My name is Chelsea, and I am one of the five placement specialists working at Affinity. I have worked at Affinity for 3 years and really enjoy helping the Affinity crew travel around Aus whilst kicking some career goals at the same time.
Before Affinity, I completed my Bachelor of Business at the University of Queensland and worked at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane (which I absolutely loved). I spent 4 years working across different wards and departments in an admin/business capacity, so it helped me witness first-hand the craziness of what nurses have to deal with every day. You never know what is going to walk through the hospital doors!
Continue reading below to find out directly from Chelsea, how the Affinity Team advises our nurses on their agency careers.
Q: What is the first thing you ask nurses when searching for their next placements?
The most important thing your recruiter should always be asking is where do you want to go and why?
Asking nurses why they want to do something or why they do not is so important. It really helps to guide our thinking on future recommendations and focus on getting fulfilling placements. If you have a great partnership with your recruiter and are always flagging your updates and preferences, then you can be confident that they are assessing roles quickly for you.
Q: What does the process look like when you are helping a nurse find a new assignment?
It really needs to be an engaging and reciprocal process from both sides. Tell me locations on your wish list, tell me spots you have heard are great, but also get back to me quickly about roles I suggest or if you want to be submitted. Roles fill so fast and I hate seeing people miss out on great roles just because they didn’t get back to me in time. I will always contact you quickly about roles that I think will be of interest and also send you roles that you may not have thought of so it’s good to approach this with an open mind!
We don’t get upset if you say no to something, we always just want to know why so we can check our assumptions to ensure that we are getting the best match possible. Remember there are no bad ideas in brainstorming!
Amazing photos from our nurses RN JC in Cairns and RN Dianne in Kununurra
Q: How do you encourage travel nurses to be more open minded about potential new assignments?
Travel nurses tend to be really open-minded people generally. They have all taken the leap to work in a new hospital in a new location with new people. So being open to new opportunities is a given really … but I think one important thing to remember is the saying one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
We have nurses of all ages, personalities & experience levels working for us and just because you have heard one or two iffy things about a location, it doesn’t mean that you will have the same experience. I have nurses who love a specific location and go back for multiple contracts and others who say they would never go back to the same place. It really depends on who you are, what you like and what you want out of a contract. So always try something once before you rule it out- it may just end up being your favourite place! I have seen this happen so many times!
Q: Are nurses generally more concerned about location or type of position?
Generally, most nurses are more concerned that we are ensuring a safe clinical match – which is something we really prioritise at Affinity. The last thing we want to do is put our hard-working nurses at risk – or their patients. This is also the reason why so many facilities come to us first. They know our nurses are always well equipped and clinically capable of doing the roles they apply for.
Choosing the location is the fun part! Thinking about the travel adventures and sightseeing is really exciting. Our fact sheets are a really great tool for this but so is our Instagram page which is currently under-utilised. We get so many awesome photos from nurses out on the road so be sure to check it out for some contract inspo – we will be putting a lot more out on socials in 2021!
Q: What are some of the most requested/most wanted positions?
Cairns, Cairns, Cairns. I have heard Cairns soo many times this year for very obvious reasons (I would also put my hand up for a holiday in Cairns).
Mt Isa medical ward roles are also a fan favourite. I have a couple of nurses who tend to express their interest in those roles about 4 months before they ever advertise them.
Kununurra, WA is also a really popular placement. Such great feedback about the team and outside of work experiences up there. You won’t want to leave.
Q: What is the hardest part of being a recruiter for travel nurses?
We look after nurses of all different personalities, ages and likes/dislikes. It is hard sometimes finding the sweet spot for how everyone prefers to be contacted, how often and what timeframe they expect their next role to be lined up. (Trust me – if I could get the executives to sign the agency approvals earlier, I would be there knocking on their door right now).
I really respect the nurses who speak up and let me know feedback on how we operate and what we can do better. In my first few months of being a recruiter one of the nurses wasn’t feeling as valued because I didn’t contact her as often as her last recruiter. I was completely oblivious of how she was feeling getting up to speed in my new role, but I really respected her openness and professionalism on how she managed that. Now 2 years later we are still working together happily, and I have so much respect for her about this! You learn so much about people working as a recruiter.
Q: What is your favourite part of being a recruiter?
Seeing the awesome photos of nurses on the road!!! I love to live vicariously through them- especially during all the COVID lockdown of borders.
But also hearing the excitement of nurses who have had some really unique experiences when working in rural and remote locations. One of the nurses I looked after emailed me that she got to assist a midwife’s team with a birth in a rural hospital (which never would have happened when working in a larger hospital on a general ward). It was awesome to hear how excited she was about it and what an awesome learning experience!
Ready for your next adventure? Register here to become part of the Affinity Team or get in touch with your recruiter now!