What I Learned from My First Assignment

Traveling Nurse Assignments

Sally Keskey

Before I jumped into travel nursing I was given a temporary assignment performing physicals in a corporate setting. Not sure what I was getting into but wanting the compensation while I sorted out a longer assignment, I agreed to the gig and headed to work. What I realized immediately is that my nursing professors were right: there really are thousands of ways to be a nurse.

This temporary assignment was providing physicals to corporate employees who were competing to lose weight and get healthier. Willing employees signed up for an incentive program organized by their place of work and insurance company to earn points based on their BMI, cholesterol levels, and whether or not they received their flu shot. I, along with several other nurses, was responsible for keeping score. For several hours we weighed participants, drew blood, and gave flu shots-all while getting paid a great rate.

While working, I was fortunate to meet plenty of nurses and learn a lot more about the possibilities of temporary positions. There were Moms looking for a shift to fit their schedule while they stayed home with their children, new nurses looking for experience, and nurses past retirement who all found themselves finding creative ways to nurse. Every nurse had advice for me on tackling nursing when new to a city and working with various health care facilities.

The greatest lessons I learned that day were to remember to apply nursing school concepts to actual nursing practice and as I mentioned before there are thousand different ways to be a nurse.

At the end of the day, I was again reminded just how helpful it is to have a recruiter working with you. Mine called me at the end of the shift to ask how everything went. I explained my nervousness and excitement. She calmed my anxieties. I reported what I thought I did well and got plenty of positive feedback. I was unbelievably nervous but learned so much in pushing past those fears and just working the job. Now that I’ve got many, many, more assignments under my belt, I’m a lot less nervous while continuing to learn new things every day.

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