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February 2020 Nurse of the Month

February 28, 2020

Name: Kimberly Austin

Specialty: Pediatric ER, PICU

Number of assignments: 33

Number of years with Fastaff: 15 

Why do you love working with Fastaff?

Personally, I love the variety of contracts and lengths. I can go for 2,4,6,8 or the standard 13!  I also like that there are options of 36 and 48 hours and that there are licensing options. I like to do shorter ones and then have the option to resign if I choose. There is never any pressure to. My recruiter, Jackie, always is available and keeps me up to date and where I want to go. 

What do you love about nursing?

Being a source of knowledge and comfort to others during a difficult or scary time. My favorite part is that I love what I do. Going to work and sometimes getting to sing, dance, color and blow bubbles makes up for the days when I have to hold a dying child’s hand or console a grieving caregiver. 

What makes travel nursing rewarding for you?

I love being part of a family when I am away from my family. Being able to hear other people stories, see different climates and cultures and how patient care is delivered across the country is rewarding. I also appreciate being my own boss with all the perks of a company backing. I get to work when I want, where I choose and what pay I will accept. Taking time off months a year instead of days makes it the perfect work/life balance!

Describe a time where you felt more valuable/respected because of the experience and knowledge you gained from your Fastaff assignment.

I feel that all my Fastaff experiences have made me feel valuable and respected.  As a rapid response nurse it requires being someone to go into a facility with limited resources and being able to help the staff with a critical need. That in itself says it all. 

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?

One of the most challenging and rewarding experiences on assignment was one of my many contracts I have done at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. Their pediatric emergency department is one of the busiest I have seen. One year during flu and respiratory season as well as it being the week before Christmas, the numbers and acuity were so high. The teamwork displayed by the staff along with the travel nurses, from the providers to the assistive staff impacted me that no matter how hard things can get, teamwork in healthcare is where it is at!

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

There are just so many over all my years that I cannot think of just one. I see impressive and miraculous things almost every week and sometimes each shift. 

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.)?

Professionally, I have not only been able to obtain my Pediatric Emergency and SANE-P certifications, I also have graduated with my BSN and next month with my MSN. Personally, I have gotten to spend more family time, traveling out of the country and especially making memories with my two year old grandson, Braxtin.

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