In the Vero Travel Nurse Spotlight series, we highlight our travelers' unique stories and perspectives during their various assignments.
This month, we’re featuring Patricia (Patti) Berg, an ICU Nurse, currently on assignment in Stonebridge, Georgia. Patricia has been a nurse for 38 years and traveling for 12 years. From the bustling wine country in Northern California to now a small town in Georgia, she has seen many places and has gained a lot of experience along the way. When she’s not working, Patricia enjoys spending time on her pontoon boat. She lives right on Lake Martin in Alabama, which is a 44,000 acre lake.
Patricia started working with Vero this year. She describes her experience thus far, “I’m very happy with Vero. Devon (my recruiter) is incredible. He started talking with me last year about opportunities, but I wasn’t ready due to a family situation. He stayed persistent and patient. I found an amazing assignment, that has the perfect location and good money. The entire Vero team has helped me tremendously, from Deena in compliance, to Jean in payroll. The service is unmatched.”
Current Travel Nurse Assignment – Stonebridge, Georgia
Patricia loves that her current assignment is only a few hours away from home, making it easily accessible to see her family regularly. Now ready to extend her assignment, Patricia sheds light on her experience during the pandemic, “The facility is about 90% travelers. When COVID was bad, everything was non-stop. Now that things have calmed down, there is some normalcy in ratios. The entire team, both travelers and staff are amazing and very friendly. We all work very well together.”
“I haven’t ventured out to any big cities nearby, such as Atlanta. But I like the community locally. I was able to find a great room to rent, through Furnished Finder. When I looked elsewhere, it was more expensive. What I like about Furnished Finder, is that they vet the renter and the seller, both undergo background checks. In my rental, there is another traveler, using a room as well. We meet up in the mornings, and it’s been nice having that in a new place,” says Patricia.
What Inspired Your Nursing Career?
Patricia started nursing in the 1980s. She developed ICU skills once she became a travel nurse. She describes her experience in the ICU, “What I like most about working in the ICU, is that it’s challenging, interesting, and very fulfilling for me. You never know what to expect each day. As an ICU nurse, I’m with patients during their hardest times. I’m informing them of the next steps, I’m easing their mind, and even helping them make end-of-life decisions. Because the doctors can be so busy, the nurses have more time to go over the details with the patient and their family. I enjoy that time and being of service to them.”
Patricia is passionate about nursing and hospice care. She says, “Anything I can do to help during the tough time, really matters, even if it won’t change the outcome. I help them to understand that. No one leaves this world standing up. At some point, we all leave this world, and hopefully to a better existence. I relay the necessary information to them, so they are aware of all the options, and can decide what’s best.”
Advice for Travelers
As an experienced nurse, Patricia recommends that if a nurse is considering traveling, that they have several years under their belt. She says, “It’s important to be confident in your skillset. There are things you need to understand that isn’t taught in nursing schools, such as troubleshooting and critical thinking. Those types of skills you only learn on the job. We get new nurses sometimes, that are assigned to the core staff, and I still try to help them. I will pull them to the side and show them the tricks and processes to help a patient. I’ll say, ‘Look, I’ve seen this happen before, and you will probably see it again. Try it this way.’ It’s enriching to give back to new nurses just starting.”
Patricia also shares advice to moms considering traveling. She says, “When I was a new traveler, my son was in the 2nd and 3rd grade. It’s possible, so being a mom should not deter you from traveling. We had the time of our lives. At first, my mom came along to help out before I found a babysitter. We always packed light and found interesting places to see. One of my favorite places was Northern California, near the bay area and in the heart of wine country. I have been all over the state.”
Off the Clock Chronicles
Self-care is important, especially for nurses. Patricia shares how she relieves stress, “I love bubble baths and a nice glass of wine. During my free time, I am usually on a boat or relaxing. I have a house right on the lake, and the scenery is so beautiful. I am single and have kind of a hippie vibe. I practice yoga and meditation to release stressors. I’m 62, and when I first started nursing, it was all about the adventure, and now being closer towards retirement, priorities change. I want to pay off things. You must find what your reason for traveling is, and go for it. I highly recommend travel nursing because it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
One day, Patricia plans to take a Guam travel nurse assignment or explore Montana with Vero. We are so thankful for amazing nurses like Patricia and we look forward to seeing her journey.
If you’re interested in travel nursing opportunities, contact us today to get started. You can also join our Facebook Group – Vero Guam & Saipan Travel Nurses for more information about an island adventure.