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guest042302019 BSN, RN

Progressive, Intermediate Care, and Stepdown
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guest042302019 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Progressive, Intermediate Care, and Stepdown.

My name is Andrew Craig. A year ago I took the plunge and started travel nursing with my wife. She is also an RN. We often work together on the same unit and same specialty. Travel nursing is the best career decision I have ever made! I'm currently working on the MSN of Nursing Education. My life drastically changed when I started making Youtube videos and writing about Travel Nursing. I enjoy educating travel nurses and helping support the Travel Nursing community.

guest042302019's Latest Activity

  1. guest042302019


    In my humble, non-biased opinion, I think Cerner is the biggest pile of charting poo that has ever hit electronic health records. I would much rather go back to hard copy charting than use that junk. Context: I'm a travel nurse. I've been all over the country and used a few charting systems. My primary experience has been using Epic. It's called Epic for a reason. I wouldn't mind never seeing Cerner again. On the flip side, I'll do my job no matter the software but that doesn't mean I can't grumble a little
  2. As nurses, we work with many types of people. Some really amazing people. Some unsavory people. Some you wouldn't want to be caught dead associating with. Tonight, I was watching Grey's Anatomy! I'm way behind the times as I just started only a few weeks ago. For the die hard fans, I'm on season four so you might remember this episode. An ambulance T-boned another ambulance. One of the paramedics injured kept refusing care from the doctors (2 African Americans). Come to find out the paramedic was a white supremicist and had a HUGE swastika tattooed on his abdomen. This episode is quite timely because I cared for a very similar patient recently. Swastika tattoos. Racist comments. The stereotypical white supremacist. It was quite uncomfortable to say the least. He assumed that I was like him. Whenever he spoke about the African American CNAs, he spoke in derogatory terms that I don't feel the need to repeat here. We've all heard these words before. It was even more uncomfortable when he assumed I would agree or that I was like him. He assumed I believed in the same skewed moral values he had about African Americans. I understand we are supposed to objective during our care. At the same time, I DO NOT share those racist and hateful views these types of people have. I've never understood it and I avoid anyone that is like that in my life. Naturally, I cared for this patient the same as anyone else. That's my job. However, my question is: Can a nurse refuse to care for a patient based upon moral objection?
  3. guest042302019

    Meet Justice Steed, BSN, RN

    Excellent article! I'm glad to learn more about your story.
  4. guest042302019

    What To Know Before Signing a New Grad RN Contract

    I'm a travel nurse. I completely agree with idea that our opinion is unbiased and we do a rapidly ability to evaluate the quality of the floor. However, travel nurses are hired to fill a void. A position. Work from day one. Putting our opinions "out there" can be dangerous in that our contracts are easily cancelled. Most travel nurses would be wise to avoid giving opinions out so readily. People have been cancelled for less I'm sure. Just a thought.
  5. guest042302019

    Travelling OR RN career?

    Thanks for the Traveler Talk shout out! I am very happy people are finding it useful! There is a TON of great information in there! :)
  6. I wrote this on the Facebook Group, "Travel Nurse Network--The Gypsy Nurse" During times of crisis, we should come together in solidarity. I propose we help #healvegas Unfortunately, it feels like we are completely divided at times. Our political system is a nightmare. Our news channels feeds on our fears. It feels like there isn't much positivity left in the world. Even within this travel nurse community, it's hard to read some of the posts. We're so hard on each other. Unnecessarily so... I'm so incredibly tired of it. Same old tune! Perhaps we can, for once, come together and do something truly special as a travel nurse community. This Vegas shooting is a horrible situation. It's unfolding even as I write this. I understand it's a bit early to propose action but I feel compelled to do something! Anything! During these mass casualty situations, the healthcare providers often get forgotten about. The shooting victims are of the utmost importance of course! However, At the same time, we as healthcare professionals suffer too. Ya know? The trauma that providers must feel after taking care of these patients has to be astronomical! Too often I watch disaster unfold on the news and I can't do a damn thing about it... Here's what I'm going to do personally: I'm going to go to the store after I post this and buy a bunch of cards. I'm going to write something. Anything. I don't know exactly but I just want these people to know that they aren't alone, they are making a difference, and we care about them. In the coming days, I'm going to spread the cards around to the hospital break rooms. I'll leave postage on the card so they can send it when it's full. I'm going to encourage nurses, doctors, phlebotomists, and anyone else that's interested in signing to leave a special note and when it's full, have someone send it to one of the hospitals in Vegas! Another Idea: Most of you know I do YouTube videos. We could collaboratively create a giant thank you video for the providers in Vegas while send love and prayers to the Victims! All I would need is a short 15-30 second thank you video from a bunch of travelers out there. However long you want it to be I'll put it in there! I could cut it all together into a giant "thank you video" and send it over to the hospitals social media accounts. I know the healthcare providers that took care of the victims in the Orlando Shooting were traumatized after that incident. Even to this day! What do you think gypsies? Can we come together as a community and do something special for the providers out in Vegas? Please use the #healvegas to help communicate this initiative on social media.
  7. guest042302019

    How to ruffle feathers: Travel Nursing & Bill Rate Transparency

    Congrats! My wife and will be in Madison, WI until December :)
  8. guest042302019

    How to ruffle feathers: Travel Nursing & Bill Rate Transparency

    A company required you to sign a document to not talk with other nurses about your salary? Will you PM me? I'm curious about this.
  9. guest042302019

    How to ruffle feathers: Travel Nursing & Bill Rate Transparency

    Ofcourse! :) I'll do you one better. First, it's a legal obligation and a Youtube Terms of Service that I would HAVE to say if this was sponsored or paid for in some way. The short answer is no. Mark approached me several weeks back when I started to advocate for transparency and change in the travel nursing industry. It was shocked yet intrigued at this company's model. Complete transparency? How is this even possible? I thought what I was asking for didn't even exist yet. I can see how it has a sponsored/infomercial vibe. One might even think he's just trying to get his company out there more. Perhaps. But, more importantly, this company legitimately cares for it's nurses in all fronts. I wish more companies and even our beloved hospitals were this transparent and open with the nurses. We deserve better!! Ya know? The answer is no. It was not sponsored or paid for in any way. I asked to interview him because what he is doing for travel nurses is radically different than 99% of the industry. I'll also quote what I said in the YouTube description: "Disclosure: This IS NOT a sponsored video. I wasn't paid or in any way encouraged to do this video for monetary gain. I've never worked for Meridian Medical Staffing. BUT. When a CEO is willing to have a public, candid conversation with me on YouTube AND I see a company with this level of professionalism, positive treatment of travelers: It makes me WANT to work for them!" Perhaps hospitals could take a page from Meridian's playbook. Maybe nurses wouldn't leave in waves r/t to burnout and crappy hospital practices. IMO Hope that answers your question :)
  10. guest042302019

    How to ruffle feathers: Travel Nursing & Bill Rate Transparency

    LOL! :)
  11. guest042302019

    How to ruffle feathers: Travel Nursing & Bill Rate Transparency

    Completely agree! Extremely refreshing! We will be doing more talks in the future. Where you heading on your first assignment?
  12. As a travel nurse, I'm heavily involved in the community. I scour the facebook groups, LinkedIn posts, and of course, the Allnurses forum. I started travel nursing nearly two years ago and I never want to stop. It's the first time in my nursing career where I don't feel used by the system. Hospitals preach, "Come work in a fast paced environment to develop your nursing skills and learn in a hi-tech technology. We're a teaching hospital that believes in evidenced-based practice and the team environment." Please...What it should say is: "We believe in long hours, crappy schedules, not approving your vacation time, not listening to the needs of the nurse, ridiculously unsafe nurse to patient ratios, marginal pay, dwindling benefits, and bullying is unacceptable but swept under the rug. Wanna work here? When can you start?" Don't believe me? Ask any nurse that's ever worked in the southern half of the country. I once heard a nurse say, "We're worked like Hebrew slaves down there. It's HORRIBLE!" Not meaning to get too biblical. But. Why do you think I haven't and will NEVER work in the south? It's the horrendous treatment of nurses. No thank you! Some people have no choice and to that, I say, "Bless you for hanging in there because thank goodness you're willing to sacrifice for your patients." Without you, who knows if they would be alive. You truly are making a difference even if it feels like a grind. Though, I'm over generalizing the US hospital system but these are common concerns expressed over and over again. What does a nurse do to get away from all that crap? Become a travel nurse of course! I wanted to make better money, change from my mediocre life, and have an adventure. As I've become a more experienced travel nurse, I realized an unfortunate truth. Travel nurses simply don't trust agencies and recruiters. Why? The answer is not very clear. Like most diseases, there isn't one particular cause. Perhaps it's: Crappy treatment of travelers Unethical practices Withholding money Inaccurate paychecks Disgusting housing No advocacy Lack of transparency Dangerous assignments To clarify, those issues above don't speak for EVERY travel nurse agency. There are good ones out there but it is hard to know where to begin. We'll save that process for another time. Recently, I wrote an article on Linkedin: Transparency Needed in Travel Nursing. In the article, I intentionally wanted to strike up a conversation. To get people talking. I knew I was going to ruffle some feathers. Why? Because discussing bill rates in the travel nurse industry is very "hush-hush." But, I believe it should be the direct opposite. There needs to be a change. We need to be more open with each other. On the agency side and on the nursing side. It's a two-way street. I believe the lack of transparency is one of the biggest reasons why travel nurses distrust agencies. Heck, that's probably a big reason why staff nurses distrust hospitals. I wish hospitals listened to nurses more. We really know what the heck we're talking about. I digress. One of the main reasons why travel nurses distrust agencies and recruiters is because of greed. There have been too many crooks out there that have ruined it for everyone. Now, the online culture demolishes any good will an agency or recruiter might be trying to create or comments they add to a conversation. Recruiters are simply scared to engage the community. That's not fair because there are some fantastic ones out there I've had the pleasure of getting to know. My goal is to defibrillate the travel nurse culture. We need to reset if we are going to start a new. But, if we are going to learn from each other, grow, and unite within a common ground, we need to talk about these important issues. One of those important issues is bill rates. If you aren't a travel nurse, bill rate is what the agency bills the organization per hour for your work. On average, it's about 70/hour. However, on average, the travel nurse might get $30-35/hour of that. If we're lucky. But, we don't get $35/hour take home. That $35/hour covers your hourly taxed rate, tax-free per diems, benefits, reimbursements, travel expenses, etc. There's a big misconception that travel nurses are getting rich. That's simply not true. We make good money but we aren't makin' it rain the da' club! In the Linkedin article, I promoted transparency to build trust. Just like any relationship. The more open you are the better you'll bond. The current state is: Traveler's no longer believe agencies are taking a reasonable cut of the bill rate and trickling down a reasonable cut to the travelers. We don't know because we don't have access to the bill rate. I know what you're thinking. It's none of my business. Yes. Yes. I've heard it all before. However, as a travel nurse, we are empowered. We are strong. We sacrifice a great deal to leave our families, friends, and comfort. We risk our license for crappy assignments. It's not all sunshine and rainbows like the facebook ads about traveling nursing will have you believe. We deserve to know as travel nurses. It's the right thing to do. Cough "Agencies hear that?" Cough Sure, travel nursing is awesome! Like, FREAKIN' AWESOME! I think every staff nurse should do it at least once for a number of reasons. The main reason? You can live your life to the fullest because this fantastic career of travel nursing allows you the freedom to do so. For instance, we took nearly 3 months off work our first year (not a typical situation). But, what staff can afford to do that? Not many. As a traveler, you grow professionally, you become stronger, and you live fully. Not to say staff nurses can't do that, but traveling gives you that extra push out the door. Like Gandolf did for Bilbo! In the midst of all that chaos, I unleashed on Linkedin, there were a few companies that stood forward. "Andrew, we've been transparent with our nurses for years. We tell the nurse bill rates and company financials, " they said. I was literally floored when I heard that. This was the CEO of the company! He called me directly. "So, you're telling me transparency helped your business grow?" I asked. "Absolutely," he said. In fact, he had an hour-long conversation with me the first time we talked! What CEO does that? AN HOUR! When's the last time a hospital administrator spent one minute with you? When's the last time your nurse manager spent an hour with you? Never? What a great opportunity to pick the brain of an industry expert. The point is there are some great companies out there. Treating their travel nurses with respect, ethical practice, and transparency. I told this guy, "We need to get this out there! I need to share this with the world." Naturally, he was very reluctant at first. From growing my Youtube channel, I've realized being "out there" makes you extremely vulnerable. But, I've learned when you put everything out there, people don't have verbal ammunition to hit you with. I get the occasional troll but you learn to shrug it off. However, our first video interview was a hit! It felt very natural and we're going to team up together to shine a much-needed light into the misunderstood practices of the travel nursing world. Why? Because this industry needs a paradigm shift. Travel nurses need this. Simply. It's medicine.
  13. guest042302019

    What is a travel nurse?

    I completely agree about the challenges you are describing. For the most part, we have really lucked out and had good experiences.
  14. guest042302019

    Hospital cancellations, recruiter reviews, comparing contracts etc

    The link no longer works. It's to a 404 error message.
  15. I've been a traveler for almost two years now. My wife and I have been to 3 states as travelers and have had multiple contracts. Minnesota. 40 bed medical IMC. Level 2 trauma center Oregon. 20 bed medical IMC. Level 4 trauma center Wisconsin. 25 bed trauma IMC. Level 1 trauma center We are thinking about doing Hawaii or California at the beginning of next year. We love the glorious cheese curds too much here in good ole' Wisconsin to leave quite yet. We are now independent contractor travel nurses. I can tell you one thing: Travelers are extremely valuable. Without them, many hospitals would likely shut down or be in significant turmoil. We go into traveling for a number of reasons. For us, it was a change from the crap, adventure to live, and the money to thrive. The change has been the most important to us. Healthcare travelers, not just nurses, fill the void our healthcare system desperately needs filled and it's not going to get any better. We could potentially be over a million nurses short in the next 5-10 years. Do you think our work conditions are going to get any better? Better ratios? Better equipment? Safer equipment? Up to date and efficient charting systems? Unlikely. We should band together and become a stronger team. Thank a traveler. They are your friends! That's why I started my YouTube channel. I wanted to give back to nurses because traveling is no joke and it's challenging to transition into. Check out my other videos if you have a moment. I answer travel nurse questions on there all the time. So, I say to you, love your travelers! We come in peace! I promise! 🙂
  16. guest042302019

    Nurses! Let's stand up and help the victims of Hurricane Harvey!

    CNAs are a cornerstone to healthcare. Harvey or not, you are ALWAYS needed and MUCH appreciated!