Travel nursing can be a tough position to take on with new assignment locations every other month, new coworkers, lack of social connections and sometimes solo travel. This role can take a lot out of a person…
Luckily, our latest Travel Nurse Spotlight is about one of our kindest travel pairs to date – Shelly and Greg! Shelly and Greg have been with KPG Healthcare since 2019 but have been in the healthcare field for a bit longer. Continue reading to learn more about this DAISY award-winning travel pair!
Let’s meet Shelly and Greg!
Shelly hails from the state of Mississippi whereas Greg is from the sunny state of Florida. They met at a local tiki bar when Greg was an ocean lifeguard – and the rest is history. Both graduated in 2006 with their nursing degrees and have been travel nurses for 13 years this October. Both started as Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses for eight years before transferring into Med Surg/Tele roles.
Before their nursing degrees, both were already in the field of healthcare with Shelly being an endodontist assistant and Greg being a policeman, firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and more. After they met, they both agreed “nursing was the next step” in their careers.
As Med Surg/Tele nurses, their responsibilities are boiled down to “basically being the doctor’s eyes and ears.” From assessing patients to administering proper medications, and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of responsibilities in their role. However, with great responsibilities comes challenges.
Time is always an enemy – no matter the industry – but when nurses are juggling five or more patients it could be challenging to get all the charting done promptly. For Shelly and Greg, one of the biggest challenges they faced was working with family. “Family is always a little hard to handle, which means always caring more than just your patient,” Shelly explained.
Greg added that with the pandemic, “all the [preparation] you have to do before going into COVID units” was a challenge in the beginning. Like many healthcare workers and facilities around the world, PPE was in short supply, which added an additional challenge to patient care and the safety of healthcare staff. “Everything but the gloves had to be reused – we even had to share hoods,” Greg said.
After working through the pandemic, both would love to see positive change within the industry. From better preparation at handling a pandemic to acquiring more ventilators, more PPE to better emergency plans, there are lessons to be learned here for hospitals across the globe. “It was tough having to share PPE in the beginning,” Greg said, “and we hope change will come.”
Through the challenges, Shelly and Greg managed to both stay organized and agreed “start your day organized and if you don’t you will struggle all day. Come in runnin’ equals keeping an hour ahead.” Persevering from challenges enables us to learn and/or adapt specific skillsets we develop through the years of working.
For Shelly and Greg, they developed and refined their skills through various assignments. Shelly feels she has a better memory without having to write things down – “I can remember a patient from two months ago.” Greg jokingly said, “as a man, my multitasking has gotten a little better…[men] aren’t great multitaskers.” Both agreed their communication skills have also improved as they continue to work in California where they’ve been exposed to different cultures and traditions.
Even with the pandemic, Shelly and Greg have managed to remain positive and bring joy to any facility they walk into. Because of their positivity and being all-around exceptional people, they became recipients of the DAISY Award this year. Shelly mentioned that “one thing we do in the hospital, we are always smiling and saying ‘Hello’ to everybody. Always upbeat and happy.”
“We really enjoy helping people, making good money so we can enjoy our lives, making a bunch of friends…we love what we do.”
After spreading joy at their facility, Shelly and Greg love to spend their days off outdoors (surfing, paddle boarding, and swimming), getting some grub, exploring new areas and for Shelly, mixology. She says she probably picked too many cocktails during the pandemic but recommends giving the Hawaiian Mimosa a try.
Being travel nurses for over a decade and having traveled all over the country, they would love to have their next assignment be in either Hawaii or Guam! Overall, both Shelly and Greg have enjoyed traveling. “We’ve been blessed,” Shelly said, “Met such good people along the way – the job has been a blessing helping people.”
Shelly and Greg, it is such an honor to have you both be part of the Travel Nursing Team. Leading examples of what determination, excellence, kindness and love look like – the DAISY Award is proof of just that. From all of us here at KPG Healthcare, we want to thank you for the dedication and kindness you continue to show every day – it truly makes the world a better place.
Keep up the fantastic work!
Advice for anyone interested in pursuing Travel Nursing:
- Get two years of experience for a good foundation.
- Working on your communication and organization means you’ll be ahead of the game.
- Research destinations
- Go through KPG!