Dec 5, 2016

Life This Week 5/12/2016: My First Paid Job.

www.news.com.au

Technically, my first paid job was working the Sunday shift as a receptionist for dad.  Work also doubled as driving practice because my brave father would sit next to me and provide emotional support as I cautiously eased the car out of our driveway, down the streets of our quite suburb and onwards into the 'real' traffic of Perth.  I will always remember how calm dad was.  He never fell into the back seat driver role and somehow, over the months, he shepherded me through my learners, backed off a bit when I got my P plates and just sits back as a passenger when he comes to visit me in Sydney.  He's so calm about it all that the tunnels, congestion and toll ways that frightened me when I first started driving here barely register on his consciousness.

I look back and wonder whether it should actually have been dad's paid job to take me driving and that I should have paid him by working for free.

www.comercialaquatics.com.au
My first real paid job then was after I graduated from uni many decades (!!) ago.   The government places very strict regulations on all medical graduates in Australia and your first years of employment after graduation need to be in an approved hospital so that you can eventually meet the criteria to be registered as a medical practitioner.  This then allows you to enter further training for your chosen subspecialty.  This further training occurs in the community and outside of hospitals if you choose to enter general practice.  You can also pursue non clinical roles which often require further study at university.  And then there's the rest of us who spend most  of our working lives in the hospital system both for training and then employment as a specialist.

We have these names for each stage of training we do and also our degrees for postgraduate qualifications.  I don't think they really mean much to people outside of medicine to be honest and at the same time it would be hard to say what the equivalent of medical qualifications would be in the academic world beyond medicine.  But it is what it is and sorry for the essay, I hope it adds context.  The long and the short of it is that I began my career as an intern at a large hospital in Perth.  If you're a Perthie, you'll recognise it from the photo above.

I really enjoyed my intern year.  Yes it was daunting, exhausting and hectic but it was always interesting and even funny at times.  I worked with a wide range of people from all walks of life and because we had shared goals in terms of patient care, all getting through the day sane and alive as well as trying our best to comply with whatever targets the hospital management had for us - our differences brought us together.  Our different personalities brought humour to the hard times.  Our different backgrounds gave us empathy for our patients who may have otherwise not trusted 'the system' if someone 'who was one of them' hadn't taken the time to explain things to them or to hear their side of the story.  And then there were our numerous ward parties where all kinds of food would appear for lunch or just because for morning tea on a Friday morning.

Because we all tend to be in each others' pockets during the working day (none of this individual desk business for us), we also tend to get to know each other pretty well even if we're only working for short periods of time together.  I still bump into people I've worked with from years back and we still remember each other.

But do you now what the best thing was about the joys of my first year of work is?  It's that all of the above hasn't changed a bit in all the years that have passed.  I've moved states, passed exams, finished training, landed 'proper' jobs,  worked said 'proper' jobs whilst pregnant and then as a mother yet each day is still full of those same people, situations and lately - good coffee, we never really had good coffee back in Perth in the good old days.

Yet it never gets boring.  It keeps me going instead.


16 comments:

  1. Good on you dad! So good to have a calm person with you during your 'learning to drive phase'.

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    1. I hope to be a calm teacher when my son learns to drive. Still ages away but better start developing more patience from now.

      SSG xxx

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  2. Love this! Love the shout out to your dad and his patience as a driving instructor too.

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    1. I owe my dad all my good driving habits. Taught myself the bad ones..

      SSG xxx

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  3. My first job was nowhere near as exciting or interesting! Just a casual retail thing over Christmas. My first "proper" non casual job was at one of the theme parks on the coast though that I'm still proud of to this day, haha! I was there a couple years as I did uni.

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    1. You must have seen all kinds of things at the theme park, Mica. And possibly doing retail at Christmas. The season does bring out the drama in the shoppers from what I've observed over the years.

      SSG xxx

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  4. I had no idea you studied medicine? Are you still working in that field?

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    1. Yes I am, Deb! I've been a doctor for a scarily high number of years.

      SSG xxx

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  5. Oh life as an intern. What strikes me now was how young we were. I was 23 when I started. With the changes in medical school entry now interns appear slightly older. I'm not sure if it helps or not. It was such a unique time. Stressful, fun, frenetic and one hell of a learning curve. And yes - given I was also in that lovely building you showed above, the coffee was not the highlight. International Roast in a styrofoam cup. You have brought back memories with today's post.

    Hope you and yours are well an happy.

    Much love.

    T
    xxxxx

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    1. I know, T! Everyone seems older and more mature(!!) these days but I often think that being older and having more life responsibilities outside of work must make those first few years of work that much more of a stress.

      Unfortunately our days of International Roast are long gone in NSW... we are subsisting on catering grade instant.

      SSG xxx

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  6. I did all my driving training with a driving instructor as my mum couldn't handle taking a learner, she was too anxious.

    I enjoy my work. I get out of my own head.

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    1. That's true for me too, Cilla. About being taken out of yourself at work.

      SSG xxx

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  7. That was such a great read..and my dad is the total opposite of yours! After our first 'lesson' I 'sacked' and luckily I had a very patient boyfriend who taught me. I learned to drive in Sydney and across the Harbour bridge etc has never been a problem to me ..gosh, I have just realised, 50 years next year I have had my licence! And, thank you for sharing your career story. Until now I did not know you were a doctor. I like what you said about the camaraderie in your profession, particularly as the hospital level because that is what it is like for me (was) as a teacher! Thanks for linking up today!! #lifethisweek Denyse

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  8. Thanks for sharing part of your life with us! My dad was the calm one when it came to me (or my siblings)driving.

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  9. Yes I see that building every work day as that is my current workplace. Will be bidding farewell to it at some stage when the new hospital in town opens (sometime) next year.

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  10. I am only a couple of years behind you in age SSG, and I worked at the coffee shop at that hospital pictured above for 5 years as I made my way through various degrees. Perhaps I made you a very badly burnt flat white along the way?? How lovely and calm your dad sounds, Brady C xxxx

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