Pediatric emergency nurse packs up for a new hospital in a new city every 13 weeks.

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Alexandra Kaspin

What do you do? I work as a travel nurse in the bustling Seattle Children’s Hospital emergency department. My job entails helping out hospitals that have the need for an experienced and qualified pediatric emergency nurse capable of taking a full patient load after only a few days of orientation.

I pack up all of my belongings in my car and move to new hospitals every 13 weeks. Before Seattle Children’s I had the pleasure of working in San Diego, and before that in Philadelphia.

How did you decide on that specialty? I always dreamt of being a pediatric nurse, and of exploring this beautiful world. Travel nursing sometimes feels like it’s too good to be true — housing, food and travel expenses are paid for (tax-free) by my agency in addition to an hourly wage from the hospital.

The hardest part is being so far away from my family; I am beyond lucky to have their support in chasing my wildest dreams.

(Courtesy of Alexandra Kaspin)
(Courtesy of Alexandra Kaspin)

What’s a typical day like? Well, I guess you could say that no day for me is really ever typical. Being in new emergency rooms every few months means that I can see anything and everything that rolls through the ambulance bay doors. I work rotating 12-hour shifts and on nights, weekends and holidays.

Having four days off per week leaves plenty of time for adventuring around my newfound locales!

What’s the best part of the job? I feel thoroughly blessed to get to work with resilient little fighters at some of the world’s foremost pediatric research centers. Seeing a child smile after a rough procedure makes all the [literal] blood, sweat and tears more than worth it.

What surprises people about what you do? When I tell people about my job, they’re most amazed by how quickly the timeframe of my assignments come and go. Just as I am becoming accustomed to a certain hospital or neighborhood, it’s already time to leave for the next hospital that is in need of a little help. I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else!

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