Monday, October 20, 2008


So I was confirmed for a shift this morning and then canceled within the next twenty minutes. And thus, here I am blogging at six o'clock in the morning. 

This has been a trend for me in the last few weeks. Last week I got plenty of hours, but the week before, I was available AND confirmed four days in a row, canceled in the morning for each one, and ended up with only eight hours of work.

So it is definitely hit and miss with agency work. I also heard through the grapevine at one of the hospitals where I go quite a bit, that this particular one is going to try to strive for no agency use at the beginning of November. Considering that one night I worked last week, three out of the six people there were not actually on staff at the hospital (two agency and one traveler), and apparently a hospital close to this one is closing (therefore more patients coming in) for financial reasons, I don't see how this is possible.'s all about money and financial trouble is the name of the game with hospitals - even more so now with the economy in it's current state. 

So I am little nervous about getting enough work. This time of year is slow for us anyway, because people are not going on vacation as much and are probably working extra hours to pay for the holidays. 

My dilemma...

Getting back to the agency vs. traveler scenario. A "traveler" does not necessarily even mean someone who is traveling here from somewhere else. You could live in Chicago and still be a traveler. That is what they call someone who has a short-term contract with the hospital for a certain amount of time and a certain amount of hours. 

#1 - I don't want to be a traveler (be on contract). One of the main reasons that I am working as an agency nurse as opposed to getting a "real job" is so that I can make my own hours. I love that. I don't have to work when Sean is off if I don't want to. He works so many hours that if I did work when he was off, I would never see him.

Getting a contract still allows you a little freedom with picking your hours but not much. They usually declare that you will work every other weekend (plus holidays) and then you get to pick the rest... whew hoo... that's just great. I would never see Sean.

The benefit of a contract is that you are guaranteed full-time work for however long the contract is for (usually about three months).

#2 - I don't want to get a "real job." Once again, the hours would be pre-set and I would probably have to work every third or every other weekend. Yuk!! I am spoiled with my current situation. I have only worked one Sunday since I got here, and when I have worked on Saturdays, it was only because Sean was too.

PLUS the money is SIGNIFICANTLY less working directly for a hospital as opposed to working for an agency. I just can't rationalize that. 

So anyway... that is where I am. I am not really worried, but there is always that nagging in the back of my head about getting enough work to support our current financial plan. I know that God is teaching me patience (that's a hard one for me), faith, and trust and that "plans" can always change, but it is not necessarily easy. He always allows those trials that strengthen the "weakest links" in our lives, doesn't He?... 

That reminds me of that show... You are the weakest link...Goodbye!!

It's a good thing Sean doesn't get "canceled." HA HA Ha ha ha... That's a good one... 
He wishes. :(

Thursday, October 16, 2008


On September 29th I finished my last class and now have my bachelor's degree in nursing!! This is very momentous, because I started going to school about a month after Sean and I began dating. We have never really known me not being in school (it's amazing to think we have only been together a little over 2 years!! - so much has happened during that time!).

To celebrate, we got all dressed up, and Sean took me to a nice dinner at Fulton's on the river on a gorgeous evening. We sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather before heading to the theater to see Mamma Mia. What fun it was! I only got one picture of the inside of the theater before some grumpy worker told me they would "confiscate cameras" if they noted pictures being taken.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Parents Visit Chicago

At the end of the same week that we visited Boston, my parents were able to drive down from Minnesota to spend a long weekend with us before Sean's vacation was over. They drove down with their friends, Kevin and Sharon (Sharon's daughter also lives here in Chicago).

They arrived on a Friday afternoon, and we immediately meandered down to the lake (by way of Starbucks) to walk around and stretch out after the long drive. After some snacks and Brigita time, we took them to the German Brauhaus restaurant in the evening and ate some hearty German food. 

Unfortunately, the next day my mom was not feeling well and did not really recover the whole time they were visiting. She was a trooper though and managed to tag along for everything that we wanted to do. On Saturday we had a leisurely morning and met Kevin, Sharon, and Danielle at the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder for lunch. After lunch, we drove around downtown and pointed out the sites. My mom rested in the evening, and we watched a movie and had snacks for dinner. 

On Sunday we met Kevin and Sharon for breakfast at Ann Sather and then went to Moody for church before roaming around the Lincoln Park Zoo for the afternoon. My mom and I rode the Endangered Species Carousel together while being watched with amusement by Sean and Dad.

Sean and I made dinner on Sunday night, and we had another relaxing evening before they had to leave in the morning on Monday.