Travel Nursing with a Life at Home

I’m not writing this post to complain, even though I will be. I’m writing it because this blog because I’m traveling right now and these are things that I think other travel nurses probably relate to, at least at times. Also, I would hate for people to think my life is perfect! (Kidding.)

I am becoming increasingly more frustrated with my job lately. I have never had to work 4-5 set days a week, especially not set hours. I work 3-11 at this hospital, which I absolutely hate. We are busy when I get there and busy when I leave. The hospital is so disorganized that I usually walk in and become frustrated immediately (I found out 90 minutes into my shift yesterday that I would be taking a patient in the hallway because nobody knew who the previous nurse gave report to… W.T.F?). That frustration never ends (I had a 45 second report to give and waited until 11:50 last night because the nurse went to try and get a hard stick on somebody else’s patient instead of getting report). Aside from my coworkers, I really hate this job. And I am there ALL THE TIME! Also, with working at 3pm, my whole morning is spent dreading my afternoon shift instead of enjoying my time off.

(Three 12 hour shifts is much more bearable- you have 4 full days off and typically, an entire 12 hour shift isn’t busy.)

Also, while I am somewhat of a loner and don’t necessarily mind spending time alone, I do miss my friends. I miss Jon. I miss the cats. I’m not super outgoing where I just ask people to hang out with me. I also don’t really know if I want to spend all my time with work people either because I work with them 5 days a week and I hate my job. Do I want to feel like my job is surrounding me at all times? No. 

I’ve been telling Jon lately that I miss him and he basically just keeps telling me I chose this, which is frustrating me to no end. I know he’s supportive of me doing this and I know he made sacrifices. We got into a bit of an argument last night though because he thinks I’m being selfish by not acknowledging how hard this is for him and told me how he “promises me, this is way harder on me that it is on you.” I can tell by statements like that, that he really does not understand how difficult this is. I gave up everything I know to come out here to do this. I absolutely wanted to do this and even though I hate my job, I still am glad that I started travel nursing. But, my cats are home, my friends are home, Jon is home, my house is at home (obviously), I don’t ever know where I’m going, my job and my coworkers in a WELL ORGANIZED ER are still back home, my central air is at home (waaahhhhh- still can’t get over this humidity surrounding me at night). I find it extremely frustrating that he thinks just because I’m gone that he “knows” he is making bigger sacrifices, while he is still enjoying EVERY comfort of his life. He can still go to our niece’s birthday party and see his whole family next month. He still eats dinner every week with my family. He was hanging out with my best friend on her birthday last weekend. He sleeps in our bed, in our house, with our cats every night. He is still at a job he knows and likes. I’m not commenting on his sacrifices and how hard they are. I know that he finds it hard, but I would never tell him my sacrifices are greater or that I know how he feels about it. I know I gave up more, but this is also my dream. It’s not easy to feel his support when I feel like I’m always being sensitive to his sacrifices and he basically overlooks my sacrifices because I wanted to do this.

I was really upset last night. I was finally going to go out with work people afterwards and I was really feeling the need to socialize. Since my report wasn’t until close to midnight though and I’m sick, I decided to just head home. I was also so angry that I don’t know that I would have been much fun. I was definitely having a woe is me night and I didn’t really want to prolong my night by going to hang out with work people.

I still feel grateful to have chosen a job path where I can travel with it. I make fairly decent money and have been able to take trips overseas on my salary. I bought a house. I live a good life. I’m grateful for my marriage and my family and my friends. I’m grateful that this travel experience really solidified what I want to go to grad school for (now I just need to stop watching Catfish OnDemand and start studying for my GRE) and it feels good to have so many people here tell me what a good manager I could make. I’ve been told how hard working I am. It is good and I am grateful but it is also very difficult. I’m not a young single girl just starting out anymore. I do have a life and a home and a family that I left behind at home. I’m not the crazy, outgoing, partier that I used to be. I’m a lot more introverted now and it does make this type of traveling more lonely.

Anyway, this really wasn’t just to complain, I promise! I find the problems that people post on their blogs fairly relatable (more than just what people are eating and what workouts people do), so I figured that if anybody who is traveling or considering traveling reads this, maybe they’ll find some comfort (or something) in this.

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3 thoughts on “Travel Nursing with a Life at Home

  1. I’m not a nurse, travel nurse, or even in a remotely similar profession, but I can kinda understand your frustration with the job. Hours like 3-11 kinda suck regardless- you miss out on all happy hours, most anything that goes on, even prime-time TV. Most people don’t want to hang out in the mornings, maybe going to lunch is possible but even then you have to go straight to work. I would definitely want to do 12-hour shifts too, at least that way you get more days off and you get work out of the way. Plus your job just sounds very disorganized, and it’s hard to deal with knowing that you left the other one behind (although temporarily) to go to a less-than-stellar work environment. Fortunately it’s only temporary, maybe not all of your assignments will be like this.

  2. I’ve been traveling for 10 years now and there are still times that I struggle with the same/similar issues that you are having. All I can say is to ask yourself “does the good outweigh the bad?” Find out what works for you and do it! ((((((Hugggssss)))))) to you from me on these difficult days. I would also recommend that you join our FB group for travelers…its a great place to vent, find support and even meet up with other travelers in your area. https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheGypsyNurseNetwork/

    • Well, so far, the good of seeing the US is outweighing the bad. At least for now! I didn’t expect to just go through this without any issues and am still grateful for my experience, but the issues are just not quite what I expected (I don’t think I knew exactly what to expect!). Thanks for the support!

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