A month into my first assignment...how it's going so far. - page 2

Ok, so the honeymoon period is over, and I'm wondering if I made a huge mistake. Arizona is beautiful, Phoenix sucks, and I hate the job. And taking this assignment has drained my savings and has me... Read More

  1. by   canadian_girl75
    It's really interesting how different agencies can make or break a travelers experience. I am the exact opposite in terms of housing and insurance. I always take both offered by my company. The insurance costs me 7$ a week and covers a lot more than ones I have researched on my own. Plus my medications alone cover the small premium I pay. In terms of housing I also always take the housing. The thought of having to spend the to e researching places to live without being there, packing up and moving all my furniture every 13 weeks makes me sick just thinking about it. Also the thought of extended stays with my family and pets makes me cringe. I can't imagine having to try to sleep all day after working nights because let's face most of the travel jobs out there are for nights and having my family tip toe around a single room just wouldn't work. And since you say you have teenagers it probably wouldn't work either and they would be miserable. But if you travel alone or with a friend I'm sure those options would work. It really depends on the company you choose to work with. I work with one of the bigger ones so they can keep insurance cheep and have lots of housing options. Sometimes the rebates might be a little lower but they make up for it in other areas that are more important to me. I can also be rest assured that any issue with housing will be resolved or they fit the bill for temporary hotel stay until it can be fixed. There are ways to save no matter if you travel alone or with a pet. A previous poster made a comment about the agency hiring you not your family. It took me a hit to get back about that but I feel like of they want me based on my experience and expertise then they will do what it takes to ensure my family is accommodated so that they may utilize my skills to essentially make them money. As much as we travelers need agencies is also as much as these agencies need travelers. My company has never made me feel as though my family was a burden. They have gone above and beyond to ensure we are all comfortable in our home so that I may do well in my assignment for their client. And quite frankly if they had any other approach I would tell them to shove it. So...ya just wanted to share that as another view. Since I do travel with pets and family and have found it easier not to worry about all the details and let my agency take care of it so I can worry about working. And trust me after a few assignments of packing and unpacking just the essentials above and beyond furniture I can imagine lugging that stuff across the country as well. Perhaps if it were a longer or and extended assignment it might be worth the extra leg work. But I just don't think it is worth it for the short amount of time we spend in different locations.
  2. by   NedRN
    Perhaps it is not the agency, but fitting your personal style and needs to the appropriate agency? I think the two stories are similar in that regard.

    You should name the agency with the good insurance. There are always a lot of travelers looking for such agencies.

    I would like to point out that your actual premium is closer to $500 a month - you have lower pay than another agency might pay you without insurance. That is obviously good in your circumstances, but not for another's.

    By the way, you can get the true insurance amount by asking your agency for the COBRA cost.
  3. by   cosmicmama
    This thread has helped me tremendously (except for the one who said that travel agencies don't pay me to bring my family with me...on the contrary, they seem happy to do so and if they want my experience and expertise, they will continue to do so. Most people have families, if the agencies limited themselves to nurses without spouses, families, and pets,they would be leaving out a lot of good nurses).

    Although I still go to work every morning hating being there, I am seeing how this experience is benefiting me, and I am learning a lot. The adjustment period has caused me to waste a couple of weeks being miserable, I am already over a third of the way through the assignment, and I still have so much to see in Arizona. I now have a week off and have a lot of fun things planned.

    True, this travel nursing thing isn't the glamorous experience that agencies like to advertise about, but I truly think it is worth it, and I'm sure I will do another assignment.
  4. by   NedRN
    Thanks for the update. I was tempted to reply to your original post about adjusting to a new work environment (I see a lot of posts from travelers looking for a good rationale to bail on their first assignment) but it looked like you were largely through your first assignment. I certainly misread that! But I doubt you were in a mood to listen about how you would adjust and be the stronger for it. I'm glad you did get over the hump, and no doubt the experience will be unforgettable for yourself and your family and culturally and professionally broadening. Congratulations! You are now one of us.
  5. by   BluntForceTrauma
    The good thing is not all assignments are going to be like this...you live and learn as you go. I have learned so much from reading these forums. Hope it gets better for you!
  6. by   Patchouli
    Kc87t I wanted to thank you for all the info you added. I have a few questions about travelling myself. I plan on traveling when my youngest daughter is out of high school (about 5 years from now). I may go sooner if I can. Anyways, I have done tele, pcu, and step down. I'm getting ready to put in apps at my hospital for a ER position so that I can have that option when traveling as I heard ER is available frequently, and pays better. I was wondering what one does for retirement benefits. I have a 403b thru my hospital, so what do you recommend for travelers? You mentioned getting an outside resource for your medical and dental, whom would you recommend as the best with family rates and coverage? Do you find it difficult to obtain positions when a contract is nearing completion? I guess you probably bring a laptop to do future interviews, do most places have high speed? I have a home here in my home state that I plan on keeping to help with taxes. How do you keep up with ACLS and CEUs? Do you pay for these, or does your agency? How about extra licences? I plan on driving to my destinations, and I would like to take my partner and dogs with me, is that doable? I am going to purchase the book you recommended as well. I am very excited about this... I am going to want agencies that provide me with the highest pay, best contract, and most locales as I have many places on my list... Hawaii, Alaska, Colorado, Arizona, Austin TX, FL, Seattle WA, Portland OR, New York, etc. Is that possible? How many agencies should I apply to? How does "clocking in" at these hospitals work? I am nervous about the PBDS testing. Do you find that to be commonplace, and is it true that if you fail you're stuck out of state without a job? Anyways, sorry for the long post, I'm just very excited, and nervous as well. Thank you!
  7. by   kc87t
    All very good points. I guess it does make a huge difference if you're traveling alone or with family. It ALL depends on what things are important to you! As long as you have fun and enjoy your travels, that's all the matters

    Patchouli -- I messaged you my response, sorry...I didn't see you posted it on here till now!
  8. by   Patchouli
    Received and thanks!
  9. by   SteamboatRN
    kc87t-I'm interested in the same information, could you forward me a message also?
  10. by   canadian_girl75
    Good to know I never thought of it that way
  11. by   brookiern
    Quote from canadian_girl75
    Good to know I never thought of it that way
    What travel company are you working with?
  12. by   aamy
    kc87t, would you mind forwarding me the same info that you sent to Patchouli? I am planning on starting to travel after June when my youngest son graduates from high school. I've done a lot of research myself too, but am very nervous after reading some of the posts on here. I am mainly worried for 2 reasons. First, I've been in a 25 bed hospital (6 bed ER) for the past 6 years. Prior to that, I was working in a 450 bed facility (about 30 bed ER). Huge difference. I have since forgotten a lot of my skills because naturally we do not see in the smaller facility what we did in the larger one. Also, I do not adjust to change easily, (you know nurses don't like change) but I am determined to change that about myself through this experience. Thanks for any advice/recommendations.