JB's work is so very different from anything he has done the last four years.
The last four years were pretty predictably Monday thru Friday full workdays. He would also be on call quite a bit.
Now he is working 12 hour shifts. These shifts can be anytime during the week. They run from 7am until 7pm or from 7pm until 7am. Generally he will be doing more days than nights. He is supposed to be doing at least ten shifts a month, but he would like to do more in the neighborhood of 12-14. He is never on call.
There are some very good things about this schedule. The first is that we can easily take trips or he can attend conferences without actually having to take time off of work. He simply tells the scheduler thirty days ahead of time what days he would like off and viola! there you have it.
In addition, he is usually doing only two or three shifts a week. This is a grand total of 36 hours a week. Both in Turkey and the Azores he was usually working closer to 50 hours a week. (And I won't even get started on what his hours during his residency at Eglin were.)
If he works nights and there is nothing going on, he can also get some sleep which on a good night can mean he gets paid to go to sleep!
He also gets paid for every single hour he works. This means that if he has to work later due to a busy shift, he gets paid for it -- instead of working salaried as he did in the military.
Working by shift obviously has its downsides. Because he is a contractual employee, he has to get his own health insurance. He also doesn't get paid if he doesn't work (i.e., if he has to call in sick.)
This is a small ER. Family medicine physicians generally only work at small ER's. Any "big" things that might occur in a town (car accidents, violent crime, etc.) go to trauma centers and so, unless they walk in themselves, John won't see them. Big ER's staff doctors who go to school in Emergency Medicine.
Overall, we think we are going to like the new ER schedule. The days he is gone are very long to me. He leaves before 6:30am and is home close to 8pm. Originally, I was trying to leave the kiddos up to greet him when he got home. But this was hard for him because he had to quickly jump into a bedtime routine, and the kids were getting to bed an hour late. So now, we've decided that I'll do the whole bedtime thing solo, get them in bed, and then he can go in and kiss them and snuggle with them if he gets home in time.
Dad and Mom are here in TN now. Mom is here for good. Dad will still be going back and forth to finish up some jobs in Florida. John's brother and his wife (Ray & Gabbi) are living a town over so Dad and Mom are spending a good bit of time at their house too. While I miss Dad and Mom (and their help!) when they are gone, I'm so glad that they are close to another one of their children and their grandchildren.
As for me, this week we started a new homeschooling curriculum. I've only done it for two days, but I am simply LOVING how organized and easy it is to know what I am doing each day and to follow the schedule so easily. Like I said, I plan to spend more time discussing what we are using and how I am doing it, but for now, I'll just say that it is totally working for us. Today, I even invited over the cousins to play. I wondered if I could get our four hours of homeschooling in with visitors, and we did it pretty easily!
If you think of it, please continue to pray for the delivery of our "stuff" on the 29th. I've received more reports of people receiving entire shipments destroyed by mold. But I also received the good news of someone receiving an entire shipment with no mold. While it is just "stuff" there are a few things in there that would not be easily replaceable. There is a quilt that a friend made us for our wedding. There are also our three handmade Turkish rugs. And of course there is a smattering of photos and pictures that while technically replaceable, would be sad to lose.
Yes, you have insurance, but filing claims and getting those taken care of can be a real pain. Take our storage shipment. As I mentioned previously, our stuff arrived minus a king sized mattress we had put in there just for this situation. Basically, it was stolen. Totally gone. We reported it, but they are saying that in order to file a claim over $300, we need a receipt for the mattress. Who keeps a receipt from a mattress you bought the first year you were married? Not us. Trying to file that claim for the mattress with the terribly cumbersome military website has taken JB no less than THREE hours ... and that's for one little mattress! Needless to say it isn't so much the "stuff" but the "hassle" that I am REALLY hoping will pass over our house!
All righty ... hoping JB will be home from his shift any minute! Night everyone!