Travel Nursing Reaps Many Rewards
“People often say they want to travel and never do, said Brandon Weber, RN, BSN. “My wife Kayla and I took a chance on travel and it’s been a great experience as we’ve seen more of this country in a year and a half than many people do in their entire lives. We’ve been to 11 National Parks, nearly hiked to the top of Mt. Rainer and did finish a hike to the top of Mt St. Helens,” he said. “Our main goal is to travel to Alaska, a long way from our Ohio home.” Travel nursing with a spouse is clearly working for Brandon!
Employed by Trustaff, a travel nurse company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Weber is currently assigned as a night nurse at the Renoun Medical Center in Reno, Nevada; Kayla, a substitute teacher, works in area schools in places where Weber is assigned. The couple married more than a year ago and a month later decided to embark on a travel career. “Getting into traveling was a life change choice that Kayla and I had to make together,” he said. “It’s unusual for a young couple married for a short time and living near family and friends to decide to move across the country knowing they’ll probably move to other places every three months.”
Hospital Matters: Protocols and Personalities
Travel nursing can be difficult to adjust to because every hospital has distinctive protocols, Weber pointed out. “So, it’s important to become aware of them by asking pertinent questions, Also, I’ve noticed a difference in patient ratios from hospital to hospital in different states. Obviously, better care is provided for patients at hospitals with lower patient ratios. And, The Joint Commission has set up core measures or patient care guidelines that must be followed nationwide by hospitals, doctors, nurses and other health care providers.”
“I’ve enjoyed completing every hospital assignment,” Weber said. “I’ve heard stories that in larger hospitals you feel like a number compared to working in smaller hospitals where everyone knows you. Some hospitals have the reputation of treating travelers badly; managers who give them the worst assignments and coworkers who ignore them and won’t include them in conversations. Fortunately I’ve never had those experiences. I’ve been assigned to less than 200 bed hospitals in Ogden, UT. and Bremerton, Wash. and both hospital staffs welcomed and supported me.”
“I’ll never forget the nurses I met while in Bremerton, “he said. On my first day they welcomed me and made me feel Id worked with them for years, and they went out of their way to ensure things were OK with me and to lend a hand, as needed. Many nurses who worked there were from the Philippines and it was interesting to learn about their culture.”
Chance Meetings: Positive Outcomes
Travel provides many opportunities to meet interesting people.
When assigned to a Bremerton hospital Weber met a patient he’d cared for Ogden, UT. About 900 miles away. And, while assigned in St. George, Utah he and Kayla met two travel nurse couples and found they had lot in common. “What’s so great is we’re becoming good friends,” Weber said. “In fact, we’re planning a skiing trip near Lake Tahoe.” When on duty as a night nurse he met a respiratory therapist from Toledo, Ohio, his mother’s home town. During subsequent conversations he discovered she’d been good friends with his Mom during high school, but they lost touch after graduation; now they’re in touch again.
While hiking the Weber’s met “home town” people; a man who’d graduated from high school with Kyla’s aunt and another who recognized Weber’s Ohio State Buckeye hat. “He’s from Kayla’s home town,” Weber said.
“What we love about Trustaff is we feel like family and have great recruiters, Cindy Hunter and Katie Preston,” Weber added. “Through Trustaff we’ve been to some amazing places and these travel experiences taught us how small the world really is,”
Editors Note. This emphasizes one of my most important principals as relates to travel nursing. Your recruiter is the single most important link in the chain that results in a successful travel nursing assignment. That is the person you will have almost all of your interaction with. That is the person who will solve your problems, find your next job, negotiate an extension and smooth the rough waters that inevitably pop up. Choose this person carefully!-Conrad