This week, marks my 5-year anniversary at DMH.  Honestly, when I started, I didn’t think I’d last 5 months, heck, 5 days, in the beginning!  I won’t get into all the details, but my department has had its ups and downs.  It’s been rough at times.  Most people don’t last long.  

Sterile processing definitely was not on my list as a career choice earlier in my life.  I didn’t even know what sterile processing was, or that it was even a thing.  It somehow never crossed my mind that there were people who took care of the surgical instruments and supported the operating room.  I guess I figured it was all done by magic. Really, I just never thought about it, even though I’ve had surgeries.

I won’t lie.  It has been very challenging at times.  I cleaned out my locker more than once and had plans of never returning, especially during the first year.  The job is physically, and at times, mentally demanding, and you’re also working very closely with others, and what a motley crew we are.

There was so much to learn, and after five years, I’m still learning.  There are thousands of different types of surgical instruments, hundreds of supplies, and only experience can teach you what to do during certain situations that pop up. 

Equipment failures, learning acceptable substitutions for instruments that aren’t available, dealing with the OR, and knowing what things are and where they are takes an enormous amount of time to learn.   That’s why having experienced people is so important, and luckily I’ve benefited from being taught by some of the best.

I’ve had opportunities to leave for other jobs, but I’ve chosen to stay numerous times.  The job is never dull.  My department’s daily dialogue could easily be the inspiration for a sitcom.  What a bunch of characters! 

There are so many things to remember from the past five years like Covid, the haunted cart washer, setting off the fire alarm, dodging the automatic sprinklers at night when I worked second shift, blizzards, power outages, but mostly, just the daily laughs, and trials and tribulations with co-workers. It hasn’t all been roses, but it’s been quite a ride.

Work Paying Off

Another milestone for me is finally getting my small business off the ground and earning a steady income. I’m not raking it in, but it’s so nice to have a second income to help out. It is almost impossible to get by on a single income these days. Everything is so dang expensive.

But more than that, I’m enjoying what I’m doing. I’ve got a million things in mind for the future, and it’s fun and exciting to think about. I plan to continue working at the hospital, because even that is better, since I’m not under so much pressure.

It’s such a drag to go to a job that you are completely dependent upon. “Well, I have to go in no matter what happens or how horrible it is, unless I want to lose everything and live under a bridge.” That’s such a agonizing reality to live with day after day. In fact, it’s absolutely miserable, even if you like your job. And, I do like my job, but I’ve always hated relying on it so much.

Knowing I have something to fall back on is a load off my shoulders.

Other than that, I’m looking forward to fall. This next week is supposed to be 100 degrees, and I’m no fan of hot weather. Try to stay cool!