Mary from North Carolina is a surgical nurse who has six to ten years of experience as a travel nurse. She loves her great recruiter at Elite Travel Nurse and stays in a one bedroom fully furnished apartment.
Her favorite cities have been Bradenton, Florida, Ormond Beach, Florida, and Nashville, Tennessee. Her least favorite city has been Gainesville, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina.
Her first assignment was in Deland, Florida, in a Birthcare Center. The staff for the most part was great. Always have to have that one or two that make life miserable for everybody. She worked three twelve-hour shifts and had the rest of the time to go to the beach and roam around Daytona Beach. She renewed a second contract. She has been traveling since 1999 and loves it. Each assignment has it’s up and down’s. You just trade a little of this for a little of that. She agrees with the others on here that you sometimes have to go with the flow. Sometimes you just can’t give up your work ethic, honesty and especially sterile technique for the sake of that old saying that all facilities have, “that is just the way we do it here.” That is crap. She will never compromise patient care and sterile technique for anybody! That is when it is time to move on, when a facility puts your license on the line.
The following is what she has to say about the places that she has been to and what she would tell a first timer. “Compare companies! When you decide where you want to travel, call several companies and compare rates, benefits and housing. Make sure your contracted hours, benefits, hourly rate, time off, and on call, are on the contract! Check out your housing as soon as you get the address. Call the local police department, better business bureau, and ask around. Not all housing is in safe areas or an area you want to live in! Companies are out for themselves, generally. They are out there to make money off of you! Most all companies I have worked for will not take up for you when you have problems at the facility!! They are not going to put their contract on the line for you!
At the assignment in Melbourne, Florida, they hated travelers there and hid food from us, told us to our faces that they hated travelers.
In Charleston, South Carolina, I had two staff members talk to me the whole time I was there. The place was like a tomb.
Ormond Beach was a great assignment for a while. There was a select bunch of staff that saw to it that travelers got all the crap cases and they bad mouthed the travelers to the doctors. The docs were great and most of the staff was too. I have heard that most of the bad eggs are gone now! No direction in management there at all. The town is great and the job is doable.
The best assignment I ever had was at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The staff made you feel so welcome. They included you in everything and wanted you to feel a part of the team.
Shands in Gainesville, Florida I would not recommend. If you are not a real seasoned person and tough on the exterior you will never make it there. The technology is the best that I have ever seen, but the doctors are the meanest and most hateful that I have ever seen and the staff is the worst to work with. By the time my contract was almost over, I was welcomed by some of the staff that never knew they had a traveler. HA! There are no welcome’s here… No orientation at all… And the technology is way over the heads of most.
I think the thing I am the sickest about in healthcare is the fact that the new graduates, the young bunch don’t have a work ethic and manners are lacking. They seem not to have a clue as to why they are at work. They mostly think that they are there to socialize and be cute. Patient care… what is that? Attitudes! Management anymore is a thing of the past. So, if you are looking for a good time only, take a vacation. IF you are looking for a career in healthcare, and are sincere about patient care and want to see the world, get some good experience under your belt and travel. It is great and the way to go. I would highly recommend it. And please healthcare managers and recruiters… check the experience level and confirm that these travelers can do what they say. It sure makes it hard on the rest of us with experience (24 years here) when they lie and you don’t check it out!
Beware of companies that continually change staff. I had three recruiters with First Assist in less than 6 months. I got home from work one night, after working 16 hours and on call to no electricity. They forgot to pay the bill! It was bike week and I like to have never found a motel room! And if you have problems with the facility sending the documentation to this company, you are wasting your time. They will not back you up or go to bat for you!
What I look for after all these years is traveling is location first, money and then benefits. I am not taking an assignment that I have to pay for housing. Too many companies give you free private housing, and I am not working for a company that wants you to trade pieces of furniture for something else. A close friend of mine was going to work for Med Staff and they were trading lamps and tables for other items!!
Companies I have traveled with that are great are… Cross Country, Elite Travel Nurses, and Intelistaf. I have talked to a lot of different companies and recruiters. Sign up with several to make sure you get the assignment you want and the benefits that you deserve!!!”