I initially tried to keep this site as impersonal as possible and focus on just the stories but in doing so I realised I missed the main point of these stories. They are personal, most of these stories posted are my stories. I always wondered from a young age how people would perceive me but at the end of the day we all enjoy a good story intact we all live a never-ending story full of twist turns and drama. My goal is to share healthcare stories from my viewpoint as a nurse.
So little background, my name is Curtis and I have been an Emergency Room (ER) nurse for 10 years. I graduated nursing school at 19 and started working in a small 3 bed ER. It was just me and another nurse named Joe. Joe had been a nurse for 40 years so I had a great teacher. Thinking back I cannot help but laugh. The ER was so small during the week on day shift we did not even have a doctor in the ER, they where across the street at the clinic working. All day Joe would teach me what to order and what medications to give and at the end of the day the doctor on call would just come over review what Joe and I did and sign off on the charts. Yes, I know how crazy it sounds but that’s just how it was.
On the weekends there where primarily two doctors that flew in to work the ER. They where on call for 48 hours straight Saturday and Sunday so they would see patients all night and sleep as much as possible during the day. One doctor was a research doctor from Texas. He would get off Monday and drive straight to the nearest airport an hour and half way to get home. The other doctor was from Arizona. He was old but still working to pay for his kids way though college.
After about 4 months there I got a job a Level 2 trauma hospital, talk about a culture shock. I went from having no doctor to 3 doctors and 3 nurse practitioners or physician assistants all the time. There was a lot of trauma and I had some really good teachers. They where all older than me and one called me affectionately “Little Boy.” They taught me to think fast and stay calm no matter what. They where strict though, you either fit in and did the work or they found a way to get you out of the department. I remember worrying about getting fired for not being good enough but they were always so patient in my growth as a young nurse. I appreciate all of them and have not found a more cohesive teams of nurse since.
I was there a year and a half and met 2 travel nurses who encouraged me to become a traveling nurse. They told me of their travels and the great pay and I have been hooked on travel nursing ever since. My first assignment was in Texas and have not taken a full-time job in 8 years. I took a break for a year and ran an urgent care with a great doctor I met in my travels. I also did some cruise ship nursing thanks to that same doctor and those are stories and adventures for another day. Now I do Per Diem work which is basically the same as travel nursing. I still choose where and when I work but no officially contractual obligations to work.
Travel nursing is the best choice I have made as a nurse and I highly recommend it to anyone who is able to manage not always working with the same nurses and doctors everyday. If you have that flexibility, you can pick and chose like me when and where to work and make twice the amount of money and take vacations as often as you choose. Right now I am getting married next week and going to Jamaica and taking time off work for 3 weeks to relax and enjoy my new wife. If you are working as a staff nurse you hope to get 2 weeks off a year but I have been taking a week off every month for the last year and a half travel and be with her.
Well I hope everyone had a wonderful week and I look forward to sharing more stories soon. If you have any questions about nursing or my experiences as a nurse leave me a question or comment and I will answer. Follow me @wnygroup on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more stories and general healthcare related humour.