Traveler Enjoys the Adventure and Opportunity of Short-term Assignments
By Melissa Hagstrom, contributor
Professionalism, flexibility and a positive attitude are a few of the characteristics that have helped Darryl Silwedel, RN, BSN, flourish in his career with NurseChoice, a leading travel nurse agency that specializes in quick-start, short-term travel nursing assignments.
Different from traditional 13-week travel nursing assignments, these short-term assignments often provide quicker placements, and can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, with most falling in the 4-8 weeks range. They also offer a host of benefits including highly competitive pay, location variety and much more.
Silwedel began traveling with NurseChoice, an AMN Healthcare company, more than four years ago, and has taken a variety of specialized assignments including electronic medical record (EMR)/electronic health record (EHR) conversion projects, strike coverage and other critical-staffing contracts. During this time, he has developed a strong professional relationship with his recruiter, Catherine Beaman, who nominated Silwedel for Healthcare Traveler magazine’s annual Healthcare Traveler of the Year award for 2012.
“The award was certainly unexpected and I appreciate it,” he said. “I’ve been a nurse for 22 years, and half that time has been as a traveler. I started traveling because of various life events, to explore the country and to take care of myself.”
Silwedel, who specializes in ICU and CVICU, has had enjoyed many different types of travel assignments throughout his prolific career, but it’s the short-term, rapid-response assignments that provide him with the opportunity to travel both close to home as a local traveler and throughout the country.
“The first assignment I took with NurseChoice was to cover for one of the nursing strikes at a facility in Los Angeles,” he said. “One of the things I like about the shorter-term assignments is that you can visit more places, and if you are in a particular place or facility that you don’t especially like, you can move on quickly to a new locale.”
“For me, the adventure and variety is a huge benefit because I can explore so many different areas,” he continued. “I love seeing new places and new cultures.”
In addition to the great travel opportunities, Silwedel pointed out that a nurse can have more control over designing a schedule that works for them. “With rapid-response, you can still have your life back home while having that adventure as well.”
Most recently, Silwedel has been on several EMR conversion assignments, helping facilities transition from paper to computer charting systems. These assignments have helped him expand his technical abilities and learn valuable skills that will give him an edge in today’s competitive nursing environment.
“These types of assignments are a little more challenging because things are in transition and more uncertain than a regular travel assignment,” he explained. “The whole process of doing the documentation and just taking care of the patient is more challenging because the whole system is different--going from paper to computer charting or from one computer system to another.”
These assignments have allowed Silwedel to become quite knowledgeable with one of the leading EMR programs on the market, Epic.
“If it is Epic, I’ve become much more comfortable integrating that system because I’m getting more familiar with it. I can now help the contract facility learn the whole system on their end.”
In addition to the professional growth he has gained from his rapid-response assignments, Silwedel explained that they have helped him grow personally as well.
“You have to have the ability to stay calm under pressure and this requires a nurse that is flexible and doesn't get all bent out of shape when things don’t go the way you planned.”
Silwedel advises nurses who may be thinking about critical staffing assignments to stay open-minded and to try not to have any preconceived expectations.
“It has definitely made me more flexible and able to ‘go with the flow,’” he said. And that flexibility should continue to help him succeed in a health care environment that continues to change and evolve.
Whether you prefer traditional 13-week or short-term, rapid-response travel nursing jobs, all it takes is one application to connect you with our travel staffing partners.
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