After hospital-wide orientation, Crisis Prevention and Intervention training, and Epic electronic medical records training, I had unit specific orientation as a Behavioral Health Worker at my new job last month on the Center For Mental Health and Wellness, and I was glad that my preceptor was a pretty cool woman who was gentle with me. We started with the assumption that I didn't know anything, which was what I preferred so I could learn the ins and outs of how they wanted things done. The duties and responsibilities were thankfully very familiar to me since they were what I was doing before I got laid off, and was a stark contrast to my brief foray into the assisted living job. The only problem I had was having to wake up at 4 a.m. so I could work out before what was supposed to be 4 day shifts. Well my body isn't quite used to that since I've been working nights for three decades so the body rebelled and my stomach was in knots. So much so that my preceptor and I requested our director to put me on night shift orientation after just 2 day shifts. After that I got three more nights of orientation from three different preceptors on the three psych units of the hospital. Then I was released to fend for myself.
One of my first projects was learn how to make admission chart packs. The forms were significantly lesser since the hospital started using electronic medical records on September 1st. What used to be about 40 to 50 forms were down to 14 (even lesser than what I used to handle at the job I was laid off from). On my second night post orientation, I made 60 chart packs even though the supervisors only required 5 each night. Well I'd rather make a lot more during nights that are not busy rather than scramble to make them when there are numerous admissions or when patients are acting out. Later, I was surprised to learn that nobody ever made that many before. Before electronic medical records, I probably wouldn't have either. I just lucked out by being hired there at the time that I was. A couple of weeks later, I made 70 more. Apparently I made so many in such short time frame that the psych units ran out of some forms and welcome folders. To add to that, between the time I made the first 60 charts and the next 70, there were four changes in what forms were needed because they were trying to sort out what they can include in the electronic medical records system. After about three weeks, it appears like they have settled that issue.
One of my coworkers, upon seeing that I was new, asked me how I became a behavioral health worker. I said I used to be a psych patient, and having observed what BHW's did, I figured I could do the same as well, so I applied for the job. My new journey has began.