Work Hard, Play Hard with a Travel Nurse Career

RNs enjoy career and personal perks of American Mobile travel nursing

By Joan Fox Rose, MA, RN, contributor

ICU nurses work in fast-paced and sometimes chaotic environments where they care for patients who are seriously ill. These highly skilled and compassionate professionals aren’t all business, however; they also enjoy having fun with friends. In fact, that’s why some choose American Mobile travel nursing.

During the recent holidays, four travel nurses met at the Neshoba Valley Ski Center in Westford, Mass., for a day on the slopes. What better way to unwind and enjoy all that winter and their New England assignments have to offer?

Employed by American Mobile Healthcare, an AMN Healthcare company, and currently assigned to Yale New Haven Hospital, these nurses work hard to advance their careers through assignments at large metropolitan teaching hospitals. Two nurse skiers, Christina Madrigal, RN, BSN, and Angie Chang, RN, BSN, recently shared insights about their travel nurse careers.

ICU travel nursing

Christina Madrigal, American Mobile travel nursing

“There’s a lot of autonomy for ICU nurses,” Madrigal said. “I like the challenges of working in an environment where thoughtful decision making is required. We care for patients who are critically ill and require close monitoring. Care may include mechanical ventilation, invasive hemodynamics and monitoring and continuous dialysis treatments. Therapeutic hypothermia is sometimes used for patients who’ve had a cardiac arrest to preserve neurological functions. ICU can be intense at times, but you learn so much.”

“Opportunities to advocate for patients and families are an important aspect of the job,” Chang added. “Families need support because they aren’t prepared to deal with a situation when a loved one experiences sudden and serious illness. I like the dialog between doctors and nurses as we collaborate about patients’ care plans, and how intricately everything works together.”

Choosing a travel nurse company

Madrigal said her decision to try American Mobile travel nursing was based on her experience with company representatives who were supportive and followed through on her inquires about travel options. “Within two weeks of contacting the company, I had an assignment and knew I was to work in an ICU unit at a large hospital. Company representatives followed through on my travel options and made the entry process easier than I thought it would be,” she said.

Angie Chang, American Mobile travel nursing

“The company has a lot of exclusive accounts with large teaching hospitals and learning opportunities that are important to me as a nurse traveler,” Chang pointed out. “American Mobile has been supportive in helping me to meet my future goal to become a humanitarian nurse and travel to many different countries to help out when needed.”

Chang has completed a trauma nursing core course (TNCC) and is certified as a field nurse. “Should any type of natural disaster occur, I am certified to triage patients while in the field,” she explained.

Advice for potential travel nurses

How would these nurses advise colleagues considering a travel nurse career?

“Go for it,” Madrigal said. “The worst thing would be not traveling but wishing you had. Not every nurse can or should travel because you have to want to do this and have a passion for nursing.”

“If you’re not comfortable with a policy or patient care protocols, speak up and let others know you’re willing to do a procedure, but you want to ensure you are doing it the correct way,” she continued. “Know how to use the chain of command and be aware of who your American Mobile Healthcare liaison nurse is and how to contact him or her.”

“Flexibility and attitude are key and a vital part of travel nursing success,” Chang said.

Activities for travelers to enjoy in and around New Haven

For others who might consider New Haven, Conn., as a stop in their travel nursing career, they are certain to find a number of things to do.

In addition to nearby skiing venues, Yale University itself is spacious and beautiful, and travelers report that is fun to walk around the campus. Downtown New Haven also has good restaurants and interesting things to do and see, such as visiting specialty shops, museums, the Yale University art gallery, or Toad’s Place, “a comedy club where music is on the menu.”

And don’t miss a trip aboard an antique trolley to see East Haven’s shore line, weather permitting. Rail service is good, and a trip to New York City requires just a 90-minute train ride.

Four American Mobile nurses enjoy a day on the slopes

Interested in knowing more about a travel nursing career? American Mobile has been connecting nurses with the right career opportunities for 30 years; contact us about current travel nurse jobs today!

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