Out On Assignment: Courtney, RN
You hear it repeatedly— travel nurses must hit the ground running, prepared for anything. With the constant air of change, sometimes the little moments at the end of a day, like a nice meal your past self graciously prepared in advance, can be a cozy constant.
Courtney is a traveling Mother/Baby RN working on her third extension in Plano, TX. A typical shift begins with Courtney checking if she’s the Charge or Resource RN for the nursery or if she’s working Mother/Baby and preparing for the night.
What is Mother/Baby care?
For those unfamiliar with the position, Mother/Baby nurses (also referred to as Postpartum nurses) specialize in attending to the physical and emotional health needs of patients along with their newborns after the labor process is finished. These are the friendly faces who pop in throughout the night to make sure everything is all right.
This is a relatively recent way to go about maternity care. The predecessor approach comprised of keeping the babies in a nursery (picture any TV show from the 90s where new parents point out their newborn among a crowd). However, now it’s more common to have the only time the baby would leave the bedside is during the assessment, procedure, or if they were sick and required special medical and nursing attention.
The benefits of mother and baby being roomies right away, says a nurse in the field, is that the arrangement allows parents an opportunity to ask questions and be coached on their skills. At the same time, they still have a nurse close at hand, possibly decreasing the number of newborns returning to the hospital for feeding and breathing issues.
Courtney gets to be that guiding hand wherever she's scheduled. “If I’m in the nursery, I am a resource for all the nurses on the floor when it comes to calling pediatricians or doing tasks that need to be done on the babies to care for them. If I am on Mother/Baby that night, I care for both mom and baby and ensure all my tasks are completed before the incoming shift arrives. I ensure mom and baby are stable and answer any questions the parents might have about their plan of care, their newborn, or anything else they might want to know!”
The long and winding road of a traveler
“I have grown tremendously by becoming a traveler,” Courtney says. Although she’d always felt highly independent before traveling, she felt a newfound sense of it after she started. “You get pushed out of the bubble you were in. It’s a type of freedom, and that’s something I really appreciate. Traveling gives you a new perspective on almost everything.” She adds, “I also enjoy seeing the different ways hospitals operate and run their floors. Not one place has been the same, and I think that’s cool.”
Becoming a traveler inherently comes with professional and personal growth, which can be very rewarding. Because you encounter various people and situations, you’re forced to be adaptable, think critically, and learn to communicate effectively. There’s also something to be said for developing the life skills needed to pick up and move to new locations, find your way around, and get acquainted with your surroundings.
“My advice to new travelers would be to make sure you feel like you have a solid foundation before you go. You only get 1-2 days of orientation—then you are on your own. I would also recommend finding housing or looking at the housing prices in the areas your potential contract might be before you sign the contract to make sure you can comfortably afford it,” says Courtney, “My best travel hack would be to get used to being a minimalist. Take only what you might need for your assignment and not much more. You’ll always buy things in each location, which can be a lot if you’re on your own!”
Get started with GetMed
Courtney’s story is just one of many we love hearing from our travelers. Becoming a medical traveler isn’t for everyone. It takes a unique combination of tenacity, curiosity, and empathy, but if it sounds like you, we’d love to get you on the road to a rewarding career!
GetMed Staffing is a diversity-owned healthcare staffing agency that prioritizes each healthcare professional. Our recruiters are dedicated to each of their travelers and passionate about helping them succeed. Contact us today.