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.


  1. What an adventure. And Benny is ADORABLE!

  2. Thanks, and yes, it is quite an adventure :)

  3. Sweetie, the money was horrible and so was the assignment. You are a great nurse and you can do much better. travel on, the travel experience get better as you go, love jane

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