Carry On

It’s been literal months since I’ve blogged last. A lot has happened, a lot worth posting about.

I took some time off, I went to England for a month, went to Paris for the day (walked way too much that day), came home, started a new assignment in Salem, had a hiccup or two that first day (I hate hospital orientation), and am now a month in. Each of those things alone could take up a whole post. Never mind the anecdotal things that occur to me when I’m at work.


Except I haven’t wanted to post. I also haven’t wanted to get on Facebook much either.

I’m not going to go in on safe spaces, but I will say that even prior to the issues with data selling, Facebook wasn’t the best place. Politically and socially, it got nasty. People I believed to be strong believers have posted things that have made me sad. It’s escalated to the point where I’d rather be on other mediums than Facebook. The solution would be to delete it all together, but as a traveler I depend on the resource. Plus not everyone is on Instagram or twitter.

Restricting my visits to once or twice a week means I can see who just had a baby and say happen birthday occasionally. The downside being I don’t have as much to say on my blog as I hoped I would. Words fail where they hadn’t in the past.

I’ve been struggling with my view of certain institutions that were once very important to me. The church is one of those. The last year and a half has almost cemented my aversion to the point that the last time I was home I couldn’t bring myself to attend.

Like Facebook, I’ve had to ask myself, “who are these people I thought I knew?” The people who I thought would protect me when I said things weren’t okay have stopped being that safe place to land. I don’t want to make it all political, but when you’ve gone that way, I have to make sure I’m doing what I can to stay sane. Maybe some of that is on me, and that’s fine, but one has to wonder when people who trusted you don’t any longer things may be a problem.

It’s not all bad, but the bad is pretty stinking bad. My hope is it’ll get better if I hang in.

Anyway, I’m off. Hopefully ideas and thoughts burble up and I can continue to use this blog to babble about traveling. Watch this space!

Travel on, road warrior.



Kids these days

Hello, from the other side! The other side being a couple of weeks off where I’ve gotten solid sleep. My Fitbit tracker is like, “wow! You’ve been sleeping so good and your resting heart rate is lower than normal!!” I know, Fitbit, I know. It’s surprising what 7-8 hours of sleep will do for your outlook on life. Unfortunately, it hasn’t stopped me from getting the flu.  I’m staying in for the next few days and making friends with Tamiflu and Airborne.

My trip to England is in 6 days so I gotta perk up. I can’t spend my vacation sick!

In other news I know where I’m going to be from April until October. After spending the last few weeks scrambling for a class that I needed, I got two contracts lined up. One to some place new, and the other to some place old and familiar. I’ll let you know next time, promise. I wanted to discuss something else first.


So I saw this. I had thoughts. I won’t speak directly to this piece, but to something else semi-related.

One of things things you may have noticed about your parents or your grandparents is that the older they’ve gotten, the more conservative they’ve become. Maybe not conservative in every way, but in some things they’ve more reserved.  Maybe it’s in their thinking, or with their money, or in the things they’d been okay with in the past.

It’s a conversation I’ve had with my mother. She’ll start with, “kids these days…” I stop her and say, but weren’t you doing this, this, and this when you were that age? She tries to come back with how different the kids are now. I can agree on one hand, but when you think about the issues facing kids these days can you really blame them for how they adapted?

Bottom line, the issues may be different, but “kids these days” react the same as kids in the past. Honestly, we’re still protesting rights, equality, fairness, and being humane. That’s same old, same old.

You protested in the past and you’re critizing the kids protesting now? When did you become your parents? Or the current politicians no one likes? When did the generation behind you standing for issues they don’t like suddenly become distasteful or counter the things you stood up for in the past?

Kids these days. I always think statements like that are ridiculous. You treat the generation behind you as though they aren’t competent, as though they can accomplish little. Didn’t you get things done? Why can’t they? What you fail to realize is the things you do (policies, technology, attitudes) shape them. They are the product of you. You have to bear ownership for “kids these days”. You broke it so you’ve now bought it. If you hate the things they’ve done or are doing, ask how you’re responsible for it.

I could launch into a conversation about legacy. What are you leaving your children? We don’t live in a vacuum. The stream you dirty may not look so gross now, but it will for your grandkids (or children depending on how fast it’s polluted). So what are you leaving behind?

All I’m asking is that you listen to yourself talk and then think about who you were in the past. Everything isn’t all wrong just because it’s didfernt from how you did things.

I guess I soapbox-ed a little. Forgive me, but some things are worth discussing. We all need to do better, myself included.

So, next up for me is a month in England. I’ll not promise to post regularly, but I’ll make an effort to update when I can. Be kind where you can, folks, the world needs a little kindness right now.

Travel on, road warrior.


Script and Narrative

Literally down to days left in Plymouth before my time off starts. I admit to being very excited to just relax. There is a smidgen of anxiety tied to it where I’m hoping I’ve saved enough to cover all my bills and the fun I plan to have, plus insurance and not getting sick while I’m off. But the thing I’m most excited about is rest, and having a full week of no politics.

So, I realize as I’m typing that, the level of difficulty is going to be high.

When I say I plan to have as little political news intake as possible, I’m serious as a mama rolling up on the maternity unit with one cheek on the wheelchair seat. That’s humor only someone from L&D will get so I’ll say serious as a heart attack.

No news on the phone, restricting tv news to local (if that), no reading and fretting over articles I pass on twitter, and the sidebar news articles on Facebook is a no go (if I get on Facebook at all). This is a full scale block, but not for the reasons you’d think.

Frankly, I’m exhausted by the news pouring in. Exhausted by the attacks, the fearmongering, the sadness, and the feeling of being totally beat down. Make no mistake, I don’t subscribe to the “fake news” propaganda because a free media is important to speaking truth to power, but I’m also a little tired of the overwhelming negativity that gets reported, ad nausem. In the past, even when things have been low, there’s been bright spots and positive moments to balance. There’s not been much to make me believe in my fellow human beings lately. Maybe that’s on me, to make the positive or be the positive or find the positive, but I’m so beat right now I just need to unplug it. *burn it to the ground!*

It makes me think of rhetoric, which I wanted to put in the title of this post. Rhetoric can have a negative tone as a person’s attempts at persuasion can come off as insincere and meaningless. I’m not going to argue politics as I don’t have the time or energy to view people I respect in a bad light. I will say that we should all be mindful the rhetoric we’re ingesting and internalizing, and how that’s aiding in rendering us unable to communicate across party/color/socioeconomic lines.

I went with narrative because I feel like it sounds better, even though it’s oft overused (and goes the way of privilege for the feeling it can induce). Narrative makes people consider a story they are telling or being told. What narrative are we working within lately? We need to talk about what we’re hearing. Take the changing language surrounding the DACA program. What started out as kids who were vetted, in school with jobs, longing to find an honest pathway in a situation they had no control over, turned into criminals/vandals/thieves overnight. How does that changing narrative make you feel? Do you find yourself ingesting and internalizing something that you know isn’t necessarily accurate? Furthermore, are you aware how your agreement (or disagreement) makes you come across?

Lets float away from politics, because the Lord knows I’ve cursed way too much over politics lately anyway, back into an area I’m more versed in. Medicine and nursing.

How does the things we think we know shape how we treat patient groups? Take the burgeoning drug epidemic. What narrative do we know about those embroiled in drugs? We have attitudes we develop and sometimes our willingness to treat them with care diminishes. Many studies show we don’t care for women or blacks at the level they deserve. What narrative have we ingested and internalized that makes this so? Think about those things. Do you catch yourself treating these groups differently? Watch your behavior the next time you’re at work. What do you say about them at the desk? Sometimes we don’t realize how our attitudes differ when the person we are dealing with isn’t the norm.

What we consume, we conform to. I’m not different. Things I watch and read shape me and my attitudes. It’s a struggle to be kind when my interactions are tainted by this narrative or rhetoric of badness. Bias creeps in and makes seeing eye to eye harder. I have a choice in what I consume and how I let it shape me, and so do you frankly. If you find your mood sour and your anger quick, unplug. Even if it’s only for a day, what kind of difference will that make in your attitude? I’m not here to change anyone’s mind except my own, but it’s worth asking those questions.

Anyway, countdown to time off! I’m hoping it’s full of relaxing, sightseeing, some visiting, and lots of getting back on track. If you see me out, give a wave. And a shout to my coworkers (both providers and staff) for a lovely 9 months. I hope I make it back to Plymouth to work with you ladies again very soon. You’re definitely cream of the crop.

See you on the other side of unplugged!

Travel on, road warrior

New Year, Old You

I haven’t posted in a month. That means I’ve gone on my cruise, worked, celebrated Christmas, worked, hustled through New Years, and (you guessed it) worked.

Last year I had a couple resolutions. I wanted to be in better shape so I made a go at working out with a trainer in 2016.  I simply continued that into 2017, making it more of a solidification of what I was already doing. Another was a photo a day to remember the good things in life. I also resolved to watch my tongue because I admit to letting a bad word or two fly. I managed the working out because it was less a resolution and more a priority I made for myself. The photo a day lasted 2 months, maybe. I bombed the minding my tongue thing. Like, things got worse and not better.

I’ve come to the conclusion, smartly, that resolutions. Don’t. Work.

Change is something that a new year can’t facilitate. Change takes an internal motivation with external support. Turmoil facilities change. I know the thing that motivated me to start traveling was the fear that I’d never ever leave my hometown. That small town USA would be all I’d know. The idea of that frightened me, and when it started to depress me, I had to move.

We’re a few weeks into 2018 and frankly things haven’t changed much from 2017. The same drama and strife has followed us into this year. We understand each other less and are confused about how to close the divide that’s cleaved us in two. The question there is whether we truly want to come together? Ask yourself that as outrage and anger and confusion continue to reign. Is this year going to be different in a good way or a bad way?

My desires run more towards hopes. I hope I’m kind to myself and others. I hope I’m honest where it’s necessry. I hope I’ll mind my outrage and keep it for things that are important. I hope I’m wise where it’s required. I hope I keep my mouth shut when I need to. I hope I offer support to those who need it. I hope I remind someone to stand on their two feet because they’re capable. I hope I work and go somewhere new. I hope I continue to give my delivering moms the best birth experience I can. I hope I can do a better job of connecting with my friends

Advocate, care for, build up, encourage, and try to honor my values. If it’s the right thing, do it. Mobs become mobs for a reason. If being right means going against the tide, do it, but make sure you understand what right truly is. Truth will always be truth no matter who’s in charge, so remain focused on that.

Don’t lose yourself trying to be something you aren’t, friend. I’ll make sure I’m aiming for the right kind of change in my life and you do the same. As always, I’m pulling for you.

So what’s up next for me?

Two more weeks and then I’m off for 2 months! I’m home for a bit and then off to England again. I’m very excited to explore many places in the UK and then come back here fresh. I hope I can blog a bit more while I’m off too

Who knows where I end up for the spring/summer? We’ll see I guess.

Here’s to holding the line.

Travel on, road warrior

I’ll Do You A Favor

On my way to cruise out for the next 7 days. I, for one, am happy to not have to work for a week and for being in total sunshine while the temperature continues to drop at home. It snowed on my way out of the northeast and I was appalled.

Full disclosure, I’m a militant traveler. What I mean by that is I’m very much a stickler for time and organization when it comes to getting to, being at, and leaving the airport. If you ever travel with me I have rules. 1) we get to the airport two (2) hours early for domestic and three (3) for international. 2) pack your bags and take your stuff out at TSA in a timely manner. I will get grouchy if you’re with me and shoes/coats/stuff isn’t out of your pockets and/or your bag isn’t packed correctly, leading to the inevitable search of your belongings. 3) always go to the gate first before exploring. I can’t explain this rule. It’s just something I have to do. I travel alone so much my routine through the airport is pretty much set. I can get cranky when I’m with others who mess the travel scheme up.

Listen, I know my limitations and admit to them. No one’s perfect, certainly not me when it comes to cruising through the airport.

Enough about my travel behavior. Let’s talk about some things we should avoid as travelers (or new employees) when we get to a new place. Let’s call it Nurse C’s ways to not get lumps of coal when you’re a traveler. I’ll just do my top 3 today.

1. There’s a fine line between offering advice and “Well, this is how we did it where I worked before”.

I’ve made this mistake in the past so let me save you. Unless they’re asking for advice on how things are somewhere else (or practice isn’t safe), don’t make a comment about how you’ve done things else where. It makes people irritable because it comes off as a critique and not advice. Unsolicited, your criticism makes people uninterested in what could potentially be a good change. Tone and timing are everything, also.

2. People need to know about your experience, but be careful it doesn’t come across as bragging.

This one trips me up occasionally. Not because I’m bragging about how long I’ve done this, but because I do want to let people know I’m not a novice. Sometimes, too much of a good thing can come across as bad. Let actions speak for themselves. People will understand when you conduct yourself with best practice. Show your experience even as you tell it.

3. Getting all the information on your patient is important, but don’t ask about things you can look up yourself.

This is for anyone. You don’t need to know how long she was in labor if she’s 4 days post op. I have no idea, nor do I care frankly. It’s not important to the care she’s getting on discharge day. It also doesn’t matter what her antibody screen is as long her blood type isn’t one we have to watch for interventions. If you care, look it up. There are the big important things and there is the not so important things. Don’t make report the trial it already is after I’ve been awake far too long and my words no longer make sense. I’d like to add that there’s no need to scrutinize someone’s charting unless it’s a blatant absence of information from their shift (I want to write a whole post about this but I won’t. You’re welcome). Otherwise, worry bout yoself.

That’s it. Simple. I’m sure there’s more others could add but those are just a couple of things that are avoidable.

So cruise time for me. More updates to come after I’ve relaxed to the max. Until then

Travel on, road warrior.

See A Chance

Happy Post-Turkey/Pre-Christmas Shenanigans. I hope the holiday season is treating you well so far. Frankly, I’m trying to stave off the insanity of Christmas shopping. I’m not one of those people who was done shopping a month ago, but I’m halfway through and that’s pretty spectacular in my opinion.

With the end of the year comes the time of year when I’m thinking of where I’m going to end up. Things are a bit chaotic as I’m in Plymouth far longer than I would normally remain in the east. That changes my normal plan to head to California the first of the year. I’m a snow bird, as we all know, and I head for warmth as soon as there’s even a hint of winter in the air. My plans are a little thrown off, which makes me wonder if this next year needs to be different.

My initial plan was to just stay where I am in New England for a few more weeks. I could finish and then take another trip to England only for 3 weeks instead of 4 days. Well that didn’t pan out. Now it’s trying to decide what to do next and I’m stressing through it.

Next year in May makes 5 years of straight traveling. That’s not a long time, but it feels long. I have these moments where I’m desperate for a break. Not just one or two or even three weeks off, but longer. Not from traveling, but from nursing itself. From staring at monitors, stressing about strips, worrying about making mistakes, or fretting about outcomes.

You can love something and need time away from it. We go and go until we’re forced to stop or we hate what we do so much we up and leave. We seem to take pride in burning ourself out. The funny thing is when the opportunity to take five comes, we don’t always take it. We waffle because money, family, obligations, obligations, obligations.

I may have the chance to take a break and I’m battling with whether I should take the chance. What if I don’t budget enough money or something happens or… or…

I realize that I have a lot of privilege in the decision I’m trying to make. I realize not everyone gets to be in a position where they can choose between taking time off and working to make ends meet. I’m very privileged.

So shouldn’t I seize the chance when its presented to me? I could try to find a short 8 week contract and hope I can get 3 weeks off, or I can budget my money and just take 11 weeks off. Get my big trip to England in and figure out the direction my career should take next. Which would you do if you could swing it?

Oh there’s a number of things I need to sort like finances and insurance. I’ve had a sleepless night or two lately as I’ve pondered the right thing to do. I already have some ideas on how to make it work, but it’ll require a bit of lean living for a bit. Not like I don’t need to live a little leaner anyway.

I feel like if I do what I normally would I’ll miss a chance to experience something awesome. Life has enough regrets that I’d hate to make this one.

Life sometimes gives us the opportunity to take big chances. Scary chances, exciting chances, daring chances. There’s a lot of what-ifs tied to stepping out, but there’s also a lot of freedom too. It requires thinking things through, but it also requires jumping and seeing where you land.

I guess I’ll do something that others may think is reckless. I’m a travel nurse though so a lot of what I do requires a certain degree of recklessness.

So, here’s to jumping and seeing where we land, eh?

Travel on, road warrior

Story Break

A little storytelling for you as a break from my usual work/travel/life lamenting. If stories aren’t your thing, come back next week and I’ll get at you with that usual stuff.

Halfway through NaNoWriMo so I thought I’d hit you with a small sample of my writing. This is a very short story, about 300 words. Titled Beauty Queen. Have Maroon 5’s She Will Be Loved playing in the background to help move you along.

“I believe we’ll have to tuck things in a bit here.”

Patricia’s mother smoothed a hand down her bare side, pinching the skin by her hip. She looked at the hand in question, the skin dotted with aged spots that didn’t match the seemingly ageless face behind her in the mirror.

Her mother would have her freeze her face in perpetual youth as she’d done hers, as she continued to do. The plastic surgeon was on speed dial, second only to the country club she drank at every day. Her mother took her drinking seriously.

“I’d rather not have anything done, mother.”

The timidness in her voice made her cringe almost as much as her mother cupping her breasts through her brand new vermillion bralet. Her breasts were already overflowing the cups.

The ugly way her mother’s face twisted in the mirror made her stomach twirl. The pinch of nails on the sides of her breasts was unbearable, but she stayed still as was expected.

“Patricia Ann, beauty queens do what’s necessary to stay on top.”

She didn’t want to be on top. Patricia wanted to be sixteen and using her height for playing basketball instead of showing off her legs to gross male judges. She wanted to talk to boys her age instead of being touched by guys her father’s age.She wanted to be anything except a beauty queen.

She wanted to be Patty.

Her mother turned away and then turned back with one of the crowns she’d recently won. The gaudy crown settled on her head and she felt its weight in her soul.

“You’re nothing without your beauty.”

It was obnoxiously big and riddled with diamonds. An ugly reminder, like the trophies and gowns and shoes overflowing her room, that beauty was all there was to Patricia.

The Art of Charge

Breaker breaker. Radioing in from Rhode Island Comic Convention on this ridiculously chilly November day.

My second foray into nerdom. I rarely venture here as I’m not a nerd, but nerd adjacent/by proxy. I know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to follow things closely. It’s as important as my dose of cultural enlightening frankly

To the topic at hand: the importance of a good charge nurse.

Do not make the mistake of underestimating the role a good charge or team leader plays on the health and safety of a shift. You have a manager, but you need a leader to help the shift run smoothly. That person who takes the lead has to have important characteristics.

Experience: for a speciality like L&D, being in the field longer than a year or two makes you a better charge. Not because with less you can’t function as charge, but because you come to a point when you’ve done this long enough that you know instinctively what to plan for with a patient. I say this for travelers also, by the third year you feel less like you’re drowning and you know your speciality. The longer you’re at this the easier it is to navigate pitfalls.

Advising: you can direct the staff on how to handle trouble. You know how to plan and you can guide your staff members in planning or dealing with the patients.

Floor knowledge: the reason I won’t do charge as a traveler is because, while I know my specialty and can trust my gut with a patient, I don’t always know the floor as well. You have to know where everything is on the floor. Stuff for nursery, numbers to call, equipment placement.

Readiness: you have to be comfortable stepping in when you’re called upon. A combative patient, a confrontation with a staff member, a bad baby in the nursery, doing all the paperwork for a transfer. Backing a delivery or helping clean up if you can. You’ve got to be ready to do or know what’s happening.

Flexibility: I don’t expect you to take a labor or 4 couplets, but I want you to do it without complaint if you have to. Especially if I’m busting tail. Get your stuff done so if I need you or you’re called away, I’m not having to do your stuff too. Nothing bothers me more than saying you’ve got things to do and not actually doing them, getting busy, and then turfing your work to someone else (within reason!).

One important thing that makes or breaks charge for me is an awareness of your workers’ assignments. You give out assignments with the full awareness that if someone gets busy, you can reassign with ease. Don’t let your people drown because you’re not aware of what a bad assignment looks like. Is your person running around while everyone else sits? Either they’re one of those people who likes to look busy or they truly are busy. The former is best ignored after asking once if they’re okay and the latter requires reshuffling. A finger on the pulse of the floor is necessary for a good charge.

It sounds like I’m expecting a lot. I’m not sure it’s that so much as I’m looking for someone I can go to.  Even if we have the same level of experience, I want to be able to turn and look at you and know you’ve got my back. All those things listed fall under that banner for having my back as charge. It’s important to my level of comfort on a shift.

Having worked with charges in the past that have left me feeling like I have to make sure I have my own back, this is something I’ve been wanting to speak on.

Respect to all the good charge nurses and team leads out there. You’re the real MVPs.

Back to nerdom.

Travel on, Road Warriors

Team Player

Come one, come all. Settle in for your weekly bit of traveling nursing fluff to carry you into the next week. Frankly, and I’m surprised no one else realizes this, everything I post here are my general musings and things I think on or need to remember. I’m always trying to learn all I can to make navigating this travel life, life in general really, better. As you can tell, I manage it better some days and others I’m falling woefully short on the being a decent person bit.

In that same vein (and before I jump into my post), I try not to remark on the world at large because I’m all about sunshine and light here. Okay, I’m really about vacations and good food, same difference. It’s worth noting that being good to each other is an edict not taken very seriously. I find people are more interested in proving a point or being right as opposed to helping each other and building each other up. How far does being right get you in the end? Oh, you’ve succeeded in getting your point across, but have you lost the overall goal of drawing someone to your way of thinking? The writerly advice of showing and not telling (or beating someone to death with it) may offer a better approach.

But on to what you came here for…

My post itself is on the idea of being a team player, but maybe not quite in the way you’re imagining.

Recently, I was asked if I was free to come in to work. I said no at the time because I wasn’t. As many of you may realize, days off are a commodity to be hoarded with everything you have. Nurses are notorious for working their hours a week and then coming in because the floor has exploded and every pregnant woman in the area has decided to have their baby (or whatever your specialty equivalent is).

I was mentioning it to me mother, the saying no portion, and this is what she said.

“I guess you’re not a team player today.”

*record screech*

And then her head spun around on her shoulders and she exploded in a rage

Here’s why I don’t think the fair to use this phrase in conjunction with any nurse ever.

Nurses are carers and givers by nature. You can’t do this for any length of time unless your desire is to help people. Money won’t keep you because we don’t make enough for what we do.

We come in time and time again, at the expense of our wellbeing. If you work a night shift, you know that first day off isn’t really a day off. You’re a zombie. For instance yesterday, I had 2-3 hours of sleep post-work and woke up with zero desire to do anything. I don’t know how you people with kids manage. I literally laid in bed for hours after I opened my eyes debating what to have for dinner because cooking wasn’t an option. It’s hard to then think about coming in on your first full day off when you know it’s the only day you’re fully functioning before you have to go back to work again.

So we always come in when we’re asked, but it’s typically short on the floor. The nursing shortage is a known fact, and yet the expectation is that you’ve always worked short so if you’re a good unit you’ll pull together and find a way to make it work. It means working odd shifts, coming in on your day off for overtime, working unheard of hours of overtime to cover, and begging your coworkers to come in.

Why? Because you’re a team player. Be a team player


When I’m at work, I give 100% of myself to my job. I’m here to help my coworkers, the providers, and care for my patients. Every travel assignment gets my all because I’m a nurse no matter where I am, and good care matters to me. But this be a team player bit has real consequences. People get burnt out, retire, or leave the bedside because they’re tired of always giving everything to the hospital without anything much to show for it. You’re not getting time off or away to revive yourself so you start to hate it.

Days off, distance, and balance matter. Don’t let anyone use the ‘be a team player’ gambit to shame you into giving up your days off. Its wrong and we need to stop it before we lose more good people. I will never be upset if you tell me you can’t come in extra. It’s your day off so enjoy it.

Self-preservation. Mental maintenance. Self-care. Call it what you’d like here, but honor it just the same.

So… there’s my rant for the week.

In other news, it’s NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. I’m trying to write a bit as I haven’t participated in a long while. I may even post a story here next week to give you something other than travel nursing anecdotes. Also on the docket is another comic con, this time in Rhode Island. I’m only going one day, but because I’m me, I’ve added a Rhode Island food tour in the mix. Exciting times here, folks.

Stay safe, stay warm, stay dry, and stay kind.

Travel on, road warrior.

Even Good Things Change

Hello! Sorry for the month long radio silence. I went to England with plans to post and it didn’t happen, came back and got super sick for a week and a half following my trip, and have just recently stopped feeling like a whiny baby because of sinus trouble. All this to say, I didn’t get around to blogging like I planned. That’s life though, isn’t it? We sometimes make plans, but come to alternate outcomes.

The Lord determines our steps

I’m well in the midst of another contract here in Plymouth. 3 weeks in and 11 weeks left (I’m taking a week off in December). I’ve been here since May and I always have to remind myself that I’m not permanent.

I continue to travel for very specific reasons. I enjoy the change, the ability to see different places, and the general freedom traveling affords me. There’s risks involved in traveling, yes, but I find that the rewards out weigh any pitfalls.

One of the biggest things I’ve always struggled with in extending on assignments is getting comfortable and complacent. It’s easy to settle in and allow the current workplace drama (I’m not saying there’s drama here) to infiltrate your life. The circus and the monkeys start to become yours. If you thrive on change, it can make you irritable.

Another equally important thing is you notice when things start to change. When providers are grumpier than they used to be or coworkers are more upset about changes or cohesion is shaky. When you’re only someplace 3 months, you don’t care or notice otherwise. That’s the thing with staying put, you care.

Caring as a traveler isn’t a bad thing. People have this misconception that travelers are incapable of giving their all because they aren’t invested in the hospital. Untruth. I give my 100% everywhere I go because I’m a nurse no matter what. I want my patients to know they will get good care from me and I want my coworkers to know I’m a team player. What I don’t want to get involved in is politics. As long as the dramatic changes going on in the hospitals don’t affect my ability to work, the drama doesn’t matter to me. Staying removed is more difficult the longer you stay.

Lets not ignore the pluses to extending. Being in a work environment you like, knowing the routine, being able to navigate the area and the hospital with ease, and having the trust of your coworkers. I don’t want to let those things go without being said.

I can tell I’m ready to try something new though. The thrill of change is calling me. To keep me sharp, keep me energetic, and keep me loving what I do. Let’s be real, sometimes this isn’t fun. It wears you down and makes you question why you decided to be a nurse. I want to make sure I’m staving off that attitude as much as possible, and keeping moving is how I do it.

It’ll be time to investigate my next place to be. Will it be California again or somewhere totally new? Time will tell. Until then?

Travel on, road warrior