Honest Perspective of Covid-19 from a Traveling Nurse

By Megan Cook, Travel RN

I have been trying to compose a blog about being a travel nurse during the Corona Virus for about two weeks now. I started writing and stopped so many times, as I just could not put the words down. Usually, when I write, it comes to me easily if it is something in which I feel passionate. But to be honest, this has been the most challenging writing I have ever done. Most of us are tired of hearing about the virus, upset about what it has done to our lives, are scared of ourselves and our family members getting the virus, and the list goes on. As a travel nurse, I have met many challenges with the Coronavirus, both on the frontlines and off. With these challenges in mind, I decided to write my truth, how I have been affected, and what my thoughts are as a travel nurse during these times.
As a traveler to a new facility, I have experienced a lot of challenges. I started at a new facility here in New Hampshire during the direct hit of the virus. The facility was unfamiliar to me, and I was going through frequent policy changes. The policies for the treatment of patients with Coronavirus and the procedural changes were daily, and sometimes, multiple times a day. Along with policy changes, I was also experiencing the reuse of personal protective equipment (PPE). All nurses are trained to never reuse PPE, so this brought questions and fear. Even though reusing PPE, an unfamiliar facility, and forever changing policy was enough, I also had frontline exposure to the virus. I followed proper protocol and procedure but still left work that day anxious and mentally tired. I wore the same N95 mask for my whole shift, which then left marks and soreness to my face. Needless to say, this has been some of the brutally honest perspectives of a traveling nurse during a pandemic.