There’s been a lot of anticipation and divided opinion leading up to MTV’s new travel nurse reality show, “Scrubbing In,” which premieres on October 24. So we thought it would be cool to get in touch with one of the cast members to chat about the show and travel nursing in general.
Tyrice is the sole female travel nursing veteran featured on “Scrubbing In.” Armed with her BSN, she has been a Critical Care Registered Nurse for six years, and a travel nurse for three years. Besides an accomplished professional life, she is a normal 20-something who likes to have fun and see the world while on assignment. Fun fact about Nurse Tyrice: Her favorite MTV show (besides “Scrubbing In” of course) is “Catfish.” We talked to Nurse Tyrice about hospital politics, the travel nurse industry, safe patient ratios, positivity, and more.
Check out our interview with Nurse Tyrice from MTV’s “Scrubbing In”
Travel Nursing Blogs: What made you decide to become a nurse?
Nurse Tyrice: “From the age of nine I was kind of the primary caregiver to my grandmother — from that very young age to [when I was] 20, when she passed. Taking care of people was the only thing I knew, so at the end of the day I don’t really think I chose my profession at all, I think it chose me. I think I was destined to take care of people. I love it and I’m very passionate about it.”
And why did you decide to begin working as a travel nurse?
“I was a staff nurse for three years in my hometown (Shreveport) in Louisiana, and it really began to take a toll on me — just the politics of everything at a hospital. It really got to the point where I felt like everything was taken away from the patient being at the center of everything, so I kind of had this epiphany one day that there had to be something better out there and I was like, ‘OK, I’ll travel.’ It sounded like with travel nursing I wouldn’t have to deal with the politics and I could put my patients back at the center of the care, because that’s who comes first at the end of the day.”
“Travel nursing has been my outlet. I don’t have to deal with the politics; I don’t have to miss doing patient care to go attend meetings, and things like that. Also, it’s great because I get to have fun and make money and see the world.”
How did you get involved with “Scrubbing In”?
“I was on a travel assignment in California and I received an email about [the show] and I applied and it was uphill from there.”
How do you typically choose your locations?
“Sometimes it’s just spontaneous and on a whim. But, I really like California, obviously, because of the safe patient ratios. I am from the South and we don’t have safe patient ratios here. Most of my career as a travel RN has been spent in California, but I have also done Nevada — Las Vegas — and Dallas, but it’s all about the safety, the location itself, and the pay.”
“I have my bucket list of places that I absolutely want to get under my belt before I stop travel nursing. Like, New York. I hear it’s a very exciting place to go, especially for healthcare.”
Have you seen the final cuts of the episodes, or will you be watching for the first time with the rest of us on the 24th?
“I will be seeing the premiere along with everyone else.”
What do you want people to get out of the show?
“For one, I am hoping to enlighten the public on what nurses really do and that we’re not these glorified bedpan passers and that there’s so much more to our profession. That we’re healthcare managers. That we’re some of these patients’ families at the end of the day. And I hope to shed light on that aspect of nursing. At the end of the day, I just hope that these teenagers that are the demographic for MTV, that it will help them to hear of this profession because there is a shortage.”
Was the “Scrubbing In” setup similar to other MTV shows where you and your cast mates all lived together, or did you work in the same unit? How did that work?
“We were all in an apartment complex. Some of us had roommates and some of us didn’t. As far as the hospital goes, I particularly didn’t work with anyone because I was in the Intensive Care Unit, I was the only one in the Intensive Care Unit, so I didn’t work with any of the travelers — thank god (laughs). And we would switch between two different hospitals. I know that MTV normally puts everyone in a house, but it wasn’t like that for us, although we were in the apartments in close vicinity to each other, but not in the same house.”
Were you able to make any close friends? How did you and the rest of the cast get along?
“It was very difficult for me because I was the only other female on the outside. The others all came together and they were a group of best friends so it was very difficult for me to kind of cross those boundaries. It was difficult but I got through it in the 13 weeks. It wasn’t the typical travel assignment that I would normally go on but I got through it.”
Did you feel like you left with any connections to the other cast mates?
“I think [that because of] the experience, in a whole, because it was a different experience, I will always have a connection to the eight regardless of if I made friendships or not because it was such a great opportunity. And even if I didn’t leave with any friends — and I did — the experience in itself will make me always have lifelong connections with those eight other individuals.”
Are you currently on a travel assignment?
“I’m on a local contract right now out in Dallas, Texas, that’s where I reside now. So I’ve just been kind of really working when I want to, 2 or 3 days a week here.”
Do you plan to still go on travel assignments in the future?
“Oh yeah, I’ve been traveling for three years. I plan on taking another month off and then getting back into the game (of traveling).”
A lot of what’s featured in the show’s trailer is definitely partying and stuff, do you feel like that’s sort of the lifestyle that you normally maintain while on contract or was the show environment a little different?
“The root word of ‘reality’ is ‘real’ and the show did not dissuade me from anything that I don’t normally do. I am in my 20s and I have fun, I live my life regardless of the camera being on or not. I go on travel assignments, I make friends, I have fun. The show did not do anything to make me defect from my normal character. Anything I did, I would do it again, without the camera being on me.”
Opinion on “Scrubbing In” has been divided. What would you say to the nurses who have said they worry that “Scrubbing In” will paint travel nurses in a negative light, despite not having seen the show yet?
“I would say to those with negative opinions that even though it’s a cliché, you can never judge a book by its cover and before you give your opinion, make sure it’s an informed opinion. You have not seen the show yet, watch an episode or two and then make an informed decision after you watch an episode. I don’t think our personal lives should in any way intertwine with our professional lives. At the end of the day, our personal lives, that’s ours. We are the authors of our personal lives. Now, professionally, if we make mistakes, I am all for constructive criticism from our colleagues, but for my personal life, I am the sole proprietor. [People] have no say so in my personal life.”
Have you heard about the Change.org petition to cancel the show? Is that upsetting to you?
“I wouldn’t say upsetting, but I would say that it’s very disappointing because instead of that energy that they’re using to cancel a show, let’s form alliances and petitions for stuff that really matters in the nursing world. You know, we have so many nursing issues that are going on right now that we should be fighting against. We need to have safe patient ratios, we need to be fighting for these legislative laws for advanced practice RNs, there are so many real issues in nursing that their energy could be redirected to, so it’s very disappointing.”
On Twitter you talk a lot about positivity. Can you explain why that’s so important to you and how you incorporate that while you are on the job?
“I incorporate positivity because I really think that you get what you give, and if you’re giving positivity you’re going to get that back; that’s just one of my life mottos. I would rather put positivity into this universe than negativity. Like, you get what you give. If you want to be negative that’s what you’ll get back; if you want to put out positive energy that’s what you’ll get back. When I’m with my patients I talk to them about maintaining positivity about their health conditions and about their diagnosis, and to have faith that it will work out.”
Do you feel positivity is something you were able to demonstrate while you were filming the show?
“I think I was able to demonstrate positivity on the show, you do have to keep in mind that we’re all human so there will be times where stuff won’t be positive, but I think overall I had a lot of positive moments — especially professionally.”
What would you tell someone who is thinking about going into travel nursing?
“I would tell them to go out and do it. It definitely takes a lot of adjustment and adapting to get used to it, but the overall benefit of travel nursing is awesome. You get to see so many different things and you get to see things so differently and you become so much more experienced than just staying at one set hospital. It’s a very challenging and rewarding career, and I think for any nurse, it just would be awesome [for them] to experience that.”
Is there anything else you want people to know about you, the show, or the travel nursing industry?
“The show speaks for itself, about my professional life and my personal life, and about travel nurses. I would ask my colleagues, again, not to judge a book by its cover and just to give us a chance.”
Oh, one more thing: You said that you do want to get back to travel nursing, but do you also have any further entertainment industry aspirations? Or was “Scrubbing In” just kind of a one-off for you?
“I don’t know what the future holds, I really did have a fantastic time filming and I wouldn’t be opposed to doing something in entertainment, but at the end of the day, nursing will always be in my heart. I don’t know where I will go from here, but wherever I go I am ready for the ride.”
So, what do you think about our interview with Nurse Tyrice from MTV’s “Scrubbing In”? Let us know in the comments!