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A Nurse’s Voice: Emilee Grem, RN

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel with your dog in an RV? Emilee Grem, RN takes a few minutes out of her day as a traveling nursing to talk with us about her experiences in this! She brings along her pup, Willow, as her companion while on contract. Emilee specializes in pediatric care. You can definitely see her passion for this specialty and for the nursing community. Emilee found Travel Nurses, Inc. through friends in the Memphis,TN area. She gives some great tips on how to travel with an RV and finding a location to park along with ways to keep her dog happy and healthy while she works. Not sure what location you want to try? Emilee’s advice: Go with your gut!

Travel Nurses, Inc.:I’m so glad that you were able to join us today. So, we have some questions and actually, just tell us about yourself first.

Emilee Grem: Well, my name is Emilee. I am a pediatric travel nurse. I have been a nurse for three years now and didn’t think in the beginning that I would be a pediatric nurse. But here we are. I love it. I’m from Memphis, but I am currently on an assignment in Fayetteville, Arkansas. And it’s wonderful. And I full time RV travel, I’m in a travel trailer.

And it’s me and my dog.

Travel Nurses, Inc.:Okay. So how did you choose our travel nursing agency travel? Travel Nurses, Inc. How did you find us?

Emilee Grem: So, I actually had I was working and live on our children’s hospital in Memphis at the time. And one of my coworkers was going local at St Jude, which was just next door. And we’ve always talked about traveling. And when I first started nursing, I wanted to travel just because I have a passion for it. And now’s the time to just really go for it.

And she said that she was getting on with this agency and I was at St Jude and so I was like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe that you got that position. That’s awesome. And then they were looking for someone else. And so, she referred me, and she got in touch with Marisa as my recruiter. She’s awesome. I love her so much.

And from there I got on at St Jude’s, which it was local at the time. And it was just a great way to jump on in and get everything figured out without traveling first. So, I got kind of

like acquainted with it and figured out like how our nursing section does things and kind of just went from there. But it’s been awesome.

Travel Nurses, Inc.:That is so cool. Okay, so what inspired you to become a nurse?

Emilee Grem: so we’re going to have honesty. Our I did not know. I did not know what I wanted to do. I jumped out of high school. I grew up playing sports. I went directly into physical therapy, and I was like, well, this must be it. And then just wasn’t being fulfilled by that. And I actually took the semester off, and I just prayed.

I just took classes. I know I took I took like yoga and swimming and was like, I just need to figure out what I want to do and do a lot of praying.  And from there, you know, I knew I wanted to help people. I knew I had a passion for others. And I like making connections with other people.

I love traveling. I didn’t know at the time that, you know, that this opportunity would even arise. But I put two in two together. I was like, what can I do that incorporates all these things, you know? And then I was like, oh, my goodness, they’re seeing themselves like, I think I’m going to I’m going to try out for nursing. I’m going to die. I applied for nursing school and yeah, the ball’s been rolling ever since then I’ve just. Yeah, and it’s been great. I know that this is where I’m supposed to be.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: That’s good. You found your calling.

Emilee Grem: Yeah. Yes.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Okay. So, you mentioned you did Peds. What made you choose pediatrics as your specialty did happen?

 

Emilee Grem: It kind of just happened I know that. So, I want to do a lot of different things in my nursing career. I don’t think I’m going to be able to just stick with one specialty. But Peds is hard because I love it. But first, in the very beginning, I actually liked Medsurg, and I and not many people like Medsurg, but I love it because I just like seeing, like, everything, you know?

And I like talking to people and they make the connections. But I actually just applied to adult Medsurg and then to Lebonheur Children’s Hospital because I’d been there before now, not as a patient, but just to tour around. And I really loved it, too. And I really love children and then help honor was just the ones who chose me.

And the interview you know, they’re like, we want you. Like, they remembered me, and it was just all good things. So that’s how I got into Peds. And I told myself, you know, if I, if I didn’t like it, then I would stick through it. And then if I want to go to adults, then I would do that.

Just, I, I think I did take me long to be like, oh, no, it’s the children. I love the kids. Yeah.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: That’s great. So how does it feel to be a part of the nursing community?

Emilee Grem: Oh, it feels awesome. I feel really and I listen to a bunch of podcasts and, you know, I watch shows and YouTube videos and stuff. Just because I’m a nerd. But I feel really empowered being a nurse. You know, I feel really connected to people all over, you know, like not even just and wherever I am on, like, my assignment or in my home, I feel, I follow, I’m a part of like a bunch of Facebook groups and everyone I’ll chip in before answering questions, asking questions.

And we really don’t get judged or hated on you ultimately. You know, we’re here to help others. So, I feel, you know, I think it’s a great part of the community. I feel empowered by it. And yeah, I love it.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: I’m very good. Yeah, I’ve heard that from almost every nurse that I’ve talked to. They say I just feel so empowered. So, I that’s my favorite question to ask. But yeah. Okay. So, you said you

traveled with your RV. How is it like in the journey because you don’t really have to look for housing is it easy? Is it hard with your RV and stuff like that?

Emilee Grem: Yeah. So, I figured out right away that with the trailer with RV living, that when I’m looking for assignments I can’t just jump into being like, oh, I want to go here, sign a contract and then find a place because some RV parks may be 30, 40 minutes away from the hospital. And I’m one of those people where I like, I like to be like 15 minutes away from the hospital or less, or like 20 minutes max.

But I like to be close. Yeah, that way I just have time to myself and to mentally prepare for my shifts and stuff. But before I know, before this assignment with the trailer, I am looking for RV parks. Before I sign a contract, I’m checking it all out, to see how much they are. And it really hasn’t been too bad, but it’s, it’s been especially in the wintertime because no one really camps in wintertime.

Summertime is going to be a different story because everyone, you know, it may be hard to find spots, but overall, you know, I feel more connected to just like doing my own thing in the trailer. I’ve learned a lot, so I’m just constantly learning. But finding a spot isn’t too terribly hard. But it is. It does I don’t even know what the word I’m looking for is.

It’s hard with you know, you can’t just go anywhere with the trailer. You have to make sure that you have housing, which is just like apartments. You know, you have to make sure that you have an apartment or housing wherever you go on assignment. But with trailers, sometimes it’s like, well, there’s a waitlist or something. So yeah. So, I’ve just done a lot of research, but it’s more of like a learning curve than anything.

Yeah.

 

Travel Nurses, Inc.: So, if you wanted to go to a location and they didn’t have a good RV park, would you think about finding housing or you’d just prefer that, the RV?

Emilee Grem: I kind of prefer the RV. Um, I’m not against housing because it was when I was in Jackson, Tennessee at Jackson Memorial um, they, I was in an apartment there. But when you do a term lease, rent, rent goes up Airbnb has a bunch of service fees and stuff, so they get kind of like more. If I’m with RV, you know, I feel like I’m investing all my money and all my time into this thing I bought.

And, you know, I know where my money’s going so, I think if that ever happened, I would stay in my RV, but I would probably just look for different spots or try to make it work. But if worse came to worse, I wouldn’t be against getting like a hotel or seeing what my other options were.

I’m very open minded but I do love the RV, so it’s just like a whole mix of things. But I really just go where I feel like my soul is just going to be happiest and where I’m going to thrive. And then just kind of go from there. I’ll do some research and stuff, but that’s kind of how I decide to make my money.

Other people are you know, they, you know, money plays a factor based on your financial, whatever your whatever your finances are is what I’m trying to say. But for me, it’s more of like wherever my soul wants to go and I’m going in. Putting my faith in there will be a good assignment. And they both have been so far so well.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: That’s good. That’s good. Go with your gut and you can never go wrong. Right.

Emilee Grem: Right. That’s right.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: How do you travel with anyone?

Emilee Grem: I just travel with my dogs. But it was awesome. The RV was a little bit different trying to get her, you know, I got one that was big enough to where she wasn’t going to be cramped and I was going to be cramped together because she’s very high energy. And so, we have made it work. My family lives in Memphis.

It’s about 5 hours away from where I am now. I am a homebody, which sounds so weird because I’m a travel nurse. But I am a homebody. And so, I like to be closer, you know, not too terribly far away from them, but so it’s just me and I’ve got a boyfriend, but he lives in Mississippi and he’s all for me.

Go out, do your thing. And I love that. Yeah, it’s an awesome relationship, and it just helps both of us thrive. I come home with all these stories and so and there’s Facetime and just Facetime constantly. But yeah, but the dog has been awesome. She goes, I, I’ve looked at that was another thing with the, with the trailer, with the parks.

I look to make sure there’s a dog park and this one has two, and I make sure she’s able to play and I’ll go take her to the dog park. There’s this app that I use. I just used it the other day called Rover. I am on night shift, and so sometimes I’ll get 4 or 5 hours of sleep just max, that’s usually what I thrive on.

But you know, I got to take care of myself too, mentally and physically and all the above. And so, I use this app to find the best candidate to put my dog in a daycare for the day. Or consecutive days that I work. And so, the other day I got home from work. I dropped her off.

I went to sleep for a long time, and it was magical. And then I went and picked her up and she was so happy because she was able to play and live her best life as well. So, we’re both living our best lives right now.

 

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Your biggest tip is just making sure they have a place to play whenever you’re off and the app. I’ve actually heard of that app, I’ve used it  before. It’s really great. Do you have any trouble like at the RV park with your dog or is it great?

Emilee Grem: It is awesome. There’s been no issues and I have a really friendly dog, so she gets along with everybody you know, I’m on alert and cautious for the other dogs that she’s playing with. But in the RV, as far as I know, she doesn’t bark when I’m as far as I know, she was barking. I’ve got no one complaint on me yet.

I really do want to get a camera in my RV. I’ve had a camera and all my apartment, but I’m just slack and I’m getting one because I put all my stuff in storage. So, all my cameras are in there right now. But I want to get something to kind of like watch her. But she’s been awesome, and she doesn’t use the bathroom in there.

I think she knows that she has enough room. She knows that it’s her home. And so yeah, I think my tips are just to make sure that they aren’t. I got plenty of treats. I’ve got toys that I put treats in, you know, so I keep her I keep her happy and she makes me happy.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Well, I know that being a registered nurse right now is tough. How do you take care of yourself? I know bringing your dog is just a big part of your joy, but how do you self-care?

Emilee Grem: So as a travel nurse in general, I feel like I have more opportunities to explore things that I don’t normally get to see. On my days off, I take all my opportunities I am I have already planned out hikes that I want to go see. I’m going to Topgolf because I’ve never been on top golf before.

So, my days off, I’m going to you know, I’m exploring and I’m mentally just rebooting. I’m settling down. You know, I’m having fun. I’m not just trying to work, work, work, work, work. You know, I’m also trying to keep myself happy and healthy. I know that. I think that baths are luxury. Yeah. I don’t have that luxury in my RV.

I don’t have a bath in mine. And so, with this snowstorm that just happened, I was able to the hospital actually provided reserved some rooms for the hospital staff and a hotel. And so, I stayed there for two nights because of work. And I was like, oh, this is hotels to me are self-care in general because I’m like, yeah, just lounging is nice.

You know, there is a bathtub going, you know, there’s a nice big shower, you know, and my RV is smaller. So, do. And that’s just nice. But also, I’m a big face mask person and not like a mask person, but I get like

facial scrubs. And so sometimes even when I’m on night and I’m working, I wake up a little bit earlier just to like scrub my face, like just really good and put on a face mask and just sit there and think about, like, my night and prepare and just kind of set myself up.

I listen to a bunch of motivational speeches on podcasts and music and YouTube videos too, because I love what I do too. But sometimes I yeah, it’s draining sometimes. And so, I will listen to these motivational speeches and will lay, you know, in a mask or something or sometimes just lay back and just, you know, I don’t get too hard on myself.

I’m sitting here doing nothing because I’m like, okay, I’ve been working. It’s okay. Sometimes I feel like I have to just go, go, go. And sometimes it’s nice to just sit down and reassure yourself that you don’t have to keep going all the time. Like it’s okay to sit there and relax for a second. And so, I’ll do that motivational speeches sometimes that are like, can you do this?

Of course, you can do this, you know.

Emilee Grem: Yes. Yeah, yeah. That’s kind of like what I do. I and, you know, I think that whatever works for you works for, for you. But there’s plenty of ways. Yeah. That are you can get yourself to reach you mentally and stuff. I’m all about trying them on. I’m not I don’t ever stick to just one thing I kind of like, okay, this feels good at the moment, you know, you know, like, what does my body need right now?

And I really just kind of listen to my body.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah. Well, thank you so much for coming on doing our interview. We appreciate you. And we’re just so glad, you know, that you do what you do.

Emilee Grem: So, thanks for me. I think you guys were reaching out to me. I really appreciate it. And, you know, I know I’m community. I communicate with everyone over there like no problems. And I just love being with this agency. I think that y’all are great. So, I really appreciate you guys for having me some fellow nurses.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: We love you so you can love us but We love you.

Emilee Grem: Thank you.

You may feel like you aren’t able to travel as a nurse right now. Emilee’s family, boyfriend and friends support her on her travel nurse journey. She is thriving in her career. Take the chance and join us today on your next travel nurse contract! There is so much out there for you to experience!

About the Author

Travel Nurses, Inc. is a leading travel nurse staffing agency that provides nurses with opportunities to find work across the country. Established by nurses for nurses, TNI has been in business since 1988 and has over 30 years of experience.

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