. Hygenically, it seems that it would be best for my pt's and everyone I come into contact with outside the hospital if I wore only hospital scrubs in the hospital and changed into something else for the commute. Economically and time wise, it makes sense not to have to wash scrubs in my incredibly small apartment washing machine. BUT- the work scrubs are ugly icky green, worn by 60% or more of the staff in all departments. So I haven't decided how to balance my need for cool cute tops with everything else, and while this is an incredibly frivolous dilemma, it does affect me.
Hard to believe, but finals week is coming up for many schools, which should bring thousands of new OTs into the burgeoning profession looking for jobs. I will try to get some interviewing/job search tips up here soon, and will really try hard to do that since I forgot about the AOTA conference (again). :( I won't forget next year though- Orlando here I come!