Travel Nurses of the Year: Carolyn B and Patrick W!
Are you an avid Traveler of the Month reader? Love catching up with our Rock Stars as much as we do? Then you may have seen this dynamic duo featured in March 2019. Every year, our Travel Nurses of the Month are under consideration for our Travel Nurse of the Year title. For 2020, we decided to do it a little differently and selected an incredible travel pair! Meet our 2020 Travel Nurses of the Year: Carolyn B and Patrick W!
Let’s see what our Rock Star Travel Nurses have to say about their experiences!
1. What are some of your most memorable moments as a travel nurse thus far?
C: I would say that our trip all over California to see the National Parks was amazing. Also, living in Seattle and driving up to see Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
P: There are too many to even count, but walking along the pier in Pacific Beach in San Diego with an iced coffee, watching the surfers on my days off are some of my favorite memories. Getting to explore the entire West Coast in the past year and a half of my life has been so amazing, all while doing something that’s familiar to me.
2. What has influenced you to continue traveling?
C: There are still too many places in America that I want to visit, and one of the perks of doing so while travel nursing is that I can visit a place significantly longer than if I were on vacation.
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P: The awesome thing about living in America is there is so much to see in this country, and I feel like if I don’t see as much as possible while I have the opportunity I will regret it later in life. Also, my National Park Passport Book desperately needs more stamps.
3. If you could offer one piece of advice to a first-time travel nurse what would it be?
C: Buy a National Parks pass, and consider getting a vehicle with four-wheel drive. Also, remember that your coworkers have lived in the area you’re brand new to, so ask them for recommendations about food, hiking and places to visit.
P: Remember that nursing is super stressful (especially right now), so even though you’re in a new place with a ton of things to see and do, it’s ok to take a day and lounge and read a good book or watch TV. All that awesome stuff isn’t going anywhere. Also, make sure to write down the code to the break room, you will forget it a million times.
4. What has been the most surprising aspect of travel nursing?
C: I think it’s surprising how many travel nurses there are in hospitals. Back when I was a staff nurse, we didn’t really ever see any at my hospital, and I thought it was a lot less common than it is. But we’re everywhere, and it’s great talking to other travelers about potential next destinations and hospitals.
P: The most surprising part to me is even though it is incredibly daunting moving to a new city and working in a new hospital every couple of months, things become routine and comfortable pretty quickly. I thought I was going to be constantly freaking out about new surroundings, but if you ask the right questions to the right people, it’s easy to fit in pretty quickly.
5. Where are some of the top cities on your travel nurse bucket list?
6. Of the places you’ve traveled, which location has been your favorite and why?
C: San Diego for sure. Good food, by the beach, everyone was happy and relaxed. The hospital we worked in was awesome, and I had some of the best coworkers in the world.
P: I loved Seattle. We initially got there in August and it blew my mind the sun was up till like 9 at night. There is so much to do there in regards to food, nature, 3 National Parks within driving distance, and music. If I could somehow convince my family to relocate to Washington I would live there in a heartbeat.
7. What are some of the challenges you face as a travel nurse and how do you overcome?
C: Sometimes it’s hard to get used to all the small differences between how hospitals and staff operate. The small details take awhile to get used to, so that’s why you should always ask questions. I’ve found that overall most nurses will gladly help you if you ask.
P: I mean it’s been pretty rough being a travel nurse during the pandemic. Stress levels in the hospitals are at an all time high, and it’s tough not having the support system I’m used to having back home at my side. But just like any other aspect of traveling, being as adaptable as possible and leaning on my coworkers has been very helpful.
8. Knowing what you know now about travel nursing, what would you tell your past self?
C: I would tell my past self that I’m glad I decided to do travel nursing, because it’s been 100% worth it every step of the way.
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P: There are going to be some times when you’re going to be afraid that housing or an assignment aren’t going to work out. It will though, everything does in the end.
9. How do you think travel nursing has impacted your personal relationships if at all?
C: It’s tough to be away from home, but I’ve learned that home is only a plane flight, phone call, or FaceTime away. I miss my family a lot, but they’re extremely supportive of what I’m doing. I hope after COVID calms down I can get them out here to see some of the beautiful things I’ve witnessed.
P: It really stinks not seeing my family or friends as often, but I feel like the time I do spend with them is more precious and memorable than ever. Also, I’ve met a lot of really cool people during my travels, including some lifelong friends.
10. Finally, what do you like best about working at Axis?
C: Lynna, she’s the best! She answers all my questions, is always available, and has become one of my closest friends. Also, threw me an awesome birthday party 🙂
P: Lynna. She has put up with more crap and worked more late nights for us than I can possibly imagine. She’s become one of our closest friends, and has made the process of traveling so much smoother and enjoyable than it would have been otherwise. Rock Stars for life!!
Congratulations Carolyn and Patrick!
We’re so glad you decided to become Axis Rock Stars, and can’t wait to hear about your future adventures!
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