Today was a big day at the hospital; it was the "go live" day for our new computer system, called Epic, which is a fully-integrated online medical record system. Previously, we'd only had a digital medical record system in the ER. Now, the whole hospital is completely virtual - no more patient charts in binders with carbon copies and pre-printed order sets. In the Radiology department, where I work, we already used computers to do most of our work; that's simply the nature of modern radiology. So the change hasn't been quite as dramatic for us as it has been for nurses and doctors on the floor who are used to charting on paper. Even so, we are completely changing how we enter, receive, and complete our radiology orders, so it takes a lot of getting used to.
In a nutshell, I hate change. I told someone today that I wished I could hibernate for the next two weeks, and then come back to work and have all the implementation headaches solved and everyone fully trained, and could thus just skip it all myself. As it is, I am dreading the next couple of weeks.
I have also recently accepted a position on 2nd shift. This was a huge decision for me, and I had actually initially turned the offer down, only to reconsider several weeks later. In the end, the additional money that I will make on 2nd shift, together with some other personnel changes that are occurring, sealed the deal for me. I am really bummed about having to leave a lot of good friends on 1st shift - it's like a big family there - but I keep reminding myself that it's not like I'm leaving and will never see or work with these people again. My shifts will overlap with 1st shift for several hours every day. The additional pay is also pretty significant, at least for a family at our economic level.
Still, I think this permanent shift change (which starts July 1), coupled with the new software implementation, is just a bit too much all at once. I've been feeling down a lot lately, and have even had a few minor panic attacks. I've been moody at home and work, and I think my wife and kids, as well as many of my co-workers, are ready to kill me.
My reading list this year is suffering in new and dramatic ways. As of June 1, I have completed just three - yes three - books. And all three of them were fairly short. I have not completed any non-fiction, and, in fact, haven't even been reading any non-fiction books. I have been reading a very, very long novel for the last several months, and although I absolutely love the book, it's taking me forever to get it done.
Now, in my defense, part of the reason for this dearth of finished books is because I have been focusing a lot of reading time on documents from American history. Specifically, I have been reading through all the presidential inaugural addresses and State of the Union addresses, going all the way back to Washington, as well as numerous papers and documents from various presidential terms. I'm not exactly sure what my goal is with all of this; a big part of it is simply that I find it interesting. Of course, it is also related to the blog posts I have been making this year on presidential facts and the history of political parties. I don't know if anything worthwhile will come from this endeavor, aside from expanding my own knowledge, but there might be a little book or historical narrative or something hiding out in the back of my brain. We'll see.
Of course, another big reason for the lack of reading in general has been my addiction to watching the entire series of Lost from start to finish. I think I started it sometime in late January, and finally finished it a few weeks ago. Now that I am done with it, I hope to get back on track with my reading.
I've sat here for about five minutes trying to think of something else to write about, and I just don't have anything.