HAPPY ONE YEAR, JAZZY TRAVELS!!!
4 contracts down, many more to go!
I just have to thank God that I made it through another contract! This contract was unique because I have made some lasting connections in Richmond that I will forever be grateful for. Starting with my roommates: they have been great and have become my lifelong friends! If I didn’t go through my housing scam at the beginning of this contract, then I would have never met these amazing women! We understood each other’s trials and tribulations while working and we were there for one another to provide support and guidance. We vow to continue to stay in touch beyond this contract as well!
My co workers were a great team to work with. I never felt like “just a traveler” while working with them. They took me in as their own and never excluded me. I never got the “worst assignments” (a horror story about travel nursing that I have not experienced on any of my assignments) and they were always willing to help me when I needed it. I definitely returned the favor when they needed my help. Not only was work about work, but we definitely had some good times and laughs when we had some downtime and I will never forget my amazing night shift crew! They have definitely won a place in my heart.
Even though I had some good times during this contract, I did find myself becoming frustrated from time to time, especially during the last few weeks. We were short staffed quite a bit so it required management to either find help or we just had to grin and bear it. The nights where we had to grin and bear it were the nights that frustrated me the most. One night in particular, after the New Year, we were short staffed and the hospital felt that it was okay to assign patients higher than our usual ratio.
FUN FACT: Nurse-patient ratios on my floor are usually 1 nurse to 6 patients on night shift; on day shift it is usually 1 nurse to 5 patients. The more critical you go, the less patients you have (i.e PCU, ICU, etc.) but the patients are more sick. Nurse-patient ratios are created because they help nurses to provide safe, quality care to all patients. If a ratio goes beyond the usual, that makes it unsafe for a nurse to provide care to their patients safely.
I found myself in this situation and I was not happy about that. We called our whole night shift staff, float pool, PRN staff, even tried to recruit from different floors...no one was able to or chose not to come in to help us that night. At the end of the day (or night in my case) someone has to take care of these patients. They cannot be without care. My charge nurse was supposed to leave at 11:30 pm that night but chose to stay with us until 3:30 am so we we’re only above ratio for the last four hours of our shift. It was three of us working that night but one of my co workers had a orientee under him which made four. They took five patients a piece but they were really taking care of ten patients altogether while my co worker and I had seven patients each. Each of us had a PCT (patient care tech, also known as a CNA) to ourselves to help us with the patients and I found that to be very helpful. Being a PCT on night shift is hard as well and when you have 24 patients all to yourself, that can be very overwhelming.
I know what you’re thinking, one more patient from 6 shouldn’t make a difference. You would be surprised how much of a difference it makes. If that patient becomes unstable (vital sign changes, mental status changes, an accident happens, the list goes on), that makes you less likely to focus on your other patients and things can happen to them as well that you may miss because of caring for another patient. Also, the more patients you have, the more likely you are to make mistakes (refer to chart above from National Nurses United). Working night shift is already hard enough and piling more patients on to your workload can cause errors that can easily be avoided if the nurse was not overworked and not have many patients to take care of at one time.
Thank God all 7 of my patients were stable and I was able to provide the best care that I could for them. With being a travel nurse, I am able to adapt to any situation. Not every situation is ideal which is why I am assigned to certain hospitals to work. I have come to realize that it is not always about what happens to me or what comes my way, but how I handle the situation. My co workers and I worked together, like every other night, and got through it and making sure our patients got the care that they needed.
Overall, this was a great assignment. This assignment allowed me to appreciate how far I have came and that I have so much more to do and achieve. This assignment also made me appreciate home and my friends and my family. Will I ever come back, you ask? Who knows lol but I would definitely come back closer to the DC area and in warmer weather.
WHAT ABOUT OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I ended up going to back to DC the weekend before New Year’s Eve with my roommate Krista and my best friend Taylon came to visit me in Richmond about two weeks ago. My other roommate, Breanna, Taylon, and myself ended up going out one night as well. Those were the main fun highlights of my remaining time in Richmond.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING NEXT?
Home is where the heart is. I have been so blessed to have traveled to different places for work and outside of work last year. For now, I want to be stationary and I have decided to take a local contract in Elkin, NC. It is a little over a hour away from my apartment in Charlotte. I am so happy that I will be back home and get to enjoy time with my friends and family. Don’t worry, I have not stopped traveling! I have big plans over the summer so staying close to home and saving money is the best choice for me at this time. I will still push out new content for you all to read and enjoy! I have a special blog post coming out in February so be on the lookout for that! Last but not least, don’t forget to comment, subscribe, and share this post :)
Until next time,
Live life, love always, and don’t forget to smile,