Today, I am grateful that I started my career at the University of Utah Burn Unit. When I graduated from nursing school, instead of a nursing shortage, there was a surplus of nurses. So that meant that there were too many nurses for just a few jobs. And I had little experience. Well, really none since I had been working at the U, but as the unit secretary. I applied for jobs everywhere, even the unit that I worked on. No jobs for me. I went to Seattle where my sister lived and went in person and the receptionist laughed in my face when I told her that I wanted to apply for a nursing job. She said they had just laid off a thousand nurses, was I crazy?! I felt like I had just spent all of this time to get my education and there were no jobs. My life was over.
And then. My boss told me that there was a job in the burn unit. The burn unit. The ONE place that I said that I didn't want to work when I was going to nursing school. What could I do? I applied. So did 32 other nurses. Nurses that had experience. Nurses that knew what they were doing. Nurses that knew the right answers to the interview questions. I had just started dating Kevin at the time so I went right to his house after the interview and didn't know what to think if I had gotten the job or not. I did. He was the first person I called after I got the call that I got the job. I was thrilled to have a job but terrified to be working in a burn unit. But what I learned there gave me twice as much training, knowledge, nursing skills,labor intensive work,and leadership skills than I could have gotten anywhere else. And the team work. Nothing can compare to the kind of team work that goes on in the burn unit. You could not make it alone, you had to be a part of the team or you and yout patients would suffer. I worked there for five years and after I had only been there a little over a year and at the tender age of 23, I became a charge nurse. Thinking back on that now, I'm shocked that I was given that much responsibility. The people that I worked with are very dear to my heart, maybe because that was where I was working when so many life changing events happened to me: I got married, bought our first house, had my first baby, lost our second baby, and then moved to a new state.
I still can't believe they gave me a chance. And if I could do it again, I would in a heart beat. As long as I could be on the "princess plan".