Thursday, January 12, 2012

When in doubt...God really does care.

These last 6 months, I've been employed as a charge nurse at Los Angeles Christian Health Centers.  I don't think anyone would deny that that was a big step to take for a new nurse--especially a new grad.  I was blown away at the opportunity, but knew that God would have to carry me through, because it is a big job with a lot of responsibilities.  I admit that I was excited at first, but it seemed that my responsibilities grew to levels that stretched my capabilities in a way that have never been stretched before.

Though it has been very difficult, I have an undeniable sense that God brought me to my clinic for a purpose.  However, it has been in these last couple of months--especially these last few weeks-- that I've really felt the increasing burden of my work. I felt that I wore many hats. I was the security guard (pffft. yeah, right?), triage nurse, clinic manager. I would work in the dispensary (kind of like a pharmacy) from time to time (and when I did work in the dispensary, I was still being the triage nurse, and the clinic manager). I scheduled staff, hired and trained new medical assistants.  Not to mention that I was also supposed to oversee six other satellite clinics, dispersed throughout Los Angeles. Needless to say work did not stay at work.  I was called/texted by employees late in the evening or early in the morningand long after I left work and sometimes on the weekends.  There were many days when I would have to take work home--whether to update outdated MA handbooks, or just paperwork left over from the day. Working 10 hour shifts 5 days a week was not uncommon.  I felt drained of the energy that I used to have--I could see that my zest for life was not the way that it used to be. I started to question why I was a nurse and was day dreaming about other not-so draining jobs (being an artist, a full-time stay at home bum, etc). I was struggling to find joy and contentment. In fact, my heart felt dissatisfied and discontent.  I would ask God if it was supposed to be this hard, that maybe I just needed an attitude adjustment because I want to be obedient. I know I'm not always the best at being obedient, but ultimately, it is what I want.

I stayed home from work on Monday because I didn't feel well, but also because I felt like I didn't have it in me to go to work. I spent a lot of that time praying honestly. I told God that it really seemed like it was too much. I didn't think I was ready to deal with the responsibilities of a manager. I wasn't necessarily asking for a solution, but was looking for direction, or a change of heart. And possibly, super human strength.

Tuesday morning started off like every morning--lots of praying for strength to make it through the day.  We were short-staffed that day due to people calling in sick and then I sent an employee home because he was feeling ill, then found out he was quitting at the end of the week--I am already short-staffed in general, so that was sad/stressing news. Throughout the day, I was juggling phone calls from the other sites that I managed, trying to figure out supplies needed, trying to help the providers with patient care and training two Medical Assistant externs who were new and needed a lot of teaching.  Thankfully, the patients themselves were calm and no one wanted to yell/speak to the supervisor and no one was rowdy/trying to pick fights in the waiting room.   At the end of the day, my boss called me and asked to speak to me in her office.

I didn't know what to expect really--well, ok, I kind of wondered if she was going to talk to me about how much work I've been missing in the last few months.  I was nervous by the time I got to her office.  She mentioned that I have been sick/out a lot, but she asked me a question that I didn't expect her to ask. In a caring tone, my boss asked me if I wanted to be there, to keep working at the clinic. I was surprised--I didn't know how she knew to ask the right question, but she did. I began to tearfully explain to her how drained I have been feeling, how I don't feel like myself, that I feel stretched beyond what I can handle, that some days I don't come in to work because I don't feel like I can handle it.  She didn't scold me or treated me like I failed--like I feared she would-- instead she responded with such grace and hugged me for a very long time.  She prayed and said to me "God has you, Linell. You are blessed. If this is too much for you, we can change it. This isn't a matter of failure. You are a new nurse--it wasn't fair to put all of this on you."  And in a matter of minutes, she called the HR director in, they began discussing my new role as just a clinic nurse, taking all supervisory responsibilities off my shoulders.

I was completely caught off guard. I did not expect that to happen. I really felt that God cared. And I was beside myself, overwhelmed. He saw/sees me and wants to show me that He loves me.  And he is doing that through my boss, who for some reason, has really taken me under her wing and is an advocate for me. I know that it's nothing that I've done necessarily. It's God's grace played out in a very real and tangible way.

I wanted to share with all of you. I am not sure what my new position now entails, but I will definitely get to focus more on patient care and I think I will have a more positive outlook about my job. I am looking forward to enjoying life again and having the energy to be more well-rounded. I am looking forward to see what God will do. He never ceases to amaze me.

"'You are a God of seeing,' for she said, 'Truly here I have seen him who looks after me." [Genesis 16:13]


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Linell! I'm glad to hear how God is working in your life.