Travel nursing has always been a thing.
They fill a need.
Think of them like the short term answer to a department’s problems.
The problems can be wide ranging.
A staff tech or nurse is having surgery.
A staff tech or nurse is having a baby.
A global pandemic hits and some workers who are parents must step back from their work because of caring for their children.
Or caring for family members.
Or they themselves are at greater risk because of pre-existing problems.
The healthcare workforce gets lionized by being on the front lines during this global health emergency.
A global pandemic stretches on and the workforce gets tired.
Tired of the never ending wave of patients.
Tired of parts of society that wants to now vilify nursing and other healthcare workers.
Because of course it is healthcare’s fault that society wants to go back to the way it used to be; without masks, without social distancing, without the constant threat of illness or death.
It can never be the fault of someone who doesn’t want to wear a mask, or take any precautions to decrease the chance that they will become sick, or spread the illness to others.
It can never be the fault of someone who denies science.
Not, never that.
Healthcare systems are in crisis.
Workers are leaving because they are tired and it is a job seekers’ paradise.
Workers are leaving because they didn’t get their exemption to the vaccine mandate and they are being forced (in their minds) to quit or have weekly tests.
Workers are leaving because of the child care system that is also struggling, and the problems caused by the pandemic are continuing.
And the pandemic itself is grinding on.
And travel nurses and techs are there to step up and fill the gaps so that the machinery that is the healthcare system can keep turning.
My mom, a travel nurse for the past 4 years, says that her company is inundated with the need for additional nurses and techs.
Yes, they may be paid more or in different ways.
That is not their fault.
That is demand economics.
And anyone else in their shoes would do the same.
Be nice to your travel workers.
They may be all that is standing in the way of limiting patient care and decreasing OR cases because there is no one to work them.