Jay is an outstanding trustaff traveler. His recruiter, DL, said, “Working with Jay has made me realize that hardships often prepare people for an extraordinary destiny.” How true!
Jay has been traveling for a little over three years now and loving it. He takes some really amazing photos and has developed quite the Instagram following.
We took a few minutes of his time to get to know him better!
Tell us about you. Where are you from? Family? Friends? Pets?
I was born in Houma, Louisiana and lived there until I was about 5 years old. My family eventually moved to Houston, TX, where I grew up for the remainder of my childhood. Majority of my family still lives in Louisiana, so I visit quite often during or in between contracts. Before nursing, I played hockey and lived and played a couple years in Sweden. I’m very close to my parents as well as my two older sisters.
Why did you decide to become a nurse in the first place?
Before nursing, I thought that I wanted to become a mechanical engineer. But when I sat back and thought about what really made me happy, it was caring for and helping people as cliche as that sounds. There was a particular trip to Mexico I took with Builders Without Borders that helped with my decision to pursue healthcare. Outside of nursing, one of my biggest passions is traveling and seeing new places so becoming a travel nurse was a natural decision for me.
What made you want to start traveling as a nurse?
I was actually in nursing school when I followed a travel nurse and I spoke to them about it. It sounded like everything I wanted, and has definitely been that.
What was your first assignment like?
My first assignment was and still is the toughest assignment that I’ve ever worked. The PICU was very busy and there were no easy days there, but I learned how to deal with the stresses of this new environment. It helped me tremendously moving forward and at this point you can throw me anywhere and I will be able to figure it out. I also have an amazing trustaff recruiter, “DL,” who is an awesome person and has gone above and beyond by getting me great assignments!
What is your favorite thing about travel nursing?
My favorite things about traveling are all of the experiences you obtain inside and outside of the hospital and all the different perspectives you get to see on the same type of patient. I’ve learned that you are able to do the same thing five different ways. I have also been able to meet a ton of amazing people that I never would have met otherwise.
What would you say is the hardest part? And how do you overcome that?
The hardest part of travel nursing would be that you spend a good amount of time by yourself, but at the same time once the assignment starts you do meet a lot of other travelers. Travel nurses tend to have pretty similar personalities. I feel that most of us are pretty laid back and just go with the flow so it makes meeting each other relativity easy. If you happen to not start with many travelers, it also teaches you to be independent and you learn how to do things alone like site seeing or going or hikes and just how to take it all in solo.
How many assignments have you taken and where?
I’m currently about three and a half years into traveling and have taken eight assignments so far. I’ve extended at almost every assignment as well as taken off some time in between each assignment to travel. I’ve been to Austin, Salt Lake City, San Diego, and San Francisco!
What advice would you give someone that is thinking about becoming a traveling nurse?
If you are considering travel nursing, but are scared, my suggestion is to just take the leap. The first assignment is always the hardest, but you learn how to adjust and each assignment gets easier and easier and soon enough the transition time needed is non-existent.
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