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Congrats to Medical Solutions’ 2016 Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiter of the Year Award Winners!

Medical Solutions is so very proud of and thankful for our 2016 Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiter of the Year Award winners.

We know that all of our Travelers and Career Consultants are the very best in the business, and we look forward to these annual awards as a way to recognize several of our top team members for everything they do in the pursuit of providing great patient care nationwide.

Read on to learn more about these incredible 2016 winners!

Patricia Travel Nurse

Congrats to our Traveler of the Year, Patricia “Trish” O., pictured her with her dog, Chinook, and her youngest son, Eric.

Traveler of the Year

Congrats to Patricia “Trish” O., our 2016 Traveler of the Year, who won an Apple iPad Air, a $50 Amazon gift card, and some cupcakes and other yummy baked goods delivered for her and her whole unit! Trish works with Career Consultant Aaron B. who thinks she is just the bee’s knees.

Traveler of the Year is chosen annually from the pool of 12 Traveler of the Month winners from throughout the year. Trish is an RN who specializes in Geriatrics, with experience in Rehab and Med Surg, and she was the June 2016 Traveler of the Month. She’s been traveling about four years now, but she’s been in the nursing field in one way or another since age 16!

“I really enjoy seeing different states and meeting new people,” she says. “I also like learning new things in the nursing field as they come along.”

Trish traveled with her significant other, Larry, until he sadly passed away in June 2016. She now hits the road with her Alaskan Husky, Chinook, who she says is great company.

Trish’s focus in nursing is “just to take care of people and hope I make a difference.” In her free time, Trish likes to crochet and write stories — she hopes to get a story published one day and we hope she finds plenty of inspiration through her travels!

Here’s some great advice from Trish for new or aspiring Travel Nurses:

“One thing that I’ve found works for me in my travels, is to make the unit I am on mine,” she says. “I learn everything I can about the unit, the workings, policies, everything, so when a patient asks a question I can answer them thoughtfully instead of just saying ‘I’m only a Traveler and I don’t know.’ I’m willing to learn anything they’re willing to teach me — instead of saying, ‘I’m just a Traveler and I don’t need to know that.’ I just like to learn and no one is too old to learn anything. I feel I learn something new every day and it’s great!”

We are SO thankful for you, Trish! You are an amazing caregiver and one of the strongest people we know. Congrats!

Joe and Crew 300x169 - Congrats to Medical Solutions’ 2016 Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiter of the Year Award Winners!

2016 Service That Inspires Award Winner, Joe W., and his crew are all smiles at the beach in Marcos Island!

Service That Inspires Award Winner

Joe and Brennen

Joe and his partner Brennen are an amazing RN duo!

Congrats to our 2016 Service That Inspires Award Winner, Joe W., who won an Amazon Echo Tap, a $50 Amazon gift card, and dinner catered in for him and his unit!

Joe is a BSN, RN working in ICU and he travels with Career Consultant Jen L. Here’s some of what Jen had to say in her nomination of Joe:

“Joe is one of the most amazing nurses I have ever worked with! Joe came to me wanting to travel along with his partner who is also an ICU RN. At the hospital where we found a job for Joe, the manager said in the interview that she does not hire traveling pairs. Joe and his partner decided Joe should take the job anyway and his partner would join at a later date on another assignment. Just weeks after Joe’s arrival, the manager changed her mind and his partner is now working there with him based on his work ethic, his knowledge, and how well he gets along with the staff!

On multiple occasions, patient families have sung the praises of Joe’s professionalism, character, and his empathy for their situations. One family member even handed Joe his very own nomination for a Daisy award, not knowing that Joe wasn’t supposed to know about it and it was to go to the manager.

Another family member who lost his father while in the ICU wrote a letter to the VP of Nursing Services, CEO, COO, and CMO praising Joe for his care of the family and helping them through the most difficult decision of removing the family member off of life support.

Joe is the nurse that I would want taking care of myself or my family member. He is funny, kind, caring, compassionate, and he is exactly the kind of nurse that we want representing Medical Solutions.”


Bailey loves hitting the road with her dads!

Joe has a total of 18 years of patient care experience; he was an EMS for 15 years and has been in nursing for three years. He’s currently on assignment in Indiana, where he says “the people are awesome!” Joe travels with his partner Brennen, who is also a Travel Nurse, and their English Springer Spaniel, Bailey.

Joe says the best thing about Travel Nursing is “meeting new people and learning new things.” Here’s his advice for succeeding as a Travel Nurse.

Definitely keep an open mind and be open to change. Being flexible with schedules and patient assignments helps beyond measure! A positive attitude and patience will go a long way.”

Thank you, Joe, for being such a great nurse and for providing service that inspires!

Recruiter of the Year Winners

Congrats to our amazing 2016 Recruiter of the Year winners, Stephanie Balkovec and Jon Laubert!

Stephanie and Jon were chosen as 2016 Recruiter of the Year winners based on glowing nominations from their happy Travelers. These two represent exactly what it means to be a Medical Solutions Career Consultant: They truly care about their Travelers and are always there for them any time of day or night, and in any matter personal or professional. Many of their Travelers said that Jon and Steph are not just great recruiters (though, make no mistake, they are that too!), but that they are also really great friends to their nurses before, during, and after their assignments!

Here are some comments from Stephanie’s Traveler nominations:   

Recruiter of the Year

This is Stephanie back in the day. She was born adorable! Congrats, Stephanie!

“Stephanie is a rock star!! She is on her game 100% of the time and I can depend on her no matter what! She is also extremely kind, thoughtful, and seems to check in when I need her the most! Our working styles are very similar and because of this she has helped make my travel dreams come true!! I am SO GRATEFUL for her!!

“Stephanie works extremely hard with me as a team to make sure I have the contracts and assignments I want. She continues to meets my needs as a professional Travel Nurse with a personal touch. As my Career Consultant, she is a great listener, understands and caters to my likes, dislikes, and any concerns I may have. I have had many recruiters, in the past with different companies, none like Stephanie Balkovec and Medical Solutions. The absolute best!”

“Stephanie has been so wonderful during the last nine months of correspondence. Even before I officially signed with Medical Solutions she spent countless hours answering my questions via phone and email. Now, during my first assignment, she is always available and quick to respond with continuous questions. I couldn’t ask for this transition to go any smoother. And she sent me a lil’ sweet treat after my first month. It’s always great to receive mail so far away from home. Thank you Stephanie!”

Click here to learn more about Stephanie.

Here are some comments from Jon’s Traveler nominations:   

Recruiter of the Year

And here’s Lil’ Jon back in the day! Congrats, Jon!

“Jon is always willing to do anything and everything in his power to help me succeed. He’s available 24/7 for anything I needed help with. Whether it’s a friendly reminder for a timesheet so that I got paid on time or trying to get me out of a sticky situation, he was always there! Very respectful of the fact that I work nights as well. A huge plus for a night shifter!! He was Robin to my Batman and I’ll always be grateful for his service and expertise!”

“As a newer Traveler with tons of questions, Jon has always come to my rescue. He makes me feel like I truly am top priority even when I know he is busy. He works very hard to get me the best job possible and I truly appreciate everything he does.  You truly have a winner here and you should never let him go!!!”

“Jon is more than my recruiter and he always goes above and beyond. He’s always accessible and I feel like it’s not just his job but his mission to make sure I always have what I need. He’s there to share in my successes, but more importantly he is a supportive friend when I need a someone to vent my frustrations to. I never feel like he is rushed or distracted when we speak and it feels like I’m dealing with an old friend who’s genuinely interested in what is going on while I’m fulfilling my assignment. Medical Solutions is a better company because of his dedication to his Travelers. I feel fortunate to have crossed paths with Jon and look forward to many years of successful assignments because of his dedication.”

Click here to learn more about Jon.

Congrats again to Stephanie and Jon for winning this year’s Recruiter of the Year Awards! We received TONS of truly amazing nominations for many of our Career Consultants, so we also want to recognize that all of them are amazing at what they do.

If you’re a Traveler and you’ve yet to find your perfect Career Consultant match, click here to get to know our team members!



Medical Solutions Announces New Apparel Partners!

Nurses Scrubs

Look good and feel good with discounts from Medical Solutions’ apparel partners!

We have some great news for Travel Nurses who like to look good and feel good, both on and off the job! Medical Solutions has partnered with five new apparel brands to offer exclusive discounts to our Travelers and newsletter subscribers.

Check out these five amazing brands, which offer nurse-friendly shoes, scrubs, socks, and more:

WonderWink Scrubs

Fair warning: You’ll want to expect compliments when you wear Wonder Wink! These are fashionable scrubs designed with your active work and personal life in mind. With fresh styles and fits for all body types, Wonder Wink gives you an extra boost of confidence.

Alegria Shoes

In this world, there are shoes that are good for your feet and there are shoes that are good for your fashion sense — then there’s Alegria, which covers all your bases. These shoes are “engineered for comfort” with professions like nursing specifically in mind!

Cherokee 4 Less

This spot is your one-stop-shop for great brands at great prizes. Here you can find Careisma, Cherokee, Dickies, HeartSoul, Sapphire, and Workwear brand scrubs, as well as Dr. Scholl’s, Fila USA, K-Swiss, Reebok, and Swiftwick footwear.

Med Couture Scrubs

If you’re in a scrubs rut, this brand’s for you! Your hospital hallways may as well be runways with Med Couture’s stunning, fashion-forward blend of color, class, and character.

Sockwell Compression Socks

A great pair of socks is the first step in getting where you want to go! That’s why Sockwell offers stylish compression socks that will have you kicking up your heels and jumping for joy.

So, how do you get your discount? It’s simple!

Medical Solutions Travelers can enjoy these discounts on a running basis at up to 20% off through our GO Rewards program. The discount codes are available in your Traveler onboarding packet — if that’s not handy or if your packet is an older version, feel free to ask your Career Consultant!

Medical Solutions newsletter subscribers can find the monthly discount code for up to 20% off one of these brands rotating at the bottom of the newsletter each month! Click here to subscribe to the Medical Solutions newsletter.

So, what are you waiting for?! Bust out your online shopping cart and get rolling now. Happy shopping, nurses!


Meet the New and Improved Medical Solutions 401k

Piggy Bank With Black Sunglasses

Life’s a Beach with the New and Improved Medical Solutions 401k!

Medical Solutions believes it’s important to invest in our team and to help them invest in their own future! That’s why we offer a 401k with company contribution, among other great benefits, to our internal employees and Travelers.

In 2016, we reviewed our 401k plans to ensure we were providing employees with the best possible benefit and as of December 1, 2016, switched our plans to one of the top retirement plan providers in the nation — Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust.

We’re pleased to announce that this change means employees can look forward to even more great things from their Medical Solutions 401k plan, including:

  • Lower expenses than the previous plan
  • Higher rated funds than the previous plan (per Morningstar)
  • Online investment advice at no cost
  • Single sign on access to all Wells Fargo accounts via
  • Lower account distribution fees
  • State of the art mobile app features
  • Income replacement ratio tracking
  • More targeted and relevant participant communications

Additionally, we’ve streamlined the enrollment process so that new employees will be auto-enrolled in their 401k after 30 days working with us! Travelers will be auto-enrolled at 3%, and Medical Solutions matches 50% of their contribution up to 3%. Of course, if 401k and free money from a company contribution isn’t your thing, you have the option to opt out within the first 90 days of your first contribution.

We hope this upgraded benefit will make you happy and help you save for a future so bright you’ll need to wear shades while basking in a well-deserved, well-funded retirement!

For more information on Medical Solutions’ personalized pay packages and 401k, click here or feel free to contact your Career Consultant!


Congrats to November 2016’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Travel Nurse Brooke S

Congrats to Traveler of the Month for November 2016, Brooke S.! Here’s Brooke and her boyfriend Ian exploring Times Square in NYC.

Many thanks and congrats to the November 2016 Traveler of the Month, Brooke S., and also our Rising Star winner, Allyson M.!

Traveler of the Month Brooke is an RN working in ER. She works with Career Consultant Rob B. and is currently transitioning from an assignment in New York to one in Denver, Colorado. Brooke has been in nursing for three and a half years and Travel Nursing since September 2015.

Brooke Travel Nurse

Brooke’s brother Matt came to visit her on assignment and they got to check out Rockefeller Center together!

Brooke is a practiced at the art of traveling — both for work and pleasure. She spent the beginning of 2016 backpacking around Southeast Asia!

“My favorite assignment was in White Plains, New York,” says Brooke. “The facility was much smaller and more community oriented than the huge, high volume, inner-city hospitals I have previously worked in. It was definitely a nice change of pace. During my assignment I lived in Brooklyn and had the opportunity to explore NYC on my days off!”

Brooke says she’s glad to be fortunate enough to be able to travel with her boyfriend Ian

“He works remotely which affords us the opportunity to move around the country together,” says Brooke. “My beta fish also used to travel around with us. Unfortunately, he left us for the giant fishbowl in the sky recently. RIP Ferdinand.”

For Brooke, there are several factors that keep her a happy Traveler.

“Beyond the obvious benefits of being able to travel the U.S., Travel Nursing is great for so many reasons,” she says. “Personally, Travel Nursing has helped push me to continuously work to learn and improve my nursing skills. It has taught me to be flexible and adaptable in unfamiliar situations. I believe Travel Nursing has ultimately led me to be a better, well-rounded, more competent ER nurse.”

Brooke S 3 300x200 - Congrats to November 2016’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Brooke enjoys a gorgeous sky on a weekend trip to Acadia National Park last fall!

Brooke shared a couple awesome tips for new and aspiring Travelers:

  1. When you are new to a unit, don’t consistently compare how things work at the new hospital to previous hospitals you have worked in. Each facility is unique and has its own flow. It will be a lot harder to adapt and make friends with your new coworkers if you are constantly comparing.
  2. It’s okay to ask questions! Don’t come in and pretend like you know everything. Be humble, ask questions, and admit when you are not sure of things. You are not expected to know everything from 1-2 days of orientation. It is your responsibility to identify your weakness and seek out appropriate education/training.

Rising Star Allyson is a NICU RN Cardiac and has worked with Medical Solutions Career Consultant Kelly R. Her most recent Travel Nurse job was in Delaware.

“Allie seemed to adapt seamlessly with Travel Nursing and the hospital absolutely loved her for it,” says Kelly. “She is very kind, courteous and has a great personality. She was a joy to work with!”

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions November 2016 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Brooke and Allyson, we are so thankful for your amazing skills, dedication, and commitment to providing excellent patient care!

Want to know if you 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 find out if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!


Clinical Corner: Travel Nurse Guide to CEU Sites

Nurse continuing education units

Don’t let CEUs give you the blues! Check out these five great CEU sites — including one that’s free for Medical Solutions Travelers

By Chris Vinton, Medical Solutions Quality Assurance Specialist

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) — you know them and you probably don’t love them. CEU requirements vary from state to state, though most states require nurses qualify a certain amount of CEU hours every year. Because this affects so many of our Travel Nurses, I tried to find the best CEU websites and the most up to date information for state CEU requirements.

There are literally hundreds of CEU websites that I found while researching this blog. Some of them are great and some of them are a little suspect, in my opinion. That’s why it’s so crucial to understand which CEU sites are legit and offer good information and solid CEUs. After my sleepless nights of thorough research and asking our internal Clinical Nurse Managers which websites they typically use for CEUs, I came up with this handy list featuring the five best websites with both free and paid CEUs.

This website features a few free CEUs and a staggering amount of paid CEUs. They also have a subscription service where you pay $50 a year for unlimited access to all their nursing CEUs. The website also features up to date information on state requirements for CEUs.

When I asked our internal nurses for their preferences, the ANA was the most mentioned CEU website. The site has a handy feature where you can search all of their CEUs by subject, format, and price. It makes finding specific CEUs very easy!

CEUfast features quite a few free CEUS. It is also nice because it does not require you to sign up on the website, I accidently got into a course about ABG interpretation after clicking around a bit. They also offer a subscription service for only $30 a year.

I particularly like this website. It organizes CEUs by state and shows you the most popular CEUs by state as well. I couldn’t find any free CEUs on this site, however. It also shows the state requirements for CEUs for each state, which is very helpful!

This is purely a subscription-based CEU website. For only $30 dollars you get access to a plethora of CEUs. The best thing about is that Medical Solutions will pay for a whole year subscription while you’re working for us! So they are truly free CEUs!

CEUs are a great way to increase your knowledge base about the healthcare field. So don’t be afraid to take some courses that are outside your skillset! CEUs are just one of the many ways to improve yourself as a nurse.


33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love

Watching Christmas Movies

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or you’re just down to party for New Year’s, these 33 holiday movies will get you in the spirit!

Reprinted with permission from

Throughout much of the country, the cold of winter calls for bountiful blankets and copious covers, which tend to go great with movie marathons! And, during this festive time of year, what better fare to snuggle up with than a Holiday flick? Even if it’s still 70° and sunny in your location, here are 33 Holiday movies Travel Nurses will love (in no particular order):


  1. A Christmas Story — Considered the ultimate modern classic by many, this 1983 comedy brought leg lamps, bunny suits, and the term “You’ll shoot your eye out!” into fashion.XMAS Story 300x169 - 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love
  2. The Muppet Christmas Carol — Everybody’s favorite motley crew, The Muppets, take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
  3. The Nightmare Before Christmas — Tim Burton’s musical fantasy takes viewers from “Halloween Town” to “Christmas Town.”nightmare before christmas quiz result 04 300x180 - 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love
  4. Eight Crazy Nights — Although it’s an animated feature, Adam Sandler’s musical comedy focusing on the Hanukkah season is an adults-only affair.
  5. Bad Santa — Also meant for adults, Billy Bob Thornton stars as an alcoholic, thieving Santa, in this comedy caper.
  6. Elf — Will Ferrell charms as one of Santa’s elves who travels to New York City to meet his biological father, delivering childlike Christmas cheer everywhere he goes.elf movie christmas jon favreau will ferrell 300x176 - 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love
  7. Mixed Nuts — Hilarity and hijinks ensue in this Nora Ephron-directed screwball comedy set in and around a crisis hotline at Christmastime. Steve Martin, Madeline Kahn, Rob Reiner, Rita Wilson, Juliette Lewis, Anthony LaPaglia, Jon Stewart, Parker Posey, and others star.
  8. Gremlins — A cautionary tale for those looking for unusual Christmas gifts, this classic ’80s monster mash is set against a Holiday backdrop.Gremlins
  9. A Charlie Brown Christmas — One of the season’s most beloved traditions, for kids of all ages.
  10. The Polar Express — Take a trip to the North Pole, as seen through a child’s eyes, in this computer-animated fantasy.
  11. Home for the Holidays — Technically a Thanksgiving movie, but this comedy, directed by Jodie Foster and starring Holly Hunter, is a great examination of family festivities.home for holidays 300x150 - 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love
  12. The Black Candle — This award-winning documentary on Kwanzaa is narrated by the late Maya Angelou.
  13. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation — Chevy Chase and family are back and in the spirit of the season in this third installment of National Lampoon’s Vacation series — a major crowd favorite.Natl Lamp 300x198 - 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love
  14. One Magic Christmas — An angel (played by Harry Dean Stanton) helps show a hardworking, downtrodden mom the true meaning of Christmas in this ’80s classic.
  15. Home Alone — When Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left behind by his family who are traveling to Europe, he must protect their home from a pair of bungling burglars.home alone 0 300x202 - 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love
  16. Die Hard — A Christmas party turns nightmarish for an NYPD officer (Bruce Willis) when he must save his wife and other hostages being threatened by a terrorist group.
  17. Love, Actually — A mosaic of stories come together in this across-the-pond rom-com, starring a huge ensemble cast including Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, and actually 1 758 426 81 s c1 300x169 - 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love
  18. The Hebrew Hammer — According to IMDb, “An orthodox Jewish blaxploitation hero saves Hanukkah from the clutches of Santa Claus’ evil son.” Starring Adam Goldberg, Andy Dick, and Judy Greer.
  19. Little Fockers — Christmas and Hanukkah factor into this third installment of the comic Meet the Parents series, starring Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Blythe Danner, Barbra Streisand, and Owen Wilson.
  20. How the Grinch Stole Christmas — Whether you prefer the animated classic or the 2000 Jim Carrey version, this holiday classic will make your heart grow three sizes.
  21. It’s a Wonderful Life — James Stewart stars as George Bailey, a man in despair who gets help from an angel to realize his life is meaningful and necessary. Widely loved and watched, this film is one of the American Film Institute’s 100 best films ever made.Its a Wonderful life foto 300x227 - 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love
  22. While You Were Sleeping — Christmastime in Chicago is the backdrop for this family-centric rom-com starring Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, and Peter Gallagher.
  23. This Christmas — Starring Idris Elba, Regina King, and Loretta Devine, this Christmas comedy/drama details a family’s first holiday together in four years.thischristmaspic 300x174 - 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love
  24. Trading Places — Christmas and New Year’s are important characters in this scathingly funny John Landis film, starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd.
  25. Holiday Inn — Starring Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, the classic Holiday tune ‘White Christmas” was written for this film.
  26. White Christmas — Another classic featuring music by Irving Berlin. Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen.
  27. Black Christmas — On the other end of the spectrum, whether the original 1974 or the 2006 remake, this Holiday slasher flick centers on sorority sisters being stalked by a killer during a winter storm.
  28. Scrooged — Bill Murray is wonderfully persnickety in this modern spin on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This ’80s Christmas comedy classic also stars Karen Allen, Carol Kane, and Bobcat Goldthwait.scrooged1 300x240 - 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love
  29. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer — This stop motion animation classic tells the story of everyone’s favorite misfit reindeer and his friend Hermey who set out to find a place they’ll be accepted for who they are. It first aired in 1964 and still has yet to get old!
  30. Meet Me in St. Louis — Sure, this classic spans an entire year, but it’s best known for its Christmas scenes, especially Judy Garland’s Esther singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to her sorrowful kid sister, Tootie.
  31. 200 Cigarettes — A ’90s ensemble cast boasting Ben Affleck, Dave Chappelle, Janeane Garofalo, Christina Ricci, Paul Rudd, Courtney Love, Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Martha Plimpton, and others, follows multiple characters throughout New Year’s Eve 1981.200 cigarettes poster - 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love
  32. Four Rooms — Set in a hotel on New Year’s Eve, Tim Roth plays a bellhop who appears in all four segments of this bizarre anthology comedy.
  33. When Harry Met Sally — This textbook rom-com spans the seasons, but its capstone New Year’s Eve scene is rightfully famous. (See also, Sleepless in Seattle, with Meg Ryan’s vehicular singing of “Jingle Bells” — “horses, horses, horses, horses … ” for another festive scene.)

Did we forget your favorite? Tell us what you’d add to this list in the comments!


Nominate YOUR Career Consultant for 2016 Recruiter of the Year!

Recruiter of the Year 2016

Click here to nominate YOUR Career Consultant for Recruiter of the Year — it just takes a minute!

OK, so 2016 has been a bit of a doozy, with an icky election, scandal-plagued Olympics, war in Syria, and the loss of far too many beloved celebs. We mourn Prince, Bowie, Ali, Leonard, and Merle, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t celebrate the good! Sure, even Willy Wonka, Mrs. Brady, and Mr. Seaver shuffled off this mortal coil in 2016, but I suggest you turn that frown upside down, channel your positive energy, and nominate your Career Consultant for Recruiter of the Year!

In 2014, after Healthcare Traveler magazine stopped doing its annual Traveler and Recruiter of the Year awards, Medical Solutions decided to pick up the mantle and keep the well-deserved recognition and virtual trophies flowing. (Learn more about 2015’s winners here.)

We’re gearing up to honor two Travelers and two Career Consultants who really shined in 2016 — but we need your help to make it happen!

Is YOUR Career Consultant kinda like your own personal superhero? Is she always there to answer your call and keep you safe from trouble? Is he able to leap obstacles to getting you the perfect job in a single bound?!

If your Career Consultant is truly your hero then send up the bat signal and help us lasso your truth by clicking here to nominate him or her for Recruiter of the Year!

The nomination process is (practically) faster than a speeding bullet — and it’s a wonderful way to share your gratitude, spread some good in the world, and help recognize your awesome Career Consultant 🙂


Congrats to October 2016’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Travel Nurse Tamara

Congrats to our Traveler of the Month, Tamara B.!

Many thanks and congrats to the October 2016 Traveler of the Month, Tamara B., and also our Rising Star winner, Mary O.!

Traveler of the Month Tamara is a CVT working in Cardiac Cath Lab. She works with Career Consultant Annie E. and is currently on assignment in Indiana. Tamara has been in nursing for 13 years and Travel Nursing for a year and a half.

Tamara’s current location is her favorite so far because, she says, “It’s the first time in my career that I haven’t had to take call and work weekends.”

On top of that, her husband and son come to visit her every weekend!

Tamara appreciates the professional growth and perspective she gets from Travel Nursing.
“You get to see how different every Cath Lab functions,” she says.

Tamara is a self-described “very calm person” and a pro at avoiding anxiety, so you’ll want to pay extra close attention to her tips for new Travel Nurses:

  1. “Always go to an assignment with a positive attitude.”
  2. “Be a go-getter and show the staff that you’re a hard worker.”
  3. “Remember you’re there to help the staff during a rough time, so do as much as possible to help the staff to get some relief.”
Travel Nurse Mary O

Congrats Rising Star winner Mary O.! She’s seen here on an adventure hiking in the back country of the Pioneer Mountains, where she and her sister stayed in a yurt!

Rising Star Mary is an RN, BSN, PCCN, RN-BC specializing in Cardiac and she works with Medical Solutions Career Consultant Jon L. She’s been a nurse since November 2011, has been traveling since August 2016, and is currently on assignment in Boise, Idaho.

“So far I’ve only worked in Boise and I absolutely love it here,” she says. “The weather was absolutely beautiful when I got here in August! I was joking with my family that I never saw a cloud in the sky in Boise for over a month — clear blue skies every day! There is always something going on here — great places to eat and drink, festivals and markets galore! This town has such a great vibe.”

Mary makes a point to explore new places while also nurturing her favorite pastimes. She played Division II soccer in college at Missouri Western State University, and says she still loves playing soccer so she finds leagues to play in wherever she travels!

“The best thing about Travel Nursing is being able to do what I love — making a difference in patients’ lives through nursing and getting to travel around the country, meeting new people and having new experiences,” Mary says.

Mary tips for Travel Nurse success?

Travel Nurse Mary

Mary’s mom, dad, and older brother came to visit her on assignment. Here’s Mary and crew at the Spirit of Boise hot air balloon festival!

“In order to be successful as a Travel Nurse you must first be confident in your skills and abilities,” advises Mary. “You graduated nursing school, you are an educated nurse and you know what you’re doing. Don’t let a new place with different looking equipment and policies that you maybe aren’t familiar with shake your confidence. Never be afraid to ask questions — you can’t know everything as a Traveling Nurse. Be open to learning something new every day!”

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions October 2016 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Tamara and Mary, we are so grateful for your amazing skills, dedication, and dedication to providing excellent patient care!

Want to know if you 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 find out if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!


Announcing 2016’s Say Thanks By Giving Winners …

Medical Solutions is giving away $8,000 to some of your favorite causes!

Medical Solutions is giving away $8,000 to some of your favorite causes!

For the second year running, Medical Solutions is giving away $8,000 to some of our Travelers’ favorite causes!

Throughout November we asked Medical Solutions Travelers to nominate their favorite charitable organizations and share what makes each of them so awesome. After combing through nearly 100 submissions, we chose four amazing winners. It was a joy to read all of the awesome stories and submissions, but it can’t be overstated that choosing the winners was a very hard task because there were just so many awesome submissions and causes!

Read on to learn about the four charities that will each receive a $2,000 donation from Medical Solutions, as well as the four Travelers who nominated them and who will each get a $100 Amazon gift card!

Children's Hospital Colorado Burn Camps ProgramMichael C., whose Career Consultant is Curt H., submitted Children’s Hospital Colorado Burn Camps Program, an organization that works to “improve the lives of burn-injured children through the use of enriched curriculum and path of adventure in a safe environment.”

“I was burned at age 12, along with my brother,” writes Michael in his submission. “In a time which could have been the most difficult in our lives, we were fortunate enough to attend this camp and meet with other survivors of a similar injury. The foundation teams up with Camp Cheley in Estes Park Colorado to create an incredibly unique and transformative experience for burn victims from all across the nation in their struggle to adapt with their new injuries, and oftentimes, changed body image related to burn scars. They integrate firefighters, nurses, PT/OT, and clinical psychologists combined with handpicked counselors from the traditional summer camp, all on a volunteer basis to create a weeklong summer camp which continuously proves to be positively life-changing … One must almost witness firsthand to fully understand the tremendous amount of good and uplifting spirit this program pushes out into our world. Burn victims face a very specialized need in their mental and physical rehabilitation process, and this foundation successfully manages those needs in beautiful confidence and with open heart. It has changed my life, helped me decide not to be a burn victim but instead a burn survivor, and now thriver. I see it doing the same for dozens of other children every year that I return.”

Puppies Behind BarsKaren G., whose Career Consultant is Brad B., submitted Puppies Behind Bars, an organization that “trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and explosive detection canines for law enforcement.” According to PBB, “Puppies enter prison at the age of eight weeks and live with their inmate puppy-raisers for approximately 24 months. As the puppies mature into well-loved, well-behaved dogs, their raisers learn what it means to contribute to society rather than take from it. PBB programs bring the love and healing of dogs to hundreds of individuals every year. The dogs bring hope and pride to their raisers, and independence and security to those they serve.”

“This charity is meaningful to me in two ways,” writes Karen in her submission. “One, it recognizes the importance of rehabilitation in prisoners rather than just biding time of a sentence, and two, it helps veterans suffering from PTSD and other psychological and physical ailments directly acquired through service. As a child of a veteran with PTSD, I would have loved if this service was available to the veterans of my father’s generation.”

Team Jack FoundationFrances B., whose Career Consultant is Ted M., submitted Team Jack Foundation, an organization that works “collaboratively with families impacted by pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancer foundations” with the objective of funding [pediatric brain cancer] research at the top research centers in the world as swiftly as possible.

“Team Jack Foundation started with my friend Jack who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2011,” writes Frances in her submission. “Back in 2011 there had been very little research for pediatric brain cancer and Jack was treated with ancient drugs and therapies, so it became a goal for his parents to raise funds for further research. To date, Team Jack has raised 2.6 million for research, with Jack himself involved in experimental drugs. Many of the kids have to travel a great distance to get the care needed. For example, Jack’s made many trips to Boston away from friends and family. One of the first things Jack asked me when we met was if I had flown in an airplane. When I replied “yes” he confirmed that he had also, but his eyes did not display the joy of flying to Disney World or Omaha Zoo — more like the fear of the unknown: the fear of more surgeries, more tests, more needles, more scans, more drugs, more pain. Help me stop that fear for kids with cancer. No kid should die from cancer. Help that become a reality.”

CASAKathy G., whose Career Consultant is Jon L., submitted CASA of Ohio Valley, an organization that recruits, trains, and supervises community volunteers to “represent the best interests of children who enter the Daviess and Ohio County Court systems as a result of dependency, abuse, or neglect.”

“There is strong evidence that suggests children who have experienced abuse, neglect or trauma will have altered brain development,” writes Kathy in her submission. “Abused children are at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, mental illness, suicide, drug abuse, promiscuity, and criminal activity. Positive adult influences can make all the difference in a child’s life … Children need love and care, and if their parents aren’t able to provide it, they will look for it elsewhere. Sometimes all they have is a CASA advocate to provide this. It takes money to provide the training necessary to educate and train these volunteers. As a past CASA volunteer from 2001 to 2005, I can attest to the influence that these volunteers have on the lives of these children. I currently stay in contact with a past child that I was fortunate to advocate for. Through this organization, she was able to see that there are adults who do care and are not there to hurt you. She now has a family of her own and I’m proud to say is a wonderful mother.”

Congrats to our winners and thanks so much to ALL of our wonderful Travelers who submitted their causes and beautiful stories! Click here to learn more about Medical Solutions Gives.


Clinical Corner: Cold Weather Injuries

Skier fell in snow

Wintery locations can mean patients with cold weather injuries. Being aware of this seasonal shift as a Traveler means being prepared!

By Chris Vinton, Medical Solutions Quality Assurance Specialist

Winter is a favorite season for many people. The holidays come around, families get together, snowmen are built, slopes are sledded, and snowballs are thrown. While people may love winter, winter does not always love people back! The season brings problems such as ice, subzero temperatures, excessive amounts of snow, and the fact some motorists get seasonal vehicular amnesia and completely forget how to drive in snow when it finally arrives. Because of this, many of you working in areas that will experience snowfall and/or icy conditions will encounter patients suffering injuries more likely to occur in the winter or even totally unique to the subzero season.

By far, the most common type of winter injuries are slips. Ice and snow are not known for having the best traction. Falls will be particularly harsh on elderly people and children. Snow and ice will also contribute to a higher level of motor vehicle accidents. Thankfully, motorcycle accidents are nowhere near as common as they are during the summer, but car accidents have a very high rate, around Christmas and New Year’s especially. Car accidents also increase significantly during the first snow of the season and the day after, as people do forget how to adjust for driving in the snow even though snow faithfully returns every year.

Winter sports can also be dangerous. More than 246,000 people were treated at hospitals, doctor’s offices, and emergency rooms for winter sports-related injuries in 2014. Much like slip and fall injuries, these can vary widely in degree but will affect the elderly and children more harshly. Injuries could range from a simple sprain to a dislocated shoulder to head lacerations to concussions. These injuries will typically happen at the end of the day, as people want to get that “one last run.” Frostbite is another danger in cold weather. It varies with conditions, but frostbite can happen in as little as a matter of minutes in ultra-harsh temps and it is much more likely to happen to people with poor circulation. Also, depending on the person, a patient may have either ignored frostbite or couldn’t get to care in time.

Lastly, flu season is in full swing. Always keep that in mind while you intake patients. Going with the theme of winter, children and the elderly respond much worse to the flu than other age groups.

As doom and gloom this article may appear, the good news is that injuries as a whole actually tend to decrease in the winter. So don’t let the stats on winter injuries scare you from skiing or enjoying the outdoors. Winter is a great time of year, but it also brings in new types of patients with season-specific injuries. Enjoy the holidays, stay warm, and be safe!