Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wing-Testing Experience

As much as I would like to hold her back, my youngest child, Christine, will turn 16 next month. Where did the time go? At this point in my life, I really wish I could make time stand still. But alas, this is not possible, so I'm going through the motions.

Yesterday my precious daughter had orientation for the student volunteer program at a local hospital. Yup - no matter how much I try to talk her out of entering the medical field, she is jumping head first in that direction. Not content to just take the medical classes at the area vocational school next year, she wanted to jump right into hospital life to see what it was all about.

So, for the next 6 weeks she will be volunteering 3 days a week. On Tuesdays she will work Women's Health (which is the same floor I worked for 15 years); Thursdays is for Behavioral Medicine (I didn't like this floor because I was afraid they would keep me and not let me out!) and Fridays are reserved for the Emergency Room.

I know, logically, that if she is serious about health care as a career, this will be great experience for the future. But coming from health care, I know how some nurses can be when dealing with student volunteers. Nurses are overworked and under appreciated, and sometimes they take it out on the wrong person. I always tried to be curteous to said students, but many of my fellow nurses did not. There is an old saying among nurses that "Nurses eat their young." Typically this happens when new nurses start working their first jobs, but I've seen it happen with students as well. I've tried to give my daughter some words of wisdom: stay out of the nurses' way; do what you are told; be helpful; and SMILE!

Yesterday when she came out of orientation, she was so excited to show me her new name badge. Except for her school identification, she has never had to wear a name badge, not even for her part time job on the weekends. She is actually more excited about this volunteer job than she is her paying job. For me, I see this opportunity as another "wing-testing" experience before she enters the real world.

My baby is growing up, but I wish someone would invent a potion to help me keep her this age for a while longer.

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