Hey love bugs! It’s been a while and I miss interacting with you all. Before I get deep into my first travel assignment journey. I just want to say – live selflessly! ALWAYS do what’s best for you and pour into yourself unapologetically. For those who have been following this ride, you know that I am currently in Washington D.C. Although Covid has weakened a lot of functionalities of city-life, my family and friends have been
here every step of the way enjoying what we can together! Making memories OKAYYY!
Let’s jump into my experiences on my first travel assignment. My orientation was only 2 days. The practice modules to learn the charting system were broken. Soooooooo….basically I was thrown onto the floor not knowing too much of the charting system or where any of the supplies were. I was challenged! You have to move quickly in the travel world to adapt. It was an adrenaline rush for me! I love learning new systems and seeing different ways to do things. It took me about 2 weeks to really get a gist of where everything was and proper protocol channels. Student Shon reporting for class headass LOLLLLLL!!!
So, babygirl got real hip to the lack of southern hospitality here! I will add, my recruiter prepared me before I accepted this assignment that I was stepping into the lion’s den. I appreciate her realness because not everyone knew what they were stepping into and left within a few days. The location and the pay were pretty decent though! So I took my chances. The staff and patients were a tad aggressive and REALLY upfront. The attitude and cattiness hits you at the front door. This was a hospital with a large population of homeless and drug abuser patients. 180 change from my facility South Carolina. I knew which battles to pick and which to let ride out with employees and patients. I never got involved with “house” politics or argued back with patients. I did my damndest to be invisible. This meant no extra comments getting involved with floor and management beef. I would always decline being in a leadership position because of the stress and lack of resources that came with it. I’m here for the MOO-LAAH! DASSIT BABY! It was so many instances that I would be like Lord what did I get myself into?! However, that pay every week motivated me to keep going LOOLLL. I even extended my contract for a few more weeks. Now that I’ve completed my first assignment in the trenches…I can succeed anywhere baby!!!
I’m not going to lie, there were days I missed my old facility and coworkers. I’m a social person at core so taking breaks alone were kinda weird at first. However, with how crazy things were at that hospital…I appreciated my alone time. I didn’t miss the pay back home though. As a staff nurse in South Carolina, I was so overworked and underpaid it was a shame. Being young, single and without kids..I just felt it was the
perfect time for me. To those with all that you still can travel and even consider traveling locally around your state. Most agencies just require your home address be at least 50 miles away from the facility.
To all my staff nurses considering travel nursing in future here’s the steps I took to get me over the ledge to leave my staff position:
-Do you have enough experience? Most assignments take 2 years of experience. However some will take you with less if they are in dire need of help.
(make sure you research the facility so you know what you are facing!)
-Decide what’s your reasoning for travel. Is it for location or money. What matters the most to you? This will assist you in picking the right assignment for you!
-Join facebook travel nurse groups to see current rate trends for different areas, what current travelers (gypsies) are experiencing, reviews on facilities, reviews on travel agencies & recruiters.
-Become familiar with terminology pertaining to your contract
I.E. (overtime rate, taxable hourly rate, holiday rate, per diem, on-call rate, call-in rate, blended rate)
-Look at housing options in area – best practice is make sure you can afford your rent with less than 1 weekly paycheck
-Create profiles with multiple agencies to compare different rates and price match
-Get all certifications you get can from your staff job for FREE before leaving
-Check out independent health insurance, life insurance, 401K plans – you will have to purchase these on your own or go through your agency just be mindful that your coverage will end when you leave that agency after a certain time frame
– If accepting a COVID assignment – will the agency compensate you for quarantine time if you contract the virus? does the facility have adequate PPE?
-TALK to current travelers! Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Scared money don’t make money beloved!
My personal motives: -A location where a friend or family is (I love my support system and wanted a smooth transition into this new world without breaking my neck looking for housing) -No assignment with less than 2K take home weekly -No crazy ratios …1:6 aint for me! -Facility had adequate PPE -8 week assignment – Just incase I did not like the placement -A compact state or area that I did not have to apply for a license -reputable agency/recruiter.
Feel free to reach out to me if I didn’t answer some questions you had.
THAT’S ALL FOLKS!