If you were to ask nurses and other front-line healthcare staff to describe their experiences over the past nine months or so, you would probably hear a variety of adjectives. One can imagine that they would be using words like surreal, hectic, scary, and exhausting. Another word, and probably the most important of all to describe our healthcare workers and first responders, would be “necessary.” It is difficult to imagine getting through the year of COVID-19 without the contributions of our nurses, clinicians, and other healthcare professionals. One such nurse who has experienced the pandemic from the front lines is one of our travel nurses, Kayla.
Kayla has been nursing for over five years with the past year spent travel nursing. Specializing in the emergency department, Kayla’s recent assignment in Florida had her working in a COVID-19 testing center while the entire state was considered a hot spot.
“The COVID-19 test site was set up outdoors, and in Florida, the heat index was over 100 degrees,” she explained. “Fortunately, the county where I was working did an amazing job making sure we had plenty of PPE, including N-95 masks, face shields, hair nets, gowns, and shoe covers. And for the heat, they provided us with ice vests and SPF hats to help shield us from the sun.”
Throughout the experience, Kayla was moved by how well the staff worked together as a team and kept up a positive attitude. And, although the patient interactions during the tests were brief, they all expressed their gratitude and well wishes to the staff at the test center.
“The whole experience is something I will never forget. I met so many wonderful people during my time at the COVID test site that it made a really scary time in this world seem a little brighter.”
Working through a pandemic has been a challenging experience for healthcare workers everywhere, with the impact varying from state to state. In areas that weren’t as heavily affected or didn’t become a COVID-19 hot spot, hospitals slowed their hiring for a time while their communities were locked down. This meant that Kayla and other travelers had to be flexible and find ways to adapt to the changing workload requirements across the country.
“I have an amazing recruiter,” Kayla explained. “She never stopped working for me and eventually lined up this assignment at the COVID test site. As a traveler, being confident is key and sometimes you have to overcome minimal orientation by asking a lot of questions. Especially with a crisis situation, like COVID-19, where so much is unknown, and the protocols are constantly changing.”
The confidence that Kayla has gained through her travel assignments has helped her handle the pressures of working through a pandemic. The experience has her ready to face whatever comes next and hasn’t deterred her love for travel nursing.
“I would advise any nurse to start considering travel assignments. It can be scary at first to leave a staff position, but this has by far been the best decision I have made for myself and my career. I love meeting new people and traveling, and now I get to do both of those things that I love, and the best part is that it is my job!”
Kayla credits the relationship she has built with her recruiter at Supplemental Health Care as a key to her successful transition to travel nursing.
“I absolutely love working with SHC, and the biggest reason for that is my recruiter, Gina. I am very selective about where I want to work on assignments, and she always comes through for me. Gina and all of the staff at SHC are so kind, and they go out of their way to make sure you are ready for your next assignment.”
If Kayla’s story resonates with you, contact the experienced recruitment professionals at Supplemental Health Care today, and learn about our available travel opportunities.