Ambition Fuels Respiratory Therapist, Named Traveler of the Month
How many awards can one allied healthcare traveler rack up? It seems Club Staffing traveler Traci Broadnax, BS, RRT, a registered respiratory therapist, is trying to find out.
She was recognized with the company’s Allied Achiever Award just a few months ago, and has now added Traveler of the Month to her growing list of accolades. To her, each award is an indicator that she is doing something right.
"Especially now, there are some days you just never know how things are going to go, but I try to go to work every day with a smile on my face, even though sometimes you’ve got to fake it until you make it," she said. She noted that just waking up healthy is something to be grateful for, especially when she has seen so many patients struggle through the current pandemic.
Club Staffing recruiter Tara Killian recently started working with Traci after her long-time recruiter retired.
"Traci is simply amazing," Tara said. "She holds eight state licenses and has completed over a dozen assignments with Club Staffing. Her hilarious and friendly personality, along with her super-strong respiratory therapy skills, keep her getting requests to return to the same facilities year after year."
Starting Her Respiratory Therapy Traveling Career
Traci, who has been traveling for 11 years, worked full-time at a Pennsylvania hospital when she met a travel nurse from Iowa. Interested in how a nurse from Iowa ended up working in another state, Traci talked to the nurse and started researching healthcare travel.
Since she began her RRT travel assignments, the rewards have been plenty.
With the ability to make her own schedule, Traci been able to visit more than 20 countries during her career. Also, she is only 11 states short of her personal goal of visiting every state in America. At her home in Philadelphia, which she shares with her sister, Angela, and cat, Tiffany Taylor, Traci keeps a map of the world with push pins indicating the states and countries she's conquered.
Working Through COVID
Traci was on assignment in Hawaii at a hospital when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Authorities quickly locked down the island following the pandemic declaration, which limited the number of COVID patients Traci had to service.
"In Hawaii, it was scary going to work, because where I was, a lot of the hospital staff got it," Traci said. "But nobody in respiratory got it because our manager put in the protocols for us very early on. So we were already doing masks and PPE. You had to wear a mask for all patient interactions."
Currently, Traci is working at a hospital in Boston — her fifth assignment in this historical city. And the protocols for COVID haven't changed much since leaving Hawaii.
"I get out of my car at 6:00 in the morning, and I have a mask on until 7:30 at night," she said.
Part of the difficulty working during COVID now is the mask-wearing and social distancing, which decreases contact with co-workers and patients. That combination can make the day seem longer, she noted. For example, at lunchtime, only six people at a time are allowed into the break room, and each staff member sits alone at a table.
"It's hard for the patients, too," Traci said. "You try to talk to patients, and they can't see your face or your smile, which is what people need when they are in the hospital."
As difficult as it can be to work in respiratory therapy during the coronavirus pandemic, Traci appreciates the safety precautions the hospital and her co-workers are taking to keep themselves, families, communities and patients safe. For Traci, mask-wearing is just like wearing a seatbelt; you're safer while wearing a mask than when you aren’t wearing one.
Allied Travel Has Been A Good Fit
Once she finishes her Boston assignment, Traci will take some much-deserved time off at her home in Philadelphia. She plans to start traveling again in January 2021.
"Traveling has been a good run for me," Traci said. "It's my fit. As a traveler, you don't have to be involved in all the full-time politics. You can concentrate on the patients and memories with people. And you continue to learn about respiratory therapy. Every hospital has different equipment. Respiratory is respiratory, no matter where you go. Air goes in, air goes out, but how your next assignment does it will always be a little different."
For those healthcare professionals considering traveling or who are relatively new, Traci said her best advice is to stay flexible.
"When you go to a new assignment, you know what you're doing, but you have to prove it," she said. “It's just the nature of the business because they don't know you from Adam, so don't take it personally when people ask you, 'Oh, do you know how to do this?' They're not asking you personally if you know how to do it; they want to see if you know how to do it the way they do it.”
“Take your time, and don't be afraid to ask questions,” Traci added. “And, finally, be confident in your skills."
READY to start making lifelong memories like Traci? Just apply online, and Club Staffing’s recruitment team will help get you on your way!