Hey y’all! I decided to step out of my comfort zone and go a little further for my second travel assignment. For 13 weeks until May 19, I will be practicing at Regional One Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee. As of now, I am 3 weeks in to my contract. I figured this would be a great time to tell y’all about what I think and all I’ve experienced so far.
Memphis is the biggest city in Tennessee and is located along the Mississippi River. Memphis is very close to the Arkansas and Mississippi state lines and operates on Central Time; so it is an hour behind Eastern Standard Time. For example, if it was 9 pm in Charlotte, NC, it would be 8 pm here. This took me a while to get used to. I felt like the days were so long when I first came to Memphis. Finally, it is a major city of the United States with a lot to see and things to do. Memphis was a great choice for me and I am really excited to share with y’all the things I do and experience while I’m here.
After I came back from my birthday cruise and battling the flu the week of my departure, I began the 10 hour drive to Memphis, TN from Charlotte, NC. I left Charlotte on Sunday evening, made a pit stop in Atlanta and stayed the night, then drove the rest of the way to Memphis.
I arrived to Memphis on Monday, February 12. My orientation date for my job was not until Thursday February 15 so I had plenty of time to settle in my apartment that I got through Airbnb. My apartment was right in downtown Memphis so I was in a pretty good area. Also a plus, my commute to the hospital that I would be working at was a breeze. After getting everything inside and unpacked, Hugo and I were able to relax and get used to our surroundings for a few days before my first day of orientation at Regional One.
Thursday February 15: Regional One Medical Center
- First day of orientation! I have been through this so many times but I still get nervous. The day was very eventful to say the least but I actually met four other travel nurses and we formed our own tight-knit group. We exchanged numbers and vowed to keep each other posted on our days/nights at work and plan to meet up with each other once our schedules coordinate. Meeting them made me feel alot better about being here and it made me feel less alone.
Sunday February 18: OPENING WEEKEND OF THE MOVIE BLACK PANTHER!!
- I was so bummed because my sorority grad chapter (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated, Delta Zeta chapter) back home did an advance screening of the movie that Thursday night (which was a huge success btw) and I had to miss it :( buttttt two of the other travel nurses that I met and I went to go see it that night at a movie theater in Overton Square. That movie was AMAZING!!! We then walked around a bit and ate at this cute Mexican restaurant called Molly’s La Casita. The food was amazing and very flavorful. We all were going to hit the floor that week so we wanted to have one good time in before we started the real work.
Monday February 19-Tuesday February 20: Orientation Nights On The Floor
- With being a travel nurse you get a very condensed hospital and floor orientation. Once you get on the floor, you are expected to jump in and do your job. For my first two nights, I was with a more seasoned nurse, her name was Debbie. She was amazing. I enjoyed being with her as I was getting the flow of the floor, knowing where everything was located, etc. She was very patient with me and taught me everything that I would need to start on my own. I also met some of the staff within those two nights and everyone was very welcoming. By the end of my second night, I felt comfortable enough to do nursing the way I knew how. I would be able to show what I was made of soon enough because I would be on my own starting Saturday night.
Saturday February 24-Sunday February 25: On My Own
- Of course my first shifts on my own would be on a weekend (haha) but I wasn’t mad at all. Usually in the hospital, the weekends are a little slower so it gives me time to navigate the system, the floor, and the routine more at a steady pace. My co workers were awesome that night as well. They were always willing to help and any questions that I had, they made sure I had the answer right away. The floor that I work on is split so there’s usually 5 -6 nurses and 2 CNAs working. 3 nurses and 1 CNA go on one side and 2-3 nurses and the other CNA go on the other side. The nurses’ stations on both sides are right in front of the patient rooms (kind of like an ICU setting) so there’s no need for us to have our own personal work phones (this was different from what I was used to, but I liked the change). My first weekend shift on my own was a success.
Monday February 26: Gloss Nail Bar - Crosstown Concourse
- After getting acclimated to my work environment and schedule, I decided that I was going to take time for myself and get pampered. I went to this very cute nail salon called Gloss Nail Bar in Crosstown Concourse. I searched for this nail salon through Google Maps and found out that the salon was only 6 mins away from my apartment! Crosstown Concourse is a really nice area for retail and food and there are apartments surrounding it. Before it became what it is now, it used to be a Sears distribution center!
- Anyway, I walked into Gloss Nail Bar and I was amazed. It was really cute and fancy and I was treated like a queen. You also get two complimentary drinks so I had my two mimosas and felt really good and relaxed during my time there. I got a pedicure and overlay and had a great time with the staff and other customers. It felt great to treat myself since I worked all weekend.
Tuesday February 27: Mississippi River Greenbelt Park and Cozy Corner
- I still had one more day off from work so I wanted to explore a little bit. I ended up finding a park that was along the Mississippi River. The park was called Mississippi River Greenbelt Park. It was 5 mins from my apartment and the area was so beautiful. It’s part of a small community called Mud Island. There’s a long sidewalk that you can walk, jog, or run on. There’s benches on both sides of the sidewalk if you would rather sit and enjoy the view of the Mississippi River. On the other side of the street there were different residential communities of beautiful houses and apartments. Hugo and I walked on the sidewalk and enjoyed the scenery and the fresh air. The people were very friendly and I even got someone to take a picture of Hugo and I. It really gave me time to relax and regroup since I had to go to work the next day.
- Finally, I was craving BBQ so bad and everyone that I’ve spoken to told me that I had to try the BBQ while I was in Memphis. Some locals at the movie theater when I went to see Black Panther recommended this place called Cozy Corner. I used Google Maps and saw that it was 4 mins away from my apartment. Now Cozy Corner looks sketch on the outside, but the staff was really nice and the food was delicious. I highly recommend this place if y’all ever decide to come to Memphis to visit :)
My Thoughts So Far...
I am really enjoying Memphis so far. Not going to lie, I do get the occasional homesickness just because I’ve never been so far by myself but my family, my friends, and my recruiter have been very supportive. I can’t wait to see more of what Memphis has to offer. I am so excited that you all are following me on this journey and I cannot wait to share more of what I experience while I’m here. Until next time!
Live life, love always, and don’t forget to smile,