Lab Work, Life Lessons and Travel Bonuses
Medical lab tech Sherry Solomon talks about her allied travel career
By Joan Fox Rose, MA, RN, contributor
Sherry Solomon, MLT, ASCP, was recently chosen as the May 2016 winner of the “Share Your Club Staffing Story” contest, and, as a monthly winner, is now eligible to win the grand prize of a $5,000 travel voucher. As a medical laboratory technician, her job involves using microscopes and other technologically-advanced devices to analyze body cells, tissue samples and measure body fluids--like blood and urine--to identify abnormalities and confirm medical diagnoses. But, unlike many of the lab techs she works alongside, she is not permanently employed with one facility.
Instead, Solomon works short-term, medical lab tech jobs with Club Staffing in a variety of facilities and locations. Club Staffing, an AMN Healthcare company, covers her housing costs during each assignment, and provides a variety of standard employment benefits. This has allowed her to travel to new places and expand her work and life experiences far beyond her small-town Southern roots.
FIND ANSWERS to FAQs about allied travel and benefits.
Solomon resumed her educational studies as a single parent, and had been looking forward to an allied travel career when her three daughters were at an age when she could follow her dream. That dream was realized five years ago, when her youngest daughter, Maria, turned 15 and decided she wanted to travel with her mom while doing home schooling. Since that time, Maria has completed high school, is gainfully employed and is awaiting the birth of her first child, Solomon’s fifth grandchild.
Allied travel insights: Questions & answers
Presently assigned in Kearney, Neb., Solomon agreed to share some of her insights about her allied travel career:
Q. What where your goals when you decided to travel?
A. I was looking for opportunities to get to know other people I’d never met before, as I grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. I was seeking experiences that would help me to grow in my professional and personal life.
Q. How have travel jobs changed your professional life?
A. Working for Club Staffing has provided great opportunities for learning and I’ve found other people I’ve worked with to be friendly and willing to share information with me. While assigned at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport, Conn., for instance, I worked with knowledgeable professionals and learned such things as how to improve body fluid counting skills.
Q. How has travel influenced your personal life?
A. Before I started to travel, I was a shy and quiet person. However, as I met and worked with a variety of people, some who came from different cultures, I became less shy and more outgoing. For example, I’d never had Indian food before when a woman friend from India invited my daughter and me to her home for an Indian dinner. This was a welcome change for a Southern woman used to eating fried foods. Travel has taught me to get out of my comfort zone by meeting new people--and trying different kinds of foods prepared by people from other cultures.
While working at some hospitals I also learned how to stand up for myself. Unfortunately, everyone isn’t going to like you and we all meet people who interact with others in mean and rude ways. Now I have the confidence and know-how to respond to them in a professional manner.
Q. What are some of your favorite travel memories so far?
A. Traveling through Oregon and Washington State opened my world to their natural beauty. Hiking through quiet and peaceful trails populated by northern pine trees, having views of spectacular waterfalls and enjoying nature that surrounded me were welcome and memorable experiences.
Q. What have you learned about best practices in your field?
A. Best practices taught me to put safety first in all professional tasks and patient interactions. In addition, I agree it’s vital to follow individual hospital procedures set up to achieve quality patient care standards.
Excerpts from Solomon’s story submission further highlight her experiences with Club Staffing:
“Traveling has opened up a whole new life for me…I have the ABSOLUTE BEST JOB EVER! There’s no other way I could have met the wonderful people that I have had the honor of meeting. Aside from the people, the places are amazing!...I started my travel career with the best recruiter there is, Erin McConnell. Without her & Club Staffing, I wouldn't be the tech I am today. I have learned so much about my profession & the great people with whom I share it. There is never a wasted day as long as you’re learning…“
Read Sherry’s Club Staffing story here.
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