Traveler stories

With the Stick of an IV, Third-Grader is Poised for Nursing Career


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By Julie Benn,NurseZone contributor

Little Amanda Crawford watched as her aunt’s illness progress to the point of hospitalization. Then she watched as the nurses worked to care for her ailing relative. As she saw the nurses insert her aunt’s IV and hang the medication bag on the stand, she decided what she wanted to be when she grew up—a caring and competent nurse.

Today, at 32, Crawford is all grown up and confidently living her lifelong goal. She works as a traveling nurse with leading travel staffing agency American Mobile Healthcare and is currently working in New York City in a transplant unit.

Prior to traveling, she worked in a GI lab for five years. She has a house in Kansas City, Missouri, which she left in February to embark on her first travel assignment in San Diego, California. This has been one of her favorite assignments to date as the people at the teaching hospital where she worked treated her very well.

“Everyone has been so good to me as a traveler, plus I have friends in Long Beach [California] and that made the assignment even more fun.” She worked in a facility that had almost 75 percent of their nurses as travelers.

Crawford’s second assignment in Long Beach found her working the night shift—a time in which she thrived in the telemetry unit. “I’ve always been a night owl. I get so much more sleep (during the day) when I work nights,” she said.

According to Crawford, flexibility is a huge part of being a travel nurse. “When in Rome, live like the Romans do,” she exclaimed. Although she has enjoyed her assignments thus far, she keeps a positive attitude, reasoning that “hey, you can put up with anything for three months!”

Now in New York City, Amanda finds herself missing the west coast…and her car. “I take the subway every day. Unless it’s cold and rainy, then I take a cab.” In fact, on one of her cab-taking days, she hailed a car and out stepped the famous boxing magnate, Don King. “There he was, with his crazy hair and I got his cab.”

Speaking of other famous happenings, Amanda has been an audience member of The View, featuring Barbara Walters and Star Jones. “That was cool,” she said. She landed seats up close to the front too.

Her nursing career has its share of excitement as well. Three weeks ago, Amanda was just getting off her nightshift and a patient coded. “I was doing chest compressions at 7 in the morning.” She arrived home late from that shift, exhausted but content wit the knowledge the patient had lived.

Crawford said that her favorite memories come from working at the GI lab, which she did for five years, coming across a number of potential colon cancer patients. “It’s exciting because colon cancer is the only preventative form of cancer,” she explained. “If you are proactive, go and get screens done and have polyps removed, that can prevent it from happening.” This kind of big-picture thinking is what excites Amanda in her career and in her life.

She said that in the next year she’d love to do travel nursing in England with an RN friend upon whom she is waiting to have enough nursing experience to travel. “I think everyone should be a travel nurse,” she said. “It’s a great lifestyle, especially when you are young and single.”

© 2005. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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