Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Slave Labor

I’m letting my contacts at work know that I will be leaving and giving them contact information for my replacement. A great deal of the study coordinators I work with were originally trained as nurses but are now senior clinical managers at other institutions like mine or work for pharmaceutical companies. I’ve had at least 3 people tell me about their hospital-based diploma programs. They sound dreadful.

One woman told me the program started in July of one year and finished on June 30th three years later. They had a week off for Christmas and another in the summer. Another woman told me that she estimated that she gave about $95,000 of labor to the hospital she trained at but the funny thing was they charged her for $15,000 for tuition. Brilliant, no?

They all lived in the hospital in nurse’s quarters and took their meals together and it sounds somewhat quaint and Cherry Ames-ish but, upon thought, is really rather GI Joe-ish: 24-hour commitments for years on end, barracks, dining halls, single-sex environment… Also, each environment was terribly female or terribly male: whiteness and red lipstick and caring and wiping bums on one end and camo and stubble and fighting and carrying guns on the other.
Not surprisingly, hospital diploma programs have been all but eliminated, although I am sure the modern diploma program is very different than its predecessors. In Canada, there isn’t a single one left. In America, there are only about 45 left. Surprisingly, half of the existing diploma programs are in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. I will have to look into this.

Nursing school starts in 3 weeks. Moving date is next Wednesday. Last day of work is Friday.


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