We're a little crazy, about science!

The transition to clinical research

Today should be interesting… it’s my onboarding appointment, which is one of the last steps I need to complete to be hired at the hospital. There’s a lot going on in life at the moment, some of which is personal so I won’t be sharing that here, but let’s just say everything has been incredibly stressful. Oh and since I need to get the appointment done this week if I want to start on time, this was the last day I can get it done.

Apparently working at a hospital isn’t as straightforward as you may think, there are a lot of steps that needed to be completed before my start date and since I need to start soon or I will not be able to afford to live, they have been kind enough to rush basically everything that needed to happen. Some of which was admin stuff, but some of it was for me to fill out.

For those who don’t work at a hospital or are curious as to the process, basically I had to apply for a job that was made for me. No, literally, the job is in my Co-PI’s lab and he was specifically hiring me. Instead of shaking hands and saying welcome aboard, the hospital needed to create the job listing and I needed to apply for it. It felt weird, but hey I will go through the motions if needed. Unfortunately, the job they made wasn’t the one I got! My Co-PI being the amazing human he is got the hospital to pay me more than the position would’ve paid me. So they had to create the next “level” of position to hire me and I had to reapply for that one instead.

Literally they use a “level” system, so I’m Researcher level 2 instead of level 1 based on pay. I have no idea why they would do it that way, but I guess it’s some sort of admin thing. I’m hoping that means there are researcher levels 3,4,… etc. and I can get a pay raise. The pay is good, especially compared to what I make as a student, but it’s not great. That will probably change once I have my doctorate, but I’m not even thinking that far ahead right now. Mostly I’m just focusing on the rest of the hiring steps.

The second step was to fill out a ton of paperwork. I had a background check, some miscellaneous stuff to do, but mostly it was paperwork. Agreements to get vaccinated, health history, the usual stuff I assume you need to do when you start a job, specifically at a hospital. The background check alone added a week to the process. Once I finished all of that I had to wait for them to review and what not before we got to this current step, or rather set of steps.

First I need to get my physical done. Since none of the stuff is manual labor, I’m under the impression they just want to get health history from me. Then I need to fill out the parking forms and what not, basically selecting which parking option I want to take since there are a few options and they give me a “bonus” to offset the cost of paying for one of those options. Lastly, I need to get my badge. I already have a visitors badge, but this one won’t expire every year, so that will be nice.

So far the entire process start to now has taken over a month and my start date isn’t for another week, so roughly six weeks total and that was rushed. Normally it could take 8-10 weeks when they don’t rush, which seems excessive to me, but here we are. After I get this done and finish the bits of paperwork left (parking, badging, etc.) I’ll be set to start for my start date. While the physical thing needed to happen this week, I have until mid next week to finish the rest of it. Since I’m an anxious person I plan on getting it all wrapped up today aside from getting my badge, which I will probably do Monday morning.

While I’m not at the finish line, I’m close and I feel slightly better about the entire process. It was a huge risk and it still is, but by the beginning of next month I should be comfortable in my choice (if all goes well anyway).


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