Meet RN Tony – The medical travel nurse difference

4min read

RN Tony

11 years nursing experience

When you think of reasons why someone loves being a travel nurse, think of RN Tony.

Working the medical wards in Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania, Tony shares his journey with us so far. 

Read on to learn more about his story! 

1. You recently started a contract in Ballina, NSW. What does a typical day in their facility look like?

Arriving on the General Ward at Ballina Hospital, you are welcomed with open arms. The staff are lovely and very appreciative of agency nurses joining them in the care of their patients.  

During morning shift, after your allocations, a bedside handover is conducted, giving you the time to introduce yourself to the patient.  

Once you finish showers and bed washes, there is a great moment where you can get to know the patient, and they may want to know why you became an agency nurse. They can even share their thanks for travelling so far to help out. 

2. You’ve worked in Victoria and Tasmania for most of your time with us. What has been one favourite thing you’ve enjoyed doing in each state? 

In Victoria, the medical ward is great, and the staff are easygoing, and they love having the agency nurses there to help. Based at Traralgon Hospital, there are many amazing places to visit, like the old gold mining town of Walhalla.  

Thirty minutes south is the beautiful rainforest at Tarra-Bulga National Park. No car? No worries. Melbourne CBD is a leisurely 2-hour journey by express train. 

When it comes to Tasmania, well where do you start? I was based at Burnie Hospital, a lovely little town on the north coast of Tasmania. Location, location, location. The hospital has a large catchment area. 

The staff once again are very friendly and welcoming. With days off, there is so much to visit and explore. My favourites places to visit were the The Nut at the little village of Stanley (one hour from Burnie), Cradle Mountain National Park, and the little village of Richmond, just outside Hobart. 

3. What has been the most interesting clinical presentation you’ve seen so far?

Working on a medical ward, you mainly deal with the same presentations, usually medical issues and characters who just need a little help.   

One presentation really made me realise why I became a nurse. A palliative patient who had no family. I looked after that patient for several shifts and afterwards, formed a great friendship.

The life story of this patient was amazing, a true war hero, a long-time farmer and all his kids has passed already. Every chance I got, I sat with this patient on my breaks and chatted until the end.  

4. What made you decide to start your travel nursing journey?

After 12 years with Queensland Health, I decided I needed a change, my kids had grown up and with nothing holding me back. 

I contacted Affinity Nursing, and it all happened. I think within a couple of weeks, I started my first contract at Latrobe Hospital in Victoria.  

I have completed four contracts now and on my fifth, I really love being an agency travel nurse and would recommend it to anyone wanting a change. 

5. You’ve recently started your 5th contract with us – what has been the highlight working with Affinity so far?

The best thing about working with Affinity Nursing Recruitment is having everything ready for you before you begin your contracts.

My specialist Talisa has been with me for my whole journey, and we stay in contact all the time and is always there when I need help or advice. 

6. Do you have a favourite photo? What’s the story behind it?

A picture of the Richmond convict bridge in Richmond, Tasmania is my favourite photo. 

Australia’s oldest bridge built by the early convicts back in 1825 for the use of British soldiers to move quickly between Hobart and nearby barracks inland. 

7. What advice would you give aspiring nurses looking to start their travel nursing career?

Do your homework, ask the staff at Affinity many questions as possible. Explore possible areas of Australia you’d like to work, and see if Affinity have contracts there, then apply.

Read through the Affinity Facebook groups, and a lot of valuable information can be found about a specific hospital or workplace.

Your first contract maybe scary as you start working in a ward where it’s totally different to what you are used to. So, ask the staff questions. They are always willing to help knowing your background. Don’t judge the hospital – remember, nurses just do the best they can.

But most of all, explore as much as you can. Meet new nursing friends and share your experiences. The knowledge you’ll learn from working in various facilities will increase immensely. 

As the largest agency provider in regional, rural and remote Australia, you can find your ideal lifestyle with us.

If you’re inspired to hit the road and begin your agency nursing career like RN Tony, then register with Affinity today!

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