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By January 25, 2011 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: How do I get more scrub experience?


Travel nurse assisting during an operationAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

I’m a retired nurse of 25 yrs, 16 in ICU, 5 in general OR. I would like more scrub experience. I’m currently on first travel assignment in Alaska and love it. Several scrubs have agreed to let me scrub in with them. What would be a good way to get them to let me?

I have some scrub experience that was learned by observation and I am good at learning by the seat of my pants. I don’t like to but was the only way to get some scrub experience. I would appreciate any info/advice.

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Hi. I’m a bit confused by your question. It appears as if you are currently taking successful steps to get more experience when you stated that several scrub nurses have already agreed to have you scrub in with them. If what you are doing works, continue on.

All you really need to do is talk to people. Be open and forthcoming about your experience and the desire to learn more. Many people will give you the opportunity if you show the initiative to learn. Once you have your foot in the door, build off of those experiences. For example, if one nurse tells you no, then you might be able to say, “Well Nancy let me scrub in with her and I felt as if I did a very capable job in that situation. Would you be opposed to speaking with Nancy to see what her opinion might be of how I did?”

You can also go to your unit manager and tell her that you have scrubbed in the past and see if they might be able to open you up to any learning opportunities. Promote yourself and your skills, but don’t exaggerate your comfort level. The key to increased opportunity is dialog. Speak with whomever you can and you will often find someone that is willing to let you get your foot in the door.

Hope this helps.

About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

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