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O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Troubles in paradise

And the strikes keep coming. The Reboot is in trouble and we're not sure how it's going to shake out. Mostly because there are lots of things up in the air.

In the main I'm doing good, although I feel like I'm stumbling around like the three blind mice. The coursework is still running in the A category, although for clinicals I might end up with a B. This weekend I need to be studying for the mid-term in positioning (delayed because of scheduling conflicts).

I do like the work. And I think I'm pretty good with the patients. I have a decent rapport with them (those I deal with directly). And while most times we're just dealing with pain, last week we had several severe injuries, bleeding, thumb sliced off, and a shattered ankle… the kind that elicits involuntary wincing when you see it in the x-rays. But all of which I could deal with. And surgery is actually sort of fun (although I have a limited experience, and the doctors I have been with are very cool, from what I understand there are plenty who aren't). There's been a few stumbles, but from what I understand that's normal. Several of the tech have shared their stories, include one of the techs I put in the category of "I want to learn from them" who said they did worse than I am doing for their clinicals. It wasn't until 2 years of being a tech that it clicked.

I've tried to figure out why I keep making small mistakes. Looking for where things are going wrong. For all of it I come to one answer. I'm blindingly tired. The day thing I can do in my sleep, and I think that's what I have been doing. My initiative levels are quite low. The only thing that keeps driving me is my damn work ethic.

But were about to head into the section of coursework that requires even more time. So that problem isn't going to get any better. So the question to myself is, is this a level I can work at or am I going to be so tired that I end up making a big mess of something (myself, the coursework, the day job, or the worst of the worse and my biggest fear, a patient). This summer requires 40 hours of clinical for 8 weeks. Right now between classes, work, clinicals and freelance I'm running at around 72 hours (before all the commutes, lunches, etc). How am I going to be able handle 80 hours? And how am I going to juggle that load with the day thing? There's also a few other things happening at the same time, all of which is going to be a drag on continuing the reboot.

So right now I have no answers. Next week we do a mini-review and we start selecting hours for the Summer. If I can't swing a schedule that allows me to keep my day job, I'm not sure how I can keep in school. I need the benefits that the full time job brings to stay in class (not to mention to pay for it). But I don't necessarily need the classes to keep the job.

But then what do I do next? Do I find another avenue for rebooting? Suckj it up buttercup and find a way to keep going? Is this the "time to focus on writing" moment/event? If I can't make the Summer work, should I finish the semester or just stop now and cut my loses?I don't know. Like I said, right now I've got no answers.


Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

My first thought -- just to be helpful -- the summer commutes are less stressful than winter ones. That will cut down on the exhaustion. This winter has cut hard into my own reserves, I know.

Dr. Phil

Steve Buchheit said...

Thanks, Dr. Phil. It'll mostly be an issue if I can work a schedule that will be acceptable to the day thing. I'm not if I've said it here before, but when I started looking into the program I was told that the RT students have a "few more hours" than the other health technology programs. This semester we have 16 hours, nursing has 4. This summer I think nursing has 8 hours, we have 40. I think that's more than a few. And I was hoping to save up the PTO for when I may need it this fall and next spring.

cathschaffstump said...

Steve, I guess the question in part depends on your goals as well. I understand the concept of the reboot is in part, job security, but there are other considerations.

In the future, which career path do you want to follow? That might affect your decision. You probably can manage for an intense semester if you know your goal is in sight, but if it's too much, figure out what you can do about dropping back on your work hours.

If design is what you want, talk to your teachers and see if they can help. But you may have to make a decision on what future to commit to at this point.

Good luck.


Steve Buchheit said...

Catherine, maybe that's part of it, I'm working at counter purposes to what my goals are, except in a most general sense.

I need to keep full time because I need the benefits (must keep health insurance to be in the program). I've shown the day thing that I can do (most of) what they want working evenings and weekends. However I still need sometime in the office during the week (that was made clear to me, and I agree, the office culture works very much on the "who can we reach out and touch" basis).

I should probably do a much longer post to explain all this, but my goals are to be gainfully employed, with decent benefits and pay, in a position that doesn't drain me of all my creativity so I can get back to writing (because the real goal is to have a retirement career as a successful novelist). I've passed one turning point of commitment to the program, but I don't know if this hurdle is too high. Part of me says, "Jump as hard as you can, and if you land on your face, at least you gave it your best." And there's another part of me that says I've already made that leap, and here comes the ground.

I love design, and it's been (mostly) good to me. However I'm not in a position that if I lose this job I would be able to find another good one at my age. I might be able to position the current job in a way that would help, but it may not be enough. The day thing keeps saying I will have a job until I retire, but this isn't my first rodeo.

Elizabeth said...

Yikes. Good luck.

I was going to ask if you have any PTO you can use when things get rough, but you already commented that you're saving it up.

Is this the kind of thing where you can take a semester off and pick it up again later?

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Elizabeth, unfortunately no. Almost all of the allied health degrees are pretty regimented programs. If I stop (or fail a class), I'm back at the beginning again.