Thursday, November 14, 2013

First Day on the Job: NHBPM

With all my time in the hospital and "getting my groove back" at home I've forgotten that November is WEGO health's National Health Blog Post Month so I'm way behind in that. So I'm starting today, on Day 14, then I will do Day 1-13 in December. Some days there may be more than one blog because the WEGO blog prompts are pretty short this year and let's face it, I always got something to say here lately, so the WEGO blogs will always have the prompt title followed by NHBPM like above.

So today's is called first day on the job and the prompt says:

Working with a chronic illness can be a difficult balance. What should you divulge, what should you hold back, and how do you balance it all? Do you have advice for others?


I'm not currently working but I was working a couple of years ago and I'm taking a break from a program that I'm hopefully going back to that requires clinical hours in a hospital setting as if you are working so it's like I had/have a job. So I'll be writing from the perspective of the first day of my clinical rotation this past fall. 

It's always hard when you have a chronic illness to figure out how much is too much to tell and not to tell. But it gets better, I guess, with time. 

I think it's really important to be upfront that you have a medical condition in case you have a medical emergency, but on the flip side you don't want to be too forthcoming so that they can't use it against you. 

I think that's where I had some of my issues at my old job. I got close to an administrator, then all the sudden a lot of stuff that I was saying was coming back to be used against me and I eventually lost my job. 

I also think on your first day it's important to be the best you you can be on your worst day possible. 

What do I mean by this? 

Well, here's an example. Usually I use a wheelchair if there's a chance I have to stand up for long periods of time. But on my first day of clinical this semester I was trying to put a good first impression in so I didn't use my wheelchair for the whole 4 hour shift. At the end of the shift I mentioned that it would be easier if I could use it and would that be possible and they said why, you don't need to use it, you just worked the whole 4 hours without it today. What they didn't know is I was in bed in severe pain for a week afterwards including the day I went back and the cycle continued. Because I couldn't use my chair. So because I tried to tough it out I made myself suffer for weeks on end. 

Make sure the staff/your boss knows that you might work slower and have accommodations for other things as well

I also think it's important somebody knows what to do in an emergency for you specifically. Ya know beyond the obvious call 911. 

Make sure any appointments you have are talked about with your supervisor (as far as in time off not what they are for) as soon as you find out about them so that you can get the time off for them.

Beyond that I wouldn't divulge much more because it will most likely be used against you, unfortunately. 

Also, don't take the office staffs and your supervisors misunderstandings of you and your illness to much to heart. It's hard for people to understand what you're going through. Heck, it's hard for you to understand what you're going through most days. If you're that concerned about it then offer to give an in-service about your condition to help your office mates understand you a little bit better. 

Whatever you do on your first day on the job, remember to relax and try to enjoy it. Congratulations on feeling well enough to have a job to begin with! Go get 'em! 

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