Even before I started traveling, my line of work required I work in hospitals or departments different from what I was used to in my regular position. See, I taught for 2 years. Yes, me, I taught. Lecture and clinical, two things I did and got decent enough at (when my students were cooperative and helped make it great) over time.
Anyway, clinical required going to a facility I wasn’t at all familiar with, trying to find my way around, learning their charting system, dealing with nurses I wasn’t familiar with, and had the added benefit of trying to teach others how to navigate it as well.
I was training to be a first class traveler before the thought even entered my mind.
I had someone use this very good analogy recently to describe travel nursing and I find it fits to a T.
“Travel nursing is like cooking your favorite meal in a stranger’s kitchen. The ingredients have a different name, are in a different place, or are missing all together.”
You know how to do your job and you’re darn good at it… But then you go somewhere else and they do what you do except not exactly?
They don’t use cytotec the same, they only put IV piggy back medications on pumps, they take two hours to recover their patient, they don’t remove the foley until the patient is nearly crowning, they don’t bathe the baby until 12 hours after delivery, their doctors are way different, and so on. Oh! Your nurses can put on FSEs or place IUPCs? Nice
I can’t find the whatsmajig, the whosamewhatsit, or the thingamabob I need for my delivery. Where is the bakrim balloon, the vacuum suction, and do you still use forceps?!
They let their patients push for how long????!
The list goes on, friends. It becomes a real learning experience to adapt and assimilate after 3 shifts of orientation. That’s travel nursing, questioning why but being willing to do (as long as it’s safe).
You may find that practice is better, safer, or smarter. You may pick up a skill you couldn’t have in your perm position, or you may learn what hospitals to stay far away from.
But you always learn and that’s what I love about my job.
So here’s to the strange hospitals and even stranger practices.
Always leaning, always.
Travel on, road warrior