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July Nurse of the Month

July 28, 2021

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 June Nurse of the Month, Dean Pollock.

Name: Jonathan Dean PollockSpecialty: ER/LTAC/PCU/SD/ICUNumber of assignments: MultipleNumber of years with Fastaff: 2 years

Why do you love working with Fastaff?

Fastaff nurses that I meet on my assignments seem to be a different breed of contract nurses. They are usually highly competent and seem to have a desire to work hard and jump into to help whatever unit they are working in. Fastaff nurses are not a dime a dozen. They are highly sought after and trained well.

What do you love about nursing?

I've been a nurse for going on 15 years and was a police officer for 12 years doing both for quite a few years. I love nursing because we get to positively affect our fellow human beings when they are sometimes at their worst in life. We as nurses get to show love, empathy, and compassion all while practicing the art and science of nursing, which can be very complex and challenging. Being a nurse allows me to use my intelligence, experience, and skill... but also lets me share my love for my neighbor. 

What makes travel nursing rewarding for you?

Travel nursing is rewarding in several ways. It is financially beneficial because you get a sense of value in your work based on better pay. It also gives you the ability to have control of your schedule and time off. You have equal power in negotiations when choosing when you want to work and when you need time off. The professional reward is that you get to sponge up knowledge from everywhere you go and share that knowledge with other nurses and facilities so that everyone can learn and improve. The experiences I've had in travel nursing for 5 years far exceeds the 10 I spent at two facilities as a staff member. 

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

I would have to refer back to Covid on this question. The first Covid patient that hit a unit I was working in Shreveport Louisiana created lots of chaos and fear within the unit. When I stepped up to volunteer to take the patient, there was a sense of pride and courage. They knew they could count on a Fastaff nurse for competence and willingness to take care of any patient in the building. 

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? 

Covid again. I had a patient that was declining rapidly with Sats in the 70s though maxed out on O2. She was refusing the vent. She didn't want to be intubated. She was in her 50s. Her temp had hit 105 degrees and there were no more cooling blankets available. There was also no nonrebreathers available. It was my 3rd day with the same N95 mask. The hospital was overwhelmed along with staff. I was on the phone with MD but he was compassion fatigued. Either prep for intubation or she's basically choosing death. I chose to stay in the room with her. I proned her myself and put ziplock ice bags down her spine from neck to tailbone. I silk taped the O2 line to the wall output so it wouldn't keep blowing off into the floor. The negative pressure room was a $5 fan in the window that was cut open and boarded up with wood. I used a surgical mask and tape with the O2 tubing to try to create a high flow mask and turned the O2 up until it wouldn't go any higher. She was coughing nonstop and couldn't reach even 85% on O2 sat despite my best efforts. She was restless and frantic so I stayed at bedside and talked her through it all. I only left the room a couple times in 12 hours. My thoughts were that she was hyper contagious and I'd probably get Covid from her. I was right. We made it through the shift barely, she was exhausted and couldn't fight anymore. At about 715 am, she agreed to let them intubate her and put her on the vent. She was intubated at bedside. A few days later, I knew something was bad wrong with my body. Covid. It was over in about 10-12 days. I only had fever for about 5 days. My worth as a nurse in my mind quadrupled after that shift. I'm not sure what happened to my patient. I know she survived my shift. Those ice packs broke her fever about 1am. She got down to around 100 degrees by the time I got off. I'll never forget that night. 

I was called to complete the assignment I accepted and to take care of my patients/families the best way I could safely.

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'm 39 years old and I'll be debt free when I turn 40 this November. Never could have happened if I wasn't with Fastaff

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