Meet RN Ruth – The perks of life outside your comfort zone

4min 30s read

RN Ruth

16 years nursing experience

After returning to travel nursing in 2020, RN Ruth has had the opportunity to make time for more of life. Namely, becoming an Aunty twice, and being able to meet up and spend time with family because of a contract close to them. What a dream!

Here is her story on the perks of getting out of your comfort zone. 

1. You spent some time doing contracts in TAS and QLD last year, how was your time in both states?

I have loved both states. Tasmania is beautiful with so many places to see and discover on your days off. The landscape is so changeable in terrain which makes it interesting to explore and drive through. Plus, it is so easy to get around with most places within a few hours’ drive; that it makes it easy to take day trips out to look around and try new experiences.

Queensland is my home state and I always feel comfortable coming back there, as it’s known territory. Some placements I have selected, as I’ve been able to visit family on my days off. While others have been further away, even in the smaller towns, there are places to check out – it’s just being willing to take a drive to visit them.

2. What are some of the most interesting presentations you have seen?

Working primarily in ED the presentations are so different every day that it’s hard to pick.

Some of them must deal more with circumstances, such as having a DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) come in on one of my shifts in QLD; a PHC which made it interesting with all hands-on deck to manage the patient.

There was a Mental Health presentation under a mental health order for admission in a facility in WA. With the lack of access to mental health facilities, we kept the patient in ED for four days, with sedation increasing to keep them settled, until my final day where I came in learned they had been intubated.

It’s about the management of different patients in different circumstances that makes presentations interesting and a good challenge to your skills.

3. Tell us about your travel nursing journey since you started your first contract in Tasmania in the COVID ward.

I have loved my time along the way. As much as it was a challenge to adapt to ICU with an ED background, it was a great and supportive team to work with. 

Tasmania was a beautiful place to start with, as there is so much to see and explore, that it really encouraged me on my time off to go out and see all the different destinations around the state. From there it’s been a variety of places from Primary Health Care to MPHS to Tertiary Hospitals, with such different skill levels required that it tests our adaptability. 

But I have loved getting to see so many unusual places and meet such a variety of people and made friends along the way. I recently caught up with some of my friends from this first placement when I was back working in Burnie, and it was great to see how they were doing in person.

4. What do you enjoy most about this lifestyle?

Getting to see so many places I haven’t been to before. There is so much to see and do in Australia, and I am slowly getting to explore so many different destinations.

It also allows me the flexibility to have time off when needed. I have become an Aunty twice since starting this journey, and have both times been incredibly grateful to be able to arrange time off to be around to help when that happens. 

I have also then been able to arrange to have contracts near to family members, so I have been able to catch up with them on my days off.

5. You have done 17 placements with us! What has been the highlight of working with Affinity so far?

With 13 different placements, a few of those with contract extensions along the way, life has kept me busy. But the team at Affinity has always been supportive and helpful. 

I’ve had sometimes had specific places where I want to go and the team have always done their best to see what they can do, which has been amazing. Plus, they will always check in along the way with how things are doing at my current placements. 

With such a variety of places available to work, it keeps me going forward with so many places to head to, to be able to see and explore.

6. You’ve been to many states during your time with us, and do you have a favourite photo? What’s the story behind it?

My favourite photo is probably the one from Marion’s Lookout, from my first trip to Tassie. I can be honest and say that I’m not much of a hiker. I’d go along for easier walks with friends or family when they would do things, but not choose to go out and do them on my own. 

Starting this journey in Tassie, with so many places to see and explore, really pushed me to become more willing to go out and see and explore places on my own, and do those walks that I could, as there was no one else to push me into doing those things I want to do. 

To spend the weekend at Cradle Mountain, with so many different hikes, and make it to the top of Marions Lookout was a big step for me in challenging myself to do things I wouldn’t normally do on my own.

I continue to try to do the things which are outside of my comfort zone, with mixed results, but hey, we are all human, and I figure as long as I continue to try, that’s a good thing.

7. What advice would you give other nurses who want to do travel nursing?

I’m lucky enough to drive most places, so I can carry a bit extra with me. Even so I generally have a few days’ worth of food to start you off until you figure out your space available and what you need for supplies. 

Otherwise, never be afraid to ask questions. No matter how many years of nursing you have under your belt, it’s an unfamiliar environment each time and we are always learning. 

Just give it a go and have fun, you never know where it will take you, and that’s half the experience!

Ready to make more time for more life with your travel nursing journey like RN Ruth? Let’s get you there with Affinity and register today!

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