A Trio of New Articles!

I HAD A VERY PRODUCTIVE late summer, and the fruits of my writing labors are now online for your perusal:

“Nurses and Physicians: The Art of Communication and Collaboration”

An informative introduction will open a dialogue with your doctors and launch strong clinical partnerships at each travel nursing assignment.

“Going Beyond the Handshake: Collaborating Effectively on Locum Contracts”

Each interaction with your colleagues is a chance to demonstrate respect, share knowledge, and improve your patient care.

Because I’m often new to the worlds I explore in my writing, I like to cast my articles as introductions, crafted for readers entering these worlds for the first time too. I’m neither a doctor nor a nurse, but I can gather the informed opinions, experience, and enthusiasm of professionals from these realms to educate those who may be considering a mobile healthcare career.

I researched and wrote these stories in this spirit. The former, which appears in the October 2010 Healthcare Traveler, is similar in introduction to the latter, the cover feature of October 2010′s Locum Life. But they ended up being quite distinct. I hope they help staff/hospital nurses or physicians with enough information to make their start and head out on the road. Plus you can’t beat the locales they often visit: Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, or across the varied tableau of America.

“Crisis Nursing in Haiti: One Traveler’s Tale”

Eleven days in a Port-au-Prince tent hospital renewed travel nurse VJ Gibbins’ dedication to patient care.

Some travel, though, is less for tourism and profit than for dire need and charity. I had the privilege of interviewing VJ Gibbins, RN, a travel nurse with the Clinical One agency, about his volunteer mission after the January 2010 earthquake. He’d been a great source on a previous story, and when the agency asked me if I might want to speak with him after he returned from his trip, I leaped at the chance.

VJ was kind enough to grant me a long interview after he’d recovered from the ordeal; in an unused quote from our discussion, he acknowledged, “I wasn’t prepared for this level of badness.” Kimberlee Hodges, my contact at Clinical One, also arranged a chat with Cynthia Kinnas, the head of their national healthcare division, who described how they made the decision to assist Gibbins in his quest:

“We’d come to know him pretty well,” Kinnas says. “We knew that he’s a really strong clinician. But we also knew that he had a lot of integrity, that he’s reliable, and that he had a true passion for relief work.” Kinnas and her colleagues were also moved by Gibbins’ sustained interest in Haiti even after news of the earthquake subsided. “And VJ’s just one of those people who embodies what we all might dream nursing to be,” she adds.

This was one of my most challenging assignments, primarily because I didn’t know if I could do justice to the entire narrative in 2000 words, or even 2400 (after I asked the editor for a larger word count!). But I think I was able to craft a flowing narrative while accurately portraying the conditions Gibbins encountered, the ways he circumvented the shortages of personnel and modern equipment, and the toll his labors took on him.

This was my most rewarding assignment so far, and if you only read one of the articles linked above, do check out VJ’s tale here. I am of course available to discuss any future writing assignments, so please drop me a line here if you’d like to work with me. And do leave a comment if you enjoyed any of the articles!

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