Sarah Harrison has been an RN for 8 years, specializing in Pediatric Intensive Care, and is currently placed in Whitehorse General Hospital and working in the ICU and medical unit.
Select Medical Connections sat down with Sarah to catch up about her experience as a travel nurse.
Select Medical Connections (SMC): Hi Sarah! Thanks for sitting down with us and sharing your story. First of all, can you tell us what made you want to get into travel nursing?
Sarah Harrison (SH): I returned from living overseas and wasn’t quite ready to settle down in one place! I knew I wanted to broaden my nursing experience, but I couldn’t pinpoint what unit I would want to work on. Travel nursing has given me the opportunity to broaden my scope into adult nursing, ICU, and medical all while learning the perks of remote nursing.
SMC: Gotcha. And what attracted you to the position/opportunity you chose?
SH: I’d always wanted to go to the Yukon and lucky for me a position was available for the time I wanted to travel!
SMC: Perfect timing, I guess it was meant to be! How has the adjustment been in your new position? How does this assignment differ from your past positions?
SH: It’s definitely been a huge shift going from Pediatrics to Adult care, but I’ve absolutely loved the challenge. I’m learning new things daily and have had the support of great staff on the unit as well as other agency nurses to coach me through the transition.
SMC: What kind of things have you done in your new town?
SH: I’ve tried to get out and explore as much as I can. When I arrived it was fall, so the colours were beautiful when I checked out a few of the hikes around here. I also did a road trip through Alaska and up to Haines Junction. I’ve gone cranberry picking, visited the hot springs, and I can’t wait to try out the hundreds of cross country ski trails. A “local” thing to do is to drive to Alaska for the day to get some Thai food, so I had to try it! And it was definitely worth it.
SMC: Wow that’s a huge variety, sounds like there’s never a dull moment. What has been the biggest surprise to you on your assignment?
SH: How much I enjoy the Yukon! I had many people tell me how amazing it was here, but until you see it for yourself you can’t really understand the beauty of the wide open spaces, the northern lights outside your window, and the outdoor lifestyle.
SMC: Sounds amazing. What’s your favourite part about your current travel nursing position? What is the best thing about travel nursing in general?
SH: My favourite part of the position has to be the constant learning. Every single day I’m learning something new and adapting my practice to care for adults while being in a rural setting. The best thing about travel nursing in general is meeting so many new people. I’ve been so warmly welcomed and invited into people’s lives, the stereotypical ‘nicest Canadians I’ve ever met’ live up here!
SMC: That’s great you feel so at home and have easily made friends, I’m sure that helps a lot with the adjustment. If there was any advice you could give yourself before your first travel nursing assignment what would it be?
SH: Be open-minded and listen to new ideas and different ways of doing things, it will save you stress and anxiety, and give you a positive attitude when adjusting to a new area.
SMC: Great advice. So my final question is… where would you like your next travel nursing assignment be?
SH: I’d love to go out east, I’ve never traveled past Quebec and would love to experience nursing on the other side of the country.
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