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Monday, May 04, 2009


A lot has happened since I first started this blog to write about my job search and photography/scrapbooking interests. After working in a few interesting stop gap jobs I found and have been successfully employed in a job in my field for two and a half years.

Now I am in job search mode again.

I didn't expect this to happen. Even though the economy was going bad, I had gotten a wonderful offer to work with the new electronic medical software at a new hospital- albeit under somewhat questionable circumstances. I wouldn't have started looking except that the cost of benefits was going to double in my current position come January - and I knew I was going to have to start working two jobs or find a better paying job. The hospital had just started up in October and we had heard rumblings - the friends of friends kind of thing that happens in a small community. The gist was that people thought the hospital needed a lot of help with their new system. So when an educator consultant position was posted that sounded like a match to my experience, education, and interests, I finished my online application to the hospital around 2 am one morning in November/early December, and the hospital called me back the same day. That just never happens. Their HR interviewed me in early December and set a second interview date for late December. It was evident the staff were very excited and proud of their innovative new hospital and approach to medicine. During that period my then current employer, a not-for-profit, offered to bring me on as a 40 hour FTE (I had been a 30 hour FTE) if I would agree to end the job search and stay with them - with the understanding that if the hospital made an offer, I would consider that one. But I didn't hear from the hospital after the second interview. I did make the prerequisite one or two follow up calls - and they did sound encouraging - which gave me hope. But time passed and I didn't hear - and I felt that I would be okay since I was now working full time for my then current employer. At least as okay as any employee can be during these uncertain times. Then the hospital contacted me at the end of January with a really nice job offer. My new boss wanted me to start as soon as possible. When I asked my then current employer if they had ever heard from the prospective employer, turns out the hospital never contacted them at all. We all thought that was odd. But to be involved in the health field with the new medical record software (I had helped bring in a new billing and patient tracking system to a University Health Center several years ago) and to bring in my instructional design and educational background as well just sounded like a wonderful opportunity in spite of the warning signs that the position/employer might be unstable/a revolving door. I said I needed to give my current employer two weeks notice, but could start immediately after that. So I put forth a monumental effort to finish up with my old employer and leave my position in the best shape possible for the new person to start. I even skipped vacation - which now adds up to amost three years in a row that I haven't had one.

I started at the new hospital February 16th. They kept me barely over two months and then terminated me at an early 90 day review. The decision seemed based entirely on less than a day's time spent with my new boss one on one over the entire two month employment period - most of it after he had threatened and intimidated me about something that was really no fault of my own. None of the decision seemed based on the assessments (what there were of them) of the capable trainer consultants who were training me or the nurses I trained. I had gotten the sense from their feedback that I was making satisfactory progress in mastery of the material and in my training techniques. They were complimentary when they didn't need to be. I was learning things of value to the organization - I thought. I was beginning to connect with the healers, the people I was hired to train. Not that I didn't have things to learn - but I was making satisfactory progress in the overall scheme of that department trying to get things done and implementing a new instructional delivery strategy for the hospital. It was actually a really cool time to come on board- I got to watch how the team worked together to put the new delivery strategy into action in the most effective way possible. It was impressive. The department hired one person after me - from within the ranks. She was onboard during the startup in October - so she had considerable expertise with using the software and supporting clinical staff in the units - but like me, she hadn't spent her work life as a professional trainer consultant.

So ... it was all very odd how the job ended and I found myself unexpectedly on the unemployment line having left a job who wanted to keep me to help a new hospital break new ground. But it was still a very interesting learning experience - and I got to work in a brand new hospital, learn an EMR in depth, and be trained through various methods in technique and content by some really great, professional trainers.

So while the stint was brief, I don't want to lose what I've gained, and I will be posting about Electronic Medical Record software ... the benefits and the challenges facing us. With President Obama's initiative, it's a hot topic. Stay tuned ...

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