Traveler of the Month: Mary K!

Name: Mary K.

City, State: Charlottesville, VA

Specialty: Oncology

Month: February

1. How did you get into travel nursing?

This is really a multi-faceted answer. Honestly, I read a book last year that really inspired me to make time for those in my life. My desire is to be present in the lives of my friends and family. I never want to miss those important moments you can’t get back. You learn just how important it is to be present when working in oncology. Travel nursing allows me to spend more time with loved ones throughout the year. Plus exploring new places with them makes the “travel” part even better!

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Although that was a big factor in my decision, the thing that ultimately made me decide to take this leap was my desire to learn. I genuinely love being a bedside nurse, especially to cancer patients. Travel nursing allows me to explore different areas of oncology as well as see how operations are performed in different cultures and environments. 

2. What’s the best part about traveling?

All patients regardless of their diagnosis require individualized care and attention to help maximize their healthcare experience. It is easy to recognize that everyone processes their illness differently. However, it is entirely more difficult to decipher and tend to their exact needs at any given point in time. In most cases, the patients themselves are too overwhelmed to know what they need, and couldn’t communicate it if they wanted to. As their main advocate, it is imperative we do our best to interpret and provide whatever care they might require while making micro-adjustments as needed.

Traveling exposes me to so much diversity. Interdisciplinary teams, hospital systems, and environments are all unique in their own way. As a travel nurse, I see so many different ways of thinking and problem solving, which just adds more tools to my arsenal when determining how best to serve my patient and their families. 

3. You meet a first-time traveler in the Charlottesville area, which restaurant is a must for them to try?

This sounds ridiculous but if you’re at UVA, their cafeteria actually has some of the most delicious spicy crunchy sushi! Bodo’s Bagels is also a must-have! 

4. What’s the best part about the Charlottesville area?

The healthcare team I work with is truly incredible! The care and dedication to their patients and the general culture are pretty awesome to be a part of. Charlottesville also has a lot of rich history. Three of our nation’s founders’ homes are just around the corner. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier, and James Monroe’s Highland. Charlottesville is an awesome place for a history nerd like me!  The wineries here are absolutely beautiful and a very unique experience as well. 

Want to see more? Check out our past Travelers of the Month!

5. Any advice for other travelers?

Before I started my first contract, I read a piece of advice that said “Travel nursing is like the same recipe, just a different kitchen!” Remind yourself to have confidence in your foundational skills, and allow yourself some grace when you are learning the idiosyncrasies of a new environment. You will get there! Also, just be kind and give people the benefit of the doubt. Lastly, your recruiter is working hard for you, so create a good working relationship. Travel nursing suffers from a lot of volatility in the job market and having a professional navigating that rollercoaster with you is pretty invaluable.  

6. What do you like best about working with Axis?

My recruiter Lynna and the compliance team (Tiffanie) are absolute joys to work with. They are both super responsive, and never hesitate to address any questions or concerns I have. They really do an excellent job taking care of administration on the backend so I can focus on the nursing part that matters. Also, thank you to Axis for always making sure my paycheck is on time and offering a great 401K match. I look forward to many more contracts with you guys! 

Congrats Mary! We’re so glad you joined the Axis team! 🙂

Want to be considered for Traveler of the Month? Apply today!

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