22 January 2008

New Year, New Job

I've been working at the Med Center for a little over a week now and am starting to feel like I'm getting the hang of things. I worked 6 out of 7 days last week and it was pretty crazy every shift. Most everyone that I've meet so far has been very nice and helpful. I like the other midlevels that I work with, and am starting to get in good with some of the nurses. It's is a bit strange to be the only full time female midlevel provider, but then again, I've always been one to hang with the boys! I went to elementary, middle, and high school with one the guys I work with and it's been nice to reconnect with a familar face and talk about the "old days." So far, I've encountered a good number people of that I know. Some of them past class mates, a few people from the community, and some that remember me from when I did my rotation here almost 3 years ago.
One of the things I like most about my new job, is the amount of respect I receive as a PA here. Doctors and residents are appreciative when I see their patients and do all the work up for them. They talk to me like I know what I am doing and converse with me as they would a colleague. It's a nice change to have residents available for consult and physicians that will actually set foot in the ER. Sometime there are so many specialist in the ER at one time that you are tripping over them, where as before it was as if they didn't want to be caught dead in the ER. In Chattanooga, the on call doctors (with the exception of the OB/GYNs) treated me like I were stupid simply because I wasn't a physician and basically refused to talk to you (even when I was the one that knew the most about the patient). At the Med Center, I get to decide if a patient needs to be admitted, call the appropriate doctor, and actually discuss my patient with them. It's really nice to appreciated and encouraged to be independent.
Another wonderful change has been the significant decrease in the amount of OB/GYN care that I have had to do. Some days in Chattanooga, that was all I did. Mind you, I got to the point where I could do it in my sleep, but it's nice not to have to do some many freaking pelvic exams. The first 3 shifts I worked, I got to do my first spinal tap on a real person (I've practiced on models and dead chickens) and did ZERO pelvic exams. It was wonderful.
While there are lots of good things to be said about my new job, I do miss my old one. I miss the people I worked with and the comfort level I had there. In some ways I have to proove myself to the nurses and ER Docs here all over again. Before, everyone knew that I was easy to get along with, worked hard, and that I knew what I was doing. Now I have to work to establish that again. I know in time that it will come, but for now I miss being able to joke with the staff and be the super sarcastic person that I naturally am. I look forward to seeing what else my new job holds and the many things I'm sure that I will learn here. But don't worry, I won't forget my roots. After all, I was just a "baby PA" when I started in Chattanooga, and I am the PA I am today because of what I learned there.