No I’m not talking about the Natalie Imbruglia song in some kind of 90s nostalgia-full post where I lament about how it’s impossible to have integrity and wear cargo pants at the same time when you are thirty.

No. But I do understand the sentiment of being torn. And this post is the most honest and candid post I have ever written.

I LOVE my new job as a deputy nurse in charge. And its not about the modicum of power I have acquired. It’s about finally being in a position where I get some respect and I feel special because I am special dammit and I worked my ass off to get here. I have never felt so passionate about nursing as I do now because I can finally make a real difference and I can show that leadership can be possible even if you are a quirky nerd with rather splendid qualifications but with only half a clue on how to practically implement them. And to my surprise, I am actually doing pretty darn well given the circumstances.

But dear God it’s stressful.

1. We are a Day Surgery Unit. Due to the fact that there are too many sick people, half our beds are taken up by medical patients, most requiring long term care. Even though we are a day surgery, because of these patients we have to provide round the clock nurses for round the clock care.

2. Operation lists have become endless. We work miracles when it comes to providing beds for everyone. The amount of work is phenomenal. And everyone is always in a hurry, so you have to work correctly and at top speed.

3. It is impossible to please everyone. Somebody somewhere will lose their temper. The surgeon because you did not bring his patient to theatre on time. Another nurse because you did not take her side. A patient because he is hungry and tired of waiting his turn. And everyone is yelling, always yelling. And there I am, receiving the brunt of the anger. Of late, I have twice received physical threats from patients.

4. When the operations are done, there is loads of clerical work to be done. A good two hours of it collectively for the whole unit.

And here is where I’m torn:

My life was so much easier when I was just one of the brigade. Just following orders. More often than not, my patients were sedated. I never had to deal with relatives. I followed orders. I never thought.

Like a robot. It was mind-numbingly boring. My creativity was buried deep in a pit of nothingness. My brain was turning into mashed potatoes (this is a food blog after all) and my passion was like a wilted lettuce leaf.

I was not happy anymore.

However, right now, even though I like the challenge of each new day, the stress levels are overwhelming. I am not the type to shout or scream when stressed, instead I get some weird physical manifestation: hives, acne, asthma, sinusitis, fatigue,flu symptoms and muscle aches. I have missed social events because I am too tired or too unwell to go.

So what is honestly better? An easier and safer life of predictable events or a harder one which is more fulfilling?

It crawled beneath my veins
And now I don’t care, I had no luck
I don’t miss it all that much
There’s just so many things
That I can touch, I’m torn.

Yes, dear Nathalie, you were torn about a guy. You didn’t have to be torn about your career because you were making a killing by singing angsty songs. And I’m just an angsty person trying to make a living without killing myself.

Good night everyone.

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