Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Life Updated: The Job (What do I do?!?!?)

This week marks 8 weeks since I have started my job and it is going absolutely incredibly. Honestly. I wasn't really expecting to like my job, as I am more leadership than I want (I am an Assistant Director of Nursing) and it is purely Clinical Nurse Specialist (i.e. NOT doing direct patient care). I am the very first Advanced Practice Nurse this country has hired to function in the role (there are lots of others working under the RN scope of practice), so we are all trying to figure out what my job description is. You would think it is simple, as it is a defined role in the US, but we aren't in the US anymore, and their scopes of practice are developed with the influence of nurse from around the world.
The program that I cover is massive (4 general Pediatric units, 1 Pediatric day hospital, Peds ED, Peds ICU, and a Peds high-dependency unit). Where I have previously worked, there would be at least 3 of us covering a program this big, so I do have to remain very "big picture" here. The response to my arrival has been overwhelmingly positive and everyone is so excited and supportive to have me there. I have already gotten approval to develop and roll out 2 curriculums that will be open to 7 hospitals, am revamping and improving the Peds Oncology program (still my heartland), and developing overall initiative to bring the entire program of care up to brag-worthy standards. While I am away from my base passion (working directly with patients and families), I am loving how "BIG" this job is as far as my influence on process and program improvement.
On top of that, I have corporate responsibilities to SEHA (the governing body for health care here), where I sit on Pediatric subcommittees that influence Pediatric processes throughout the entire system (not just the hospital that I work at). Not only that, I site on the Nursing and Midwifery Council Specialization Committee (UAE equivalent of a national board of nursing), where I am helping to develop the scope and standards of practice for Advanced Practice Nursing. You know, since I am the one and only one here currently practicing.
It is just mind blowing what I have become involved with in such a short period of time, an opportunity that I would NEVER have in the US because I was one of thousands there. Here, I am interacting with hospital CEOs, program chairs/directors, government health care leaders, meeting delegations from other international hospitals to learn from us, and dealing with legislation on a regular basis. I will already be speaking at an international conference next year and sit on the scientific committee for two others.
I know that this may all sound like something that I would hate, as it is so far from the patient at times, but to be such an integral part of the process that truly determines the logistics of everything that happens to patients AND trying to make it better, is wonderful. I have never felt so welcomed and had my opinions so readily sought out and enthusiastically received this quickly. They are letting me determine my own job description, trusting me to properly assess, prioritize, and intervene. The things that I am going to be able to accomplish here is mind-blowing and I am just SO excited.
Yes, my life is a lot of meetings, but I see immediate impacts and improvements from these meetings, and work with incredibly passionate people. Don't worry though, I still get to have some fun: Two days ago, I got to follow a 2-year old patient through his cardiac procedure, and sat in on his operation. I stood two feet from him, watching them repair his heart defect though his open chest. That magic moment when they take him off the bypass machine and it starts beating on it's own again. Fantastic. I am such a procedure junkie.
So yeah, if I can't be the Peds Hem/Onc NP that I want to be right now...this will do just fine.