The perks of being a full-time ER monkey are pretty sweet. To wit, today I picked up (and took home and washed, because I'm like that) my three new sets of scrubs. Paid for by the hospital.
That's right, kids! Not only do I never have to wear a tie, not only do I get to wear what are basically pajamas with handy cargo pockets, but I don't even have to buy them myself.
I mean... well yeah, I have to pay to park, when I work afternoon/evenings. And yeah, I get no discount whatsoever at the cafeteria, much less get my ID badge charged up with fun bucks like the residents do. No, I can't just waltz away with suture materials to practice with, and speaking of the ID badge, I have to use it to leave some areas, and to get into others. But here's how much fun I'm having, knowing I'm committed to being in this environment: the scrubs thing feels as though it makes the rest worth it.
I'm not unrealistic. Any job, no matter how cool, will sometimes feel like a job. If you're lucky, it feels like good work. If it doesn't feel like work at all, then either it's not that hard a job, or maybe you're just not doing it right. In my experience, if it doesn't feel like work, it doesn't feel like fun, either. Anyway. I have had a sufficient number of shifts back in the ER since my glorious return that I have been reminded of how it's work for the full eight hours. But also of how much I love it.
I get paid a pretty sad pittance, really, but I get to see and to be a part of some very cool moments. I've done the thing where I count to three and then a bunch of people move a person. I'm nerd enough to still think that's cool. I get to witness how awesome some parents are with some kids, and see the good in people when they help one another.
And I get to reinforce the idea that the people who do the EM-doctor job are people just like me. By personality, if not by education and training, I could have been either one of the people in this little exchange:
ER Doc: This guy seems like he should be okay to go to detox, right?
ER Tech: Ehh... [indicates a specimen cup full of urine with a scary red tinge]
ER Doc: D'oh!
ER Tech: Yeah.