I got a cool new "bookbag" for CPE from my step-mom that has my new monogram on it, so my church and CPE things don't have to share a bag now! I know, only I would be that big a goober as to want different bags for my different things, but it helps! Because I'm a little nuts and felt the need to revisit my elementary school days of getting a lunch box to match my book bag, I also got a cute lunch bag. I also got a badge reel that is green and white polka dot fabric with a pink "S" on it. So with my perfectly perky and coordinated accessories, I was ready to tackle my new adventure!
Day one was general hospital orientation. I understand the necessity of it, but I could probably have given some of the speeches, I've heard them so many times! I had also forgotten how exhausting it can be to sit in a classroom all day! I did enjoy getting to meet the other residents and our supervisor. I think we're going to be a great group. I am really looking forward to getting to know all of my classmates!
Day two started with a benefits presentation which was a waste of my time and then went to our department. We met and talked about some basic stuff, got our pagers and keys, talked about the possible unit assignments, met some of the staff chaplains, and took a tour of the hospital. During the tour we got to not only see the helipad, but go out and walk around and hang out on it! I was tempted to go play on the giant "H" but I figured it would be my luck I'd lay down in something gross and then I'd look up and see a helicopter and be traumatized! We also went to decedent affairs (you get a treat if you figure out what that means) and talked about our role there. We had to leave our beepers to get a few things changed, and also put in our requests for our unit assignments.
Day three we started with a pastoral care staff meeting. It's going to take a little time for me to get used to being with my whole class all day, every day. This is definitely new for me because before I only saw my class twice a week! I'm sure that will probably change at least a little once we start working different shifts and visiting our units and whatnot. I like my classmates, but I also miss my Nashville friends. We got our pagers back, got a brief intro to what the code team does (and how we fit in as a part of that) and were supposed to get to watch some code training, but it didn't happen so we'll just have to wait for the real thing! We also got some information on security, the use of the chapel, worship services, baptisms, bereavement care in the WIC, and our vacation time. Also, I get UAB business cards, just like a real employee. Isn't that nifty? I have to turn in my form at the end of the week for those, once I get my hospital e-mail set up!
Day four we started out with a tour of the pre-surgery and PACU, then had presentations from Risk Management (ie, avoiding lawsuits) and the Eye Bank. We had a longer lunch break during which I went to the benefits office to sign up for health insurance (which is a long story). We also got to go down to the ER and see part of a trauma and learn more about that department. We had some nice "bonding" time in the afternoon where we could explore or read or whatever, but my classmates and I mostly sat around and talked. We're a pretty diverse group, but I think we're going to have a great year!
Day five we learned a little about charting, which I have a feeling will become a pain in the rear sooner than later. We couldn't get any of our computer stuff set up, so we will have to do that next week. We learned about the Alabama Organ Center (stay tuned for more on that!) and after lunch went on a scavenger hunt of the hospital. We didn't get the whole thing done (it'll take a while!) but we did get to meet a lot of people and see a lot of different places which was the point!
I still have one more week of "orientation" in the pastoral care department and I'm really excited about that. I like being able to ease into everything and not be thrown into the deep end! We will start shadowing the chaplains both on the units and on-call next week. We also start our first solo calls next week, but we have phone backup of staff chaplains so even "solo" we aren't totally alone!