Heart beat hero

Working Tourist: Finding Love in Travel Nursing

Tremayne Jackson, or T.J. to everyone he meets, has been a travel nurse since 2010.  Before becoming a nurse, TJ was a Paramedic and now is an accomplished trauma nurse in the Emergency Room.
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Tremayne Jackson, or T.J. to everyone he meets, has been a travel nurse since 2010.  Before becoming a nurse, TJ was a Paramedic and now is an accomplished trauma nurse in the Emergency Room.  When asked about why he started traveling, he says originally he was looking for love; for himself, his career, and his future. 

“Travel nursing has been really good for me,” he explains.  “It feels great, and I love to come into work every day.”

TJ also has experience as a Psych Nurse, but the ER is where he takes his travel assignments.  He says that his love for the ER isn’t about the adrenaline or the trauma, but for him, it’s about treating a trauma patient.  He likes to rely on his skill to care for patients with traumatic injuries.  He relishes his role in Triage.

He is currently on another assignment and spoke about working through the holidays.  “I want to work the holiday.  During the holiday, you really get to experience the team aspect of nursing in a hospital.  It’s like a family, and I appreciate the opportunity to help others spend time with their loved ones because if I wasn’t there, they might not get the time off.  I feel a responsibility to be there for them.”

When Tremayne takes an assignment, it isn’t just him that is traveling to a new place.  He travels with his partner and best friend Craig, a 160 pound Great Dane.  Together, they have been on travel assignments in more than 20 states across the country.  TJ and Craig don’t take breaks between assignments; the plan is to keep working and moving every three months.

“Sometimes the moving part of travel is a bit overwhelming,” TJ explains.  “You know they say that moving is one of the most stressful things you can do, and here I am doing it every three months.  But, I am not ready to settle down, I haven’t found that perfect place for me yet.”

Wherever they go, TJ and Craig quickly become everyone’s favorite.  His colleagues fall in love with both of them, and recently they threw a birthday party for TJ.  Sometimes on his off day, TJ will bring Craig in to visit the staff.

“Everybody loves Craig,” he says with a chuckle.  “I’m 6’6, and Craig is as tall as me when he’s up on his hind legs.  We’re quite the pair.  And after all of this travel, I can tell you where all of the best dog parks are in half the states in the nation!”

When asked about whether it is difficult to find housing when traveling with a dog the size of Craig, Tremayne admits that it took a while to get that part of travel nursing down.  He used to take it upon himself to find housing and would end up in a motel for the first month.  Now that he has joined Supplemental Health Care, he says that it has never been easier.

“I’ve worked for a few travel agencies, and by far, hands down, Supplemental is the best company I have ever worked for.  My recruiter Christian Martinez is amazing; I will tell him where I want to go, and in one or two days at the most, he has everything set up for me.  He knows what I need and takes care of it for me.”

As an experienced traveler, TJ has some sage advice for those who are new to traveling or are considering it as a career choice.  He recommends relying on your recruiter and the company to help you find the best living situation.

“When you aren’t happy with your living situation, it will affect your performance on the job,” he explains.  “Don’t make it about the money and trying to do everything yourself.  Let them help you because it is so convenient.  That way you will have the best chance at success and can make the most of your travel assignment.”

For the future, TJ claims that when it is time to settle down, it will probably be as a Psych nurse.  In the ER, he likes to work his 13-week assignment and move on to the next one.  He has had opportunities to extend his ER assignments in certain locations, but he isn’t ready for that. Right now, he and Craig are making the most of experiencing different locations, finding the best dog parks, and meeting new friends.