Since writing Part I, I have become a traveler and have had contact with quite a few travelers so I am able to look back at my original article from the other side of the fence.
I believe that I can stand by most of what I said in my first article.
I was not thinking about being a traveler but was sitting home unemployed when I answered a phone call from a number I didn’t know.
I normally don’t do this. I was a travel agency with a contract at an ICU in a hospital about 75 miles from home which I though would be a good start so I got the information and made the move.
In the Good vs. Bad, we’ll start with the good.
This hospital brought in about 5 contracts to ICU due to an increase in census while they made the decision if they should approve FT positions or not.
I felt very welcomed and got 2 partial day orientations with the rest of the 2 days spent shadowing in the unit which was also very helpful. Then they gave me 2 day assigned to a nurse as an orientee.
For my part, I told my nurse that I would like to take the whole assignment both days and just have her critique my work so I could get used to the load make sure I was doing it their way.
This was a very welcoming group of nurses.
The 2 partial days of orientation were good, but the some of the information should be re-arranged so the partial days contain more information that we needed and less fluff.
After going through all of my orientation, I was floated the next 3 shifts which turned out to be 6 of my first 9 shifts I was on my own.
They made their best attempt to only pull us to Stepdown (3:1) or CV (4:1) but we still occasionally had to go to M/S (5 or 6:1).
These days varied on who made the assignment who the co-workers were so could be good or bad.
I have enjoyed this experience. I was the only contract that was offered an extension so assume I did okay.
I have discovered that I need a network of travelers to learn the good and bad of the different agencies although I still like to make my own judgments unless I have MANY travelers tell me an agency is bad.