Friday, April 23, 2010

Diary of a Travel Nurse 4-21-10

So hear I sit with my brocolli rabe and garlic white pizza from one of my fav Pa joints, "From the Boot", (Yes I have to mention the garlic because believe it or not many places don't do much if ANY garlic on a white, shameful) and blogging on my phone. Tomorrow I am finally moving my furniture and giving up my PA apartment.

I must admit this running back and forth on my days off 200 miles is pretty annoying. Even for a road trip lover like myself. Before I know it my Connecticut assignment will be done and I'll be moving again.

Seriously, I was filling in my schedule, yes we self schedule just like I did at my old job (gotta love that), and realized that schedule ends 2 weeks before I leave there. Yikes!!

So I am planning ahead with what I want to do there but my schedule is getting too full already. You see I'm contracted for 48 hours a week. That's 4, 12 hour shifts. 3, 12's is tough enough but 4 is Wow! I can do it though, no problem and make damn good money and still enjoy the area some. I'm gonna do a trip to Boston and NYC but honestly if I don't get to NYC I'll live cause I've been and I'll be again. Pa isn't all that far from there and everyone goes at times.

Funny thing is I'm making more plans for going away than for stay-cations in Connecticut. I'm planning camping and a cruise. Then after this contract is up I will be going to either or both Germany and a part of the Meditteranean. One of my nieces is delivering a baby girl in May in Germany so I wanna go there. Then another niece is studying a semester at Sea in the Meditteranean. The Meditteranean is my dream location. I've always wanted to hit several spots there. It will be difficult to pick which one but I am going to at least one if not both.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ode to the Pa apartment

You were pretty good to me over the past 3 years. I never thought I'd stay here this long.

If it weren't for you I wouldn't have fallen in love for the first time after my ex, on the other hand thanks a lot for that fiasco. Lol.

If I didn't live here I never would have met several neighbors but most importantly Kathy and Valerie, and Chris and Adrienne but definitely Kathy and Valerie.

I might have never learned how to jump the fence to swim after hours. God, I am gonna REALLY MISS the pool :(

Thank you for sharing your space with me and my friends and my pets. Thank you for housing me during this past Winter and the horrendous amounts of snow fall. All 48 + inches.

You were my tattoo parlor for a weekend. Many people are thankful for that and you gave me what I always wanted. Not only the tattoo itself but the memory and experience of that weekend. I will never forget it.

You were at times the vessel for my dreams. Leaving them in my hands to make them come true as only the dreamer can do.

You were the recording studio for my singing along and my audience when there wasn't one.

You were the babysitter who looked after my cat when I left town for days on end only to return to a warm and happy kittyhug. Yes, my cat gives hugs. Its a wonderful thing.

You watched over me when I was sick with the flu for a week and when I fell skiing. Protecting me while I recovered.

You were my restaurant when I entertained others or even if it was just me.

Thank you. May your next inhabitants care for you as I have or better and be grateful and happy for all you offer.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Diary of a travel nurse

Well, I finally found some time to blog. I'm gonna start doing a travel nursing blog once a week. I still have some moving to do. I have til the end of April to give up my apartment in Pennsylvania. All that's left is the big furniture to go to storage and then clean. So even after I moved and started my job, I've still had to travel back and forth to Pa several times for moving. I think once it's done, time here will be more enjoyable and each assignment thereafter will transition more smoothly. I just can't believe the enormous amount of "stuff" that I own.

I think I really lucked out in my first assigment. There are many many travel nurses here at Yale. I'm networking like crazy and getting a crash course in the business. It seems like everyone has an angle on it. I've met a few people who have been doing this for many years. One guy started at UCLA and took a per diem job with them, going back in between assignments to work there for a few weeks. So he has seniority and tuition paid for his son some day. I tried to finagle keeping my job back in Pa but they haven't had per diem available for quite some time, so I did have to quit.

I've met some people who travel as a couple. I have a friend back home who wanted to travel with me. She and I were supposed to go to California together but she's nowhere near ready to go. So we'll go there in the future. I figure I'll get to California and never leave. Hence my bloggin name "Goin' to Cali !". I've always wanted to live there, since I was a kid. It's not to say that I would never leave there. I mean I love Pa. Alot of my friends and family are in Pa, but I do have family all around.

I'm hoping to go South after here. I fell in love with the Carolina's years ago and revived that this past Summer. My niece and her family live in Wilmington North Carolina and my sister occassioanlly visits and has a few houses there. I don't get to see my great nephew much at all. While my other sister has a few houses in Myrtle. So I'm hoping to find an assigmnent near Myrtle Beach or Wilmington for July. If not then at least a beach somewhere south of here. The Connecticut beaches aren't much. My plan is to do this for 1-3 years. There's so many places on my list that I want to go to but if anyone has a suggestion, please do. I've invited friends and family to travel with me. I figure even if they aren't a nurse, there are jobs out there that would allow for short term work and relocating. While I am a very independant person it would be nice to have someone traveling with me but at least I have my pets.

My cat Nala and dog Benny adjusted quickly. They love the extra space and big windows. The apartment is beautiful. Two bedrooms, a loft and 12 foot ceilings covered with windows. I decided to find the place on my own, taking the housing stipend and pocketing the leftover money. I think my dog Benny has more opportunity to socialize here. There's 5 buildings, each with about 50 apartments and an elevator. He needs to meet more and more people. He's still very shy with people but loves dogs. I'm gonna start him in obedience classes and doggy daycare.

I did a bunch of exploring yesterday and most importantly found a great cafe for breakfast and a little bar for hanging. Since I moved here I have been captivated by the mountain outside my window. It's actually a state park. Took my dog hiking there. The town itself reminds me of Atlantic City in a way. The mecca of Yale University, so excessively rich, is surrounded by destitution and poverty. It appears the community offers nothing for the children and teens to do other than a playground. So they ride the bus back and forth as if to cruise the streets. The locals have told me there is nothing available for them. The appearance of the community is not good. In Pa, or anywhere else I've ever been, the neighborhoods immediately surrounding a park would be pricier and well kept. It's just not that way here. The windows are boarded up and some of the buildings are in bad shape. I met an interesting local last night. He put it perfectly. There is no middle class here. You're either upper or lower and that's it.

Thankfully I'm on the very edge of the town but I still have my doubts. Two of my sisters helped me move here. The next morning they said "did you hear that noise last night outside the window?". Apparently there was a lot of fighting below and almost every night since. Well, until I started calling the cops, three times in fact. One night there was a party bus idling waiting for everyone to get in while they partied for 45 minutes outside the bus at 11 pm. My sleep is too important for that bs. It seemed to be the topic of every conversation with neighbors and I thought "Why doesn't anybody call the police?". I haven't heard a thing in over a week. Oh, and that next morning after I moved we found 2 cars with their windows smashed, parked directly next to me. The fence is smashed on the other side of the lot so you can see how people could get in or out easily. That being said, it is pretty high security to parking lot but also to get in the building. Everything, but your apartment door,works on electronic passkeys. Apparently the leasing office knows about the fence and they have been contacting the owner to no avail.

Most importantly, I have to tell you about the job. They are pretty much deperate here but appreciative and helpful. If I was looking for a permanent position somewhere, I would consider it here. They take good care of their employees. They opened a new building which they were compeletely unprepared to staff. The extra number of rooms, for all the units that moved, added a disproporioned ratio of patients to staff. So until they get enough new staff and have them up and running, there will be a need for temporaries. They have a high standard here. Considering it's my first contract, I'm not neccessarily an expert however the seasoned travelers tell me it's not like this. You see, the hospital paid us for a week's worth of orientation. That's a big investment. Most orientations for travel contracts are about 1-2 days. They've already offer me a continuation on my contract. I'm gonna pass. I want to keep moving. I didn't start this just to stay at my first assignment, especially in Connecticut. Honestly I wouldn't have even left if that was the case, although the money is great, but no.