Monday, June 16, 2008

Orientation Anxiety

Tomorrow begins my orientation to a new workplace where I will be embarking upon a dual role as a per diem nurse for a hospice team and a palliative care team at a local visiting nurse agency. Being part of a medium-sized local hospital that works under the auspices of a larger multi-state regional consortium of hospitals, I'm not so sure what to expect in terms of bureaucracy and red tape. So far, the Human Resources and Occupational Health offices have been attentive and personable. Only time will tell.

Starting a new position is always potentially fraught with anxiety. Will I look stupid? Will I feel stupid? Will my ignorance be palpably obvious? How long will it take for them to learn what an ignoramus and impostor I am? How long can I delay the day when they discover my utter uselessness? But seriously, starting anew is somewhat stressful, and I simply have to be myself, smile at the right times, take notes (or look like I am), and ask pertinent questions.

Knowing myself fairly well, I am very aware that I have difficulty with facial recognition and name recall. In a new workplace, this is particularly challenging, and I am never sure how I will manage learning all of the names and faces of my new colleagues. Usually, certain names will stick and I'll remember them without effort. Others will simply confound me for weeks or months. From past experience, I know that self-deprecating humor about my failing brain is my best defense, and I can only hope that the people I have trouble recognizing will be forgiving and kind.

At any rate, some change is afoot, with the challenges of newness and novelty. I only hope I will be up to the task.
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