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traveler782

traveler782

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  1. traveler782

    Information on How to convert your DHA/MOH RN license to HAAD

    When I looked into going to NZ was told I was too old at 39.
  2. traveler782

    How do you feel about being a nurse?

    In the US nursing is good enough paying compared other available jobs to keep you in it support your family. At same time it's also become a powerless profession. Most states don't have unions or political power to protect nursing so hospital staff as short as possible to decrease labor cost and increase profit. I wonder if I could move to New Zealand and find me wife to settle down with...Sounds great there! I like outdoors and will have my pilot license soon. Put a good word in for me! Lol. Best states to work as nurse in USA is California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska due to state laws there that mandate ratios. The rest can be pretty miserable with high work loads and wages kept low comparatively to those other States. Love hearing from nurses outside USA. Thanks.
  3. traveler782

    How do you feel about being a nurse?

    For me nursing was a second career. I initially hated the business world working IT/accounting. I either needed to get my CPA or go into investment banking. I felt investment banking was scummy. I had a internal yearning to do something I felt worthwhile. A friend who was nurse told me I should do nursing. I started to take my prerequisites at night class after work. Then I got in nursing school and quit business job. I felt great. I worked as nurse extender in pediatrics and got floated around hospital as a tech/extender. Offered a job on ICU upon graduation. Loved training, supportive environment, appreciative families. Maybe it was honeymoon period but healthcare changed​ alot in the last 7-8 years. Business model approach to healthcare, patient expectations, customer service and general work environment turned into a factory feeling. I used to feel respected, appreciated and the hospital did nice things for us. But that's all changed in healthcare. Now I feel nursing is a high skilled factory job in hospital setting. Not to mention patients who are abusive. When staff complained about pay incentives, cutting CNAs and stuff as well as working short we were told by DON it's up to you to make yourself happy. Also told budget was not our concern and we needed to focus attitude. Then the hospital bought a small Hospital in nearby town for several millions two weeks later. Then begin staff meetings​ about how we could make patients happy...Not well but happy. It was surreal watching nursing go from respected profession to a profession of blame. Started travel nursing....Ahh no more BS and at least I could walk away from it in 13 weeks if there was some. Nursing has helped me grow as person, deal with life and death as well be privileged to help people in their hour of need. I have been the last thing many have seen as a ICU nurse before they died as well as been there to save them. I cherish the cases and people that use say they remember my voice while on the ventilator. One lady rupted her AAA, she died basically...Blood pressured bagged, pressors, emergent surgery, I came in worked as her nurse every night from there out due to family request. She used to come see me every year on the anniversary of that. Nursing gave me that plus many more memories. So I feel nursing has been great for me as a person but as a profession it's declining. Between nursing's own poltics, business world view of nurses as a labor cost and society​'s totally unrealistic expectations it is causing a professional decline. I don't regret it but I do second guess a good opportunity I had to get out of it a while back. It's been good, bad, ugly and enlightening but I don't want end up jaded and burnt out like the vast majority of my colleagues either.
  4. My old hospital use to require mandatory overtime. I am not sure how it was enforceable. Although if you refused you found yourself working a terrible schedule like 1 on 1 off, 1 on an such (coincidence?). That hospital was in Georgia and there is no nursing union and the BON is super weak politically in that state. If you don't like the working conditions your only option is to quit. I asked my manager once if there was such a thing as "mandatory overtime" and how is it legal...I was given frown and told that is the way things are. 4-5 nights a week gets old fast.
  5. traveler782

    Life, death, and dying.

    As a ICU nurse I feel your pain and have done this all too often. I watched family keep essentially a body alive in a bed to the point that it begins to breakdown. No matter how we turn them, feed them nutrition and provide hydration its a lifeless vessel. I understand wanting to try to live but there is a point of diminishing returns and its just inhumane. I have long felt the general public is so far removed from the life and death process thanks to hospitals and modern medicine they now have no realistic understanding and expectation of quality of life and the eventual end. The general public has a mentality that hospitals should and do have fixes for everything. And everyone is special. The fact is we are going to die and the only unknown is when. I have had to explain this to adults far older than myself way more times than I care to imagine. It has gotten common to see post open hearts in 80-90s now. Do they survive? sure, (as long as they make it post op 30 days at least for surgeon and billing purposes) but they are already at the end of their bodily life expectancy so why put through that when they may only live 2-4 more years at most? Not to mention their quality life is diminished greatly. I have seen family reverse patient DNR wishes once they are intubated only to turn what would be a peaceful quick death into a long and slow decay. My worst situation was a man in late 60s who had mets cancer all over especially in the abdomen with massive painful tumors. He kept demanding we do everything but everything had been done. Family stayed in denial and when he lost consciousness of course he got intubated and followed by pressers and more worthless chemo. He died a slow ugly death on pressers maxed out to point he begin to loose fingers. Ethics committees and everything (ethics committees are useless FYI, bunch people meet and family says I'll sue and they back down). It was emotionally exhausting for family, staff and doctors. Another patient I had was a 96 years old on bipap...she was literally just dying from old age..liver failing, respiratory failure, CHF...all fantasy medical terms but the fact is the car had gotten old and worn out...her body could carry her no further. The family wanted to put her on vent so she could make to be 97 in 3 weeks. I felt like I was living in some altered reality when her kids were visiting her in walkers, a wheelchair, wearing portable O2 and telling us to do everything. THANK GOODNESS one was an old military medic who talked some sense into them at a family meeting. They let her die peacefully. What burns me up inside is the patient on hospice who are actively dying at home and family members panic when they start breathing shallow or go apneic and call 911, revoke their hospice status and send them to the ICU. This should be illegal and punishable by jail IMO. Back to the point. I feel our society has no clue about death, quality of life and nor do they ever even remotely discuss it with family. So when when it occurs they are totally unprepared unlike older times when people died at home and family had to help care for their loved ones. Patients and their families have lost their intimate understanding of the death and life process in large part due to our culture of "we can fix anything". MDs have also gotten terrible at addressing these issues. Some countries have mandatory military service but ours should have a mandatory law that every citizen work in a nursing home for at least a year. And no, not the rich nice assisted living ones.... Focus on the successes and good outcomes..there are reasonable families and patients. I try to use them on going source inspiration. Hang in there...its exhausting but its also rewarding.
  6. traveler782

    Nursing is the Biggest Mistake of My Life

    Hang in there..though nursing is dog eat dog most of the time, it is still one of the better paying jobs you can get right out of school. The job market has changed drastically since the late 90s when they were predicting nursing to be huge shortages and jobs would be skys the limit. Part of me thinks that was a marketing trick to get more people in nursing and it worked! Lets face it, the older generation is not retiring..hey they want to keep their built up pay and I don't blame (though their generation has helped create the mess we are in...off soap box). Older nurses required less education and less experience than they demand of new nurses in today's economy (education has also doubled in cost). My old ICU director had a ADN and that is unheard of nowadays but yet she demanded all new grads have a BSN (go figure). But none of us have time machine so we must go forward deal with what we have. You have made it this far! Have you thought about looking at moving to a decent area and taking a contract with a hospital for one/two years? Some will help loan forgiveness or give you a decent sign on bonus. This maybe what you have to do to get the initial resume building started so to speak. You need to leave the significant other if they do not understand you're trying to better yourself. I am no Dr. Phil but your relationship is going to be very trying if you let that hold you back. There are tons of fish in the sea. Plus once you are nurse making your own income it will come with a level self independence. That will change the relationship dynamics. I graduated nursing school and no one I knew was nurse. Now everyone is a nurse or going to nursing school. Economy has change a lot in last 10 years. It is bound to change a lot more. Nursing is still your safest bet though it may not glamorous. Forgot the relationship for now. Pass NCLEX. Go job hunting and find the best deal you can, suck it and go to that job. I promise even one year of experience will drastically change your job opportunities. Hang in there and focus on NCLEX for right now.
  7. traveler782

    The worst job you had before becoming a Nurse?

    Two for me. One was laying concrete and the other was maintenance guy at local YMCA. The concrete work was actually better than the disgusting things people do and leave behind at the hot tube, saunas, pools and gyms. Kids vomit every where and smear their poop in bathrooms. Also the parents generally were rude and looked down on me. Best job was land surveyors helper..got to hang out in remote country side most of the time riding a ATV and trying to find property markers. Not great pay but spring and fall outside was beautiful..winters and summers though sucked!
  8. traveler782

    I'm scared to travel!

    Well everyone's experience varies greatly with agencies. It boils down to the recruiter in most situations. I like Travel Nurse Across America (but I like my recruiter there). She has been with them for a while and she is the large reason I came back to them. I have used Flexcare but again the recruiter there is going to make the difference. Flexcare has a lot California contracts but have your ducks in a row (their model is the recruiter handles everything, all things go through them) and pick your recruiter carefully. TTNA your recruiter handles a lot but there are payroll and quality assurance departments who are responsive to help you get all paperwork squared away (fix payroll issues). Medical Solutions is a friendly company I have heard about also especially for travelers with pets (though not sure on their pay packages yet). Crosscountry I have heard mixed reviews and I have not interacted with them personally so I cannot vouch either way. They all vary. I like to always keep my eye open. Some have better offerings in location and pay. Always look at insurance, stipend pay, license reimbursement, travel reimbursement and over time pay arrangement. As for my current recruiter I will send in private message as I think it is against policy to name them publicly here. I don't care about the referral bonus either. Find a recruiter with at least 2 years under them or so. Else you risk being passed around from one recruiter to another they quit, get fired or something. I have looked and spoken with a host of other smaller ones but some are terrible. Now I have coworker who hates TTNA because of her pay being wrong due call back or oncall hours. I think that has more to do with the way she enters her time as I have yet to have a issue on this contract and I am on my 3rd contract with them. For your first assignment I recommend TTNA (MAYBE Flexcare or medical solutions depending contract and other variables) with a seasoned recruiter. Then if you want to try for more money you can look at small agencies and strike work but be aware of that while small agencies pay more typically they often are not as supportive. Payroll issues are common with them (having to have your check corrected), no real help if you have some dire situation and no hotline to call if a issue came up. Plus they tend not to be as organized. First day on job and hospital says your company hasn't sent in all your paperwork and you have to go sit home for a week while its straightened out..has happened to a friend. Plus small companies take whatever they get contract wise and while its rare some hospitals will cancel a traveler contracts if their census drops for sustained periods of time. TTNA avoids hospitals with track records of doing this because they have to find the traveler a new job and help them. Small companies might not offer that support so that is why I advise avoiding them for new travelers.
  9. traveler782

    I'm scared to travel!

    I would be cautious with online search reviews and such. Many companies pay people or have their own staff leave fictitious reviews. No bad talking FastStaff (they do strike nursing also) but I have heard equally contradictory things about them from other travelers. Some agency are good general, some a mediocre and some as a whole are bad. Most of the time the recruiter is the difference maker with all other things being considered. Its a buyer beware situation.
  10. traveler782

    I'm scared to travel!

    I was 36 when I started traveling. I had been a staff nurse many years. I just got bored, feed up with hospital politics and our working condition. I did it for the money but mostly for mental change. In your situation what have you got to lose? You need to find a good big agency first. I can name a few. I say this because while they may not offer you to highest initial pay you are going to get lower offers on your first assignment offers anyway. So might as well have the support of the large company. Go with a recruiter who has been doing it for a couple years. NO NEWBIE recruiters for your first time. Research the areas you would like to go...apply for your licenses there through their state nursing boards. The companies will reimburse you on license cost. I say do this now because the time to get licenses varies greatly from state to state (California is 3 months on a good day). I recommend not getting to pinned to the money thing just yet (don't take low crap though). You are new so you need to get that first contract under you. Then you show you will finish a contract and it greatly improves your marketability. Look for Mid sized hospitals 150-300 bed to start off. They tend to be easier pace and more friendly in my experience for a new traveler. I also suggest taking their housing (though means you make less as you have to pay for their housing department and such). I find my own places and try to live responsibly though it is more of a hassle. But remember this is your first assignment and it is more of a learning curve. Maybe take a contract near extended family and rent a room from them to start off with (just a idea)? Loneliness can be the biggest problem. My first contract was in a crappy large hospital in florida. My coworkers were miserable initially, 3 vent patients on drips each night, trachs, sepsis every where, staff pissed off. I almost left it..I finished it out though and by the end they asked to renew me. But 13 weeks go by soo fast and I politely said no thank you. After that I was flooded with contract offers. I jumped agencies and moved across country. Make your mind up to work, budget and plan mini trips. Save up and fly back home between contracts to see family (most companies if you stay with them will float you insurance for couple weeks between contracts so you have mini vacation). Remember though you maybe a knowledge base and key player in your current ER but when you are a traveler you are entering other nurses domains and there is a pecking order. Put your ego away and just enjoy being paid more, do not get involved in drama, pettiness, and hospital politics. After all you have the luxury of moving on in 13 weeks! I have bumped into 23 year old women doing it by themselves and 50 year old married couples. If they can do it, so can you. Set your expectations to reasonable, budget, keep up your mental health and go enjoy life. You have the skills, knowledge and experience. On the relationship issue. My advice is to start getting licenses where you want to go. Though if you needed a immediate exit you could start a travel assignment in your home state far away that current situation til you got your feet under you. Life is too short. I say throw a match on that relationship and burn it. There is a world out there..go!
  11. traveler782

    Traveling in California

    No problems sorry for all the typos. I had just gotten home from work and did it from my phone. If I can help answer questions let me know. I am currently in Oregon on assignment. If you want to go to California start the application process NOW! It takes 3 months in the best of situations to get a license there. Close but easy and fast states to get license by endorsement are Washington or Oregon. Both of them have strong nursing unions and the nursing environment typically is far better than any where in south east. I don't do the RV thing but I have looked into it extensively. It has its pros and cons like anything. If you have pets and are couple and plan on traveling for at least two years (time depends on your RV outlay expense...more expensive RV = more debt and cost naturally hence you would need to travel longer to make it truly cost effective). I have been very lucky or good at finding my own places via air BnB and VRBO sites. I normally initiate contact with owners of a tiny house, studio apartment or such and guarantee them cash rent 3 months in advance. I don't smoke or have pets though so it makes it a lot easier. All I need is safe, nice, clean place and good internet connection. I mostly use my places to sleep, rest, eat and as spring board of operations for adventures on my days off. My first assignment I was so lonely and the hospital in florida was terrible. High patient work load, 3 ICU patients every assignment, staff didn't warm up to help me til need end of contract and I coded 1 of my patients every week. I did a lot self examination and said I would give it one more go...hey I could also go back to my home and get job back. I committed myself to growing as person..drove across country by myself..saw so many states, stayed at nice hotels every other night. I took myself out to eat at really nice restaurants. Something happened...I grew up and became comfortable with myself. I had an assignment in washington close to Canada. Spent a lot time in Vancouver, hiked Mt Baker, went to seattle and meet up with a old friend who lives there. Started meeting other travelers for occasional get together. It is what you make it. It can be a exceedingly rich experience or a terrible one. That being said as a traveler you are going to get crapped on by charge nurses, floating out to other departments and you will get all the crappy patient assignments..GI bleed, pysch issues, family drama, changing your assignments every night and you will be looked upon as you are a idiot at times until they know you. What you have to keep in mind is while staff is glad you are there, you also are kind of threat or they can be jealous of you. You don't have much recourse in those situations. The best defense is a good offense. I mean kill them with kindness and be proactive. Some are just miserable staff..but hey haven't we all been that? I feel there pain and they are my fellow nurses. Plus you get to walk away Scott free in 13 weeks if you hate it! Night shift assignments are typically easier to find contracts. PM if you ever have questions. Go to Pantravelers site, read the forums here, ask questions, mentally prepare yourself, load scanned copies to a cloud drive of your licenses, Certs and such (you will thank me later). Go enjoy life! Live like a recently terminally ill patient but financially responsible.
  12. traveler782

    Traveling in California

    Watch out for promises that sound too good to be true. All travel companies get the same amount from the hospital issued contract need. Then they take their cut before paying you. Most will either provide insurance or pay you money plus a certain amount towards insurance premium from a provider you can find. The pay packages can be structured many different ways depending on if you are bringing your own insurance, this goes for housing also. You can take the max stipend or use their provided houses (meaning a big piece of your pay goes to their housing division normally and can reduce your check a lot but less hassle). Look out for new recruiters. They can be good but most of time are just like hungry cars salesmen. They'll promise you everything and have you working in miserable place. Example I had a guy send me a new contract for ICU with good pay. I Internet searched the place and it was a LTAC. He didn't understand the difference and was pushy I sign a contract..technically it was a icu of sorts but not one I wanted. Also generally speaking travel companies will not have your back very strongly if a issues happens. So you have to be proactive with your contract. I have only had one issue. I wanted block scheduling and requested it in my contract. They agreed and refuse to honor it. Now my company kind of just says well it's professional courtesy and didn't do much. I went around them and spoke with the icu director...issue resolved. Be respectful, polite, calm but stand up for yourself. Don't pin all your hopes on one place or position..keep ypur options open. Usev3 different agencies. Also had a agency tell once I start looking with them I shouldn't be looking through other companies. Cut that deal off quick. I have a few assignments under me now so I tend to deal hunt depending on where I want to visit. My current agency normally matches or beats other deals. Maintain emergency fund of couple thousand. If a recruiter is too pushy that is a red flag. Smaller agencies pay more normally (100-250 more per check) but also come with far less support and variety of selections of travel assignments. Hospitals will both love and hate you depending on their internal workings. I am ICU float primarily but they have tried to send me to peds, ER and neuro floors. I have went tobER as resources but other times refused because Peds or neuro floors are outside of the agreed upon contract. You have to pick your battles.its your license after all. Lastly, you can negotiate. Recruiters will low ball you all they can. After all they can to keep more if they do. Always negotiate. I have picked up bonuses and extra by just negotiating. Keep up your papwork, don't get involved in staff drama...get out explore cause your traveling to experience life. Every where I have gone I have been asked to renew. At the bottom of everything managers just want a quiet, friendly, competent and helpful employees. If a fellow staff worker has a GI bleed go help if you can. Remember you might have been charge this or that, big time knowledge base at your home hospital but now your in someone else's hospital. Sovdwallow pride and just be a frienflyfrienfly/assest. Some companies: Crosscountry, flexcare or travel nurse across America (I am with travel nurse currently) They are countless smaller one also. Dont believe their online availability listing. Always call cause they don't update those online listing frequently. Get a seasoned recruiter for your first assignment. Also your new traveler so it's important to get at least the first assignment under you then you become way more marketable.
  13. Does your hospital not have a policy about two married people working on the same unit? Some say you cannot be married to someone who works on the same unit, some allow as long as it is not same shift, is it large unit? That is interesting.
  14. traveler782

    Satisfaction Survey

    I think the real problem started when we started calling patients "customers". To me a customer is someone who can choose what restaurant to eat at, shopping for clothing, what repair shop to use for their car and so forth. I take issue with calling someone who is there for medical condition a customer. If you are having STEMI you don't stop say hmmm I don't know if i want to hospital cause I heard the food is bland or I don't like they don't have all the cable channels. It should be as patient who thinks can they save from death right now and will I have complications. Sadly healthcare plays second fiddle to hotel mentality now.
  15. Yup, seen the same every where I have been as travel nurse. I have seen cardiologist, hospitalists, specialists and I would say 75% of the surgeons I have worked with use the attractive nurses as side play things. Buy them car on side or even put them up in apartments then dispose them once the wife gets annoyed enough to make a fuss about it. Then the single doctors romance and sex them up...then dispose them. I knew a nurse she was finally going to quit her job she proclaimed help the surgeon maintain his house and beach house. She got a new Range Rover..was looking good until a new nurse started on the unit who was more attractive. Though the new nurse was married the surgeon pursued and broke up that marriage. The previous nurse was bitter and gossiped about him...she was "left go" by the hospital for being late on medication administration as well being a poor team player! She was a good nurse and only med she was late on was protonix or such..talking about an hour late on rare occasion. Got rid of her! Not sure what happened to that new play toy nurse he adopted as I ended up taking another job. Wash, Rinse and repeat...same scenario with variations most places I work. Not all are this way but most are. I knew another nurse who started dating a cardiologist. He was married...ordered the nurse a Porsche for Christmas one year. It was delivered to his house by accident with a bow on it! The wife thought it was hers lol...he had to buy two Porsches except he made sure the mistress nurse got the second one lol. Oh he did finally leave his wife once his daughtesr turned 18. The plot twist.....he left his wife and his mistress for an attractive cath lab nurse! Touche I say, touche! I say it is like Greys Anatomy but with less attractive people. ;-)
  16. I like the can't just you get him new body organ ones! Reminded me of a lady who I took care of once. She was near death with liver failure from ETOH abuse. She had already received a liver as she killed her first from ETOH but cleaned up her act and apparently had been given a replace liver from a donor. She did ok for a few years but went back to drinking and killed the donor liver and was near death. The family were threatening to sue the hospital saying we were refusing to save her life. Even after we explained she was no longer a candidate as she had abused and killed the donor liver. It was sad seeing them completely not attached to reality. Another patient I had was a vented 26 year old female weighing over 500lbs. She died from MODs and respiratory failure from her obesity. Family all weighed over 300lbs and up. Just kept feeding her. Per the dietitian she ate the equivalent of 2-3 bags of groceries (junk food mostly) a day. She was so young it was sad. Their request to me was that we feed her cause she was dying from starvation. The attending lost his temper and told the family "this is on you all, you feed too much and this is ridiculous she is a young woman". They still did not get it. The Aunt asked if we could just lipo suction and fix her. It was sad...she died.