Hi everyone, hope you all are staying safe this year!
I made some cool career changes this year. I moved from the Multi-Trauma Unit to the Trauma ICU turned COVID ICU at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, CO September 2020. I made new friends and learned a lot more clinical and critical thinking skills. It is definitely hard work especially going into a new area, it was a shock at first but I was able to adapt and learn from my peers who have been in the “trenches” of COVID from the very beginning. I am learning a lot about myself this year and sticking up for myself and my wellbeing and even the wellbeing of my patients and their families. Selfcare has been a big role in my life these days. I felt a lot of grief in my time in the ICU and started to look in to travel nursing so I can take more time off and be closer to family on west coast with the bonus of making a little bit more money. It felt like I need a breath of fresh air. The beautiful thing about nursing is that you can change and find new areas when you are feeling a little burnt out. Travel nursing entails that I go through a nursing agency that will connect me with job opportunities across the U.S. that need increased staffing due to staff turnover or because they need more hands because of the influx of patients being admitted to the hospitals. Contracts can be anywhere from 4 weeks-13 weeks. I took my first contract in June 2021 in the ICU at a hospital in Spokane, Washington. I got to explore some beautiful national parks and even adventure over to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to hang out on one of the nicest lakes I have ever seen. I got to bike through an old railroad tunnel Bridge between Idaho and Montana called the Hiawatha Trail! I think the change of scenery has really helped with my mental health and just the feeling of taking a breath of fresh air and not feeling stuck. My next adventure will be to Las Vegas, Nevada in the ICU for a 2-month assignment and then I will get to be by my family there. I am excited for this new chapter in my nursing career! I have loved every minute of it! For future assignments I am looking at New York, Arizona, and California! I am still very thankful for the job I have and cannot wait to see what else it has in store.