Posts Tagged ‘experiences’

If you haven’t heard of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, then chances are you don’t work in healthcare. U.S. News & World Report has named the renowned medical institution one of the country’s best hospitals 20 years running. The prestige intrigued Nancy Coney, RN, BSN, an emergency room nurse with experience in surgical recovery care.

“People from all over the world seek treatment there,” she says.

It was a prime opportunity to add the revered teaching hospital to her résumé.

Once in a Lifetime

Practicing in such a preeminent facility was not something to pass up. So last spring she agreed to a contract in the emergency department at The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, a 560-bed hospital within the larger Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore, Md. Both assignments were secured by Clinical One, a staffing firm located in Wakefield, Mass.

After 13 weeks, she moved onto the surgery recovery unit at the system’s main facility.

“They do a lot of research and are on the cutting-edge of medicine,” she says of her choice. “Plus, the two hospitals share some of the same programs, so I thought it would be an easy transition instead of starting a new contract somewhere else. And, I like the city.”

More than Medicine

Thanks to Baltimore’s convenient locale, Coney and her boyfriend — who flies in on his days off — have taken in the sights of surrounding cities. Some, of which, she has been eager to see.

“We have been to Washington, D.C., Mount Vernon, Annapolis, Md., and Ocean City, Del.”

Before the assignment wraps up in April, she has considered exploring areas of Pennsylvania and taking a day trip to New York City. But her most memorable experience to date was meeting her first grandchild, born last fall.

“My daughter had a scheduled caesarean section, so I requested some time off,” remembers Coney. “My managers worked with me so I could spend about a week with my grandbaby. Both mother and infant are doing well.”

As for future bucket list must-dos, Coney remains open to possibilities. She may go to another coastal community, or visit family in Texas. One thing is certain, there will be plenty more trips to see her grandbaby.

Check out more travelers’ bucket list stories online or in the March issue of Healthcare Traveler.

Anne Baye Ericksen is a freelance writer based in Simi Valley, Calif.

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Every year, people of all ages join forces across the country to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure fundraiser. For the past six years, Leah Palyu’s stepmother participated in the Seattle event, walking 60 miles in three days in support of breast cancer research. Palyu had always wanted to walk, too, but she was usually away on an assignment.

The September 2011 event was different. The medical/surgical and telemetry nurse found herself back in the Pacific Northwest, just in time lend her efforts.

“This was a dream of mine,” says the traveler with HRN Services Inc., a healthcare staffing company based in Beverly Hills, Calif. “I always wanted to participate in the 3-Day with my stepmom.”

Going Mobile

When she first set out on a mobile career, Palyu didn’t have a steadfast list of ultimate destinations or extreme adventures to mark off her bucket list. Palyu simply wanted to experience various communities.

“I wanted to see different subcultures in the Southwest, Northeast, and South because each has its own reputation. I thought there would be no better way to do that than by living there,” she explains.

Over time, however, she accumulated more dreams and wishes. For example, Boston held a fascination for her.

“I’m almost half Irish, so I wanted to check out Beantown. I had it all planned for when I was presented an assignment there: My family would come visit and, because my stepmother has always wanted to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, we would take a trip to New York City for the holiday.”

Indeed, it looked like that’s exactly what would happen. Except, Palyu had met someone special while on assignment in Texas. He was attending nursing school at the time, and couldn’t join her on the road, so Palyu faced the decision of whether to head north or pursue a relationship.

“I decided to live in Texas until Chris graduated from nursing school. I didn’t stop traveling because he wanted me to, but because living apart was not an option for me — I did tell him that he still owes me Boston, though,” she says.

So Palyu temporarily retired from the mobile lifestyle.

Back on the Road

About a year ago, she resumed life on the road — now married to Chris, who practices as an emergency room nurse. First, on her to-do list, was to enter the fundraiser. Next was to celebrate the holidays with her relatives.

“For the past six or seven years, I have not made it home for the holidays. Once we were up here, I made sure I could take time off from my travel contract so I could be with my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” she comments.

Although happy to have reconnected with relatives and old friends, Palyu and her husband are anxious to chase their new bucket list dreams. For example, Chris has an interest in racing.

“He owns a few road race cars, so I’m sure we will make some stops in California, like to Laguna Seca Motorway near Monterrey,” she offers. “I would like to go back to Charleston, S.C., because we did a lot of our courting while I was on contract there, but I’d also like to see some of the national monuments,” she concludes.

Check out more travelers’ bucket list stories online or in the March issue of Healthcare Traveler.

Anne Baye Ericksen is a freelance writer based in Simi Valley, Calif.

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