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Six Fabulous Fall Locations for Travel Nurses!

Fall Lady Leaves - Six Fabulous Fall Locations for Travel Nurses!
Get ready for a fantastic season in one of the six fabulous fall locations for Travel Nurses!

That fantastic fall feeling is setting across the country. This magical season comes with cozy cardigans, colorful leaves crunching underfoot, caramel apples, hot beverages, jack-o’-lanterns on the porch, soup on the stove, football and fall premieres on the TV, and more pumpkin-flavored delights than you can shake a cinnamon stick at!

So, where would you like to spend this gorgeous, transformative season? Travel RNs, Allied Health Professionals, and Long-term Acute Care Nurses have all kinds of opportunities through Medical Solutions to connect with the perfect gig for autumn. In that spirit, please consider these six spectacular fall locations for travel nursing jobs!

Massachusetts

Autumn in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts
Fall foliage in the beautiful Berkshires region of Massachusetts!

Massachusetts is especially known for its spectacular fall colors. From beautiful, historic Boston to the famous autumn colors of the Berkshires, fall assignments in Massachusetts are a perfect way to experience a magical New England fall! Explore colorful cranberry bogs throughout the Cape Ann region and see the gorgeous peaks of the Berkshire Mountains decorated in its fall best with colorful Sugar Maples and all kinds of other magnificent fall foliage. Moderate fall temperatures are perfect for exploring Boston’s famous Freedom Trail, plus the city’s iconic harbor, historic architecture, and many amazing restaurants. In the mood for a fun day trip? October is a great time to hop up to Salem and explore the spooky city responsible for the Salem Witch Trials. Learn more about The Bay State here in our Massachusetts State Spotlight.

Click here to check out jobs in Massachusetts!

Kentucky

Fall Kentucky - Six Fabulous Fall Locations for Travel Nurses!
A gorgeous stretch of road between horse farms in rural Kentucky.

The beautiful Bluegrass State is about 47 percent forested with some 175 different tree species, making it one of the nation’s most gorgeous locations to explore fall colors! The Daniel Boone National Forest, Red River Gorge, Wilderness Road Heritage Highway, and the Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway are each wonderful routes for leaf-peeping drives. If you don’t feel like driving, hop on Kentucky’s South Fork Scenic Railway, sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery. Even cities like Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, and others are fabulous for fall, with their classic, tree-lined streets and plenty more to do, see, and enjoy!

Click here to explore opportunities in Kentucky!

Washington

TRavel Nurse Fall Jobs in Washington
Washington produces the most apples of any state!

Washington — with its timeless penchant for flannel — really knows how to do a fantastic fall! Seattle is dubbed the Emerald City because of its year-round penchant for green, and it stays pretty mild temperature-wise there during autumn. Visit the original Starbucks for your caffeine fix, explore the famous Pike Place Market, and take a ferry ride to beautiful Bainbridge Island — all with that iconic view of magnificent Mount Rainier in the background. In Washington, you’re never too far from a fun day trip like a pumpkin patch excursion, an apple orchard visit, or for a fun fall hike. Gorgeous fall colors abound on drives like the North Cascades Highway, Mount Rainier Loop, and Mount Baker Highway. Learn more about The Evergreen State here in our Washington State Spotlight

Click here to find a great job in Washington!

Colorado

Hiker looking over view of fall colored aspens
Golden aspens delight in colorful Colorado!

Colorado falls are famous for their gorgeous, golden aspens. Aspen, Estes Park, and Crested Butte are a few popular places to peep those colorful leaves and many other hues. Estes Park is also a must-do to experience otherworldly elk bugling as mating season begins in Rocky Mountain National Park. Plus, there is truly no better time than spooky September and ominous October to visit the famously haunted historic Stanley Hotel, which inspired the setting of Stephen King’s The Shining. Colorado’s many scenic byways dazzle with fall colors across the state, so you really can’t go wrong here — and, skiers and winter-lovers might want to start an assignment in the Centennial State in fall and extend through winter! Learn more about colorful Colorado here in our Colorado State Spotlight.

Click here for cool Colorado jobs!

New York

Fall Travel Nurse Jobs in NEw York
Ah, to experience autumn in New York!

The Empire State is a fantastic jumping-off point for exploring famous New England fall foliage. The Big Apple is famous for its fall beauty, with gorgeous colors popping off throughout Central Park, and tons of history, theater, arts, dining, shopping, and sports to experience in mild fall weather. Upstate, places like Lake George, Lake Otsego, Glimmerglass State Park, and The Adirondacks are known for great traditional fall activities, like scenic hikes and drives, orchards, pumpkin patches, hayrack rides, and tons more. Pay tribute to the waning days of the 2019 baseball season with a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Learn more about The Empire State here in our New York State Spotlight.

Click here to check out travel jobs in New York!

Missouri

9 Fine Fall Locations for Travel Nurses Massachusetts
The Ozarks are even prettier (and less crowded!) in the fall.

The Midwest is a wonderful place to be in the fall and Missouri is proof positive of that fact! The Show-Me State has many adventures in store for Travelers, plus a lots of great job opportunities. Enjoy some jazz and BBQ in KC. Admire the Arch, catch feelings for blues music, and sip on regional craft beer in St. Louis. Both of Missouri’s largest city centers also have great pro sports teams, delectable dining, exciting art, and great shopping. Don’t forget the sprawling Ozarks and lovably kitschy Branson! In fact, many people say the Ozark Hills around the Lake of the Ozarks are at their prettiest when sparkling with gold and maroon leaves. Hike or horseback ride through the beautiful hills, camp out, or enjoy the colors from a boat! Learn more here in our Missouri State Spotlight.

Click here to explore jobs in Missouri!

Wherever you land, we wish a fabulous fall and hope we can help make it even better by connecting you with a great gig. If you’ve got your heart set on another location for fall, click here to search all Travel Nurse, Allied Health Professional, and Long-term Care jobs now!

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Clinical Corner: Nurse Burnout All Too Common

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If you’re experiencing nurse burnout, you are not alone!

By Laura Friend, Clinical Nurse Manager at Medical Solutions

I had just turned 23 years old when I graduated nursing school and was offered my dream job in the emergency department where I’d worked as a tech during the few years prior. I was working overnights, as most new grads do. It was my third week off orientation, around 3:30 a.m., when the EMS radio started to crackle: “Medic 46 is in route to your facility with a 16-year-old female, unrestrained driver. Rollover accident. Code 99 at this time. ETA 6 minutes.”

As some of you know, “code 99” means the paramedics are doing CPR in the ambulance on their way to the hospital. I remember thinking, “This isn’t going to be good. I’ve never seen a code 99 from the field make it. Sixteen years old, that’s not that much younger than me. I wonder why she was out so late; she should’ve been at home, safe.” Right then, the sirens started blaring right outside our door. The paramedics wheeled the young patient in, chest compressions in progress. The code lasted less than five minutes in the ER. Cause of death: blunt force trauma to the head. Half of her face was gone.

I couldn’t sleep that day when I went home. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw what was left of her face — the only part of her body that even had a scratch on it. I heard her mother’s cries as I tossed and turned. I could still smell the metallic odor of blood, even though I’d already showered and washed my scrubs. I went to work that night on little sleep and saw that my coworkers from the night before hadn’t slept much either. None of us talked about it. We quietly went about our jobs and went home again. I made it about five years total in the ER before I left the specialty I loved and worked hard to be a part of because I realized I had grown hard, cynical, and jaded.

Nurse burnout is a hot topic in the healthcare field. According to a recent survey, almost 57 percent of nurses report feelings of burnout or feeling unengaged. Feelings associated with burnout include constant fatigue, a lack of enthusiasm about one’s job, compassion fatigue, or feeling unappreciated or unmotivated. Of the 57 percent of nurses who report having those feelings, 50 percent have no plans to leave their organization (Brusie, 2019). I wasn’t alone. Knowing that over half of all nurses feel some sort of burnout regarding their jobs, what can we do?

Research shows there are a few key items that would help nurse morale and engagement. These include giving nurses an opportunity to participate in decision-making that is directly related to their work, as well as giving nurses more autonomy when it comes to their skillset and expertise. It is also recommended to not only make employees feel like their hard work is meaningful, but to also give them goals in which to strive and recognize their accomplishments (Mudallal, Othman, & Hassan, 2017).

While those steps may take time, simpler and quicker ways to help decrease the effects of nurse burnout include talking about “the hard stuff” with coworkers, debriefing after events, and helping coworkers to take breaks at work. Individually, nurses must also take care of themselves, so they are able to best care for others; get enough sleep, exercise, and participate in enjoyable activities outside of work. Travel nursing also helps prevent burnout by securing better nurse to patient ratios at facilities in need. For those who choose to travel, the variety of travel nursing assignments available can also help them prevent their own burnout with frequent changes in scenery.

To our Medical Solutions nurses, we appreciate you! Thank you for all your hard work, day and night, to take such great care of your patients. Please remember to take care of yourselves as well as you care for your patients — and that our internal clinical team is always here to support you!  

Sources:

Brusie, C. (2019, April 7). Study Reveals Alarming Statistics on Nurse Burnout.

Mudallal, R. H., Othman, W. A. M., & Hassan, N. F. A. (2017). Nurses’ Burnout: The Influence of Leader Empowering Behaviors, Work Conditions, and Demographic Traits. INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, 54. doi: 10.1177/0046958017724944

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SeriousFun 2019: Moe’s Story

rsz 1rrr monique - SeriousFun 2019: Moe’s Story
Moe, who worked this summer at SeriousFun camp The Painted Turtle, is all smiles from the “pure joy” of camp! Here she is after her campers showered her in paint.

In 2019, Medical Solutions not only partnered once again with Roundup River Ranch, a SeriousFun camp in Gypsum, Colorado, but we also expanded our recruitment program to include three locations!

As we announced in January 2019, “SeriousFun Children’s Network (SeriousFun) is a non-profit organization which provides life-changing camp experiences to children living with serious illnesses and their families. The expanded program will provide recruitment services, including a scholarship program and financial donation to cover medical needs, to Roundup River Ranch located in Gypsum, Colorado, Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, Florida (north of Orlando), and The Painted Turtle in Lake Hughes, California (north of Los Angeles).”   

This partnership has been a natural fit — good for the camps and those they serve while also providing incredible, unique job opportunities to members of Medical Solutions’ talented pool of traveling healthcare professionals. We are so honored to help connect the campers at three SeriousFun locations with incredible caregivers!

Each year we like to share stories from Travelers who have had the amazing opportunity to take an assignment at camp. This year — as summer 2019 draws to a close — we continue that tradition with Moe’s story!

What is your name and what’s your title?

Monique ‘Moe’ Augustine RN, BSN

Tell us about your previous nursing experience.

“I have been a pediatric nurse for over a decade. My career has opened tons of doors to wonderful opportunities for me. I thank God every day, because I get to touch other people’s lives and reciprocate that same joy.”

Tell us about your experience this summer working at The Painted Turtle, part of the SeriousFun Children’s Network.

“Thanks to Medical Solutions and The Painted Turtle I have added another great memory to my career. I have worked hard, learned more, cried a ton, and witnessed summer magic! The idea that ‘Camp never leaves you,’ is a real thing. I grew up camping, and for me and the majority of my family camping was the thing that made the rest of life doable. 

For any child that has to live the majority of their life in clinics, doctor’s offices, and hospitals, camp is a dream come true. The campers that experience a camp week at The Painted Turtle, don’t have to sit idly by and hear other kids talk about how great camp is. These campers get to join in the conversation with huge smiles on their faces and that warm, fuzzy feeling in their hearts that only camp can bring! This summer I got to be on the inside watching those dreams come true and it was pure joy!”

Thanks so much to our partners at SeriousFun and also to Moe and all of the other incredible healthcare pros who provided care at these three locations this summer!  

If you’re interested in working an assignment at a SeriousFun camp next year, please keep an eye out for recruitment communications from Medical Solutions in the early months of 2020. You can also tell your Career Consultant now, just so he or she can help remind you when recruitment is live. In the meantime, we’ll just to have to enjoy fall while we can and count down the days until Summer 2020!

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New LTC Job Opportunities at Medical Solutions!

Opportunity
Medical Solutions and 360 Healthcare Staffing have merged, which means more job opportunities in the LTC and leadership space for Travelers, plus more great workforce solutions for facilities!

As you’ve likely heard, this year Medical Solutions officially joined forces with 360 Healthcare Staffing. 360, which is now fully integrated and operates as part of Medical Solutions, has been known for its savvy staffing of interim leadership positions and post-acute care jobs — also known as LTC/LTAC/long-term care.

We are elated by this union here at Medical Solutions, mainly because it offers our Travelers new long-term care and leadership opportunities while also better satisfying our client hospitals’ workforce needs! But, really, our CEO Craig Meier said it best:

“Bringing the expertise of 360 Healthcare Staffing under the Medical Solutions brand integrates our shared commitment to delivering an exceptional experience for our employees and clients. We understand the need for not only contingent labor, but the rising need for overall workforce solutions in healthcare. We’re committed to diversifying our services to better serve up customized solutions for our clients, provide care to more patients across the country, as well as provide more jobs and increased resources for our Travelers.” 

Our goal is always to increase opportunity and improve customer experience for all the people and facilities we serve, and we are confident that this is one big step in achieving that goal! As a result, you will notice a few new tabs (or at the very least increased activity in these tabs) within our job search tool:

Jobs in Long-Term Acute Care

If you’re looking for long-term acute care job opportunities, click here to explore your options.

Jobs in Long-Term Care Management

If you’re looking for long-term care management job opportunities, click here to explore a host of new options.

Jobs in Long-Term Care/Skilled Nursing Facilities

If you’re looking for job opportunities in long-term care/skilled nursing facilities, click here to check out your options.

Workforce Solutions for Facilities

Does your facility need a partner to help you staff LTAC, LTC management, or LTC/SNF professionals? Click here to learn more about how Medical Solutions can help!

In addition to the many new LTC job opportunities at Medical Solutions, we are consistently adding more job opportunities in various other specialties and settings. So, be sure to check out our job search tool where you can explore travel healthcare opportunities and search by title, specialty, and/or location!   

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Clinical Corner: The Criminalization of Human Error and How to Protect Yourself

Mistake - Clinical Corner: The Criminalization of Human Error and How to Protect Yourself
Everyone makes mistakes, but as nurses, we must work diligently to avoid those that may put our patients’ lives in peril.

By Melissa Nguyen, Clinical Nurse Manager at Medical Solutions

I’ve been a nurse for 19 years and I remember my first medication error like it was yesterday. I was a new grad working in dialysis and I administered 5,000u heparin instead of 1,000u heparin. I recognized my error when my patient’s fistula wouldn’t stop bleeding when the needles were removed. I remember walking to the med counter and realizing the heparin label wasn’t the same color it usually was — the label looked exactly like the 1,000u heparin but the color of the label was a light blue instead of the usual light green. 

I still remember that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was responsible for my patient’s excessive bleeding. How did I not notice the bottles were different? I contacted the nephrologist, notified my administrator, filled out an incident report, and sat with my patient for more than an hour and a half until the bleeding stopped. Aside from having to stay longer than normal until her bleeding stopped, I was lucky my patient didn’t have any further complications. 

Fast forward to February 1, 2019: That was the day that nurse RaDonda Vaught was indicted in Tennessee for reckless homicide in the death of her patient, Charlene Murphey due to a medication error at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. I couldn’t help but think of my own medication error and how drastically different Vaught’s error ended. 

In December 2017, Vaught was taking care of Murphey who was hospitalized for a subdural hematoma. Versed had been ordered by a physician prior to a full body scan to help ease her anxiety from claustrophobia. According to court records, Vaught was unable to find IV Versed in the patients ordered profile, so she enabled the ‘override’ function in the medication dispensing system and typed ‘VE’ into the search field. This break in protocol led to a series of mistakes that ultimately led to the death of her patient. 

According to prosecutors, Vaught ignored multiple warnings that the medication she was about to mistakenly remove was Vecuronium and not Versed. Vaught removed the Vecuronium, which unlike Versed, was a powder that had to be mixed before it could be given to a patient. She then mixed the medication and admitted to being “distracted” which caused her to miss the bright orange warning on the bottle stating “WARNING — PARALYZING AGENT.” Vaught then administered a lethal dose of Vecuronium, which ultimately paralyzed Murphey’s respirations leading to her untimely death. 

Co-workers described RaDonda Vaught as a respected, well-liked, competent nurse with a spotless track record. She admitted that she made a mistake by using the override feature and by not recognizing the warnings on the vial. Vaught’s supporters believe that criminalizing mistakes will lead to underreporting of errors and the inability to identify other factors that led to mistakes being made.

So, what can you learn from this case and how can you protect yourself?

Know the five basic rights of medication administration and use them every single time.

Right 1: Right patient

Right 2: Right medication

Right 3: Right dose 

Right 4: Right time

Right 5: Right route

Monitor your patients to watch for adverse effects.

In Vaught’s case, she did not record the administration of medication and left the room immediately without monitoring the patient. Murphey was found unresponsive and pulseless 30 minutes after the Vecuronium was given. Had Murphey been monitored, she would have shown signs of respiratory failure within minutes of receiving the medication. Be mindful of the medications you administer and the possible side effects that could occur.

Follow policy and procedures.

While overrides may need to be used under emergent situations, they are not to be used under routine circumstances. Safeguards are put in place for a reason. Should you find yourself in a similar situation where a medication is not showing up on a patient profile, do not override safeguards without contacting pharmacy, a charge nurse, or another fellow nurse to help troubleshoot. 

The blame should not be entirely placed on Vaught, as there were also failures identified within the hospital system. In the end, this is truly a tragic incident that led to the death of a patient and a nurse with pending criminal charges. No matter how you look at the situation, it is devastating for everyone involved. None of us are immune from making mistakes, however, it is our responsibility stay vigilant in adhering to basic fundamentals set in place that ensure patient safety!

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Congrats to June 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Scott B TotM 6.19 1024x768 - Congrats to June 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Congrats to June 2019 Traveler of the Month, Scott B., pictured here with his canine pal, Samson.

Many thanks and congrats to the June 2019 Traveler of the Month, Scott B., and also our Rising Star winner, Lori C.!

Traveler of the Month Scott is an RN specializing in Interventional Radiology who just finished an assignment in Oakland, California. He’s been in nursing for six years (two in ICU and four in IR) and traveling for three years. Scott works with Career Consultant Melissa Barks.

Scott’s favorite location so far is Denver, Colorado.  

“I loved Denver — hiking, snowboarding, camping, and a very lively city had everything someone could want,” he said.

Scott travels solo but he has a dog, Samson, and a fiancé who hold down the fort when he’s on assignment. He used Travel Nursing as a way to save money to buy his family a house to move into after their November 2019 wedding

“With this last contract I’ve finally reached my goal and we can be a family together,” says Scott. “Sadly, this means the end of my Travel Nurse career for the time being, but I’m excited to reach this new phase of my life.” 

While he’s moving on for now, Scott still loves the connections he’s built through Travel Nursing.

“I love the network I’ve been able to form. I now have friends and job opportunities all throughout the country. Anywhere I want to go to visit or work, I now feel like I have contacts there to help me navigate,” he says.  

Scott shared some wonderful advice for new or aspiring Travelers:

1. “Never say ‘At my last facility we did it this way.’ Constructive criticism is great, and being a Traveler we get to see how many units are run so we are in a unique position to help a unit grow, but just because something works at one facility doesn’t mean it will work everywhere.”

2. “Be flexible! Some of my best travel contracts came from being passed over for a position I really wanted. A job or facility may not have been your first choice but with a positive attitude you may find you have a great facility.”

3. “Explore the area while on assignment. Many people use traveling to save money, so I hear of people hermiting themselves in an apartment during a contract scared to spend anything. There are tons of free events in every city if you take the effort to meet new people and find them. And don’t forget to sometimes treat yourself — don’t go overboard, but from time to time its OK to go to that expensive restaurant for an amazing meal or buy that new piece of clothing.” 

4. “Have a purpose to travel. I was doing it to save money for a house. Some people are nomads and want to see the world. Some want to settle down but don’t know where, so they want to try a few cities/states out. Whatever your reason for traveling, define it in your mind or life can become searching for the next job/contract and not enjoying yourself.” 

Thanks so much for your great advice, Scott. We wish you all the best for a happy wedding and new adventures to come!

Lori C Travel Nurse
June 2019 Rising Star, Lori C., has seen some pretty incredible sights as a Traveler. Congrats and thank you for all you do, Lori!

Rising Star Lori is a Labor & Delivery RN. She’s been in nursing for 14 years and is now on her second assignment as a Travel Nurse. Lori is currently on assignment in Gainesville, Florida, and works with Career Consultant Michelle White.

Lori travels solo but her husband and kids have come to visit during her assignments and she also flew back home often. Having come from Florida originally, she says she really enjoyed her first assignment in Arizona.  

“Coming from Florida I really enjoyed Arizona — no humidity or mosquitoes — plus, I was a short drive from Sedona, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and California.” 

Lori loves everything she gets to learn and see via Travel Nursing.  

“I love all the places you can go, experiencing different hospitals, and seeing how they do things, exploring new areas, and meeting new people,” she says. 

In fact, Lori’s husband says she’s a constant learner — the type who’d be a life-long student if she could get paid for it. Here are some great tips based on what she’s learned so far as a Travel Nurse:

“Most importantly, go in with an open mind,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t compare places — every place has something good to offer and is an opportunity to learn no matter how long you’ve been a nurse.”

Thank you for sharing your story and these helpful tips, Lori!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions June 2019 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star. Scott and Lori, we are so thankful to you both for your incredible work!

Could you be the next Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect hospital evaluation are eligible to win these monthly awards — with Rising Star going to newer Medical Solutions Travelers. Click here to learn more and to see if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!

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State Spotlight: Wyoming

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Go West, Travel Nurses! The Grand Teton Mountains are calling you.

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to wonderful Wyoming. The Equality State is perhaps best known for its natural beauty. Those stunning landscapes provide the perfect setting for Travel Nurses to expand their personal and professional horizons. Read on to learn why you should consider Wyoming for your next Travel Nursing assignment!

Travel Nursing in Wyoming:

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There are approximately 31 hospitals in Wyoming, with several ranking high on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Regional Hospitals list. According to the publication, the top three hospitals in Wyoming are Aspen Mountain Medical Center in Rock Springs, Campbell County Health in Gillette, and Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Cheyenne. According to Livibility.com, Wyoming’s hospitals employ nearly 9,000 people and contribute more than $45 million to the state’s economy.

In terms of licensing, Wyoming is both a compact state and a NURSYS state. However, it is not a walk-through state. To learn more about the Equality State’s licensure requirements, you can click here.

Wyoming Fast Facts:

State Nickname: The Equality State

Capital: Cheyenne

Largest City: Cheyenne

National Parks: 7

State Parks: 12

cowboy 1 - State Spotlight: Wyoming
Wyoming’s cowboy culture lives on in annual events, like the rodeo.

State Motto: “Equal Rights.”

State Flower: Wyoming Indian paintbrush

State Tree: Plains cottonwood

State Bird: Western meadowlark

State Rock: Nephrite jade

Congress declared Wyoming the 44th state on July 10, 1890.

Wyoming’s nickname stems from the fact that it was the first state to give women the right to vote and the first to elect a female governor.

The state is the 10th largest by area and the least populous.

Wyoming’s official state sport is the rodeo.

Famous people from or with Wyoming connections include Former Vice President Dick Cheney, actor Harrison Ford, actor Matthew Fox, author Patricia MacLachlan, writer E. Annie Proulx, singer/songwriter Scott Avett, and country music singer Chris LaDoux.

To Do & See in Wyoming

Thanks in large part to the state’s seven national parks, millions of tourists discover Wyoming’s charms every year. Yellowstone National Park, arguably the state’s most popular attraction, is home to the iconic geyser Old Faithful and the largest hot spring in the U.S. Yellowstone is also a hotspot for wildlife. If you’re lucky, you can catch a glimpse of bison, elk, eagles, wolves, or even grizzly bears in Lamar Valley, located near the park’s northeast entrance.

Close to Yellowstone is the Grand Teton National Park, which includes the Teton mountain range, the Grand Teton peak, and the valley known as Jackson Hole. From mountain-climbing, hiking, and camping, to fly-fishing, kayaking, and sightseeing, it’s no wonder the Grand Teton National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The best time to visit is from mid-May to late September, according to the U.S. News Travel Guide. However, the winter months can be just as fun — you can hit the slopes here at several skiing resorts or soak your cares away in the nearby Granite Hot Springs. 

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Sunset at Devil’s Tower in Wyoming is a sight to behold!

Devils Tower National Park should also be on your must-see list during your Wyoming assignment. Considered sacred to many Northern Plains Tribes, the Devils Tower is a rock formation that rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River. President Theodore Roosevelt declared this geological wonder the first national monument in 1906. In the summer, you can set up camp for a night or two within the park grounds, take a hike, or even climb the impressive Devils Tower. Plus, if you visit during the first full week of August, you’ll be able to experience the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally up close — Devils Tower is one of the stops on this famous motorcycle journey.

If you want a taste of the real Wild West, Wyoming is the place to be. Prime rib, country fried steak, and trout are all on the menu here year-round. Soda bread (a pioneer-days staple), Wyomatoes (a deliciously sweet tomato), Rocky Mountain oysters, and morels are also high on the list of fun treats for visitors and locals alike. After tasting these wonderful Wyoming specialties, you can wash it all down with an old-fashioned soda or a Boiler Maker, which is a beer chased with a shot of Wyoming Whiskey.

Ready for your adventure to incredible Wyoming?! Search jobs now to find your dream Travel Nurse job in Wyoming! Or, search all jobs here.

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Clinical Corner: To Post or Not to Post — Social Media and Healthcare

Social Media - Clinical Corner: To Post or Not to Post — Social Media and Healthcare
Be smart about social media — both on and off the job!

By Natalie Olson, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions & Sarah Wengert

Even though it’s become such an important part of our lives, social media is still a relatively new frontier — and it can certainly be a bit like the wild, wild west! The proliferation of websites and apps that allow users to engage in social networking with others, distribute information, and share their every thought, image, and lunch plate, come with great power and great responsibility. “To post or not to post” — that is the question — and healthcare professionals should be sure to ask themselves before they act!  

Using social media can significantly impact Travel Nurses and other allied health professionals, both at the individual level and in the workplace. It is important to understand that although there are positive aspects of social media use in healthcare, there are also negative consequences, as well as potential health consequences. As technology is increasingly applied in the healthcare field, this becomes increasingly true for all healthcare providers.

Benefits of Social Media on Nursing Practice

Nurses frequently use websites and apps that let them to share content with other nurses quickly, efficiently, and in real-time. In the travel industry, Travel Nurses and other allied health professionals often communicate with each other through online communities by asking questions about the industry, as well as sharing positive and negative experiences.

Ultimately, social media benefits Travelers, hospitals, and travel staffing agencies alike. One potential benefit that social media provides these three groups is that it improves provider communication. This can be a very effective way to help coordinate patient care and improve patient outcome. In some settings, nurses are required to use a smartphone to take photos of wounds and/or send text messages to physicians, which decreases the time to treatment.

Another benefit is the aforementioned ability to partake in professional nursing networks, like forums, blogs, Facebook groups, Instagram accounts, Twitter accounts, and other such platforms. These networks make it easy to share and obtain information, ask questions, and connect with others who have similar interests. Networking has become increasingly valuable because it lets nurses have open discussions with a more diverse community. This ample flow of information not only helps nurses personally and professionally, but it also enhances knowledge of best practices and real-world outcomes, which leads to better patient care overall.

Social Media Pitfalls

For nurses, one of the most common issues with social media use in the workplace is the violation of patient privacy. According to the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, “Violations of patient privacy are a serious concern for nurses, as these represent a violation of professional standards, and can result in termination or suspension. Privacy concerns are paramount for nurses, as we are self-regulating healthcare professionals.”

Another danger is when social media becomes a distraction or interrupts the workplace — and this can be particularly important for Travel Nurses to be aware of. Nurses are frequently reprimanded in the workplace for being caught on their personal cell phones. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon that Travelers are judged more harshly for having their personal cell phones out at work than permanent staff.

Social media can also be used for cyberbullying in the workplace. Nurses could face cyberbullying by direct defamation or attack via social media tools, and can also be impacted indirectly by being excluded from workplace social media groups or programs.

It is especially crucial as a Travel Nurse to be professional at all times and to make sure you’re aware of the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts. Doing so will help keep you safer from experiencing social media problems. Always adhere to published professional guidelines and policies when using social media. Don’t put yourself in a position where inappropriate use of social media leads to any professional ethical violations on your part!

Follow these social media rules to protect yourself and your patients:

  • Always protect patient identity
  • Take responsibility for everything you post
  • Be aware that termination is a real consequence
  • Optimize privacy settings
  • Never take pictures of patients on personal devices
  • Be cautious when connecting with patients and their families
  • Remember that information online is easily shared

As a Medical Solutions Traveler, if you are ever unsure about whether to post or not to post, you can ask your Career Consultant to put you in touch with one of our internal nurses for further guidance!

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State Spotlight: Alaska

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The Last Frontier State offers memorable experiences and beautiful views, like this one near the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska.

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to amazing Alaska! The largest U.S. state by area happily embraces its outdoorsy vibe, the arts, and a fresh take on local good eats. Read on to discover the adventures and culture that await you in The Last Frontier State.  

Travel Nursing in Alaska:

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Alaska is home to approximately 27 hospitals, 24 of these provide general acute care and just three provide specialized care. According to the U.S. News & World Report, the top three overall best hospitals in Alaska are Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska Regional Hospital also in Anchorage, and Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau. Alaska also ranked #25 in healthcare and #18 in opportunity in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best States List. Not surprisingly, oil, gas, fishing, and tourism are the bedrock of Alaska’s economy.

When it comes to licensing, Alaska is a NURSYS state, but it is not a compact state. You can learn more about Alaska’s licensure process here.

Alaska Fast Facts:

State Nickname: The Last Frontier

Capital: Juneau

Largest City: Anchorage

National Parks: 8

State Parks: 120

State Motto: “North to the Future.”

State Flower: Forget-me-not

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Denali is a Koyukon word that means “High One.”

State Tree: Sitka spruce

State Bird: Alaska Willow Ptarmigan

State Rock: Jade

Alaska was the 49th state.

Of the 20 highest peaks in the United States, 17 are in Alaska.

Denali, the highest peak in North America, is 20,320 feet above sea level. 

Alaska has 6,640 miles of coastline and, including islands, has 33,904 miles of shoreline.

Alaska has more land area than Texas, California & Montana combined.

Alaska is less than 50 miles from Russia.

More than half the world’s glaciers can be found in Alaska.

It is illegal to whisper in someone’s ear while they are moose hunting in Alaska.

Giant vegetables are common in Alaska due to the extremely long days in summer. Alaska has grown a record cabbage weighing in at 94 pounds.

The nation’s two largest forests are located in Alaska. The Tongass in Southeast includes 16.8 million acres and Chugach in Southcentral has 4.8 million acres.

There is no sales tax in Alaska.

Famous people from Alaska include, singer/songwriter Jewel, actor James Morrison, actress Irene Bedard, (the voice of Disney’s Pocahontas) former governor Sarah Palin, four-time winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Susan Butcher, baseball pitcher Curt Schilling, alpine skier and Olympic medalist Tommy Moe, and basketball player Carlos Boozer.

To Do & See in Alaska:

To live in Alaska is to be surrounded by natural beauty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In fact, the state shines in the summer and dazzles in the winter. From cross-country skiing to dog-sledding, it’s almost impossible not to enjoy all the outdoor activities Alaska has to offer.

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Dall sheep call Denali home.

For example, Denali National Park and Preserve is a great place to jumpstart your Alaska experience. Open from mid-May to mid-September, the park covers more than 6 million acres of land and is home to North America’s tallest peak, Denali. If mountain climbing sounds a bit daunting, you can backpack through the tundra, take a bike or bus ride down the Denali Park Road, check out a few glaciers, and even search for wildlife in the summer. If you’re lucky, you might see Denali’s famous Dall sheep or a herd of caribou. Wildlife sightings aren’t guaranteed, but you can still soak up all the scenic sights that make this park incredible!

While many people who visit Alaska come for the outdoor adventures, there’s also plenty to see and do in the state’s major cities, Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. As the largest city in the state, Anchorage knows how to throw a good party and there’s always something social going on. If you’re there in the summertime, you simply must attend Anchorage’s Summer Solstice Festival and discover what a midnight sun looks like — Hint: It’s pretty fabulous! If you miss out on the Summer Solstice, don’t worry! There’s a chance you could catch a glimpse of the gorgeous green glow of the Northern Lights instead. Plus, Anchorage hosts the start of the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on the first Saturday of March each year.

Fairbanks, the second-largest city in Alaska, offers plenty in terms of art and culture. You can visit the Fountainhead Auto Museum, where 85 antique cars are on display, as well as the Museum of The North, which is home to a 2,000-year spectrum of Alaskan art, the state’s largest display of gold, and Blue Babe, a 50,000-year-old mummified steppe bison.

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Kayak around misty Mendenhall Lake near Juneau, Alaska.

Meanwhile, Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, is a high treat for visitors. Take a boat tour around the coast for a chance to see a pod of whales and view the awe-inspiring Mendenhall Glacier up close. There’s also the Glacier Gardens Rainforest — didn’t know Alaska had a rainforest? — well, guess again! Plus, Alaskan Brewery and Bottling Company is a must-visit attraction, where you can take a seat in their cozy tasting room and sip on smoked porter and other award-winning craft brews.

If all that sightseeing and outdoor activity have you feeling hungry, then you’re in luck! In recent years, Alaska has earned a surprising reputation as a foodie destination. In fact, eating local isn’t just a fad—it’s a way of life here. And if you’re envisioning “Deadliest Catch,” think again. Thanks to some of Alaska’s creative chefs, fresh salmon burgers with chipotle blueberry sauce, spruce tips ice cream, and reindeer pate are now all a part of Alaska’s delicious food scene.

Ready for your adventure to incredible Alaska?! Search jobs now to find your dream Travel Nurse job in Alaska! Or, search all jobs here.

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Congrats to May 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star

Many thanks and congrats to the May 2019 Traveler of the Month, Ariane T. and also our Rising Star winner, Cheryll C.!

Ariane is an ICU RN with roughly 8 years of experience. She’s been traveling for almost a year now and she works with Career Consultant Katie Dick. She is currently on assignment in Boston, Massachusetts.  

Ariane loves that Traveling Nursing allows her to discover new places, meet new people, and try new food. With these benchmarks in mind, Boston has surpassed her expectations in every way.

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2019”s May Traveler of the Month is Ariane T.! Congratulations and thanks for all your hard work!

“I like to explore a new city by trying out the cuisine,” says Ariane. “Boston’s been wonderful—there’s so much to see and I’ve made some great friends!”

Her advice for first-time Travelers is simple and direct.

“Be open to new ideas and opportunities,” recommends Ariane. “And just remember, if it’s not the best assignment, it’s only 13 weeks!”

Thank you for your wise words and your dedication to patient care, Ariane! 

Meanwhile, Cheryll C., our Rising Star of the Month, is an RN, BSN and a case manager. Now on assignment in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Cheryll enjoys working with her Career Consultant Trista Farrens. She’s been a nurse for more than 25 years and has just recently dipped her toes into Travel Nursing. Here’s what her supervisor at her last assignment had to say about Cheryll:

“Cheryll has been amazing,” her boss wrote in a performance review. “She only needed a few days orientation and then was able to jump right in and carry a full caseload. Her work is excellent — we have received multiple compliments on her work and professionalism from staff, including the director of the hospitalist program.”

Trista, Cheryll’s recruiter, couldn’t agree more.

“Cheryll’s attention to detail, her patient advocacy, as well as her communication skills, make her a stand-out Traveler for Medical Solutions!” says Trista.

Thanks so much for all of your hard work and commitment to great patient care, Cheryll!

Could you be the next Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect hospital evaluation are eligible to win these monthly awards — with Rising Star going to newer Medical Solutions Travelers. Click here to learn more and to see if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!