Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stepping outside the box

Besides the Britt, I work as a volunteer at Three Rivers Hospital. Friday morning was my shift and my brain needs, desires and requires the mental gymnastics. Its been a blur of a month (and summer) of company and work assignments, so I've only put in one other day in August.
I thought when I signed on there to volunteer that I would be sitting at a desk passing out pamphlets or something similarly unchallenging. As it turned out they wanted me to work at the surgery intake desk because of my people skills. Twenty years of working for myself, I thought my people skills were in need of people so I signed on. What I have realized over the past 8 months of working there is how my brain and its imminent functioning has always singularly revolved around problem solving the creative process. Rewiring my brain at 55 to work this position has been a very challenging and rewarding road on many levels.
There is a massive flow chart to keep current as patients check in, their arrival time, family members cell phone numbers, what they are wearing to identify them and in what section they are sitting in, it all needs to be recorded because of HIPPA, you can no longer holler their names across the waiting room.
The core needs to be called that they are here, OR after their procedure, a call downstairs for discharge and a wheelchair. In a morning we check in about twenty to thirty patients for surgery or colonoscophys. Along with the information that must be recorded and the phones, the biggest and most important part of the position is to be simultaneously social and comforting to the patients and family members.
Frankly, my brain has never had multi-task on this level in my lifetime...until now.
One of the reasons I have hung in there and not transferred over to one of the numerous other available volunteer spots, like in the library where I could stare at the computer for hours, (something I am very experienced with) are the women I work with.
I am so impressed with the level of professionalism and social grace these individuals possess. Their brains are in the moment, firing on all cylinders, and they make me want to step outside the creative box and get my feet wet in a different way and world that in no way resembles Greys Anatomy, or any other hospital show I've watched or rolled my eyes over and clicked on or off on the boob tube.
This gratitude moment is about stepping outside the box, one that challenges me and fulfills, in a way unlike any other.
The photo above was taken as I was leaving home Friday morning, a country block from my driveway at 7:15 am

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