The Gypsy Nurse could not be successful without the support and contributions of it’s readers. Today’s Travel Nurse Interview is from reader and Travel Nurse Lori Mercer, RN.
Name: Lori Mercer, RN
Level of Education: ASN
Do you suffer from Hypertravelosis? YES
What are your Symptoms of Hypertravelosis? Starting sentences with “I would love to go to…” or “I wish I could…”, Thoughts of changing nursing field., Frequent job changes., A feeling of dread prior to going to work.
How long have you been traveling? Novice Traveler < 1 year
How many locations have you traveled? 2
Please list them.
What was your favorite location? Favorite Hospital? Why?
Location: Brattleboro VT so far. It is absolutely gorgeous here. The fall colors we astounding. One day there was a thunderstorm and I had never heard a storm in the mountains and it echoed off of the mountains. It was quite awesome.
Brattleboro Memorial. They treat me as if I am a staff nurse. Everyone works as a team. It is a very laid back experience. I was welcomed with open arms when I arrived.
What is the longest you’ve been in one location? The shortest?:
Longest: I have only done 13 wk contracts so far in both assignments.
Shortest: 13 wks
Share why you started Travel Nursing:
I have 2 people at home who inspired me. Mary Anderson is a long time OB/GYN nurse of about 15+ years. When I was going to nursing school she would tell me stories about her assignments. During 911 she could see the smoke from the twin towers as she was around the Boston area at that time. Robin Williams is another one. She graduated nursing school worked a year as staff in Med Surg and went into traveling and has made it work. Then of course there is the Caravan. Hearing all of the stories, good and bad, really made me want to travel. I also was seeing that I could not advance where I was at as a staff nurse and I was getting the itch to change jobs again.
Was there someone that inspired you?:
Find someone to do things with while on assignment. So far I have not been able to find anyone to do things with. If you don’t mind exploring on your own then you are golden. I myself like to have someone to talk to while exploring. Do as much as possible and enjoy where you are at even if the hospital is not the most pleasant. Trip advisor will tell you the most popular things to do in your area.
Have you changed specialties while traveling? Please explain.
No still ER junkie but I can work other places, as I floated for a year at home. I choose not to change my specialty though.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new travel nurse, what would it be? (feel free to list more than one).
Research, research, research. I feel like I did not do enough research. I do not think I have learned enough but am still learning and still looking up information. The more I learn the more I share.
Tell me about an experience that stands out from you Travel Nurse career. It could be clinical, funny, while on the road, etc.
I had taken care of a patient and had a great experience, discharged to home with diverticulitis on antibiotics. Two days later same patient came in by EMS and looked like crap, I did not recognize him. The wife yelled at me, hey you, I turned she goes you took awesome care of my husband 2 days ago, I want you. I told them that it was not my section but I would be in direct contact with the nurse and the patient for his stay. It meant a lot to me that a patient recognized me and that they wanted me to take care of them. When you work as a traveler especially in a big city hospital you are not recognized unless it is by frequent flyers. Evidently I made a great impression on this patient.
What do you feel was the biggest mistake that you made related to travel nursing? What advice would you give a new traveler to prevent making the same mistake?
Research the hospital before you tell a recruiter to submit you. Make sure you ask the manager why they are using travel nurses and how many they have and if there is several why do they have that many travel nurses.