Sue is a med/surg nurse who places her priorities on location and salary. She takes the one bedroom housing paid for by Med Staff. Her favorite place has been San Francisco, CA, with Alta Bates, CA, and Bakersfield, CA, being her least favorite.
Her first assignment was crazy and overwhelming! She and her friend were so excited to have their first assignment at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC. Then they had nine to twelve cancer patients who were very sick. To make things worse, there were no respiratory therapists and the IV pumps were only for the patients receiving chemotherapy. The unit had close to 40 rooms, but only one med room. She had to run back and forth constantly, and to make things worse, the unit had only one Glucometer. Charge nurse could not stand them and made them feel stupid. Being travelers, they would always get the admissions. It was all paper charting and tons of it. The nursing assistants were lifesavers. It was great that she traveled with her friend. They almost had the exact same schedule on the same unit and were there to help each other when they could. When times got bad, they were always there for each other.
What would she tell a first timer? “Do not complain about floating. Be flexible and act like you don’t care. Managers and other staff members do not like complainers. Be prepared to float… it comes with traveling. Sometimes floating is a relief if you work on a crazy unit. Hospitals know they cannot float you to an area that you have no experience… your assignment must be modified in this case. Ask a million questions during the hospital interview and write everything down. Don’t feel that you have to accept an offer just because you interviewed; don’t let your recruiter pressure you. Don’t trust the company or your recruiter. The company wants to make money as well as your recruiter. In most cases, your recruiter is a salesperson, not your friend. Beware of hospitals that offer high pay rates… there is a reason. Listen to other travelers. If they have had a horrible experience, most likely you will too. Many staff nurses do not like travelers. They are jealous. Just ignore them and don’t let their attitude bother you. Try to get on the good side of the unit manager. It will pay off (great reference, great schedule). Follow all unit/hospital procedures and look them up if you are not sure. Do not follow your old hospital’s policies/procedures… this can get you in trouble. Explore the city/town you are in & have fun!”