By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
LIVE… BREAKING NEWS…
How many times have you watched a tragedy unfold live on the news in a town nowhere near yours? Is it just me or have these type of events dominated the news channels quite a bit lately? As the tearful and traumatized survivors and witnesses mill about in the background behind the on-scene reporter, desperately seeking direction and ultimately comfort, it is a nurse’s basic instinct to want to jump through the television set and try to help. Let’s face it, if we didn’t have the caregiver gene we would not be drawn to this profession.
When travel nurses are dispatched to a new travel nursing assignment in a new community, usually far from their own, it is important to be aware of recent community traumas. In addition to the high profile events that make the national news, there may be other recent occurrences that have shaken the community. As nurses, we know that a “traumatic event” is entirely determined by the people who experience it – directly or indirectly. Arriving for a travel nursing assignment in a community that is actively experiencing or recovering from a trauma, whether in the form of serial crime, a devastating natural disaster or other tragedy is an opportunity for the travel nurse to take part in the healing process. As an objective outsider, the travel nurse can employ all the tools of therapeutic communication where and when they are needed the most. Travel nursing is an excellent opportunity to connect with individuals in all areas of the country, each with different needs, each experiencing the unfolding of a different life story.
Travel Nurses: Have you ever witnessed or taken part in the healing of a community following a trauma, while on assignment?
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.