**This was written in August, adding it to this blog to consolidate into one location**
I moved to Hawaii in December 2019, on a whim, to stay close to my best friend and her family when they were given orders that they would be PCSing with the Army and living in Hawaii for the next three years. I was ready to leave Texas and explore somewhere new, so I applied for a job in Hawaii and, to my surprise, was offered the job 48 hours later. Crazy, right? Well, it took six months to get onboarded with my new company and moved to Hawaii from Texas, but I did it, and it’s been a crazy filled ride since I stepped off the plane and onto the tarmac here in Hawaii.
First, working for a teaching facility comes with so many new challenges that I wasn’t prepared for, but I quickly adapted and grew to like working with interns, residents, and fellows, most of the time that is. Another challenge I faced was being a contractor and not being able to do a majority of the things that I was accustomed to doing at my previous job. I couldn’t do any inservice training. I wasn’t able to train as a charge nurse. I couldn’t do sedation or recovery training. I had to be signed off on simple dressing and line changes. It was insane! Don’t get me started on the charting system either, because that system was ancient and annoying to say the least. [Though I did learn how to use it.]
Four months after starting my contract I was let go early with no warning. We were knee deep in a global pandemic, cross training in the ICU to prepare for critically ill patients with COVID-19, and I found myself unemployed out of nowhere. To say that I was shocked, confused, and hurt is an understatement. No one ever thinks that they’re going to get fired, but that’s essentially what happened to me, and at a time when my career field was needed more than anything. It was insane!
It’s now been three months since the end of my contract and I’m still unemployed. I’ve applied to countless jobs and been told, “thank you, but no thank you” more times than I can count. I’ve had multiple phone interviews and one really promising Zoom interview as well, but still, no job offers. It’s frustrating. It’s disheartening. It’s made me question my choice to stay here in Hawaii, where I’m so happy, my mental health is better than it’s ever been, and my physical health is better than it’s been in years as well. Is this truly where I’m supposed to be? Is this a sign that I’m supposed to go somewhere else and I’m ignoring it? Should I go back to Texas and get experience in ICU or ED and then come back? WHAT SHOULD I DO?!
Tomorrow starts my next adventure and the decision that I made just two short weeks ago. I’m taking a four week travel contract in Arizona to help with COVID-19 and I couldn’t be more excited and nervous all at the same time. Travel right now is scary and full of the unknown, especially when you live on an island in middle of nowhere and you’re traveling to a pandemic hot zone, but I truly believe that this is the right step for me at this point in my life. I’m still applying for full time, permanent jobs in Hawaii, but I can’t keep sitting around and waiting. That’s not who I am. Hawaii has been so incredibly lucky to have extremely low cases throughout this pandemic thus far, so I’m not currently needed here, and for that I’m truly grateful as it’s allowed me the chance to explore this beautiful island that I call home, but it’s time for me to step up. I want to be involved. I want to help. I want to make a difference. So I’m going where I’m needed, and that’s Arizona.
Here’s to my first travel nurse experience and adventures in Arizona. I can’t wait to see what this next chapter of my life brings.
Arizona here I come!