Put your hands together and make some noise for December’s agency clinician of the month – Bethany DeMarco! After time spent in research and trauma in Denver, CO, Bethany began traveling the west coast (Oakland and Seattle to specific) with some of the nation’s largest travel companies. When she was relocating to MD to continue her education, she wanted to continue the travel lifestyle but opted for a local company – and boy are we at CMS and GBMC (where she has worked 8 consecutive contracts for almost 2 years) lucky! She has worked in the PACU, Endoscopy, and IR, and she receives rave review from the administrative and clinical team alike. She consistently exceeds standard on every evaluations and often receives some additional comments – see below for some of the amazing feedback we have received:
*Bethany is a team player who is willing to flex her assignment to the needs of the unit. She is very knowledgeable and and is a valuable resource to any unit she is assigned to. – House Supervisor
*Wonderful addition to our team. She is very professional and competent. Bethany is a team player with great communication skills – hope she can stay longer! – Charge RN
Can you feel the love? I sure can! We asked Bethany to share a bit more about her professional journal and how she ended up at CMS (and has been so successful). Take a look below and hit the comments to congratulate her and share her story:
Where did you grow up? And how did you end up with CMS?
I grew up in Colorado. I started traveling when I was searching for grad school, which landed me in Maryland for a few years. After traveling with big, national companies, I wanted to travel with a company that was locally based and trusted by local hospitals.
How did you get into healthcare, specifically ICU/PACU/IR nursing?
After undergrad, I worked in research. While I loved science, I really wanted to work in a field where science was applied to real life and I could interact with people in a way that was helpful. I’ve always performed best under pressure, and after working in certain fields of science felt that trauma and surgery is where Western medicine shines, so it just made sense to start out working in Trauma/Surgery at the Rocky Mountain Regional Trauma Center. What I love about working in these contexts is the teamwork and the position to help someone and their families during one of the most difficult times in their lives.
Where did you work before CMS, and how did you learn about CMS?
Before I became a travel nurse, I worked at Denver Health in the Rocky Mountain Regional Trauma Center’s Surgical ICU. We did a lot of bedside, emergent procedures there, and if our patients went to IR, we were the IR nurse for that procedure too. We recovered all of our patients post-operatively, and sometimes had “OR at bedside” where the patient was too unstable to transport to the OR, so we performed the surgeries in the room. Since then, I’ve been a traveler at Neuro ICU’s, IR/Endoscopy, AND PACU. When I moved to Maryland, it was from Seattle and I knew no one. I read a travel nurse blog about East Coast travel companies, and I decided to look for a local company. That’s how I found CMS.
What is your favorite part about your current agency assignment through CMS? Past assignments through CMS?
I love the flexibility I’ve had through CMS. I’m in school full time in a rather long program, and I never imagined I’d be able to do anything other than PRN. It’s been helpful to have the stability of a ‘home’ unit that requires a 3-month commitment at a time.
What is your favorite part about working for an agency?
I love meeting new people and working in different contexts and learning about different procedures! For someone who loves variety, this is a great experience.
Any agency nursing stories stick out in your memory?
One night in the Cardiac ICU, my patient had really frequent pauses in their cardiac rhythm, so by the end of the night the charge RN and I dubbed the rhythm stable asystole since the monitor would falsely alarm “asystole”.
During a code at my first travel nursing assignment, I got to teach the team (doctors, surgeons) how to place an IO access. I was shocked because the hospital I came from, all charge nurses and some staff RN’s are trained on IO placement.
Would you recommend agency nursing to other clinicians? Why?
Absolutely; I would recommend first to get at least 2 years experience at a really good teaching hospital, so that you have sound clinical judgment before launching into traveling. It’s great experience, but many hospital cultures aren’t the most welcoming and also don’t necessarily keep up on EBP, especially if it’s a more rural or non-teaching hospital. It’s good to learn safe practices and what is/isn’t appropriate so that you can be your own resource of what’s reasonable, as sometimes this can be an issue occasionally. Once you have experience, it’s great to travel to get exposure to new people, new environments, new specialties. For example, I was able to work in a Neuro and Cardiac ICU’s due to prior experience, but when I travelled, I worked in a Neuro ICU that was the regional neurovascular center, meaning I got to see really complex neuro cases from all over that tri-state area who were flown in just for this unit and set of doctors.
What has made you so successful in your career?
I understand that I’m not an expert in anything, and I just want to learn, so overall I have a very open posture when I approach new work environments. Also, I have developed clear communication skills and a healthy set of boundaries which can be very helpful in new work environments.
What are your hobbies / interests outside of nursing?
Right now, it seems like my only hobby is school! Prior to that, I loved to climb, and enjoy almost any outdoor activity. The only thing I haven’t been able to do yet since I’ve been out here is surf or go to the beach–I know–SAD! Basically if it’s outside and fun, I’m there. The only thing I’m not super excited about is backpacking, because I always seem to encounter bears.
Let us know one random interesting fact about you very few people know
I’m published in a scientific journal.
What was your reaction to being named ‘Agency Clinician of the Month’?
Disbelief! And shock!
Thanks again for all your hard work, Bethany! I know I speak for the team at CMS, the staff at GBMC, and all the patients you see when I say we really appreciate all that you do day in and day out. Hopefully you get some time to enjoy the outdoors on the east coast (just steer clear of the bears) – you truly deserve it! Congrats again and wishing you many years of continued success!