My last blog was about what to expect with Travel Sonography so today I want to go into more about how to treat and how your treated when you go into a facility during your travel job.
We are taught at a young age to “treat people how you want to be treated” but I think with all the drama out there I think it’s safe to say that theory no longer exists.
When you have a lot of experience under your belt and you start a travel position at a facility, knowing your going to be there for at least eight weeks you tend to go in thinking you can be a resource. Sharing tips on how a workflow can be done more efficiently, taking time to clean the equipment and showing how taking care of it better can help it’s longevity since they might be stuck with it for awhile anyways, or even better organizing some area’s to better store folders or paperwork. By doing all this chances are you have the best intentions at heart, but to someone who has been there twenty years, to them you could come off as the “know it all newbie”. Especially if you say things like “ That’s not how they did it at my previous facility” or “ Wouldn’t it be easier to do it like this?”. What you don’t realize is your coming in to this place where the way they do things, although it may seem completely off the wall to you, it apparently works for them.
This tends to be where conflict starts and leads to drama. I recently left a place where this exact thing happened. However I didn’t know it was going to turn into what I considered a bullying situation where this person went out of her way every single day, making passive aggressive comments if not right to me then loud enough so I could hear, talking derogatory about me to every person in the department, throwing things of mine onto a desk, and worst yet, since she was a clerk she even held on to work that needed to be done and put them in the box at the most inopportune time, or when there was multiple studies, or like when she saw no one else was around and I was the only one left to do them. The amount of excess work she is creating for the sonographers in this facility because she does the scheduling as well is overwhelmingly exhausting and unmanageable.
Unfortunately being that territorial and spending her day tormenting me and trying to get her own work done in between her every 30 minute smoke break obviously caused her to fail to see the big picture. Which is that I was there to help out the sonographers. Without me they are left to do the same amount of work with one less person, and since this clerk sat in the tech area with them, and didn’t know the in’s and out’s of our job nor did she care, you could tell that she actually took joy out of making me feel the way she did every day. Needless to say I had finally got to the point where I felt I had enough and I ended my contract early.
What people in these facilities don’t realize is what you give up when you’re a travel sonographer. What your evening looks like when you leave the facility. Of course this is by choice but we do this at a risk of not thinking it will be a negative experience. For me, I lived four hours away, so that’s where my family and my dogs were, so while they are all going home to their warm cozy homes, and to their family we go back to an empty apartment or hotel room. Naturally when your dealing with things like this on a daily basis it’s only natural to sit and think about how it got to be like this, what did I do wrong or what can I do better. If what you come up works, Great! For me it was a losing battle and it was time to throw up the white flag and walk.
However, I did meet a few amazing people that I will keep in contact with and will be friends with for many years to come, so at least I can say it wasn’t a total wash. So know your boundaries and remember when you go into a facility as a traveler you’re a guest in their home. Before going on about how you think you can change things to be more efficient ask if they would like your opinion first. Don’t vent about the workflow, or complain, it doesn’t make it better nor is it likely change. Be careful about what you say and who you say it to. I said something in a joking manner and it got taken out of context. This was the place that every single thing said and done got tattled to the boss, Ooops.. my bad!, note to self don’t joke with those who have a dry sense of humor!
As a traveler it actually takes a few weeks at least to get comfortable in a facility and toget to know the personalities of the employees. I’m Italian so I have a pretty good thick skin, but no one should ever have to feel like they are being bullied weather it’s physically or mentally or emotionally. If your going into work with stomach cramps every day due to the nervous anticipation that you already know what your day is going to consist of whatever the situation may be, then chances are your in the wrong place and it’s time to move on, and that’s OK.