Well, here I am in Hollywood, Los Angeles. I’ve been here in my new “home” for almost a week, and I LOVE it. Since my last blog post a month ago about Doha, Qatar, I have been to Istanbul, Turkey, all over Jordan, to Bellevue, Washington, Portland, Oregon, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Slacking on blogging, I know. But busy living life, as usual.
Started my second travel nursing job here in Hollywood at Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center. The process of getting my second assignment with my travel company, Medical Express (a daughter company of AMN) was radically different than my first assignment earlier in the year at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH) at Stanford in the Bay Area.
With my first assignment I had a contract (already got the job at LPCH) and had a couple of months to prepare. Easy peasy lemon squeezy…kind of. Of course, during those three months I took off and went to Hawaii, followed by India and France for a month. So I still had to scramble when it came to fulfilling all the requirements of a new travel job – lots and lots of paperwork, online training, testing, etc. I hustled and completed most of the requirements before I left the country.
The one small “snag” I ran into was the lengthy amount of time it took for my fingerprints to process for the background check for my CA nursing license. When I returned from India/France with only two weeks before my LPCH job was to start, my license was still held up due to the finger printing/background check process. So I had to fly to Sacramento, CA (from Portland, OR) just to get the LiveScan finger printing done because they promise to process your background check in just 5 days if you do it that way. It worked – I got my license within the week, whew!
It was a little challenging to set up my second assignment with Kaiser (or any hospital) while I was traveling around the Middle East. Although I had an international plan w/AT&T for my iPhone, I had all my phone calls forwarded to my Google Voice number. I received my messages (love the option of having my VMs transcribed & texted to me!), but had to play phone tag with Children’s Hospital LA and UCLA. What was great about the Kaiser LA job is that they extended a contract based upon the contents in my travel file – resume, letters of recommendations, skills checklist, etc, as well as the clinical interview I had with them nine months ago. This made it so much easier for me to get this assignment, because my recruiter and I were able to set it up via email, which was much easier for me being overseas. Still, I got the Kaiser assignment with only about three weeks to fulfill all the requirements (more paperwork, training, etc), and needed to find housing in Los Angeles!
There are huge differences between starting each assignment. When I started my LPCH assignment, I was given everything I needed to know for the first week of orientation. I was given a schedule for the week, was informed where I should show up, what to wear, what to expect every day, etc.
When I started this Kaiser LA assignment, I laughed at how I was given small bits of information at a time – like on a need to know basis. I was emailed the location and times of my on-boarding session, but had no idea what I would do at that session. I showed up, and learned that it was an exam day, based upon 12 hours of online education I did the night prior (yay for paying attention to my online training!). At the on-boarding session I was given a “first day” sheet that told me where I was to show up the next day, what to wear, and what time I needed to be there in the morning. No clue about anything else. It’s like I’m a secret agent – cool! I showed up… and was given more exams! LOL!
So, for those of you who plan to be travel nurses…my words of wisdom for you: Be flexible. Be VERY VERY flexible. And when in doubt, park closest to the facility, smile (at everyone), and make at least one friend on your very first day. Happy travels!
Let me know if there are specific questions you have about travel nursing and I will try my best to answer them!