ORIENTATION DAY.  Jessica Bussert  |  Founder & CEO Monday, April 13th

A hospital is a complicated place.  The very nature of much of the work is highly technical.  Now, add into that all the various legal issues associated with healthcare.  Pretty quickly you discover that the otherwise simple task of bringing on temp workers becomes a logistics nightmare.  None of that changes during a pandemic.

My first day at the hospital was fully spent in orientation.

It was raining buckets when I was ready to leave my apartment.  Not having purchased an umbrella yet I was forced to call an Uber for the relatively short trip to work.  I had the driver drop me off at the far side of the rather huge medical complex where the ER is located.  After a few moments of asking around, I learned that I was actually supposed to go to the first building in the complex.  Without an employee ID (which I was supposed to get during orientation) I was required to go back outside and walk a quarter-mile in the rain to get there.  So much for arriving dry!

We spent the morning learning about hospital operations.  Things like how to use the computer system, where to fill out our timesheets, how to process lab draws.  It was all pretty basic and matched much of what I had done a dozen times before when I worked as a travel nurse.  The afternoon was filled with much of the same.  Oh my!  I had hoped that I would never have to sit through another lecture on HIPAA policies!  The lawyers who came up with that nonsense must be a lot of fun at a party!

The one thing that really stood out about -this- orientation had to do with the n95 masks.  For those devices to work properly you need to go through a fit test to make sure that they mold against your face properly.  They don’t always and to be safe you need to go through a testing process to check the fit.  This is usually a very quick activity that takes ten minutes or less.  Today’s fit test took over an hour and involved a very detailed lecture on air flow, viral particle size, and respiratory activity.  They were definitely -not- messing around when it came to the n95’s!

Tomorrow I start in the ER proper for more department-specific orientation.  I was exhausted from just today’s activities.  I can’t imagine what it will be like once I actually get started working.