Sunday, January 3, 2010

Recent Randomness...

First: Rocky has taken over my bed. Thankfully, he still lets me have it back when I come home to visit. He's so cute! In the mornings when I'm home, he'll come and whine at my door to come in, and when my mom lets him in he jumps up and sticks his nose about a centimeter from my face. Gotta love him!
Second: This was a result of my trying to entertain myself on Trax on the way home from work. I thought this pic turned out really cool!
Third: Being bored on Trax. Same night.
Fourth: Me and my Charlie Brown Christmas tree at my Salt Lake house!! It was so cute!
Fifth: Shan and I at the Jazz game!! GO JAZZ!!!

Work at the HCH

This is my awesome hairnet...:). I know I know...I look like a lunch lady. haha!
Me in my scrubs in the locker room with my cool ID

Happy New Year!!

These past couple of months have been busy, challenging, and WAY fun!! Although I started to get really burnt out from school, the semester ended on a good note for me. Its been such a relief to be done with school for a few weeks! I have one more week of freedom before its back to the old semester should be fun though! I'm excited! I'll be taking Biomedical Chemistry (aka, pathology), The Global Citizen (which is a class all about international travel), the U.S. National Government, and Scientific Writing. Three of those 4 classes are general credits, which I am thrilled about, let me just tell you....but to counter that, I also have 2 fun classes! During the first half of the semester I'll be taking a tennis class, and during the second half it will change to golf! :D I thought I'd give myself a bit of a break, since I've been in school for a year and a half STRAIGHT without any significant break. Whew.
Anyway, since classes ended I've just been hanging out at home in Layton with the fam and friends and commuting to Salt Lake for work. Work up at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital has been going really well! I feel more and more comfortable there as time goes on. I am now about 98% sure of where everything goes and where things are in our department. For some of the items, I can even tell you the cart they're on, the shelf they're on, and the reference number that goes with them. I only work with 3 other people at any given time, which is good and bad at the same time. Its good because I get to know them really well and we have a great time together. Its bad because I don't really get to branch out and make connections at work like I used to. But its all good! :) I really do enjoy what I do, I've always been a person who likes things neat, organized, and clean. I've always been one to pay close attention to detail, and (call me crazy, but...) I've always enjoyed doing the dishes, so this job has been right up my alley. Another plus is that I get to listen to my ipod while I work, so it makes it fun and the time literally flies!
No, I don't get to see a whole lot of blood and guts :) There are a few times back in the Decontamination room where instruments come back really bloody, but other than that everything is pretty clean. The one time I have been able to go into an O.R. during a surgery was to try and fix an ipod because the nurses couldn't figure out why it wasn't playing over their speakers. Turns out, they had the wrong attachment. "It's not rocket science..." haha!
I'll post some pictures of me in my scrubs and the fabulous hairnet I get to wear. I LOVE wearing scrubs, they are my favorite! :)
The Holidays this year have been really fun for me. I've been able to spend lots of time at home, I've been able to go skiing, and I've been able to watch all kinds of movies that I only get to see when there's no school. I've had the opportunity to visit and catch up with old friends, I got the chance to talk to my BEST friend, I was able to see a good friend who recently returned from a mission, and I've been able to strengthen a friendship I didn't realize I had. It's been a GREAT two weeks:)
I'm really excited for this upcoming year, I feel like there's a lot of exciting things coming my way and I can't wait to see what they are. I'm loving the adventure I'm having at this time in my life and I really have found a lot of joy in my journey. Most of that joy has come from family and good friends, and I'm very grateful for everyone in my life! You all mean the world to me! I can't imagine where I would be without all the awesome examples and influences that I've had. Thanks to everyone, and I hope you all have as exciting a New Year as I feel is waiting for me! :D

Friday, November 6, 2009

Life as a Sterile Tech...

Basically, my new job is AWESOME!!! It's tiring and slighty overwhelming, but I'm slowly getting the hang of everything. The first thing I do when I get to work is clock in (obviously) and then I head over to the scrubs dispenser to pick up my work attire. Yes, it really does dispense my scrubs. Pretty much, its one of the coolest machines I've ever seen. (p.s. I LOVE scrubs.)
Then I go into the locker room to change into my scrubs. This is the same locker room that surgeons and nurses use, so that should tell you right away just how important they think I am. haha. :) Really, the lockers are only like 6 inches wide, AND I have to share with someone else. So pretty much, I have about 3 inches for all of my things. Fun stuff.....
Once I'm in my scrubs, I put on my glamorous hairnet (you all WISH you could be as cool as me and wear hairnets to work) and then head through the big double doors with big bold read signs that say "Authorized Personnel Only. Only Surgical Attire Allowed Through These Doors."


Then I head into the Sterile Processing Unit, which is where I spend my 5 hour shift!! It's a really cool room with literally THOUSANDS of tools and instruments just stacked and waiting for their turn to be involved in a surgery. Probably the coolest thing about this room is that it's attached to a short hallway with two doors on either side. Right behind these four doors are the Operating Rooms!! The doors have big windows on them, so when we have down time I can walk on over there and watch surgeries to my heart's content!! It's SO COOL!!!!
On a typical shift, they'll usually put me to work pulling case carts. So, before a surgery takes place, the surgeon will sit down and make a list of all the tools and instruments that he will need in order to do the procedure. He then gives that list to us (which sometimes can be 3 or 4 pages long) and then its our job to put together a cart of all the things that he'll need. The list includes all kinds of things ranging from water to bandages to needles to forceps to cotton balls to staplers to drill bits to toothbrushes. I'll let you use your imagination as to what those things are for :) On average, it'll take me about 20-30 minutes to pull one case cart. Yesterday, in my 5 hour shift, I pulled 8. But I'm still new and I still have a lot to learn, but I'm slowly figuring out where everything is. There's a lot of bending and lifting involved (because some of those sets of instruments are HEAVY), so usually at the end of my shift I'm just about ready to fall over. But I really do like it, the things that I do make the time go by super fast.
Up to this point, I've really loved this change in my life. The atmosphere is fun, the people I work with are fun, and its just really awesome being in a medical environment.

Lovin' This Indian Summer!

It's November 6th, and I'm still playing outside in my t-shirt and shorts!! I love it!! :D Gotta love the bipolarness of our state...snow and cold one week, sun and heat the next...go figure. Today was Leaf Raking-Jumping-Raking-Bagging (in that order) Day for the girls at 340 South. We thought we'd take advantage of this coldless and snowless weather and have some fun! I forgot how much fun (and how much work!) raking leaves is! It was like my elementary school days all over again.

The final product. We are awesome.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Only in Provo...

...Will it take you 20 minutes to find a parking spot ANYWHERE.

...Will you end up parking in the SHOPKO parking lot when your destination is the movie theater.

...Are you able to go out in public and pick out EXACTLY which couples are on dates.

...Will it be a big deal whether or not showing your student ID at the movie ticket boxoffice will save you 25 cents off of the $1.50 it was going to cost you to get in anyway.

...Will you find that the 7:35pm showing of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (which has been out for 3 months now), of all movies, is SOLD OUT. I should've known...Everyone and their dog was out on a date. Except me.

...Will the college students turn down COLD STONE for the 99 cent Smith's Brand ice cream.

...Will students buy CASES of BLACK BEANS at the local case lot sale and eat black bean burritos for weeks on end.

...Will people lay on their horns when they see the University of Utah sticker in your back window.

I do not belong in Provo.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Job!!!

Say hello to the Huntsman Cancer Institute's newest Sterile Processing Tech!! :D So here's the story...

About a month ago, I was browsing the open positions on the U's website, when I came across this position at the Huntsman Center. I've been looking for a new job in the medical field for awhile now, because I need some sort of medical or laboratory experience in order to get into my program (Medical Laboratory Science) when I apply in January. And there it was...entry level, PRN, (that means its an "as needed" position - basically I'm on call), $13 an hour, knowledge in anatomy, phyisology, and medical terminology, high school was perfect! So I thought, what the heck I'll apply for it and see what happens. I've applied for positions through the University before, and nothing has ever come of it so I wasn't expecting too much.

A couple of days after I submitted my application, I got an email saying that they had forwarded my application on to the hiring department!! The first hurdle had been passed!! So I was excited for a little bit, but then forgot about it after a day or two. Then, last Monday, I was walking to art history, and I got about halfway there when I was prompted to turn around and go home. That was fine with me, I didn't want to sit through an hour and 20 minutes of that class anyway, for some...ahem...personal reasons....anyway....
I got back to my house, and about 15 minutes later my cell phone started ringing! I didn't recognize the number, so I almost didn't answer it, but then I remembered how my application had been forwarded to the hiring department at the hospital, so at the last second I picked it up. It was indeed someone from the hospital, calling me to set up an interview!! Oh my goodness I was SO excited!! And the cool thing is, had I gone to class I would've missed the phone call and probably never would've had an interview!!
Anyway, so the interview was set up for that Wednesday, two days later. Randomly (and amazingly) I happened to have that day off from America First, so it worked out perfectly!! I was so nervous though, I hadn't had any sort of interview in two years! I felt a little rusty, so I spent the next 48 hours going over common interview questions and trying to psych myself up. The interview itself was...fine...I was interviewed by two people. They made sure I knew exactly what job I had applied for, and they made it very clear that this would be a high stress, working-under-pressure type job. Overall I probably spent 25 minutes in there answering their questions. By the time I left I was so wound up and stressed out that when I called my dad to tell him about it, I was literally sputtering. I could barely think straight, let alone speak. I felt like I might've sounded dumb when answering some of their questions, so I wasn't sure how to feel about how the interview went at that point...When I left, they told me that they had a few more interviews to do, and that they'd be getting back with me in about a week.
It was actually 6 days later, when I was at work at America First that I missed their phone call. It was 5 o'clock when I noticed I had a voicemail. That last hour of work was killer, I was sooo nervous!! When I finally was able to listen to what it said, the message I got was "Hi Nikole, this is Denise, I'm just trying to get ahold of you, if you could give me a call back as soon as possible that would be great. If you can't reach me tonight, just call tomorrow". I didn't know if that was a good sign or not...was she calling to offer me the position, or to tell me that it had been filled?? I tried calling her back but all I got was voicemail...I had to wait until the next morning to find out!! Talk about a stressful night...
The next morning, when I called her back, to my ecstatic excitement she offered me the position!!! HOLLA!!!! The ball started rolling at that second and it hasn't stopped since. my instructions were to call an executive secretary at the hospital, and she gave me all kinds of assignments. Later that very day I was down in Salt Lake taking a drug test (or 'giving evidence' for my drug test...however you want to look at it...basically I had to pee in a cup. Thrilling. You'd think they could have you do something more intense for a 'drug test'.) I also took my two weeks notice in to my manager at America First. I was supposed to go down to the hospital today for some orientation, but the secretary called this morning and told me to just come in on Monday (again, I randomly have Monday off from America First.) The timing for all of this has been incredible and everything has fallen into place so perfectly!! As nervous as I am about this new job, it's been so amazing and so cool to just watch how it all has been happening!! Everything from missing class that first day I got the phone call to having days off work just right have all contributed to me getting this new job!! Coincidence?? I think not!! This was meant to be! I can definitely see the Lord's hand in all this. It's been very cool.
SO...what does a Sterile Processing Tech DO?? Well, I'll be working in the Surgical Processing [area?? department?? unit?? whatever...] at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. I'll be preparing the surgical trays with the tools and instruments that the doctors will need during various surgeries. Denise (my interviewer and now supervisor) told me that some trays will require 10 instruments, some 70, some I will also be cleaning said instruments once the doctors are through. Yes, they will be bloody. I'll be in and out of the Operating Room, so I'll get to see some of the surgeries taking place. (SWEEEET!!!!) As Denise put it, "We are the gateway to the Operating Room. Everything goes through us (the Sterile techs) before it gets in there."
I'm really excited about this new job and the opportunities that will come with it, but I'm also slightly terrified. I'm moving from a job where I've become extremely comfortable to something completely new. New environment, new coworkers, new everything. Change in my life sometimes throws off my groove for awhile. I may even develop some ulcers over this one. But it's going to be great, I just know it!! Since it is an 'on call' position, I won't have a set schedule each week. One week I might work 25 hours, the next 15, the week after that maybe none at all. It'll be nice to have extra time during some weeks to work on homework and stuff.

Overall I really am excited about this new opportunity. $13 an hour sounds amazing (compared to what I make now...). I'll get weekends and holidays off. I'll be working in a medical setting, getting experience geared towards my major. When my dad is at work at AirMed I'll be in the building right next to him. I'll get a spiffy little nametag with my picture on it and everything.

But the best part about this new job: I get to wear scrubs to work. :)