In this month’s A Nurse’s Voice, Kristian Taylor, RN speaks about his traveling experience as a nurse while serving as an Air Force Reserve flight nurse. It’s difficult to juggle both, and he explains how he does it! His wife also serves in the Air Force Reserve and travels with him while working remotely. Kristian touches on being a male in a female-dominated field of work, along with the connection you make while on assignment. He feels like by the end of a contract, the people he has met and worked with are like his family!
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Hey. How are you?
Kristian Taylor, RN: How are you?
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Good, good. Do you just land? Did you get back?
Kristian Taylor, RN: All right. So, yeah. Yeah. So,I’m working in Maine. Well, you know these things, but having to travel back to Alabama for work for the military. So, it’s a long process. It’s a long travel day. So, I don’t leave like 5:30 or 6 a.m. like a flight, and then I’ll get back at, like, an hour or so.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Well, I’m glad you’re came because of me. Busy day.
Kristian Taylor, RN: Yeah. Thank you.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Okay. So while we’re on this, what made you choose travel nursing and company? Like, what made you get in that?
Kristian Taylor, RN: Yeah. So I made some notes because you sent me those questions. Let me pull this up real quick.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah, I know you’re okay. Go ahead.
Kristian Taylor, RN: So I’m just going to say it really doesn’t take too long to kind of figure out the bubble of travel nursing’s about networking and making friends and kind of maintaining relationships. And so I’d actually met a nurse to work with you all. She’s now Kaitlin Roney, I think she was Rhodes before oh, you know. Kaitlin Ford.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yes, yes. Kaitlin Ford.
Kristian Taylor, RN: Yeah. She got married, same time I did. So it didn’t take long to kind of figure out that she’s a very trustworthy nurse and coworker, and she was telling about this company and her recruiter. And so I just I realized I could trust her, and I didn’t really like mine I was with. And kind of took her advice and took a leap. And that’s kind of where I initially heard a travel nurse, and I didn’t understand that how OR nurses and travel nursing any kind of kind of worked out and fit. I have a good foundation now.
Kristian Taylor, RN: So it it’s been a great experience so far. Melissa is my recruiter and her’s as well. She is fantastic.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah, she is. She’s awesome. So what inspired you to become a nurse?
Kristian Taylor, RN: Oh, yeah. I thought about this was a good question. A lot of guys, I don’t think we choose nursing as a first career choice. I never had this, like, overwhelming passion, like a lot of coworkers to just pursue nursing and become a nurse and do all this until later. I was actually pursuing a premed degree, a graduate of the pre-med degree, and at some point kind of lost faith and that dream, I guess you could say.And I have an aunt who was a nurse back home, and all along she’s kind of whispering, hey, you should think about this, you know, and school thing. And that’s, no, I’m a guy. I don’t know. It just never made sense at the time. Couldn’t have been more wrong. So I kind of fell into it as a second career choice and went back for a second degree. And it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Just allowed me to open doors and allowed me to see and talk to and help a lot of people.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah. Being a nurse is not only for girls, so I’m glad that you got in it.
Kristian Taylor, RN: Yeah, I think it used to be 6% of the career field are men. Yeah, I don’t know. But it’s been good. I think critical. We usually go to, like migrate to critical care. So and here I am, so.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah. Okay. So you mentioned earlier, you know, you go back home for the reserves, so you’re not only an RN, but you serve in the Air Force reserves. So how does it feel to be a part of the two, the two communities and how does that work?
Kristian Taylor, RN: Yeah, so it’s a little complicated and that’s a good question. I have an honor of serving as a flight nurse in the Air Force reserves. So even as active duty, there’s guard and then there is the reserve component. And that’s what I do Basically, you’re an officer. First, you get to take care of some amazing troops and kind of watch out and help them grow. And then you’re a flight nurse and are able to take care of some service members. It’s a little bit to juggle in both capacities. There’s a lot of owed time on and off the clock for each role. So, you know, nursing, you know, you’re owed in my contract. 36 hours a week and then, you know, you have departmental meetings and use to get same for the Air Force. I have to do drill once a month, come back and fly a lot. So you have flight requirements that keep and a lot of things to kind of taking care of your troops that just kind of revolves around that and for unit responsibilities so it’s a lot to kind of manage but I have a lovely wife who is understanding and kind of uh is a wonderful support system to kind of do that. I take the same approach I do in the E.D. and critical care to the mindset of it all. Service members have to have a bad day for us to be involved and to take care of me in the same way for these for the E.D. they have a bad day. They don’t choose to be the are some of them and just have to go in there with the mindset and kind of understand the take care of and get them to their destination.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah. So your wife travels with you?
Kristian Taylor, RN: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. She’s pretty wonderful. She just left active duty. She was a logistics officer. So FedEx type thing for just supplies and took a reserve job too. She came over to the dark side and took a remote job with a company who connects veterans with with jobs when they get out of the service. So it’s a wonderful job that allows her to work practically anywhere and kind of pursue our adventure together. And you can say.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: So is she in the Air Force reserves or is she in.
Kristian Taylor, RN: Oh, yeah. No Air Force Reserves too.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: So, okay, that’s neat. And that’s how y’all kind of got to know each other and meet through the Air Force.
Kristian Taylor, RN: Yeah. So some good things come out of it. So.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: So yeah, so whenever I was looking through like pictures and stuff that you’d say and things like that, I saw that you posted like your friends from one of your assignments it’s like a big group. So do you form just memorable friendships while you’re working as a travel nurse?
Kristian Taylor, RN: Yeah, I so basically it’s one of the most probably unspoken but amazing aspects of the job you it’s inevitable to make connections and friends. It kind of goes back to that bubble of travel nursing, of networking. And then just with critical care, I think it’s I would say near impossible to work in a critical care setting and then not be able to leave there and call your coworkers family. And that I’ve been able to do that every assignment I’ve had, it’s like a it’s a Band-Aid. It hurts leaving every single time. And it’s always a see you later. And not a goodbye kind of deal. So you just make friends everywhere you go. And travel nursing allows that to happen. I have friends in every state, almost.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah. That’s great. So you’ve traveled a lot of places. What’s your most memorable place that you’ve been to as a travel nurse?
Kristian Taylor, RN: Good question. I’ve worked in some significantly rural settings in Alabama, where I’m from and some larger cities in Massachusetts, Maine and I’ve liked each because it’s it’s a different kind of aspect, treating patients and education and medicine. And so each has its own little place but I think it was great because it contrasts really hard with my Southern heritage. You have a whole culture, a lot of diversity up there. And it’s wonderful to kind of meet people from all walks of life out there who have no idea where I’m from. And I’ve never seen snow. It’s been quite the experience.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Awesome. Yeah, that’s, that’s memorable. I, I wish that, you know, a lot of people say that they go places and they make really good friends and they have, like, these places and they’re like, yeah, I would go, I would go back there on an assignment.So I’m glad to hear a perspective. But being a registered nurse obviously right now has been really tough during COVID and everything. So how do you take care of yourself?
Kristian Taylor, RN: Yeah, actually, I like this question the most. I think that’s a very understated question. No one likes to talk about that. As nurses, we don’t want to talk about and care about ourselves. We’re always busy caring for other people. Only been highlighted, I think, through this pandemic. And you have more burnout and turnover. Personally, I just I just work out a bunch. My wife likes to get outside. We’re kind of you know, we’re from Alabama. She’s from Florida, so we like to go outside. And that’s kind of how I can do some outside activities. Kind of hard where I’m at now in Maine, there’s still snow on the ground. It’s going to melt sometime. But yeah, and it’s kind of catching up on some rest, but basically just recharging at home is the biggest thing.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: So yeah, well, that’s I’m really glad that, you know, you came on here. That’s all I have. It’s really good to hear your perspective from, you know, a travel nurse, Army Reserve or Air Force Reserve and then also a male. It’s hard to, you know, find guys in nursing, but it’s getting normal. It’s getting normalized. So we’re really glad about that.
Kristian Taylor, RN: I wouldn’t trade the women I work with for nothing. It keeps it interesting and I love I love it so yeah. No, thank you for having me. Always happy to talk about it. I think y’all are the real heroes in this deal. You have a lot to manage and coordinate and keep up with. I don’t think you all get the recognition you all deserve a lot so yeah. And just we have a very small portion in the in the pie, so we have an easy job.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah. We appreciate you. Thank you. Um, I’ll talk to you soon. I appreciate you have a good rest of the day.
Kristian Taylor, RN: Okay, bye.
Travel Nurses, Inc.: All right. Bye.
Thank you for keeping up with the “A Nurse’s Voice” series! Stay tuned for next month! We have another male nurse interviewing his experiences as a traveling nurse!