Who knows more about the ins and outs of healthcare travel better than someone who has lived the experience in many different settings? This month we asked Grant, a nursing professional, about what it’s like to work with a Triage recruiter, how he has made the most of his assignments, and what he sees as the biggest benefits for medical travel. Watch the short clips to hear what he had to say!
What’s the biggest benefit to healthcare travel?
I think that the biggest benefit to healthcare travel is that you are able to do what you love to do and have the opportunity to travel the country and see different areas that are unique to different parts of the country. I know that with my healthcare experience, I’ve been to places I never thought I would go. I’ve seen places I never thought I would see. And it was really all because of traveling. Having time off in between assignments is also really cool because you can do more traveling outside of the country, if you want, or you can go back and spend time with your family. So, I think it gives you a lot of opportunity for travel and still doing what you love to do.
How do you choose what assignments are right for you?
Essentially, how I choose where I wanna go is by what I like to do. I like to be outside, hiking, camping, rafting, skiing, whatever I might be. Going into traveling, I really had no idea the place I wanted to go, but my recruiter, Meghan, she’s been phenomenal. I give her what I like to do and she finds places that she thinks I would like. Whether it be in my personal life, doing things outside, or in my professional life, maybe at a bigger hospital I wanna be, or I wanna be at a level 1 trauma center. Whatever that is, my recruiter, Meghan, has always been amazing at finding me where she thinks I would best fit. And every time, it really was spot on. I have had a great opportunity at every place I have gone, and I’ve really enjoyed every place that I’ve been. I think it’s really, in part, because of my recruiter. They’re looking out for you and what they think will be best for you—professionally and personally.
What’s been your favorite travel destination?
I think my favorite travel destination thus far is probably—I don’t know, it’s hard to say because every place I’ve gone has been a different reason that I like that place. I first started in Idaho. Loved Idaho, loved the scenery and the mountains, the outdoor activities, and I really enjoyed being there and meeting the people there. But I’ve also really liked Milwaukee, WI. I just love the city. I liked the outdoor activities that they had out there. And the different aspect of living in a huge city as opposed to a small town in Idaho. So those are my two favorite places that I’ve been to so far. I can’t really put one atop the other, but both have been really awesome and have helped me grow as a person, personally and professionally, which is really what’s important.
How do you set yourself up for success on a new assignment?
I think the one way that I set myself up for success beginning a new assignment is, honestly, I just go with the flow. I find a place to live, I get there a few days early, maybe go to the hospital and kinda check it out, see where I’m going. But really, I just kinda go with the flow and do my thing. There’s nothing really special about what I do to prepare.
What has been the best part of traveler flexibility?
I think the best part about the traveler flexibility is that I can have my assignment, and once that assignment is complete, I’m able to have a week or two weeks off to travel and do something that I want to have a little vacation. It’s also nice that Triage does have PTO built up over time, so that if you are sick or you do need to take a day off during an assignment, they have that to cover it. So that’s something nice that I don’t think I have seen from any other travel companies, and I really enjoy that part of it as well. But definitely having time off in between assignments really is awesome and shows the travel flexibility I think is the best out of everything.
What is your preferred short-term housing option?
I would say that my preferred short-term housing is an Airbnb, I think. I’ve done a lot of different things. I’ve rented with another traveler in an apartment; I’ve rented with somebody else outside of Airbnb; I’ve found on Facebook housing posts; I’ve lived with another traveler in a house that we had to furnish ourselves. And then finally, the assignment I’m on right now, I am living in an Airbnb with multiple people. I guess I like living with other travelers, just because they typically have the same schedule as me and we’re able to do stuff on our days off. So I guess that is what I like the most, as opposed to Airbnb, is living with other travelers because they know kinda what’s going on and why you work late shifts or why you have seven days off. So that’s really convenient.
How have you grown as a healthcare professional since traveling?
Since traveling, I really have grown definitely as a healthcare professional in many different ways. Starting out in traveling, I went to a smaller facility as my first assignment, and I really enjoyed that because I was able to really get used to the travel nurse life and how to acclimate myself to a new unit, to new people, and a new state. And then after that, I was able to go to a level 1 trauma facility and work in their cardiovascular ICU. And that really immersed me into the difficult experience that can come in a level 1 hospital and a very well-run unit. I was able to learn different machines that I hadn’t learned before. I got to experience things that I didn’t even know existed, honestly, before. And it was really cool to get all of the nurses that were super experienced in these devices, get their feedback and get their education on these. I couldn’t necessarily take these devices, but I still started to understand how they worked and why they were used and things like that. So on that assignment, I really learned a lot.
Then, I also had the opportunity to open up a hospital, a brand new hospital and a brand new ICU. And that taught me a lot as well, about kinda how to get a hospital off the ground and how to start trying to help them implement different things like policies and procedures and show them different ways that different hospitals have done it in the past. And honestly, my experiences traveling have been extremely, I’ve been extremely lucky because I got to experience a lot of different things, which is really cool. A lot of people can’t say they’ve ever opened a hospital, which is a really neat experience. And I think that has been my favorite thing, and I’ve grown a lot because of those different experiences. And they’re all totally different, they don’t intermingle at all, and that’s really cool.
Tell us about a favorite memory from a travel assignment.
It is extremely difficult to be able to choose a favorite moment that I’ve had during a travel assignment. Every assignment has brought different experiences to me and I’ve been able to do different things everywhere I have gone. When I was living in Idaho, I was able to hike and be outside and go whitewater rafting and all of this stuff. And it’s been awesome to have that opportunity. Then, when I was in Washington, I was able to meet a whole bunch of people. In Milwaukee, I was able to kind of get used to the city life and that was completely different than the wilderness out in Idaho. And then out in Washington, I got to again experience the outdoors, but in a different way because it’s winter, I get to ski, I get to snowboard, and I get to be out in different elements. And I think just the opportunities that I have and the different areas to have different cultures and different experiences, because everywhere I have gone is so different from the other. And I think just the opportunity to do all of that stuff has been my favorite. I can’t really choose a specific one.