November Nurse of the Month

November 30, 2022

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 November Nurse of the Month, Ariana O’Neal.

Name: Ariana O’Neal
Specialty: ICU/CVICU
Number of assignments: 14
Number of years with Fastaff: Since March 2016

Why do you love working with Fastaff?

Fastaff provides a lot of transparency with their rates and opportunities. I like the "what you see is what you get" sort of honesty that Fastaff embodies. Travel nursing is changing, and I can rely on Fastaff to provide me with good-paying, solid opportunities in the job market. My recruiter, Jess, and I have been working together for years.  I know I can count on her to find a job for me that is a good fit. And sometimes, I bring the jobs to her!

 

What do you love about nursing?

I love celebrating wins with my patients and watching them improve.  I am a big proponent of education and I like to teach; helping demystify concepts can sometimes make the difference in a patient's outcome.

 

What makes travel nursing rewarding for you?

 Naturally, being able to travel to different locations, experience the city and all it has to offer, check out local destinations, work with a new team, and not be committed to bad weather when the seasons change!

 

Tell me about a time when you felt more valuable/respected because of the experience and knowledge you gained from your Fastaff assignment.

I am constantly learning, and always on the hunt for new information. Every assignment has taught me new things, and new methods for achieving a positive outcome.  I worked in Coeur d'Alene for one year with Fastaff and have since returned multiple times.  Every time I go to Kootenai, I am learning new things, challenging my methods, gaining new insights, and becoming a better nurse.

 

What has been your most challenging Fastaff assignment and how did you feel that impacted your worth as a nurse afterward?

Working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was, without question, the most enduring and challenging experience.  We had heavy patient loads, very sick patients, we were working without all the necessary tools, working with untrained staff, and our patients didn't get better.  The pandemic created a perfect storm of stress and burnout.  I questioned my abilities as a nurse many times throughout the pandemic.  I wondered if I was doing enough, when in honesty, there was too much demand and not enough supply, on all fronts.  There wasn't enough of me, or anyone, to go around.  I couldn't do things for my patients that I normally would have.  The pandemic made me question myself and my abilities. 

 

Describe the most miraculous or impressive thing you’ve witnessed or been a part of during your time as a nurse with Fastaff.

Any time a patient gets better, or is able to leave the ICU, and bounces back.  I've had a couple of patients who, at first glance, did not appear to be making any strides in the right direction.  Timing of intervention and perseverance, I watched these patients walk out of the ICU. 

 

How have you accomplished some of your personal and professional goals by traveling with Fastaff?

 I have a lot of liberty, personal and financial freedom.  I also have a lot of opportunities I would not otherwise have if I weren't a travel nurse.  Taking extended time off to see family or going to camp in a National Park on a whim is not a luxury I would experience as a staff nurse.