First week done, second week coming

Made it through the first week!
It's strange going back to work after an absence, especially when you're starting all over in a new place. Spent 2 days in orientation classes, learning about 'service excellence' and the ins and outs of all the benefits and whatnot. Sat next to another Cheryl, who has the same middle initial and a very similar last name as I do, which was amusing. Part of the difference between this job's orientation and my last, besides the extra day, was at my last job, we took a 30 minute tour around the hospital. For this job, I got multiple maps of the campus and a driving tour, and my boss has been orienting me to the things inside the hospital. I hope to one day know where I am going! :)

Navigating to the job has also been a challenge, tomtom has done a good job keeping me from being hopelessly lost in the big city. I kinda got pressured into buying a month's parking pass during the first 10 minutes of orientation and didn't have enough time to research all my options. Now that I have some time to look into it, I think that I will be able to commute for the same time or less using some combination of metro/bus/hospital shuttle. That would make my environmentalist side happy, and also my "I hate driving" side. I knew from my fieldwork in Arlington that cities with good public transit programs often have kickbacks through the employer and/or the local taxes if you use the mass transit. So I hope to get that figured out and the kinks ironed out before I would have to pay for another month. (and yes, I think paying to park at your place of employment is the pits.)

I was also really cheesed off about my flexible spending account from my last employer- I knew that you had to spend that money before the end of the year... I learned that if you terminate employment, you have to spend that money within 30 days. I learned this after that time had expired. I had attributed it just to that employer, but the new employer's HR people have the same policy, so it must be some federal rule or some such. Obviously, those things can be helpful, but I've been burned 2x over on them and probably won't get another one unless I'm planning LASIK, baby birth, or some sort of elective large procedure.

I spent the other 3 days of the week getting oriented to the rehab department, getting followed around while doing evals, learning the computer system, hoping that I was calling people by the right names. I am on a team of 7 therapists for the general medicine floor, and I know a couple of the nurses and case managers now too. A PA had concerns about sending one of her pt's home, said to me, "She doesn't really need PT, but she really needs OT. I need to know whether she can be safe at home. Page me as soon as you're done." So that was nice, since we usually hear the opposite of that, and it's nice to be able to just text page all the important people if you need anything.

So tomorrow I start being a real worker, which will probably mean at least 5 evals a day and trying to follow up with other pt's as well. I've been trying to balance my evenings with my leisure activities and exercise before my husband makes it home, I'm still working that all out. One of my goals in this switch from being an hourly employee to a salaried employee is to not wind up working a million extra free hours and lose all my free time. Also, if this week is any indication, I might actually be getting better at handling mornings. Whether this is the 30 minute shift of the work schedule, or the increased commute time, or the increased time that I am awake before being expected to work, I don't know.

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