The New Year is always a time to reflect on the past and set goals for the future. I recently returned to work after being out on medical leave for 10 weeks and have found that my absence has enabled me to assess my job from a fresh perspective.

I’ll admit that I was worried about returning to a negative atmosphere at work. When I left, morale was very low at both my office and the hospital due to many internal changes. Everyone was cranky and burnt out, including me.

I was dreading returning to the office and having to relearn the EHR program that I had barely had a chance to try before leaving for my surgery, not to mention the all-new computerized order entry system at the hospital.

In reality, it’s been a fairly smooth and easy re-entry. I’ve been granted a lighter patient load at the office to allow me time to work with the new computer system. So far there have been no crazy busy days at the hospital yet, which has given me time to learn my way around that new program as well. 

In my haze of anxiety over returning to work, it seems I had forgot a few crucial things. The first and most important thing is that I love the work that I do.

It took me only a few moments in the office to remember just how much I enjoy spending time with my patients, talking with them, educating them and learning from them. The first birth I attended after returning was pure joy, despite the aching and swelling of my still-healing wrist.

The other important factor I’d forgotten is the amazing people I have the privilege of working with every day. I was welcomed back with kindness and concern by everyone from the front desk staff at the office to the housekeeper at the hospital. The humor and camaraderie among my team of providers, nurses, medical assistants and support staff make my job easier and so much more fun.

There are and will continue to be bad days. Although improved, morale is still low among my coworkers. But my absence and subsequent return has afforded me a chance to see everything with fresh eyes.

My team is rolling with the changes and smiling along the way. We will continue to work together to provide the best patient care, despite the obstacles. At the start of 2013, I am counting my blessings that I have a job that I love and that I work with amazing people every day.

Robyn Carlisle, MSN, CNM, WHNP, works as a full-scope midwife at University Doctors and Kennedy University Hospital in Sewell, N.J.