Sasha Phillips has been an RN for 5 years. Recently she decided to road trip across Canada from Ontario to her first travel nursing assignment in BC. Adventure ensued!

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Select Medical Connections (SMC): Hi Sasha! We’re excited to hear your story. First can you tell us how many years have you been a nurse?

Sasha Phillips (SP): 5 years, with 2 years in Medical/Surgical and 3 Years in ER.

SMC: Great. And where is your work placement? What attracted you to the travel nursing assignment you chose?

SP: I’m currently working at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, BC.  I had been considering travel nursing for approx 1 year before my placement and choose BC because I’ve traveled there twice in recent years and really love the area. I wanted to experience ER nursing in a different province and hospital.

SMC: Why did you decide to road trip to your new home?

SP: Because I chose to do a lengthy contract I wanted to have a vehicle so I could have the freedom to travel the area while there. I also took it as an opportunity to travel across my own country. I had never been to Northern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta, nor had I been to the mainland of BC. I felt that driving across the country would be an amazing experience.

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SMC: What was the best part along the way? Do you have any fun stories to share from your road trip?

SP: The best part was simply the feeling of traveling across my own country which I had seen so little of. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling outside of Canada but there’s something special about gaining a real appreciation for everything this country has to offer. I drove around Lake Superior which was so beautiful. I stopped in Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Banff just to name a few major stops. I stopped at Wascana Centre Park in Regina to unwind for a little bit in the middle of one of my days driving. I made a detour in Calgary to visit Olympic Park and the Olympic Oval. I visited Red Rock Coulee in the badlands of Alberta which was breathtaking! Driving into Rocky Mountains was like nothing I’ve ever experienced! I stayed for 2 nights in Banff and hiked from Lake Louise to Agnes Lake Tea House which was one of my favourite parts of my trip.

SMC: That sounds amazing! Would you recommend driving to other nurses? How have you found driving differs from other types of travel?

SP: I would definitely recommend driving to other nurses. I drove alone and really enjoyed it. Being alone gave me time to really take everything in and make any stops I wanted. Its not only travel but a journey. It provides you the freedom to truly explore.

SMC: Sounds like you had a great time on your journey. What kind of things have you done in your new town? 

SP: I am a snowboarder and brought my gear so I am excited to get myself on some mountains this winter! I recently did the Abby Grind hiking trail as well. Other things on my “to do” list include biking the Seawall in Vancouver and visiting Tofino, a coastal surfing hangout.

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SMC: How has the adjustment been in your new position?

SP: The adjustment for me has been a relatively easy one. I’ve met some great people. I’ve been enjoying the change of environment from my previous job.

SMC: What’s been the biggest surprise on assignment?

SP: Being completely new to the area I am loving how open and inviting everyone has been thus far. Whether its people I’ve met at work or even on my recent hike!

SMC: How does this assignment differ from your past positions?

SP: This assignment is actually a very similar to the hospital I came from. I liked that about this assignment because I felt it would give me a chance to get used to travel nursing while in an environment that is somewhat familiar.

SMC: What is the best thing about travel nursing?

SP: Change is the best thing about travel nursing. I was feeling stagnant in my career. Travel nursing has given me a chance to explore new ER environments, new processes and meet new people along the way.

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SMC: What’s your favourite part about your current travel nursing position, specifically?

SP: The staff and fellow agency nurses are supportive, friendly and fun. I am really enjoying learning about other peoples experiences and adventures throughout their nursing careers.

SMC: If there was any advice you could give yourself before your first travel nursing assignment what would it be?

SP: Don’t be so nervous! It is expected that a big change can be accompanied by some nervousness but as soon as I started my travel across Canada I felt like I was doing something great for myself and my career. Sometimes hard work pays off and everything really does work itself out.

SMC: Where would you like your next travel nursing assignment be?

SP: I would like to do a more remote contract in a smaller community next… Step outside of my comfort zone again and try something different!