Respiratory Therapist Wins Club Staffing’s Getaway Contest
AN INTEREST IN RESPIRATORY THERAPIST JOBS CLOSE TO HOME HELPED RAMONA VALENCIA WIN A TRAVEL PRIZE AND A GREAT TRAVEL THERAPY ASSIGNMENT
Ramona Valencia, RRT, BS, a veteran respiratory therapist, isn’t normally the contest type, but her recent luck may have her rethinking her stance. She won Club Staffing’s 2015 Getaway Contest after she submitted her online entry, expressing her interest in travel therapy jobs with one of the agency’s exclusive clients.¹
“I don’t enter contests because usually I don’t win anything,” Valencia said. “When the opportunity to enter a Club Staffing contest became available, I entered it once and won a $3,000 American Express gift of travel voucher.” Valencia plans to use her voucher during the spring of 2016 for a trip to either Hawaii or the Yucatan Peninsula in Southern Mexico.
Club Staffing, an AMN Healthcare company, provides health care staffing for several of the Kaiser Permanente hospitals.
“I’d heard many good things about Kaiser hospitals and I wanted the experience of working at one of them,” Valencia said. Her 13-week Club Staffing assignment was at the new Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center located in San Leandro, Calif.
The quest for travel leads home
Valencia actually started her travel therapy career about 25 years ago, when she worked temporary respiratory therapist jobs for about a year. After that time, she decided to take a permanent position at the Sutter General Medical Center located in Sacramento. When the urge to travel hit her again, she knew she wanted to stay close to home. “It’s important to me to live and work in the Northern California region of my home state. The East Bay Area is where my family and friends live. I care for my three Chihuahuas--Kiko, Coco and Lulu--and, like others, I have homeowner responsibilities.”
“I was excited when I heard about the Club Staffing/Kaiser contract because one of the Kaiser hospitals is located in the East Bay area of San Francisco and close to my home,” she said. “I’ve told my Club Staffing recruiter, Tara, if a future need arises for a 13-week contract at any of the Kaiser hospitals within the East Bay Area to keep me in mind.”
In fact, Valencia is very appreciative of how her recruiter has looked out for her. “Tara is a great recruiter. She was always receptive and responsive to any all questions or concerns that I had during my contract. She is one of many great people at AMN.”
Special moments on the job
Valencia experiences many memorable moments each day with her travel therapy jobs.
“We’re seeing sicker and sicker patients and we connect with each one individually,” she said. “To me, cheering a patient is memorable. If you save a patient in the middle of the night by using your knowledge and skills to think out of the box--that’s memorable. When a patient is in distress you have to be in a lifesaving mode, and when the patient is breathing better, that’s memorable.”
Travel therapy benefits
Whether you choose respiratory therapist jobs across the country or closer to home, travel therapy offers both personal and professional benefits, according to Valencia.
“Through travel, I’m able to expand professionally by developing skills through working with cutting-edge equipment and implementing current therapies and standards that have proven to save lives.” She has seen her profession grow during her career, as well, pointing out that 20 years ago, some pulmonary disease processes didn’t have standard treatments. “Now we can provide patients with other treatment modalities that will prevent them from going on ventilators.”
“Travel allows me to make my own schedule, which is extremely fulfilling, and I don’t have to work weekends or holidays--and that’s something, because I’ve been doing that for the past 20-odd years,” she explained. “Travel helps me to step out of my comfort zone and learn new things.”
What does Valencia tell others considering travel therapy jobs? If you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone and are agreeable to meet new people and learn new things, this is the job for you, whether it be for long- or short-term, she advises.
“Travel stimulates and never bores you, and is a good lifestyle for many healthcare professionals.”
¹An exclusive client maintains a Managed Service Provider (MSP) contract with AMN Healthcare.
Pictured in group photo:
Ramona Valencia (far right) has enjoyed getting to know other traveling respiratory therapists on her assignments, like Deborah Newsome (left) and Fiona MacColl (center). The three work for Club Staffing.