Monday, August 11, 2008

How's work going?

I have officially started my 2nd week of work in the operating room. So much has happened since I started, it's hard to believe I've only had 6 days in the OR.

Most everyone I have met at work, eventually asks me the same question -- "where are you from?" At first, my answer would be, "United States", but then, after a few people said, "well yeah, but WHERE?", I started to modify my response. Here is a script that plays out at least 3 times a day:

Questioner: "Where are you from?"

Me: "The northwest United States???", answering with a big, hesitating question since I've become accustomed to people from Sydney only knowing where New York is.

Questioner: blank stare

Me: "Like near Seattle, Washington?"

Questioner: blank stare

Me: "Um, the next nearest big city is like San Francisco???"

Questioner: "Ohhhhh, okay. So what made you come to Sydney?"

and the script continues from there...

I kind of wish most people would be satisfied with my answer of "United States" instead of asking "but where in the United States?". I can't decide if I should just start telling people I'm from Los Angeles or maybe I should tell people I'm from Canada! It's sort of scary to realize that I could totally reinvent where I "came from" and no one would know the difference. It has been great to realize that, as far as geography goes, the US is not the center of the universe. Many of the people I work with are originally from Sydney, but also from India, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Iran, China, and Malaysia. One of the things we both love about Sydney is the multinational influence. Especially the food -- yum.

During my first week I was part of quite a few open heart surgeries. These are not for the faint of heart. I think I'm finally over the shock of seeing the sternum sawed open and then pulled apart and upward with special retractors. Towards the end of the week, I was a part of a total hip replacement. Any female reading this should take note: lift some weights and eat enough calcium and vitamin D. OMG, this procedure is violent. The tools are big -- we're talkin' mallets, drills, and some major man-handling. The blood and bone were a flyin'.

My first 6 days have had many ups and downs. I can't say that I'm still excited to be working, but at least I'm fulfilling my goal of becoming a nurse and working in Sydney.

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