Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Big Changes

Next week will be a big week. I start a new job working at a major medical center here in Portland with my shiny new RN license. I currently work there in inpatient psych and decided that it would be best for my long term career to work do something other than psych for a few years. I have worked in psych for over a decade now and see myself growing old and grey in that field. However, I know that building up my general medical knowledge will be so important and will open me up to many opportunities. Having a well rounded background will make it easier for me to get a job should my partner and I ever decide to move elsewhere. It will also allow me to do outreach work in other countries. And most importantly it will make me a better nurse practitioner once I decide to go to grad school. The new job will be taking care of people receiving kidney and liver transplants. It is a challenging area of nursing which is very exciting to me. I can't wait to get started!!! The position will be working graveyard. This shift makes me both excited and terrified. I will earn significantly more money, which is a huge pro. My goal over the next year is to take my partner on a tropical trip, buy a house, and take care of my ponies. The pace will also be slower which will allow me to really get to know my patients and do research about their needs while at work. I love a fast pace but I plan on using down time to learn as much as I can as fast as I can. I think once I get used to it this is going to be a wonderful shift for me in my first year of nursing. 

Working overnights isn't without worries for me though. I have bipolar disorder, which has been very stable for years. Since I have been to Oregon I haven't had more than minor dips in my mood in the winter and before that I was stable as well. I know that I will be able to get sleep working graves because I tend to sleep better during the days anyway. I do worry that I will sleep away the days and not get enough light. That was a big problem for me in AK and I still get down in the winters here. I worry that I won't be motivated to do anything when I get up because I am on such a strange schedule. Luckily I will soon have a special weapon in my back pocket. A big 16h four legged weapon. One thing I know about myself is that I will always get up and be motivated if I have a pony depending on me. No matter how down I feel I find a way to work with my horse. Riding is the one thing that will pull me through on the darkest days. Better yet riding usually keeps me on an even keel so things never get dark and sad. It gives me structure, it keeps my mind busy, and motivates me to eat healthier and exercise. Nursing is a stressful career. The 12 hour days, sick and upset patients, working weird hours and missing out on sunlight. It might seem insane to add an extra expense/stress to the mix with a young horse. I know myself though and know that this will make me a better person through it all. I will be in better shape to go on hikes and trips with my honey. I will be more sane and able to pick up extra shifts. And I will just be happier all around. 

There will soon be more to come on this guy :)


  1. I know this is an old post, but I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder - I know it's not as severe as Bipolar, but it is worse in the winter too) and wanted to mention Vitamin D supplements. Most people are severely deficient in vitamin d and although nothing is as great as sunlight the supplements do make a BIG difference!! I just get the vitamin D3 softgels from Walmart. I take four thousand I.U.s a day, but you can take more.

    And I just realized I'm talking to an RN so you probably totally know all this. I feel dumb now LOL! So anyway...... I'll post it anyway just in case you haven't tried it. It works for me. :)

  2. SAD is terrible!! I don't think there is such a thing as any mental illness being "worse". It is all relative and it all sucks. I am glad you mentioned vitamin D. I only got around to taking it last year and it really helps. You can get an easy blood test to make sure your levels are right. More people shoudl get this checked out. Maybe someone will read this post and get started on vit D!!

  3. Um don't ever feel dumb!! Nurses tend to only know about their own little niche. The only reason I know about vitamin D is because one of our instructors was a psych NP and was a big proponent of taking vitamin D.

  4. Hehehe good point about someone else reading it and hopefully gaining some benefit and about nurses having their own niche. I didn't think of that. :) I'm glad the vitamin d helps you too. It's made a huge difference for me in the winter. :)