Sunday, April 26, 2009

Matthew's Lot in Brooklyn

This is where Matthew works (thanks for the photo Wiki!). His contract began on Feb 9th. The beginnings were downright scary. He presented himself on Feb 9th for what he had been told would be a 15 mins meeting with his supervisor. It turned out we spent the whole day there. Not only was he to meet the supervisor but he was to fill tons of paperwork and redo everything his recruiting agency had required of him which included a physical, a drug screening test and an exam which took about 2 hours! It sounds pretty easy but when you're misdirected each step of the way... (those who live in Greece will certainly understand this way of doing things :) - we were actually told by a friend that New York is very similar to Greece when in comes to paperwork and organization!)

The first official day of his training the teacher said in all seriousness "you HAVE to come to work ON TIME", "you CAN'T take longer breaks than allowed", "you CAN'T talk on your cell phone in front of your client," and "you CAN'T bring your kids to work." The last rule was repeated 3 times during the meeting! That's when we realized that something was very odd and that not all travel nurses are exemplary workers!

This amongst other things, like being told by a nurse who had worked there in the past, that Woodhull was a great place to loose your nursing license, made us a bit nervous! The first few weeks were an adjustment to say the least. Matthew is doing a completely different kind of nursing than what he's used to. The medical tools are different and much less advanced than what he's worked with in the past, most of the patients live in poverty and suffer from various addictions (lots of heroin, cocaine, alcohol) and many also suffer from mental disabilities, and the 'system' doesn't run very efficiently. Still Matthew works well in chaos and now that he's found his bearings, he actually enjoys it quite much. He's liking the cultural diversity as well which was somewhat non-existent in Yarmouth. He is known as "the white boy" at work and he responds to it.

While we're on the topic, we were told a few days ago that his contract was extended which means we'll be here for a while longer! That's what he hoped for, it's much easier for us to stay in one place than to move and go through all the setting up details again. Yay! This will keep us here until sometime in September.

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