Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fireworks in T-pah

Me and Artemis, with Dave's shadow.
Fireworks:  no, not the 4th of July kind.  rather, the work-environment kind that had me thinking how grateful i am that i am a Locums/Travel provider and not involved in the administrative bullsh*t that goes on in the hospital/medical environment.  after just four more work days, my 15-week contract will come to a close.  done. finished.  moving on...  there were some fireworks here in Tonopah this week.  they were the kind that made you want to head for the hills or crawl into a hole and wait out the aftermath until the dust had settled.  when big things happen in small towns, it seems to have an even larger ripple effect.  there isn't the density of a large city to absorb the shock waves.  there are very few places to go and hide, and you feel visible to everyone.  you may find yourself the one that others look to, to be part of the glue that holds things together in an attempt to find a solution.

i'm going to stay vague about what actually happened this week, and thank God it didn't happen to me directly; although i had that feeling in the pit of my stomach that i knew exactly how the people involved in it really felt, because i've been in their shoes before.  it's not a good place to be.  i did feel what was happening around me, but i was thankful that i was able to step away... and hopefully things will stay that way.  hopefully i will remain on the periphery of an undesirable situation that i hope will not get worse.

Dave and Frank hike out from the Druid stones above Bishop, CA.

over the past few weeks, i've learned so much about how i work as a Nurse Practitioner.  i'm very grateful to everything (and everyone), good and bad, that has happened to me and around me out her in the high west desert of Nevada.  i've learned that i really do love Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care.  i've learned that i'd rather not have anything to do with Internal Medicine, but that in a pinch, if i just take a deep breath and count to ten, and call on my amazing doctor, nurse and Nurse Practitioner friends as resources (and yes, i count my medical assistants in that mix as well), i can muddle through just about any situation.   i've learned that my heart still lies with Orthopedics:  broken?  put it back together, give it time to heal, and there you go... fixed (like magic, except that you don't even have to wave a magic wand over it.  so satisfying).

Dave looks small next to the big Druid stones.
i've also learned that no matter where you go, big city or small town, there's always a population that will try to manipulate you and try to convince you that you work for them (as opposed to with them) and that they are entitled to your "help" at any time, day or night, in any situation, and that they really do need a lot of hand-holding to get through life in general, not just their current medical crisis.  if something gets messed up along the way (like they don't have a ride home from the hospital... because they called an ambulance to get a ride... because they don't own a car... ) it becomes your problem to solve.  not theirs.  the sheriff's department has been very helpful to me in solving such situations. 

i've also learned that no matter where you go, big city or small town, there is a core group of people who will support you no matter what.  if you need help, they will be there for you.  the "shirt off their back" kind of people, the salt of the Earth.  the type of people who you wish you could have more minutes in the day to be around, because they are so intelligent and so inspiring.  the kind of people that no matter how rough of a day you are having, they tell you how sensational you are and that YOU have made this place and this experience what it is today ~ successful.  those kind of people make me fell as though i don't deserve the praise.  that i could work a little harder and a little smarter to earn their kind words.  those are the kind of people that make me want to go back to them.  the kind of people that if i am away, i will come back to them because THEY are the ones that make this place what it is today ~ successful.

Frank & Artie enjoying the accommodations at the Vagabond in Bishop, CA

as i travel the country, as i sit here in a motel room in Bishop, after a great hike with a friend and dogs and after eating amazing Thai food and drinking beers...  i think of how fortunate i am to be around such great people, when there are so many really not great people in this world.  i think of who is looking out for me and wonder why they picked me to look out for.  and it makes me just want to say, "hey.  i'd do the same for you, you know."

but i think they know that already.



  1. Well, I picked you for a friend because you believe in badassery. And that's just reason #1.

  2. Coming back to SLC for awhile then? :)

  3. coming back for a while starting next weekend...

  4. Very happy to have you back home. See you soon.