On this, the occasion of my penultimate day of on call as a hospital chaplain, I am feeling reflective…and a little snarky about the whole experience. While this program has been mostly wonderful and transformative for me, there are some aspects of it that I will be more than happy to kiss goodbye.
The Sleep Room. One of the perks of staying overnight at the hospital is having a sleep room to, uh, sleep in. So, that’s good. It has a nice 8th floor view and a microwave. Yea! But I will not miss the bed at all. It looks harmless, those crisp white cotton sheets look comfy but they cover a block of granite. At least that is what it feels like at midnight. (I did bring my own pillow.) Sure, there are lots of other people who have overnight on call here, but they actually get paid. Which is what I’ll require in order to ever sleep on this bed again.
I will also not miss the sink in the sleep room. When you stand close enough to use it, the dispenser to the left automatically spits out a few inches of rough brown paper towel whether you need it or not. (I preferred using the rough cotton towels. Good for exfoliation.) I did appreciate the warning sign on the blow dryer – NOT FOR USE ON SKIN. Phew. I was just about to dry my hands with that thing.
My Pager. I don’t think I need to say too much about this one. Does anyone like them?
Sharing a Computer with 5 People… We all needed it throughout the day to track our work or look up patient info. Sharing can either build or destroy community – thankfully my peers did the former. More on that in the next post.
…and tracking every minute of my day. I used to work mostly from home whenever I wanted. As long as the work got done, I was fine. All summer long I’ve been tracking my time down to the minute on two different databases. Not only where I was and what I was doing, but what kind of spiritual/emotional/psychosocial assessments I was making. One helpful tip I can pass on: spirituality doesn’t translate well to databases.
Beets. This seems like an odd one, but all summer the cafeteria has been pushing beets AND I AM SO OVER IT!!! I don’t like them and I don’t need anyone making cutesy displays and hawking free samples. No, no, no.
And finally, Military Time. If I never have to calculate what time it is on a 24-hour clock again…it’ll be too soon.