Fastaff nurses are rewarded and recognized for the experience, skills, and dedication they bring to each travel nursing assignment. This nurse is someone who exemplifies the Fastaff values. Read below to learn more about the March Nurse of the Month, Sharilee "Kiwi" Hickey.
Name: Sharilee "Kiwi" Hickey
Specialty: Med/Surg/Tele/Neuro Trauma, Certified Med/Surg RN, Certified Holistic Nurse
Number of assignments: 34
Number of years with Fastaff: Two years
Why do you love working with Fastaff?
I really appreciate Fastaff's quick and easy straightforward credentialing process, higher wages and good benefits. My Fastaff Recruiter, Melissa is great! She is supportive and always offering any assistance she can. She listens to me and we always share plenty of good, healthy laughter. As seasoned traveler, I seem to have an abundance of laughable moments or at least like to turn stressful into enjoyable. When I focus on the funny, my stress melts away. I like that Fastaff offers shorter assignment lengths, when a full 13-week contract doesn't fit my schedule.
What do you love about nursing?
After 29 years of nursing, I still love it! Every shift is an opportunity to gain a stranger's trust and make a difference in someone's life. It is my calling & my passion. There is always something new to learn and never a dull moment. I love sharing my knowledge and expertise with patients, families, nursing students, and other staff.
What makes travel nursing rewarding for you?
Contract work allows freedom and flexibility. My travel desires constantly change, at times I’m craving large teaching facilities, critical access hospitals, clinic setting, or maybe a warmer climate for the winter. Exploring the U.S. in search of Utopia General, choosing where I want to be and for how long is a perfect way to ward off burnout, meet new people, and learn different equipment & technology. I have a lot of curiosity surrounding how things are done. The grass isn't necessarily greener, it's how they're irrigating the grass I want to find out, and what makes the process faster, easier, safer, and more efficient for everyone. Travel nursing offers exposure to new cultures, new languages, and new techniques and helps make me a better version of myself. I'm grateful for the many opportunities travel nursing gives me.
Describe a time where you felt more valuable/respected because of the experience and knowledge you gained from your Fastaff assignment.
Being offered an extension at my last assignment made me feel the value of my expertise. The unit to which I was assigned, threw me a going away pot-luck celebration that made me feel respected and part of the hospital family.
What has been your most challenging Fastaff assignment (a difficult case, surgery, patient illness, etc.) and how did you feel that impacted your worth as a nurse afterwards?
Working on a COVID unit, one of my patients on bipap was declining throughout my shift. Since no visitors were allowed at that time, I called his wife with updates, providing no sugar coating to the severity of his illness. Ten minutes to shift change, he became increasingly fatigued and was immediately transferred to the COVID ICU. My heart ached when I called his wife & heard her crying as I told her he was transferred & his poor prognosis. Later he was placed on a ventilator.Certain situations you give your best and still feel helpless. Some shifts are rough, I mean really raw, but I know at that moment, I am where I am meant to be. I am able to provide comfort and compassion to my patients and the family members left behind.
Describe the most miraculous or impressive thing you’ve witnessed or been a part of during your time as a nurse with Fastaff.
Every time a COVID-19 patient is discharged, I feel I'm witnessing a miracle. Some patients have not been that lucky to recover. At my current hospital assignment, “The Eye of the Tiger" song is played overhead every time a COVID patient is discharged. It's an overwhelming sense of jubilation that comes over me when I hear this song, even when I'm not working on the COVID unit.I don't know who the patient is, but in that moment I smile and quietly say to myself, "Yes!”.It's a blessing to know someone is going home and not to their Heavenly Home. It's so lovely to hear and be able to share that good news. That’s why I like to travel – there is always something on the horizon to experience.
How have you accomplished some of your personal and professional goals by traveling with Fastaff (i.e. family life, financial freedom, more personal freedom, etc.)?
I enjoy my personal freedom in between contracts.I have been able to make extra payments on my vehicle. By taking this current assignment with Fastaff, I will be able to take a month off and not have any financial worries until wanderlust and curiosity overtake me.