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 diploma...it 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 700...wow. 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. :)