A Day in the Life of a Home Health Travel NursePosted On January 5, 2018
After many years as a business person, Nancy’s desire to become a nurse took over and the profession became her second career. It wasn’t long until she fell in love with home health, a phenomenal nursing specialty that fits her like a glove. She and her husband have set a goal to retire in the future, which influences their priority set as they travel together. Read a day in the life of a home health travel nurse from her perspective about patients, travel and her travel nursing “why”.
Describe why you wanted to become a nurse, and how it’s led to you wanting to be a travel nurse.
I love being a nurse, and consider it more of a calling than a job. I always traveled a bit in my corporate days, so travel nursing was an ideal opportunity. Traveling gives me and my husband the chance to “try on” different areas – spending a period of time somewhere during my assignments to explore, and see if it’s a place we’d consider retiring. Our dog travels with us, so you can take your family with you!
What made you interested in home health?
Prior to home health I was an oncology nurse – when I was ready for a change, a home health position opened up, and making the rounds on patients at their homes sounded interesting to me. In the hospital, you’re very focused on why they’re in the hospital, but when you’re in their home you see a totally different dimension of the patient: their environment, family, and other things that may influence their health. I enjoy seeing patients as a total person, beyond a disease process or acute situation.
How is traveling in this position different than permanent staff?
It’s been really important to make sure I’m a part of the team, and not just a traveler that just picks up an assignment and leaves. I develop relationships in the office, which is especially important in home health because I work with several positions. Because I’m there short-term, I don’t get caught up in dynamics and corporate structure/politics; I’m removed from that and can focus on inter-office relationships and focus on patients.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When there’s a good outcome for a situation that may have been difficult, and developing relationships with patients and their family members. Sometimes it’s sad, but at the same time it’s such a rich experience to be a part of helping the family, meeting theirs and the patients’ wishes.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
I do everything from diabetic management, wound care, neuro, and cardio – no two patients are the same, and no day is the same which can be very challenging, but I love the challenge. There is a huge teaching element with patients and caregivers to get good outcomes, enabling me to really get involved and see the social dynamics with patients.
Describe your typical day in the life of a home health travel nurse
It’s very important to walk into a patients’ house already having taken the time and energy to know their medical history, so you have to be prepared before you walk out the door. I get my cup of coffee and hit the road, making the circuit to see people from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some days are without crisis, but other days I don’t get home until 7 or 8 at night because a situation requires extra help. You never know what the circumstances of the day will be when you leave the house, but you do know that patients are the priority. When you walk through each door, that’s your only patient as far as the family/person is concerned.
How has working with Cirrus Medical Staffing enriched your experience as a travel nurse?
My recruiter, Jennifer Adams, has taught me so much about how the whole process of travel nursing works. This has helped me to have really good experiences, and has seen me through a more challenging assignment. Jennifer’s support allows me to air frustrations, and we celebrate together when something that may not have started out so good turns out great.
I began traveling with Cirrus because a recent supervisor told me about the quality of clinicians that Cirrus places –when she gets a Cirrus nurse, she’s getting the best in the business because they’re on the spot and always positive. I heard the same echoed from nurses that work for Cirrus, along with an appreciation for Cirrus’ consistency in taking care of their travelers.