I have started working for a very famous womens' health care clinic. If you know me on facebook you might know this already.
My job is to counsel the patients before they see the clinician. I find out what they need from us and how much they can pay.
It's funny how it comes in waves: one day everyone I see will want to start a new kind of birth control. The next day we'll get a bunch of people who need screenings and lab work. There was one day last week where there were more than a few surprise positive pregnancy tests; that was the day I cried on the way home and wondered if I was strong enough for this role. And there's one day a month where we do nothing but colposcopy.
I am lucky: I came into the job fairly well educated about the types of birth control available and what symptoms mean what when it comes to STIs (thanks hypochondria!). It's not so much a matter of learning new things as whittling down what I already know into concise articulations.
What I was unprepared for was the minutiae of the paperwork. The never-ending insurance chase. Keeping track of which patient has what kind of coverage so I know which lab paperwork to fill out and what vial goes with what insurance. Some days it feels like my brain is overloaded with new information to the point of shutting down.
One thing I've learned so far is that nothing is fail safe. My first week there, I saw three accidental pill pregnancies. I've seen one nuva ring pregnancy. No IUD pregnancies yet but my co-workers assure me it'll happen.
The adoption thing has come up a few times- there is literature from area angencies in every counseling room. Yesterday I found myself using a pen that came from the agency I placed through. I was pleased when it ran out of ink in my hand and I could toss it with impunity.
This is the first time in my life that i've felt like I'm truly in the right place, work-wise. I am fighting a good fight; I am of use. I have both stability and room to grow. It's good, it's really good.