this is me now

April 14, 2009

only so many words

Filed under: jobs,makin progress,random — by heatherdc @ 9:31 pm

I did a lot of talkin’ about ME on the other blog today, soooo, I’m keepin it short.

‘Cause some days, there’s only so much I have to talk about.

It was Day 1 on the new job; we’ll be here for 6 weeks. This is the last major rotation before I’m doooone with this internship thing. And it feels So good to say that.

The next 6 weeks will be more office-work, more Resource searching/reviewing, and more web site stuff.
Likes: writing, reading up on current Nutrition news/studies/etc, working with computers and learning more about different programs.
Dislikes: sitting for 8 hoursssss, no people-interaction (besides coworkers, obviously. we’re not Completely ignored as the ‘interns’), no medical jargon (sometimes I feel smart just throwin it around), and more sitting.

I like to be on the moooove and I like chattin’ it up with patients/people/clients/whateva! I just do.

Another road trip is in the works for this weekend, and I am SO SO SO excitedddd. Remember how I cleaned my car yesterday? It’s so proud of me, and lookin sexy. Seriously. It’s a hott car.

For TV tonight? I’m totally addicted to “Real Housewives NYC Season 2”. Did anyone see the article about LuAnn in People last week???! Ah, sad day.  And I’m also watching TBL (The Biggest Loser), because that’s what I do on Tuesdays!

And that’s life for right now.

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April 3, 2009

Missed that memo

Filed under: books books books,jobs,weather — by heatherdc @ 2:23 pm

Apparently people in the office here wear jeans on Fridays.  Nobody told us, the “interns”.  I sit here in black pants, alone.

Ah, life.

I’m heading to “happy hour”  after work with a a few gals.  By 5:30 I’ll have a pitcher of Sangria on the table in front of me. And filling up the glass in my hand. Yumm. 

This morning it was raining, humid, and disgusting. Well, to me the first two words are psynonyms with ‘disgusting’, so that goes without saying.  I wore heels, because if I have flats on the bottom of my pants get soaked.

By lunch, the sun is out to play and it’s suddenly 70 degreees. Which is really how every day should be, obviously. It’s perfection. After a free Pizza lunch (also perfect) I decided to take a walk. Days here without a break are not happening – I take that hour break and use it to breathe in that ‘fresh’ city air. Also to saturate my eyes with window shopping.

I wandered down to Dupont Circle and stopped in a book store. After a little browsing, I found something I wanted to read and took my shoes off. Because remember how I’m wearing heels and I walked to Dupont?! Oops.  I stood there in a  corner of the bookstore (no chairs?! whaaaat?), with my shoes next to my feet, and read for a while. It was a book by the same author who wrote “In Her Shoes”, I read  a chapter and enjoyed it, but now I can’t remember the title. Hmm.

Reluctantly I put my shoes back on and strutted over to the Circle (statue fountain thing in the middle, lots of trees and grass and benches…..it’s cute). For about 5 mintues I plopped down on a bench and took random pictures. Then I walked back and took more random pictures. Then my battery died, and I can’t look at any of said pictures.

Overall – if Ihad inquired about “Casual friday”, I’d be comfortable and sans feet pain with my jeans and flats. If I had received the “crappy morning will turn into a Gorgeous Spring afternoon” memo, I wouldn’t be carrying around my umbrella at the bar or sweating by the time I get there.

Ah well. It’s FRIDAY. I did get that memo.

February 16, 2009

Morning clothes woes

Filed under: clothes,jobs — by heatherdc @ 10:46 pm

Something about this new rotation (food service) is throwing me off.

I have to wear a uniform – white button-up, black pants/shoes/belt.

This is doing many things to me. It has taken away my desire to shop for new work clothes, because well, clearly I don’t need them. Somebody has already decided what I wear, and that’s that. Gah!  This may sound crazy to some, but I actually like picking out my work-outfits. I’ve spent the time to buy the clothes, and mix-and-match the clothes, and I like the clothes! Now, I can’t wear them. And I’m sad.

But. On the other hand, I now have a liiittle bit of extra time during my morning get-ready routine.  Most days I know what I want to wear and it takes me like a minute to decide. Then there are the days when I’m all over the place, taking out many shirts and pants and looking at shoes and necklaces and going Ahhhhh.

It’s also frustrating me because I hate tucking in a button-up shirt. Yes, HATE. Women’s shirts do not stay tucked in, because they aren’t long enough. I feel like I can’t move and get all kinds of irritated when the shirt continuously becomes un-tucked. Honestly, I almost bought a Small men’s shirt, just so it would be longer and tolerable. Then I did my research (shopping) at Target, and realized that a Small Men’s shirt is huuuuge. Dangit. Plan aborted.

We have to wear this get-up Tuesday through Friday. I’m not doing my laundry every night, and I’m not destroying my Dry-clean only pants by washing them constantly.  Instead, I try not to get dirty in the kitchen and I bought a cheap button-up. After six weeks, I’d rather know that I didn’t waste money on a Nice shirt that will be washed over and over only to be stained with oils, sauces, dressings, etc. A mere $15 at Target? I’m fine with that.

Alright, that’s my rant. At least it’s still cold outside, so I’m not missing out on any opportunity to wear cute Springy stuff. That will come sooooon enough.

February 8, 2009

consistency will return

Filed under: jobs,movin on,visitors! — by heatherdc @ 10:47 pm

Since coming back from our “holiday” break, my schedule has changed on a weekly basis. I spent time in two separate hospitals and had a short jaunt with the School Lunch Program. And now, finally, I’m about to enter back into the world of Consistency. One location, for six weeks. Yesssss.

Our hours will be something along the lines of 10 am -6 pm, including a free lunch  and excluding anything related to medicine and disease. Whoa.

It’s back to food service stuff, which I’m not 100% thrilled about. Usually this means Free food, which I am thrilled about. I’m also ready to know that I have my mornings to myself, to work out or sleep in or sit and watch Matt , Meredith and Al on the Today Show. Getting my run out of the way means I never have to stress about what traffic will be like on the way home and/or getting a treadmill and/or running before the sun goes down for the evening.  Since I’m in training-mode right now (which I talk about elsewhere), this is perfect.

In other areas of my life – things are changing by the weekend. This last weekend I had a surprise visitor from Penn State; I found out she was coming down on Thursday and was pretty freakin excited. We had a gooood time, got all touristy and even found a famous bakery. Oooh, more on that later.

This upcoming weekend I have family friends coming from home to the DC area. I. Can’t. Wait. to see some familiar faces and show them around.

Next weekend: LB is making her first visit to MD (well, since I’ve been here)!! Oh, I’m excited.

Good things happening here.

June 30, 2008

Days in the Hospital

Filed under: jobs,learning,things that happen at the Hospital — by heatherdc @ 1:43 am

Every day starts the same. But that’s where the ordinary stops. From there, it’s anyone’s guess….

I’ve been working in the hospital for about four weeks now, and I can easily say that each day has been dramatically different from the next. It definitely keeps things interesting, keeps me on my toes, and keeps me wondering what will happen next.

For a little update, here are some of the more “exciting” sitings–
(warning::you may be disgusted/scared/entertained/all of the above, or none of the above. just sayin’….)

  • Jaundice. More commonly talked about as a condition that some babies have initially after birth. They are basically “yellow”. I never took that too literally….until I met Freddy*. He was a late admit on Friday, so I brought him a late dinner tray. He’s about 55+ years old, a little over weight, friendly, and staying on the fourth floor. Oh yah, and he’s yellow. Literally yellow. His arms, his face, the ‘whites’ of his eyes. Alllll over, he was a definite yellow.
  • My sister’s first grade teacher. I ran into her in the hall, and she gave me a big ol’ hug. She lives in our neighborhood, so we have seen her off and on throughout the years. When Lauren and  I are together, she can tell us apart. When it’s just me, she always thinks I’m Lauren. I forget this. She talked to me for about 10 minutes, asking about school, life, my plans, blah blah blah. Then, as we’re saying ‘bye’, she smiles and says “Every time I think of you I think of your class and that cute Piggy Opera!”. Yes, they did a piggy opera, and Lauren was Momma-pig. I had a little laugh thinking of Lauren as the Momma-pig, and the fact that I will always be Lauren to people who don’t see us often. Oh well.
  • Tuberculosis. Um, scarryyyyy. I had to put on a huge mask, ‘gown’ and gloves. I went into the room and pretty much held my breath. Which, by the way, is very hard to do while you’re trying to talk. Yup. And also when you are in there for like two minutes. Gaaasp. Good thing I had like Five tests to prove I don’t have it. Geeeeze.
  • Cystic Fibrosis. This life expectancy of somebody with this disease ranges from about 25-30  yrs old. John* is a 20 yr-old with CF, spending way too much of his young life in the hospital. I screened him during my second week, and he just got discharged last Wednesday. I’m in charge of the meals on the fourth floor, and that’s where he stayed. By the end of Day 3 I had his breakfast, lunch, and dinner orders pretty much memorized. Sometimes he got tricky and threw me a curve-ball, sometimes he forgot to order his Cherry cheese-cake and I reminded him. To which he would respond “Whew, can’t believe I almost forgot! Thanks Heather, you saved my night 😉 “. Well, well, I do what I can.
  • “OB orders.” That’s what we call a huuuuge meal. With our system, patients order what they want, when they want. We have a full menu every day. And I gotta say, it’s pretty extensive! We actually get a lot of compliments on the food. Except when people can only have Clear liquids. Anyway–sometimes people order a lot of food, and while we can only serve them one “Entree” (sorry folks, can’t feed the whole fam), they can order as manyyyyy sides/drinks/deserts as they want. And sometimes, they certainly do.When somebody  has just had a baby, they are on the “OB” floor. And let me tell you, those women can EAT! Honestly, I am kind of amazed. I knew pregnant/post-labor women crave and eat loots of different things. But, wow. I love answering the phone and taking their order!… “Grilled chicken salad, with LOTS of Ranch, two iced teas, sugar, apple pie, tomato soup, crackers, french fries, and LOTS of ketchup, a banana, a wheat roll. And can I have some potato soup too? Thanks. Oh, and vanilla pudding, and ummmm, chocolate milk.”  Yes, that looks like a typical lunch/dinner order. Like I said….Wow. 

  • Death. This one was inevitable, but I couldn’t help but hope that I’d never have to actually see it. Or at least not yet, not this summer. We’ve had two or three patients die in the last few weeks, we just get a call basically saying ‘You won’t need an order from room —, because the patient is deceased.” Uh, thanks for the update? It’s just weird. But it’s normal, and it happens. A lot.
    Yesterday, I walked in on it. An older man had just passed, literally minutes before I came to his room. The nurses hadn’t put up a sign yet, the door was open, and…well….I walked in.
    I knew right away. I froze. Turned to the nurse’s desk, opened my mouth, and before I could say anything…..”Yah, he just passed a few minutes ago.” Whoa. I guess there’s a first for everything.

Every day is different. Some go by really fast, some involve some really chatty people, some teach me a lot more than others, and some drag on and on. Every morning there are new patients, and every morning I go see them.  And they make my day.

*Names have been changed, gotta keep the confidentiality. And because, otherwise, I’d be fired. Not good.

June 4, 2008

Knock, Knock….It’s Dietary!

Filed under: jobs,weird — by heatherdc @ 11:46 pm

That’s what I said…all day..as I wondered around the hospital, peeking into patients’ rooms and asking them:

“A few quick questions for the dietitian.”

Apparently the position that was described to me last month as “well…delivering some meals, maybe talking to the patients…you know…” (yes, great description, I know), is actually more like “well, walking into the patient’s rooms all morning, and getting the ones you missed in the afternoon, and taking phone meal-orders, and working with our computer system.” That would have been a MUCH more accurate description. In fact, it would have been right on the dot.

I hesitated at first. It has been so long since I’ve been in a hospital, luckily. Most people recognize my last name, thanks to my Dad, and assume that I know my way around and that I’m just so familiar with everything. Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. It’s not exactly the type of place you meet up for a family dinner or a night out. In fact, the last time I was there was in high school–one of my best friends was a baseball Ump for the younger leagues and got a line-drive to the Jaw. Ehhhh that wasn’t fun–and since then they have added a Huuuuge new (beautiful!!!) section and it looks completely different.

Anyway! Where was I. Oh, patient’s rooms. Walking in. Uninvited, and mostly likely very unwanted. First of all, when you to wear a unisex gown that everybody knows has nothing underneath, ummm….well, that’s just a little embarrassing. In all honesty, I just felt like I was invading their space. They are sick, they have doctors and nurses in and out, they have nothing to do in that little room all day but lay there and maybe watch some TV here and there, or chat with some family.  My attention span would battle me to my death.

On top of everything else, they are sick. They are vulnerable and exposed. And here I come, waltzing in like it’s nothing and just asking a few questions. I realize this is completely harmless, and they likely think nothing of it, but it just felt weird. By the end of the day I was a little more desensitized to it. Good thing, because I have to do it all again tomorrow.

Alright , on another note, there are some pretty cool people hangin’ out in those rooms. I met one Korean lady, who at first seemed so fragile and ill, but as she woke up a little bit and answered some questions I found out something pretty cool…..she shares a birthday with me. And she was born in 1931.

And one guy said that he was so impressed by the hospital food and service he’d rather just come live here and eat all day. ( Little bit of a stretch, but we’ll take it buddy! )

Four Tens, instead of Five Eights?

Filed under: jobs,Summer times — by heatherdc @ 12:44 am

Today I barely survived a  deathly boring 8 hours of Orientation, and “traditions”, and policies, and procedures, and safety, and Core values, and ahhhhhh. We were stuck in one room for breakfast, four hours of presentations, lunch, and four more hours of presentations. Oh, and it wasn’t air conditioned. Oh, AND we are in the desert. It was really fun. Really. It was.

No it wasn’t.

I was actually not a pleasant person at 4 o’clock when it was over. Not. at. all. The only interesting pieces of information presented to me were pictures of the brand new section of the hospital (whoa, gorgeous! nice work architects and construction-people! Kudos to you.). And some good stories here and there of how the oh-so-wonderful staff have used the Core Values to make some magic happen. In all honesty, good stories.

Anyway. It’s over and I made it. I was one of two summer interns, and we were among about 15 other people there who were “permanent hires”. They tried to tell us that we had to come back to the same room tomorrow at 9 a.m. to fill out paper work and I almost had to get violent. Noooo way. Turns out, we the “interns” actually didn’t need to come back, but need to report to our departments tomorrow at 8 a.m. Whew, close call.

So, when I got home I called my department to get some details. Well turns out that they were wrong too. Instead, I have to be there at SEVEN a.m. Ehhhhh. That’s very early. Oh, and I work until 5:30. And my response (inside my head, obviously. No need to freak out via phone call…) was….umm…whaaaat?!

I happily professionally responded “Oh, OK. Yah! That’s fine!” Then was told that I could wear scrubs, which honestly makes everything better. Because who doesn’t want to wear scrubs?! It’s like getting to wear comfortable pajamas with sneakers to work every day. And while I do like looking snazzy in cute “business casual”, nobody can pass up the opportunity to wear comfy scrubs. Seriously. Awesome.

I had to ask….”So, will my schedule be 7-5:30 every day?”. Here’s what I got…

“Oh, no. On Thursday you’ll come in from 9-7:30.”

Okay, I see. 10 hour days it is then. And apparently on Thursdays I get to sleep in until about 7:30 like a normal person. Oh, and I get to wear scrubs! (trying to focus on positive things here….)

At first I wasn’t excited about the 10-hr day starting at seven in the morning. So…four ten hour days, instead of five eights….

Then, the more I thought about it, the more I like the idea of three day weekends, every weekend. And a week that only consists of four days. I think I can handle this.

At least I’ll be able to catch “What Not to Wear” once a week, right?  And lay on the deck in the afternoon reading (and sipping on tasty drinks) for three whole afternoons every weekend. Alright, at least I have time for my priorities.

June 3, 2008

Day 1 on the Job

Filed under: home,jobs,working — by heatherdc @ 12:10 am

I spent about two hours today doing paperwork, giving fingerprints and blood (MMR test), and getting a TB skin test (ewwww). Luckily the little bubble went away, and I’m hoping that means I do Not have TB. But thanks for checking hospital-people.

I’m a little scared to actually be working in a hospital for the first time. I know it has to happen eventually, but it’s weeeird. I’ll be around sick people, all the time. Some really sick people, some healing people, some little people, some old people. That’s a lot of people. At least I’ll be delivering them food, so they’ll (hopefully) be happy to see me when I waltz into their room unannounced on a daily basis.

I realized something today–every job I’ve ever had has been for a decided period of time. Does that sound weird? I mean, I’ve always known when it will end. All my jobs have been one of three things–a summer job, an internship, or a school-job (only lasting until graduation). The longest I’ve ever been at one job is two years, and that was at the library. When they hired me (right before our Junior year) I remember them asking what year I was….and then saying “Oh good! We’ll have you for about two years…”….and I had a little mini panic attack in my head. Two YEARS?! That seemed sooo long to me at the time.

Here I am, yet again, starting a ‘summer’ job. There’s a clear start, with an end in sight. I know there’s not much I can do about this. I do have to start ‘school’ again in the Fall, and that’s just how it is. I just wonder….when I have to go out, and get that Real job, what will happen inside my head? Will the idea of no time-line–of the job being “indefinite”–cause mini-panic attacks over and over? Will I get restless?

I know (or..umm….I hope!) I’m not the only graduate who feels this way.

And until I actually have to face this, I’m going head first into Job #1 post-college. Wish me luck!

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