Monday, November 4, 2013

Embarking on another First Day

Today I am embarking on a new journey.  Friday was my last day in the Outpatient Clinic and today I start my new role as a Clinical Research Coordinator. Sounds fancy, doesn't it?  I'm super excited yet totally freaked out at the same time.  Bedside nursing is all I know.  That's all I've done for the almost 8 years I've been a nurse.  It's where I'm most comfortable. It's where I feel the most like myself. I'm at home at the bedside.

When I transitioned from Inpatient to Outpatient, we had just gone through a horrible period where we lost a few patients. It was very taxing on the staff (to say the least).  You come in every day and see the patients at their worst.  It wears on the soul tremendously. The opportunity to move to clinic allowed me some time to heal. I was now surrounded by the patients who are doing well.  They come to clinic every week, every two weeks, every month and they're healthy.  They're thriving. They're going to school and getting to be kids. It was what I needed to heal.

Recently I've realized that I might have healed too much.  I've gotten used to seeing the same patients day in and day out.  I've built friendships and bonds with them.  I'm by no means saying that is a bad thing. I love that I can go in to work and be able to be completely real with the people I'm caring for. But that too comes at a price.

I have found myself becoming too attached, too comfortable.  So with every relapse, it's hitting me even harder than before. It hurts that much more because I've seen them at their best. I've put so much of myself into taking care of them, trying to protect them from their disease. I've found myself saying "why didn't I see it coming?" or "why didn't I pick up on the slight change in their labs?" or "what could I have done differently?"  Each relapse has become a personal defeat for me.

Which is why I am welcoming this new position with open arms. I'm excited to take on a new role in the Hem/Onc/BMT world. It will be challenging, which I love. It will test not only my patience but my brain. It will challenge my ADD/OCD like nothing I've ever done.  I'm prepared to not be good at my new job at first, which will be hard because I'm a perfectionist.  I know I will miss being at the bedside.  I'm sure most days it will kill me. It was so hard to tell my patients I wasn't going to be in clinic anymore. But I know that feeling will pass.  And if it doesn't, I'll figure it out. But this is what my heart needs. It's what my family needs. And that's all that matters.

To my clinic family.......thank you so much for an amazing 2.5 years! I am so honored to work beside each and every one of you. You have each taught me so much and have helped me grow. You've put up with my health issues, my personal drama, my attitude, and my ridiculous sense of humor and I love you all for that. Never once did I feel like the "new girl." I instantly felt like part of the family.  You don't find a work environment like that too often and I'm thankful I found you.  I know things are rough right now but I'm positive it will get better. I will miss you all the time but I'm glad I can still cross that parking lot and come say hi when I need to!

Just some of my Clinic Family (including some of my new Research Family)