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Emerald Health Services

A Day In The Life Of a Fast-Paced Travel Nurse

Nursing is a second career for Summer. She was an investment banker and loan officer for many years, but her favorite part of the job wasn’t crunching numbers. It was getting to interact with people.

Even in the banking industry, she loved to serve, talk to and learn about the people she came into contact with. In those ways, at least for Summer, banking and nursing careers aren’t all that different. But when life steered Summer toward a career change, becoming a nurse was the natural next step. In this interview, she tells us why she chose to become a travel nurse.

Why did you become a nurse, and how did it lead you to travel nursing?

I’ve always been a people person; I’m upbeat and positive. When I was a banker, many of my clients were in the healthcare field, and what they did always fascinated me. Transitioning to a nursing career from the banking world was a way for me to enter a more fast-paced job, and increase my ability to interact with people. I was kind of bored with banking and finance, but I’m definitely never bored as a nurse.

I was a permanent nurse for 2.5 years as a resource nurse, so I worked in a lot of different departments. I liked that because it didn’t tie me down to one thing, which is also why I love travel nursing. Even in banking I would move from branch to branch, so I’ve always been somewhat of a gypsy.

What do you like most about traveling?

Meeting new people, seeing new things, learning new nursing techniques, being on different units. When I work on new units I always learn new skills, and I never stop learning no matter what my age is. I like to explore new towns, do new things, eat at new restaurants, and go shopping in new cities. On my time off I exercise, lift weights, bike, run, hang out with my travel buddy pup, Iris, and I do a lot of things with my elderly mother.

The permanent staff always seem to love me – we crack jokes and have fun together!

How is being a travel nurse different than permanent staff?

I like the freedom. I’m at a point in my life that I don’t want to be committed to one permanent staff where I’m obligated to go to meetings, be on committees, etc. I want to embrace my life the way it is now, unencumbered by “moving up the ladder”. I want to be the best bedside nurse I can possibly be.

What is the most rewarding part of traveling?

Making people feel better in one of the most horrible situations of their lives is rewarding for me. Whatever brought them to the hospital is putting them under tremendous stress, but I can brighten their day be simply getting to know them and sharing my own life experiences. When I laugh and joke with a patient, they might even forget why they’re in the hospital for a moment.

What is the most difficult part of traveling and how do you cope?

traveling nurseIt can be challenging to multitask so many patients who come and go so quickly – you have to make the best and most informed decisions about their care quickly. Even so, I’m always able to take a step away, take a deep breath, maybe talk to another nurse and share a laugh or two, and get back on my role.