Ariauna Cameron is a wife and mother of three. A nurse for more than a decade, she made the move to travel nursing at the height of the pandemic, taking an assignment in Texas, a long way away from her home in Florida. What drives this first-time travel nurse? In a word, community. She has connected with the patients and hospital where she’s working and has extended her assignment there three times.
Unique Experience and First-Time Traveler
In her 12 years of nursing experience, Ariauna’s work includes caring for patients in long-term care, and in correctional facilities. She’s done a lot of med-surg nursing, and some hospice case management. She’s been a floor nurse and a unit supervisor. She answered the call to travel in March 2021.
“I made the leap with Medical Solutions because they have been around for years and years, and the nurse reviews were all positive and wonderful,” she says.
“Traveling offers something unique, that you don’t get as a floor nurse,” she continues. “This being my first opportunity for travel experience, I’ve had my eyes opened up to a whole community that was underprivileged.”
Going from her previous job to an area hit especially hard by COVID-19 was a massive change for Ariauna. “My travel experience opened my eyes to those areas that don’t always have everything they need,” she says. “Those communities really need a lot of help.”
“I’m in there, hands on, helping everybody. I’m meeting families, cousins, uncles, pretty much everybody in this small town, that, unfortunately just has so much going on with their health. There are chronic conditions, acute conditions and then you put COVID on the table as well.”
Caring for COVID patients and connecting with their families admittedly drove Ariauna to her limits at times. Having to face the challenge every day can mean fighting back tears and fears.
“My experience has been emotional and touching because I’m on the job but I’m also balancing these people’s families and lives, she says. “You get stressed out, but it’s a good stress. Because you know you’re positively changing this community.”
When asked why she became a nurse, Ariauna points back to when she was just 22 years old, and a new mother. A team of nurses saved her life during and following labor and delivery, when her first son was born prematurely.
“I had a team of ICU nurses taking care of me, and I just remember the depth of what they went through, the focus on me, the young mother, and everything they did as a team to save my life and bring me back to good health,” she recalls.
That moment is still instructive to the care she provides to patients today. For her, it comes down to doing whatever it takes to help a patient, especially in the face of some heartbreaking COVID cases. “We try to put together all the resources we can… and do as much as we can,” she says. “At the end of the day, you can feel good if that you did everything in your power for that patient.