Friday, May 04, 2012

Paying More Attention Now

If you are one of my close friends, you've probably heard this story before so it's ok if you want to move on with your day.  Come back tomorrow.  Maybe I will have fresh material.  If you are a friend I've only met through this blog, don't be confused.  I am a hospice nurse now.  However, I worked quite a few years as an oncology nurse and this my story of how I made that career move.

I'm a person very in tune with my own strengths and weaknesses.  I'm always very aware of my own situation and I am able to make precise and snappy decisions with confidence and efficiency.  NOT!

Sometimes I just point in one direction, wearing blinders, looking neither left nor right.  This was the case when I was working as a nurse at our local hospital.  I believed that was the only kind of nursing for me.  I was sure I was supposed to be at the hospital.  Hospitals are lively and vital and exciting and that was exactly where I wanted to be.

One January day I was having coffee with a friend.  She told me that she was friends with an oncologist who had been ill and hadn't been practicing for a few years.  This oncologist was better and was planning to open a clinic again.  She was looking for a nurse and my friend said, "I think you should work for her."  I smiled and thanked her and told her that I was happy being a hospital nurse.  I absolutely did not want to be an office nurse and I MOST definitely did not want to give chemotherapy.  Even the thought of being a chemo nurse was frightening!

About two weeks later I was approached at work by a fellow nurse.  She told me that she was friends with an oncologist who had been ill and hadn't been practicing for a few years.  This oncologist was better and was planning to open a clinic again.  She was looking for a nurse and my friend said, "I think you should work for her."  I smiled and thanked her and told her that I was happy being a hospital nurse.  I absolutely did not want to be an office nurse and I MOST definitely did not want to give chemotherapy.  Even the thought of being a chemo nurse was frightening!

Did that last paragraph look a lot like the paragraph before it?  Yep.  I'm sure the conversations weren't quite word for word, but close.  Notice how dumb I was?  I didn't realize yet that I was being directed.

Not long after that second conversation I received a phone call.  It was a bit awkward as I was in the bathroom, about to get into the tub.  My son knocked on the door and when I unlocked the door I reached my arm out to get the phone.  I thought it was a friend calling and stepped into the tub as I answered.  When I realized it was the doctor I stood VERY still in the tub so as not to make water noises.  We talked for a long time.  At the end of that conversation I'd agreed to at least meet with her for coffee.

My rolling "interview" began at a little coffee shop.  We talked and talked.  She then drove me to the office she was preparing.  Realizing it was time to pick up her son from preschool we rode together to get him, then went from there to a daycare to pick up her little girl.  When she dropped me off at my car she said, "The job is your's if you want it."  I told her I always talked such decisions over with my husband then whispered, "But I really want it."

The truth is, I was really afraid that I couldn't do that job.  I had no one to train me.  I had to spend so much time on education!



As it turned out, I enjoyed working for her and count it as a great learning experience.  I grew in confidence in my nursing.  We became friends along the way and went through a lot of things together.  I still treasure her friendship!

Why am I telling this story?  I don't know.  It was just on my mind.  I think  it is one of my best personal examples of how I tried to get in my own way, or maybe God's way.  Looking back, I feel strongly that God was guiding me to where I was supposed to be at that time in my life.  I wasn't very good at picking up the hints but I'm glad he was persistent.  I try to pay more attention now.