A travel nurse tells us about her recent experience with UF Shands in Gainesville, FL.
Cross Country Nurses’ ER travel nurse Alene Smith is currently on assignment at UF Shands in Gainesville, FL. Recently, she sat down with us to tell us why she became a nurse, what she likes best about being a travel nurse and why she considers UF Shands to have one of the top three Emergency Departments she has worked in during her 14 years as an ER nurse.
What made you decide to become a nurse?
I wanted to be a nurse since I was a child. Two weeks before my husband's passing in 1996, I promised him I would go to school and fulfill that dream.
When did you start travel nursing and why?
I began travel nursing in October of 2006. I enjoy the freedom of travel and not being forced into departmental politics! Over the past 14 years I have worked at many facilities. Currently, I am at the University of Florida Shands Emergency Department.
Is there anything about your experience at UF Shands that stands out to you?
I would rate Shands in my top three best ERs. The management impressed me on my first day when they called in grief counselors to help the staff deal with the death of a one-month-old baby. The mental health of ER nurses is often overlooked, and this management team was proactive in that regard. I really appreciated that gesture.
What was your experience with your coworkers at Shands like?
The staff is very helpful. The ER department has both good points and bad, but don’t they all?
How would you describe Gainesville to a fellow travel nurse who had never been there?
Gainesville is a small, country "Gator" college town. The locals still say “ma'am” and “sir.” There is not a lot to do here but you are only about 90 minutes from Tampa, Jacksonville or Orlando.
What advice would you give a fellow nurse who is considering her/his first travel assignment, at Shands or any facility?
I urge you to consider Shands in your travel nurse plans. I don't think you will be disappointed. It may not be the most exciting destination but sometimes it is good to slow down and quiet ourselves.
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