Do travel agencies assign you to only where you have experience? I have 3 yrs of med/surge, but I'm interested in peds.
May 16, '07
As a general rule ... when people hire a traveler, they expect that traveler to be able to "hit the ground running." They don't provide much orientation, only a few basics to cover themselves legally and give the traveler a basic familiarity with their way of doing things. The traveler is supposed to already be competent in the field for which they have been hired. The hospital is not going to pay "premium traveler wages" for someone who doesn't know the job and needs a couple of months of training in order to be competent.
If you would like to try out a new specialty, you're probably going to have to take a regular staff nurse job and go through an extensive orientation/training program to acquire the new skills you need to work with that patient population.
May 22, '07
Excellent advice, as always, from llg. Peds is VERY different from adult med surg. You need almost an entirely different skills set to go from one to the other because the assessments, drugs, and dosing parameters are different.
One hospital where I do per diem recently tried to float me from ICU to ER because they saw it on my CV that I used to do ER. But I refused to go because its been a while since I've done ER, and when your'e working in that environment you have to be prepared to handle just about any type of situation with patients in every age group. The adults I could deal with, but when it comes to little kids I'm not so sure I'd remember exactly what to do. If a parent showed up with an infant and it is assigned to me I'm sure I'd be second guessing myself about stuff. Sure I could "wing it" and maybe most of it would come back to me, but I'd rather not take chances. Even though I still have my PALS, I wouldn't venture back into peds or ER unless I re-certified myself first.
If you want to do peds you should definitely go staff for a while and learn the ropes first.