Monday’s Musings 5/30/22- anticipation is the worst

On Thursday my boss texted all the call nurses: endo, PACU, and OR. And wanted to arrange a meeting with us all.

I said I was absolutely available for when she wanted to meet. As did the other two nurses.

Immediately, I got texts questioning what this was about. Immediately, everyone’s mind went to they are shutting down the project. And we are not ready for the project to be shut down. If they shut down the call project the nurses and techs will have to take the bulk of the call back.

I tried to reassure everyone that the boss did not include the tech in the meeting or the texts. And I felt the job class we are in now was safe. How long is it safe for? Who knows? I do know that the regular staff are enjoying the minimal call that they are taking. Of course, it is more than they were taking because I am no longer taking extra call. But people are being told when they interview that this project exists.

The other two were no assuaged. I knew I would have to bring out the big guns. I immediately texted the boss and told her that the others were panicking, a little. Nothing good ever comes from waiting to drop the hammer.

Anticipation is the worst.

She rushed to reassure everyone. She had no idea that we would take it as imminent danger.

But we are nurses, always on the lookout for danger and problems; the vital sign machine tone change, the increase in heart rate, the precipitous decrease in heart rate. We are always on the alert. And that is why anticipation is the worst, waiting for the hammer to fall.

I know it is human nature to try to shield people from unpleasant news. Just tell me. And just tell the other call nurses too. Because whatever is conjured in our heads cannot be worse than actuality.

It is just like when I took the NCLEX. I had to drive to the testing center, about thirty minutes away. There was more shopping centers in that city than in the town that I lived in. I took the whole day off, anticipating going shopping after the test. Well, the test shut down after 75 questions. There can be anywhere between 75-265 questions. They are weighted to judge the person taking the test’s over all knowledge and problem solving. And the minimum was 75. If the test shut off there, you either did really well, or spectacularly bad. Of course, I thought I had bombed and the test shut off in reflective shame for me. I wouldn’t get the results for 2 weeks. Now you are told almost immediately if you passed or not.

I did not go shopping as planned. I was too unsettled by having the test end after 75 questions.

I had to wait. And, as discussed, anticipation is the worst.

Luckily I got my results back in 3 days, not 2 weeks. And I passed! The hammer did not squish me like a bug. But I am always on the look for it.

And frankly this program is saving the department money, at least in my paycheck. If I no longer work all the hours that are, I no longer get paid at that level. I wonder if I can spin that?

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