Today is Memorial Day and I am alone, sitting in front of the computer, waiting. Today is my holiday to work so here I sit. Waiting for my family to come and have lunch with me and waiting for my pager to go off. Will I be paged before they get here so they don’t have to drive a half hour and not see me? Will I be paged while they are on their way? Will I be paged while they’re here and I have to leave them hanging? I just never know. I work in surgery at a small local hospital and have to take ‘call’ as part of my job. We have normally scheduled hours like everyone else, but we all know that most people don’t get sick between 8am and 5pm! Because of that, there is a team assigned to pick up any emergencies that may come in after hours. Evenings, weekends, and holidays are all covered and we all take our turns. I love my job, but this part sucks. Being away from home large chunks at a time you realize how much you can miss. One year I had to miss my nephew’s birthday because it was my weekend to work and no one could switch with me. I still feel horrible about that. Working holidays was also hard for me to get use to since my family has big cook outs and everyone actually shows up!
I know that I am not the only one. Are you someone who is gone from home for longer periods of time due to work? Do you do shift work? Every other weekend? Do you have to travel a lot and to far away places? I’m very lucky that my husband understands that this is part of my job and he’s supportive, but it’s not all sunshine and roses all the time. Thanks to everyone who works hard no matter where they work or what they do, at home or outside the home.