This is a really interesting conversation for me, since I've worked in a hospital my entire professional life, always with the understanding that I would miss certain holidays with my family every year. And while it's definitely bittersweet to miss out, we often make it as festive and fun as a pediatric ICU on a culturally significant day can be. I work Christmas every year by choice in order to have the other holidays off, but I also have really enjoyed the holidays I spend with my colleagues. That said, I understand that my career necessitates these choices as opposed to being determined by a corporate entity for the purposes of profit (although it's certainly not lost on me that the administrative side of my hospital sure isn't working any holidays and I am helping make their salaries secure).
I wore green, too! I did the big poufy white dress thing at a super fancy boutique (me: i'm not sure i want a white dress. childlike bridal consultant: oh, we have lots of gowns in blush!) to make my mama happy and then had my giant poufy green steampunk dress made by a corsetier in Canada.
This makes me love my scrub so much, especially since I wear hospital scrubs. Sure, they are ill fitting and the pants are somehow never the same shade of light blue as the tops, but I don't have to purchase or wash them. They just magically appear (okay, are stocked by lovely sterile processing peeps) in the locker room, so when I get a pair of pants with a weirdly low crotch or oddly high waist, I can throw them into the soiled linen cart and start over. It does, however, make teaching days and conferences extremely stressful. Business casual: lost on professional scrub wearers!
@JNC Musings Factory Totally tangential, but I'm a pediatric cardiac ICU nurse and I hope that everything goes smoothly with your and your baby's experience in the heart world. Cardiac babies are mighty mighty fighters and I am constantly awed by them and their families as they navigate the world. Good luck!
@Marille I completely agree that it would beneficial to actually talk to hospital social workers before dismissing them as "low-level bureaucrats." The social workers that help my patients and their families are tasked with an incredibly complex job and they do it beautifully no matter how heated or terribly sad the situation might be. Perhaps they, too, are like a public defender and must content themselves with the individual not the global, but their work is extremely valuable to those individuals.
I tried on poofy white dresses at a super fancy bridal store (complete with Champagne and confusion when I asked for a green dress) to please my mama, then ordered a custom corset/skirt combo from Starkers!. Fabric shopping turned out to be completely magical, though, when the German owner/ fairy godmother of the store had me stand in sun and started wrapping bolts of silk around me to find my perfect shade of green.
@kristindru My loan repayment was through a federal program (thanks, stimulus dollars!), the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program. It's a TON of paperwork to apply but if you can qualify, it's really a game changer for loans. You do have to work at (and commit to continuing to work, full time, for the length of your contract) a disproportionate share hospital. My loan payments are around $1000/month.
Scrubs! That are provided by my hospital since I work in a surgical ICU! So, ill fitting unisex blue scrubs that never quite match. Sometimes I mix it up with one of the bazillion "we're awesome" t shirts that the hospital gives us every year. It's nice not to think about getting dressed for work. That said, conference days or days that I teach all day remain rather stressful. I will never fully understand business casual.
I have both an English degree and a nursing degree, both of which are extremely valuable in my life in general and my work specifically. I'm a far better ICU nurse for having a broad liberal arts background, even if this was a more expensive route to career satisfaction.