Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why I am not moving to Montreal....

I love visiting my family up in Montreal. There's something about Christmas in that city that feels different from any other. So when I was there last week for the Holidays, I thought about what it would be like to live there.

I've been saving my pennies to buy a house; it's really expensive where I live, to the point of extreme frustration. Yet in Montreal, many of my cousins (some younger than me) are already homeowners. You can get a beautiful brand-new construction there for the price of a fixer-upper here.

So the question came up - Why not move to Montreal? "We really need nurses here!"

But I don't think I could be a nurse anywhere but California. I have never known life before the mandatory patient ratios took effect in 2005. I don't know what I would do with 8 or 10 or 12 patients, apart from lock myself in a bathroom and cry. And to have to keep an eye on a colleague's 8 or 10 or 12 patients when she takes dinner... I can't imagine.

I've never once had to work mandatory overtime. I've had to deal with annoying phone calls begging me to come in on my day off and desperate managers scouring the floors for anyone who wants to stay over. But if I say no, that's it. No repercussions.

I've never shown up and been told to go home because they didn't have enough patients to go around. They will find *something* for me to do around the unit and pay me for it. But I can volunteer for a day off if I want (and I usually do!)

I've never had to float to a unit that I am unprepared for. They can't just send me to Pediatrics out of the blue because they're short staffed; I have to be oriented to and trained for the unit.

I've never had to rotate my sleep schedule to accommodate revolving shifts. If I am hired to Nights, I work Nights. The only time I have to forgo sleep for something work-related is if we have a Skills Day, since those start at 0800 (grumble grumble).

If I had to deal with those situations as a possibly daily occurrence, I don't think I'd make it. Maybe I'm spoiled, who knows. And I suppose the kicker is that if I were to live and work in Montreal, I'd get paid 1/3 to 1/2 what I do here. And the cost of living isn't *that* much cheaper.

So, no, I don't think I'll be relocating any time soon.

Plus, my French skills are dismal.... :)


  1. ;)
    I used to live in California....moved to BC and apparently the cost of housing in Vancouver (where I live) is the highest in the country. Never mind cost of living.

    In BC, top wage is just shy of $40 per hour, and full time pay is above $75K per yr which I find is ample for living expenses. What is going to make you money isn't what you are making at work that makes you wealthy, it will be your investments (ie-house, pension)

    You might want to consider moving back at some point before the social security thing sets in. It's something I never really thought of when I was younger, but now I realize what I did when younger is really impacting me now. I was gone for 5 years, and that has not only impacted my CPP but also my muni pension from work. Plus, if you get sick down south, the co-pays aren't as good as they used to be when I worked there. Basically I had no co-pay at all which was great. I hear it isn't as good. As one ages, one's health needs to be considered.

    I lived in CA before the mandatory staffing levels, it wasn't all that bad...i was first working Med/Surg, then moved over to L&D and then did NICU and L& some floating(since prior to my L&D I worked almost every other area) Most places I have worked haven't floated anyone not used to floating - mind you - I don't know what it's like in Que.

    I have never had to do mandatory OT (there are ways to get around it - "sorry, just drank a couple bottles of beer!"

    I found CA a great place to live for a while, but my heart was always back in canada... :)

  2. I dream about mandatory staffing ratios. That is such a wonderful concept!