had my job evaluation this week. i did fine, i always do fine. have to fill out the form they always ask you to fill out...what are your goals?
my goals at work really are and always have been to come in to work and take care of the assignment of patients i have with kindness, dignity, respect and as much patience as i can find...some days that is harder than other days. my other goal each time i arrive at work is to do no harm, to not screw up and kill someone or damage them in some unfixable way. beyond that...i really have no ambition or goals when it comes to work.
i am not a committee girl at work. i have zero interest in getting involved beyond my care of patients. when it comes to the actual job of being a nurse i would have to say i excel and am way above average. i have some mad skills and can pretty much be thrown in any situation and be able to manage it. that was true this week with a patient that stressed a lot of folks out. i took that patient and calmly did what i do best...nursing at it's core.
as a nurse you can not be considered excelling at your job unless you do all those committees and attend meetings or whatever is on those lists. so i will always be seen as an average nurse in the eyes of those in the big offices who have never cared for a patient in their lives or met me beyond breezing through once a year on some "meet and greet" event. It often seems to me they forget that we have actual sick people, dying people in the rooms that are not anywhere near those offices. to those people i am just some nameless drone of a nurse who is average in my annual review each year.
i am not saying this in any way to disparage my manager...she is awesome and i congratulate her on her new role...she will excel. there is not doubt in my mind....and i don't mean excel because she is some sort of kiss up, i mean excel because all the years i've known her she does just that...it's always amazing to me those people who can put up with the people in the offices (who seem to have forgotten why we are really all here). she believes she can make a difference and make things better for the patients and she's a person who can actually do that. so this is in not way about my actual eval this year and more about evaluations in general.
for me...i always just feel like i'm bullshitting my way through the, "what are your goals" questions. last year i thought my goal was brilliant.....i wrote that i wanted to focus on being more physically fit so i could better do my job and serve my patients. in all honesty it's the first time i had a goal that i actually believed in.
these are on the way to Denali and in Talkeetna.
the thing that is hard to take is that you are never recognized as anything more than average when you don't do all the other things that deem you as "above average". even more difficult to take over the years is seeing those who i would not want caring for myself or anyone i care for, get above average because they focus on doing the things on said lists to make themselves seem above average to the folks in the offices.
in the end, i try and focus on what really matters at the end of a shift...my patients for the most part feel safe in my care and seem to really appreciate my knowledge, experience and kindness. my patients and their families could care less whether i join committees or attend meetings that would really just frustrate the hell out of me anyway.
i think i have been able to continue caring for patients at the bedside for as long as i have because i walk away from work when my shift is over and i focus on other things in my life and leave all the stress of work at work. so each year at the annual review i guess i will have to face the question, "what are your goals?" and move past it.
my manager had lovely things to say about me and i know she would love to have been able to check the box on my paper that says i excel at my job....i suspect she looked it over several times trying to figure out how she could possibly do that. it's not her fault that i don't excel...i have choices. i could join committees and attend meetings and all that. i choose not to, so since i choose not to i have to accept my fate as an underachiever and as a nurse that doesn't excel.
an OB doc and OB nurse also gave me great feedback. those are the compliments that mean the most in the end anyway. the people who work with you, the patients...the families of the patients...when they let you know you excel they mean it from the heart.
would i love more kudos at work from time to time...yes. it gave me a twinge of annoyance when i worked my butt off in the ER one night and i saw the unit clerk filling out like 20 something free coffee court cards to thank everyone who had worked hard that night...and then to discover that i apparently hadn't worked hard enough to be given one of these cards.
another twinge of annoyance when i went above and beyond to care for the patient that everyone else seemed totally stressed about to only have our main peds doc snap at me all night because that is what she does when she's stressed...she's a bit of a bully and takes it out on her staff. thankfully, like i said the other doc/nurse from OB took the time to thank me and let me know my work through the night was appreciated. even better was that the OB Doc made a point of thanking me in front of the snotty peds doc.
that is work. it's crazy...it's nothing like you can imagine it would be. the tv shows they have about what a nurses day is like don't come near to covering it.
life is life. we probably all feel we are not appreciated or valued at times.
i guess the annual evaluation just forces me to remember what i do and why i do it. it also reminds you that the folks in the offices that i never see or interact with will never know me by anything other than what the checked boxes on the papers in my file will say to them.
one more night to go. not sure if i'll be in PICU again. i am rarely in the same unit 3 nights in a row. should go pay a few bills and then maybe lay my head down again for a few minutes.
half my lawn is mowed then the mower stopped. hoping it will start up again tomorrow so i can finish the lawn. not too many more weeks left of mowing. it's already snowing up north in places.
here is the big mountain...Denali, from South Viewpoint
Blossom enjoying the ride
termination dust in Denali National Park.
gotta get that calendar made for WARIS . much to learn still on running a non-profit...i have goals there....perhaps i should write myself a review there...not sure i'd excel there either but i have gotten a lot accomplished when i look back on this adventure of starting a non-profit to help raise awareness and help and protect Round Island and our walrus population.
a few male moose in the dark...dueling for the female attention. of course, in our society women have seemed to forget they are worth fighting for. in my twenties i used to read "cosmo" and other mags like that thinking i was hip and cool and modern. a friend that i always have admired for her strength and independence pointed out that really all the articles in those mags are directed at telling women how to or what to do to keep and man or make a man happy. they tell you what all you need to do to be attractive to males...when i really looked at the magazines after that talk i knew she was right, they weren't really the healthiest magazines for women. we are a prize worth fighting for. i'm not saying that men and women can't or shouldn't do things for each other but it just seemed so one sided and seems that women put so much more pressure on themselves to please men.
we are all worthy of love and acceptance for who we are, not who we could be if only we followed all the rules laid out for us in the media.
grateful for: A. those who take the time to let you know they appreciate your work and skills B. my manager for trying to find a way to check the excel boxes. C. that i just have one more night of work and then i have a few days off. :-)
getting going on August so these are a bit jumbled at the beginning so that i don't get all confused. above and a few below are me playing with splashes in the sunset. didn't actually come up with this idea myself...it's very cool though and i'm trying to improve on it. i was out there one day and a young girl was trying to do this but failing...i helped her with her camera and gave her tips for how to make this happen...so i was trying it out myself to show her on my camera...i liked the effect. would probably work best with a rock throwing assistant.
i usually make a run about now of the Denali Highway. ended up switching it up...always good to switch things up i think though. don't want to get in a rut with my wanderings. so i packed up the dogs and headed to Fairbanks. it's been years since i went there in the summer time..or summerish.
these are TO and i out at the Portage Pass trail.
signs of fall are creeping in. felt like the trees were trying to put it off another day or two as i drove...in the end, i swear the colors had changed in the few days i was up in Fairbanks. by this weekend the colors in Denali should be peaks with the reds coming in more intensely. i stopped coming and going. the sun was going down on my first trek through on the way up north.
there aren't many places to camp between Healy and Fairbanks. it was getting darker and i was getting tired. i tried to pull into Anderson, which was 6 miles off the road. it said it had an RV camp, but as i drove to the RV camp at the end of the road i began to be concerned...thoughts of Deliverance came to mind. there was not a soul at the camp...i turned around.
split mushroom. and below is a cousin of Rio at the dog park one day.
In the end i found a little RV park in Nenana and pulled in there. that was about 11 pm. i crawled in the back with the dogs. i opened the sky roof and fell asleep....i have learned that opening the windows on the side makes for a good bear clawing and so in order to avoid another near miss encounter with a grizzly bear i only opened the sky roof. i figured i'd just shut it if it began to rain.
above is Girdwood... below MO imitates a tired Blossom.
my newest edition to my native art collection...a baleen basket. not bad...not museum quality but the price goes up exponentially with the quality. i met the artist in Barrow so that makes it a more cool piece to me.
no northern lights in Nenana and the next night in Fairbanks it really clouded up and i woke in the tent to rain drops falling.
stopped and walked in Creamers with all the Sandhill Cranes both days i was up in Fairbanks. there were hundreds and hundreds of them. they were squawking and flying all over Fairbanks. so great to camp out by the Chena river and enjoy all their noises. one of my favorite animal sounds...that and the walrus chiming....and the loons calling. okay...there are loads of cool sounds out there.
my tent site was right along the Chena River, below.
finally hit the Museum of the North. got there late and they closed a bit early so i rushed a bit through it. the building is amazing.
tried to hit downtown but it's all torn up with construction stuff so i ended up bagging it and just relaxing by the river and enjoying all the birds. the campers next to me were bringing their daughter up to start her first semester at UAF. they helped set up my tent for me...fun seeing all the pictures on facebook of all the kids starting back at their various schools. today was fun too as everyone posted pics of their dogs...guess it is National Dog Day!! yeah dogs!!
not enough tent/camping time this summer. put loads of blankets in the tent as i knew this time of year the temps were going to dip down. brought extra blankets to cover the dogs with, especially Rio. she was beat both nights and started the snoring super fast. i did warn the nice neighbors that snoring was a real possibility. Blossom is adorable in the tent...very snuggly which isn't really her normal.
had to pick up a copy of the Monday paper up in Fairbanks...my article came out. not many comments like last time. one positive, one asking a questions which i responded to when i got back to Anchorage. it's really fun to see your name in print in the paper though as an author. they used my photo in the print copy and a fish and game picture on the online copy
headed out to walk Blossom but she was not really up for a hike, after a short time she sat down and wanted to just chill by the lake i think...so we did a different path and much shorter than i had planned. i did some bike time and probably should have hit the pool....guess i was a bit lazy today as well. that much driving in that short of time is kind of tiring for the body. below we are at our camp site in the RV park ( Rivers Edge) in Fairbanks. safety in numbers and proximity at the RV sites that have camp spots, plus they have running water, flush toilets and showers...still pretty cheap. i'm getting soft in my 50's i guess.
more splashes and sunset from before i left.
today was a tasky day. laundry, clean a bit, make ice in my new ice machine, unpack and run errands. found time to chat with a few family members, so always nice.
lots of pictures from my little excursion left to go through.
there were quite a few moose sightings in Denali. they are already in the Rut up there.....not many pics going in as it was getting too dark for decent pics really. my second run there was light but the moose were further off. we shall see what came out. tons of crane pics to work my way through as well.
debating returning via the Richardson Highway...in the end i woke up to a good rain, closed up camp and opted to take a walk at Creamers and head back the way i came. nice to hit Denali earlier...well it wasn't actually until close to 5pm. drove into Savage i think is the turn around point...fed the dogs walked them on the road....dang rules, dogs can only walk on the roads in Denali National Park. then i guiltily left both dogs in the car and did a quick walk/jog of the trail there to the bridge and back. i think it's around 2 miles total. Blossom looked at me like i had totally betrayed her when i returned...she knew i 'd walked with out her. guilt, guilt, guilt. but i'm still happy that i did the walk.
chatted with random strangers all week and texted a few friends.
was just reading about the RV park behind the stores just north of Denali National Park. i pulled through but it looked like a parking lot. i wasn't desperate enough yet...reading this article it's actually not a pretty rv park but it's a gem where the care takers have loads of personality. it's also on the non- princess side of the street, a plus. Princess has taken over the entire left side of the parks road. the RV park also has little hotel rooms over the shops along the right side of the street. quirky and fun for guests.
reading back a few papers ago....Kivalina is a tiny barrier island that is getting smaller. one year it apparently lost 40 feet of coastline. the storms in the north beat it each winter. the ice is further out for longer which increases the battering the place gets. it's been too small for decades though for the number of people living there. sounds like they can't decide firstly where they want to move to and then secondly funding to move is an issue.
Rio in the bush...she does this some mornings. i have no idea why. stands there with her head in the rasberry bushes. below are loons out at Reflection Lake. i stopped there on my drive north. i tend to stop and do several shorter walks as i drive. keeps the dogs from getting too restless and gets me out and moving as well.
estimates of the PFD for this year are over $2000. always nice. i tend to drop it in savings to pad me in the lean times of life. every so often someone gets caught not following the rather strict rules to prove yourself worthy of this check. the state comes down hard on anyone caught. was talking with a patient recently as someone had just gotten caught and it was on the news as i was in his room. he just said...it was actually a pretty small sum to risk the wrath of the PFD folks. still it happens way more often than it should.
there are too many people out there trying to get what they can and willing to lie and cheat to get it. far too many folks have lost that moral compass of right and wrong or they just don't care since we live in the entitled world where everyone deserves everything that everyone else doesn't deserve. all i can do is shake my head at some conversations i hear....
people hate paying taxes...i'm not opposed to taxes, a government needs money to run...my concern is how inefficiently our government spends those tax dollars. so many silly wasteful dollars...plus so many people who get away without paying their share of tax dollars. ticks me off these commercials on tv...oh you owe tons of back taxes...well we can fix that so you only have to pay a small percentage...just seems like our government and our society rewards bad behavior. you overspent on a mortgage you never could have or should afforded...the government will bail you out. you make poor choices...society should carry you, feed you, house you, buy you cell phones...what people except from the government gets a bit nuts. this will only get worse as we have more and more people who take but can not give back.
i've long decided that disability has become the white persons welfare....many don't wish to be on welfare, and all the negative that idea brings with it, but if you can get a doctor to get you out of work, go for it. what will become of us 50 years from now? i don't see myself as a pessimist, more of a realist. it's not looking too bright for the future. what percentage of this next generation will be able to pull their weight work wise? many youth are lost to drugs/alcohol/mental health issues. how will society bring them back in and help them to be productive?
always feel saddest for the idealists. they seem to have lives filled with great disappointment and depression. to always hope and dream for utopia will only leave you with a profound sadness for what can never be.
couple stories about the walrus starting to head back to Point Lay and how the community out there is trying to make a plan to keep them safe while they are there by reducing disturbances. walrus stampedes in the past caused by noise have caused deaths to young walrus. the hope is to find a way to limit plane/boat traffic in the area.
reflections at Reflection Lake...imagine that. :-)
still have a few more Barrow pics but i'll save those for a slow day...and post a few more here and there.
gotta finish up summer as fall arrives..yes, it arrives early up here. love the bright colors of the leaves below.
this is at the pull out just north of Willow i think it is.
some views of Denali on the drive up...you can see all the clouds below the mountain...so they weren't seeing it in the park. strange to see it from so far away but not be able to see it at all from in the park
these were along the Willow area Parks Road...a major spring forest fire went through there. the fireweed grew so now the purple contrasts with the burnt trees behind
sad to drive through. at least there wasn't the areas with smoke billowing through that we saw earlier this summer as we headed out to Denali for our wildflower class.
didn't get my steps in today. as i said...sleepy day. did get a few packages off in the mail. need to get a few more boxed up and shipped out. lots of birthdays through the summer months.
random loon shot from before. it didn't load in with the others and showed up here. haha. loons are beautiful as is their call.
mud slide in Sitka last week took 4 lives. plane wrecks, a young woman went missing in Kincaid, her body found on the beaches below. right now they say they don't suspect foul play...did she fall? jump? always seems like we lose far too many young folks
well, i guess i should turn in for the night. it's after midnight and i head back to work tomorrow night. enjoying my ice water. love ice...!!
grateful for: A. my pups this National Dog Day...i know it ended a few minutes ago but it still was when i started writing. B. safe travels to/from Fairbanks C. the amazing sounds of the Sandhill Cranes..what a treat!
have lived in alaska since 1995, lived in ketchikan for 6 years and here in anchorage since 2001. it's a wonderful place and i enjoy getting out nearly daily for a walk/hike/stroll or ramble. enjoy the pics