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Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is an outstanding facility, winning the Foster G. McGaw prize for excellence in community health in 2003. Phoebe boasts exceptional surgical services, including a large operating room department (19 operating rooms) doing all surgical procedures except transplants on all age patients from pediatrics to adults. The hospital and its staff have a lot of heart, and that does not just refer to surgical cardiac procedures. Patients and families are made welcome, as are interim managers and traveling nursing staff. The operating room is well equipped, and the staff is well educated and highly skilled in all aspects of patient care. The facility is devoted to process improvement and quality management. Travel nursing agencies call almost daily looking for opportunities for traveling staff to come to Phoebe and work because of the hospital’s stellar reputation, and because word of mouth works well among folks who travel for a living.
Our most memorable incident involving a traveler is a sad and poignant one. A traveler that had been at Phoebe only a few weeks came into work and told the team leader that his father had just died suddenly. He was quite shaken, had no car, and had no one in the area. His family lived far away and he needed to be with them. We made arrangements for him to get to his family by plane that day, and the staff in the OR arranged for a driver and shuttle to take him to the Atlanta airport, 170 miles away, even donating the money to pay for the shuttle. The Phoebe chaplain assisted us with the arrangements, and sent out an email to everyone in the facility, taking up an emergency fund to help defray the expenses of the travel. When I notified Travel Nurse Across America, Patrick and Adrienne were very helpful and supportive of our desire to assist the tech to get to his family. With only a few hours to pack and catch the plane, he was driven to his apartment, another traveler helped him pack and drove him back to the hospital where the shuttle was waiting. Everyone here and at Travel Nurse Across America was united in the desire to help, and the tech was able to be with his family that evening and for the rest of the week during this tragic event. The experience really brought home the fact that people are the same everywhere, and generous hearts and spirits rise to meet the needs of even the most tragic of events. We have several traveling staff, and when difficulty arises, they become family with the rest of us.
My favorite part of working with Travel Nurse Across America is the people. Patrick Beam, whom I have never met in person, feels like a friend. We email frequently, and speak in person regularly, even if just to catch up. He has a great sense of humor and seems to appreciate my quirky one. Of course, staff provided by Travel Nurse Across America is skilled and fit well at our facility very quickly. Travel Nurse Across America is the first agency I call to fill staffing needs, because it is the warmth of the folks like Patrick that make it so easy to do so, knowing my needs will be met with quality staff.