Tuesday, January 06, 2009
So, time for an update. At the time of my last post (May 2008), I was working per diem at the hospital here in Flagstaff and waiting for a full time position to open up. Well, shortly after that (in July) a full time position opened up on the weekend. Although it wasn't my first choice it was nice to get a real position and receive all the benefits that come with it (Health insurance, PTO, 401(k), etc.)
Since then there have been some big changes in my life. My wife and I wasted no time in buying our first home. We had been saving since I got out of school and in August we closed on our first place and we spent the next 2 months painting every room, replacing the carpet, landscaping, installing blinds, etc. We still have a lot to do on the house, but of course it will probably always be a work in progress. Another change is that, in Nov., we got an Irish Setter puppy who we named Curry. She is A LOT of fun, but also A LOT of work. Totally worth it though. Click here to see some photos of her if you are interested.
Since this is a Radiography blog I suppose I should talk at least a little bit about that. Working the weekend shift is pretty different than working during the week. On the weekend there are only two people working (counting me) from 7a-11a and usually one of them is in surgery for most of that time. So as a result you really have to be pretty self reliant to work that shift. Some days it's great, you don't have anyone breathing down your neck, but other days it would be REALLY nice to have at least one other person there, if for no other reason than to help you move patients. I work 7a-7p and 12 hours can get pretty long, especially for me with my back problems. My back will usually hold out for about 9-10 of those hours, but the last two are usally pretty painful. See my next post for an update on my back issues (again, if you're interested). But on the other hand, it is pretty AWESOME to only work 3 days a week and have the other 4 off. It also allows me to pick up extra shifts for a little extra money here and there. I like my coworkers on the weekend and I think we work pretty well together, which is important when it's really just the two or three of you most of the time.
Working by yourself has really forced me to "hone" my skills as an x-ray tech. There is no one there to help you or do an exam for you, so you have to be pretty good at what you do. I am no longer so intimidated by working the c-arm in surgery like I used to be (see some of my previous posts). I still get a little unsure of myself when I work with a new doctor, but I've realized that most of the docs at this hospital are pretty good and if you have a question about what they want you to do, you can just ask.
Right now is a pretty busy time in the ED at FMC since we just got a couple of big storms that dumped a lot of snow in town, so on the weekends there are a lot of people from out of town (read: Phoenix), coming up to go sledding and skiing/snowboarding at Snowbowl. And, surprisingly, 80% of the injuries are from sledding. In fact, last weekend we had no fewer than 3 fractured femurs from sledding. What I want to know is, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THAT YOU FRACTURED YOUR FEMUR!!?? My God!! The femur is the strongest bone in the body, and it takes an unimaginable force to fracture it. So I will be happy when the novalty of the snow wears off and people stop coming up here to go sledding. Aside from an unusual amount of femur fractures last weekend, the majority of the injuries we are seeing in the ED are wrist and ankle fractures (slipped on ice) and spinal compression fractures (from landing on their butt while sledding or snowboarding). I guess this is the time of year when all the ortho docs really make their money.
So, of course, since I'm posting I have to do the obligatory plug of my photography. I've added several photos to my collection since I last posted, so, if you are insterested, you can see some of them at the link below:
Take care everyone and I hope 2009 treats you well.