It’s the first of the month, which means its Nurse Spotlight time!
In light of all the things happening in the world surrounding COVID-19, KPG Healthcare felt a change of pace would do some good even if it’s just for a moment. Without further ado, allow us to introduce one of our travel nurses currently on assignment in Los Angeles, Bailey!
Bailey has been a Step-Down travel nurse for about two years and has been a nurse for a total of 13 years this upcoming May. His nursing career began when he was required to do a project with a healthcare professional as a high school student in Portland, Oregon.
“I originally wanted to pursue a doctor’s career,” Bailey said, “but I was offered to interview a nurse instead.” Bailey was fortunate enough to meet with the assistant deans at the University of Portland for his project, which helped pave his way into a nursing career. The University of Portland is also where he attended nursing school.
“The rest is history.”
As a travel nurse, Bailey has found the best way to navigate through the trials and tribulations that come with the job is being able to adapt. You “must learn how to work with their [work] culture and organization even it may not align with your morals or beliefs,” Bailey explained. A travel nurse has the potential to hop from state-to-state or city-to-city and it can be taxing having to adjust and adapt to so many hospitals within a year.
When entering a new work environment, Bailey recommends being Ms./Mr. Congeniality with an “I know how to do this, but how do you do it here?” perspective. This will tell the other nurses you know how to do the particular task but you want to make sure you are doing to the facility’s standard. Bailey also recommends you make friends on the unit so they can vouch for you in certain situations.
Bailey has learned many skills and life lessons on and off the job throughout his nursing career. Besides learning how to travel light, respecting a work culture but still keeping in mind what is “safe” within your practice is one of the biggest lessons he’s learned, so far. Bailey mentioned, “Once you start travel nursing you see healthcare is even bigger than you realize, then you move to a completely different state and realize things are done so differently.”
Facilities vary from state-to-state, it can even vary from facility-to-facility, but in the end, a travel nurse must be able to switch gears and adjust to the different work environment at the drop of a dime. It’s a skill most travel nurses have developed and refined through their nursing careers.
One aspect of Bailey’s job that many people don’t realize is “nursing is a bizarre job.” “There is protocol in [nurses] brains that makes them tune into autopilot mode,” Bailey explained, “Most people aren’t dealing with life or death situations, but people need to realize we have a very special and unique job most people don’t realize is pretty traumatic.”
Nursing, but specifically travel nursing, can be a taxing job to have and like Bailey said most people don’t realize nursing is pretty traumatic. It’s important to practice self-care and to find time to unwind after long and stressful days. Some of the ways Bailey unwinds after a long shift is to make friends in the area or befriend his coworkers to go grab drinks or food with, solo hikes and to plan mini four- to five-day trips to Hawaii or the Grand Canyon.
Bailey is also a graduate student at Western Governors University where he’s getting his Master’s in Nursing. He’s got a lot on his plate from working 12-hour shifts, finishing up school work, finding time to unwind and planning trips.
KPG Healthcare wants to thank Bailey for his continued service in the healthcare field during this pandemic. Like all healthcare professionals on the frontlines, we see the sacrifice and dedication you have toward your craft and we commend you for that. We also want to congratulate you on your nursing career (so far) and for furthering your education, we continue to be impressed by your work ethic and we are blessed to have someone like you to be part of the KPG Family. Be safe out there!
Advice for New Travel Nurses:
- Always ask questions then compile what’s right for you. Have your top 3 that’s non-negotiable like shift preference.
- Know what you want first then lead with that.