It’s been a long time coming. Evening shift isn’t making me happy. Getting home at midnight and trying to figure out what to eat is no fun. I can’t take any evening classes at the library or community college, can’t call Mom until the weekends, can’t ever go out to dinner with friends. I’m tired of being out of step with the rest of the world.
The new job is further away, but it’s a day shift with no weekends or holidays ever, a lot less stress, and the lab has windows. This is a big deal to us lab rats, who never see the outdoors. It’s a recorded fact that every lab tech ever, upon the arrival of the staff for the next shift, will ask what the weather’s like out there. It’s not just small talk – we have no other source of information about what’s happening in the outside world. I’m pretty sure that we’d keep working through the apocalypse, not realizing that there were rivers of flame coursing through the streets, because we’re so sheltered in our hospital basements. Well, we’d know when the next shift called to say they couldn’t make it.
I’ll be stepping away from patient care and moving towards reagent manufacturing with the American Red Cross. I won’t be getting blood ready for surgery and I won’t be trying to identify antibodies in patient plasma so I can find them compatible units. Instead, I’ll be taking those plasmas with antibodies and purifying them so the antibodies can be used in reference labs for blood bank testing. Very different, and I am a little nervous about getting bored and missing the rush that comes from knowing I just helped keep someone alive, but I think the lower stress will be healthier for me.
I’m terrified at the prospect of being the new girl again and having to start over with a new group of people and a new workload, but this has to happen. I love most of the people I work with at the hospital, and that made it into a very difficult decision for me, but in the end I knew that if I decided to stay, I’d be staying for other people, and not for myself, and that’s not a good enough reason to turn down this opportunity. I’m done with being exhausted all the time, so I’m going to try something new and hope it works out.
And if it doesn’t, well, there’s pretty much always a position open at the hospital for me to go back to, even if I need to start over with something part-time.