Work Day 1 (AKA Wordy Wednesday)
First day beginnings
As I write this, I am on the train on my way to my new job. When you read this, I will already have finished my day, but I figured that if I have any hope of carrying on with this blog while I work and commute, then I need to write whenever I get the chance!
Today I will get to meet my colleagues and see the department I will be working in. I have no idea what else is in store for me today, but I am looking forward to finding out.
Unfortunately, the long days and short nights are starting to really catch up with me, and I am really tired this morning, but I am looking forward to the views along my train journey. The past two days in the car there have been beautiful sunrises and sunsets over the gorgeous Peak District National Park, some of which I have tried to capture on camera (don’t worry, Ben was driving), but none of them turned out very well. I am going to try to get a nice picture or two today, but the train is really busy this morning so I don’t have a window spot. Hopefully I will be able to get a window seat and some pictures to share on the way back.
In spite of the nice sunsets and sunrises, I am looking forward to living closer to work very soon. However, I am currently so spoiled with Ben waking up super early with me, making me breakfast, gathering up my lunch, warming up the car, driving me, and doing everything possible to make my journeys and days as easy and pleasant as possible. I can’t imagine doing this without him.
In terms of other things I am doing to try to make my days a bit smoother, I mentioned that I had made a big batch of Angela’s wheat berry and bean salad on Sunday…and I have had that with hummus and half an avocado each day so far for my lunch. Today will be the last day of this since I used up the last of the salad for my lunch today, but it has been so nice having this ready. Each evening, I fill up a container with the salad, a scoop of hummus, and half of an avocado, put it in the fridge, and the next morning it is all ready to go. I need to remember how nice this has been so that I will be motivated to keep making things like this ahead of time. I am also hoping that I will have access to a microwave (as well as a fridge) at work so that I can bring in leftovers for some of my lunches in the future.
My other favourite new thing is a travel mug, which I fill up with herbal tea in the morning, and then I can drink it while I am on my way to work. It has been such a nice treat to have a warm, relaxing drink.
Okay, I’m sure there is a lot more I could say, but my brain really isn’t functioning very well and I am struggling to think of anything interesting to write. I think that means I should stop. I will try to write a bit more on my train journey home about what my day was like.
First day wrap-up
Well, I am now on the train back from my first day at work, and I think it is going to be an amazing position for me. The people on the neuropsychology team all seem really nice (it is a small team so I have managed to meet all of them very quickly), and after a team meeting this afternoon, I think that my outlook on things is very similar to theirs, and I think that I am going to learn a huge amount from them. I am also glad that they seem like a very supportive group to work with, both in terms of supervising and teaching, and in terms of being really interested in each other’s work and pleased for each other when things go well. And most importantly, all of them seem very, very concerned with doing the best possible work for the patients they see, and these are the kinds of people I want to learn from.
I was able to find out today a bit more about what my particular job will entail, although there will probably be other things which come up. Most of my work will focus on epilepsy (patients being considered for surgery, and following surgery), with one day per week working on a stroke unit. In both of these roles, I will be doing clinical assessments with the patients (once I have done some shadowing and learned how to administer the tests), helping to run a support group for patients, helping to put together information for patients and families, and helping with patient testing for a study on epilepsy surgery and a study on multiple sclerosis. In addition, I will have opportunities to observe clinical psychologists working with many patient groups, and I will be responsible for preparing some materials for meetings and clinics (for myself and the neuropsychologists in the team). I am sure that some parts of my job will be difficult and some may be tedious, but it sounds like the ideal mix of tasks, patient groups, settings, and duties for me. I don’t think I could have found a better job.
Today I had several meetings with people who will be involved in supervising me, and I spent some time figuring out the computer system and organizing and indexing neuropsychological test materials, and familiarizing myself with the tests as I went. This was a perfect set-up for my first day, and to top it all off, I actually get to do my first observations with patients in the epilepsy clinic and on the stroke unit tomorrow. I can’t wait!
Okay, I would like to write more, but my train is incredibly crowded, and although I was lucky to get a seat (I think it was the last empty seat on the train), I am wearing a big coat, sitting up against a window (but it’s dark outside so I can’t take any pictures of the Peak District going this way either) with a person sitting across the table from me with a laptop taking up most of the table, and the person sitting next to me with a laptop taking up the other part of the table, and my work bag and my bag from my lunch jammed on my lap between my little bit of table and my body, and I am stretching to reach over to the spot where I have perched my netbook. There may not be any photos in this post, but this should give you a mental image. Anyway, it isn’t very comfortable, so I think it is probably best to stop writing for today and give you another update tomorrow or Friday.
For today, I just wanted to say that it sounds like the best opportunity I could possibly have hoped for.