Hospital Training

Obviously, Ms. Rose had me in mind when she came up with this prompt: Training Day.

I’m actually in the midst of training for my census job as we speak. My laptop came in today, so I set it up and set all my passwords and did a few pre-classroom lessons. I have a few left, but I still have ten days to go, so no real rush.

But training–I have so many tales to tell. I’ve had plenty of jobs, especially when I was living with my parents in a small town with not much real job opportunity. And then second and third jobs when I got out on my own.

I’ve been trained, and I’ve trained my share of newbies.

I was thinking about a certain training session the other day, when we went to spring a friend from the hospital.

My first real job was as a patient registration clerk in the small town hospital next door to my mom’s office. I spent a few months in the business office side before transferring to the ER, which was so much more fun. I worked graveyards, twelve hour shifts, seven days on and seven days off, which was the absolute best schedule I’ve ever had. I lived with my parents so I didn’t have any bills, and the internet was still new and exciting, so I spent many of my seven offs traveling to meet mIRC friends or coming back here to visit my real life friends.

Since it was a small town, graveyards were both slower and more exciting than day shifts, and they were the training shift as well. I’m Facebook friends with two of the girls I trained; they’re both nurses now.

I remember one slow night, training one of them. The computer program we used was pretty simple, as they tend to be. I would sit and roleplay the patient as she registered me, over and over.

Name, date of birth, social security number, address. Insurance. Chief complaint. I’d whizzed through the pages so many times before I’d just gaze blankly at the television in the waiting room, chanting the enters and tabs and shifts.

If they still had the same system, I’m sure I could hop right in the rolly chair and register as if sixteen years hadn’t passed.

We had good times there. Sometimes we’d sit, watching the entrance, diagnosing people as they made it up the sidewalk and through the doors. Fell off his bike. Cut her hand on a broken glass washing dishes. Kidney stones. Vomiting and diarrhea.

It was those three years in the ER that had me immediately know what I was suffering from the first time I had kidney stones, when I was 22. And the radiological tests to diagnose it, and the pain medication to treat it. Too bad the doctor didn’t listen to me.

And then there were the not-so-fun times, like registering the two preteen girls who drank bleach in a suicide pact. Helping restrain a patient who needed her stomach pumped after an overdose. Ducking and dodging frantic nurses and EMTs to put an armband on a patient who was dying in spite of their efforts–identification is crucial for patients who don’t make it.

I know it’s crazy there right now. Pneumonia runs rampant through the elderly population this time of year. We used to get so backed up on charts in January that any and all downtime was spent sorting them out.

I do miss it. It was a fun job. And training the new people was so easy.

9 Comments on “Hospital Training”

  1. LRose says:

    This is what I was talking about. Thanks!

  2. susieshy45 says:

    A nice post, April ! Something tells me you miss those days of seeing and helping troubled people and teaching new staff.
    If that was what made you happy then why not go back to it, if there is a chance ?

    • April says:

      I did love it, but what I loved most was that it was a small hospital, with minimal staff, so I had lots of opportunities to perform more than my assigned duties. Here it’s just sit in your cubby and register patients.

  3. Lola says:

    Great story! Love how you described the “ducking and dodging” – it’s like an improv dance you do until you hit the target. I’m a nurse – this conjured up some good memories. 🙂

  4. abbiosbiston says:

    You have had SUCH interesting jobs!

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