Travel nurses are road warriors, often venturing to a new assignment several times a year. It’s a way of life that can make for instant bonds.
“This is a community that sticks together. When you find another traveler at an assignment, even if you have never met before you usually bond very quickly,” said Toweus Lazarre, who works with Cross Country Healthcare. He’s been a travel nurse for seven years and an R.N. for 10.
Brittany Olszanski has only been a traveler since March, but she said her first assignment will likely always be her biggest challenge: treating COVID-19 patients in New York City. “There was a combination of a normal adjustment period into a new hospital with the impending doom of a global pandemic.”
While she’s a newbie to the lifestyle, she already knows her essentials. “It is important to have a weighted blanket, my coffee pot, and a ton of books to read over the course of the assignment.” And no day shifts for her—it’s her deal-breaker when choosing assignments.
It can be lonely at times. “Being away from my friends and family is huge,” said Olszanski, also with Cross Country.
That’s not a problem for RNnetwork home health nurse Amanda Truog—she brings her husband and children along.
Lately most of her work has been caring for COVID patients. “We act as the eyes and ears for doctors, because they are just still really nervous about things.”
Her husband, who owns a carpet-cleaning business, cares for the kids and manages the business from the road while his brother handles day-to-day operations.
The couple welcomed their third child in May, but there was a complication. Amanda tested positive for COVID right before her C-section; the rest of her family, including the baby, were negative.
The two-week quarantine was stressful, she said. “Is my baby going to die, my 2-year old, my husband? It was scary the whole time.