Monday, June 06, 2005

You're at the Right Place...

"You're at the right place." "You're at the right place??" These two sentences have been warring with each other in my mind from the first week I arrived on the steps of Princeton Theological Seminary. This is why I found it extremely ironic and amusing that this past Friday, I spent almost 2 hours staring at a poster that said, "You're at the right place." (I'll explain in a minute).

You see, while my official start date at Advocate-Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, IL isn't until 8:30 AM June 6th, I have already clocked in about 5 hours just attempting to pass the hospital's series of procedures to approve all employees "fit to work at Advocate." In order to be able to be Chaplain Intern at Good Samaritan, I was required to sign a waiver for a criminal background check and submit myself to a drug screening, a physical, and a TB test. I arrived in the Chicago area on May 22, so I thought to myself I have plenty of time to get this accomplished, right? Expectations and reality usually tend to be quite different things.

To make a long story hopefully shorter, when I went to Good Samaritan on May 26th to have my series of tests, I "failed" my drug test because I had taken a mild sedative the day before for a minor surgical outpatient procedure and since the sedative hadn't left my system, my urine was "inconclusive." I was told my sample had to be tested further and I couldn't complete my physical until June 3rd. But hey, they could still give me a TB test that I could come back and have read at the ER on Saturday!

So after several days of wondering if I was going to be labeled a "druggie" and one experience of getting lost in the hospital trying to find the nurse that would read my TB negative arm, June 3rd arrived. Being a good little intern, I arrived 5 minutes early to my physical and despite having all of my medical records with me, was told that I would have to have my blood drawn to be tested for varicella (chicken pox) because my word that I had a miserable spring break when I was eight because I was too busy creating scratch scars on my skin wasn't good enough. But I had only been there fifteen minutes so I thought, this isn't so bad, the doctor will come next, check me over, and done. I changed into a fabulous cloth gown and preceded to flip through an old issue of "O" magazine that was left by a previous patient...

Two magazines and an hour go by and I'm wondering if I've been forgotten. I peek my head out of the room and try to catch the receptionist's attention. She assures me it will be soon. A few minutes later, a nurse pops her head in the room and says "only 10 more minutes...she's finishing stitching someone up." I think to myself, what DO these physicals entail?? 20 more minutes pass and this time is spent trying to nap (in the gown) and staring at the little purple poster that calls out to me "You're in the right place." Really? I'm beginning to wonder.

But just as I was about to give up hope, a nurse practitioner swoops in with apologies and five minutes later deems me "fit."
Thankfully, I think to myself, I have been in touch with my supervisor and she has assured me that I can come in for orientation even though all my tests haven't come through. After all she informed me, your criminal background check hasn't come back yet either. :-)

You're at the right place. I'll get back to you on that one again in a few days.

Thanks everyone for reading and listening!

Sunday, June 05, 2005


I have started this blog because of a promise to myself and to my friend Mel that I would begin to process the many things I think about on a regular basis. I am a bit skeptical of blogging in part because it seems to have no boundaries or limits to where it could go. While that could be an exciting prospect, I am not sure how much of my mind I want others to see. However, I don't want to use that as an excuse not to do the work I have promised myself I would do. So...this will be a learning process for me. We'll see where it goes.