The Atlas Life

The Atlas Life #58 - Travel ER RN, Lauren Bourg

Meet Lauren - a traveling ER nurse on her way to Austin, Texas. Her mom, Barbara and her pup join her and her recruiter, Chris Madrigal for a fun episode of #TheAtlasLife.

Lauren Bourg: I think just how to adapt, not only in the department and the people that you're working with, but just to the... Dad's calling. Sorry, but just to the state or city that you're in and learning that culture and learning how things are done in every different place. Mississippi wasn't that different from home. But just everywhere you go just has these little quirks that you've got to learn a new grocery store and you've got to learn just stuff like that.

Barbara Bourg: And when you get to Oregon you don't pump your own gas.

Lauren Bourg: Yeah. You don't pump your own gas in Oregon. That was really weird.

Chris Madrigal: How are you doing? Chris Madrigal here with Atlas MedStaff. I have Lauren and her mom. You know what? I didn't even get your name.

Barbara Bourg: Barbara.

Chris Madrigal: Barbara. Barbara Bourg and Lauren Borg.

Lauren Bourg: I found Chris through friends of mine that I worked with in Austin. They connected me with Chris because I really wanted to go to Oregon and they had done Oregon. I just didn't really know where I wanted to end up for sure. From small town Louisiana, I randomly picked Austin when I graduated from college because I could, but I didn't necessarily feel like it was 100% home, or at least I wasn't sure of it. And there's so much to experience, and I have a career that allows me to do it. So, why not?

Barbara Bourg: Well, as Lauren will tell you, I'm a helicopter mom. And it scared me to death. It really did at first. But then I had other people that I know who are nurses that expressed to me that they wished that they would've done it and they thought it was going to be a great experience for her. So that made me feel a little bit more secure. And then, with her first position being not far away, in Vicksburg, which was maybe a four and a half hour drive for us. So that kind of calmed my nerves a little bit, until she took the next one.

Lauren Bourg: Yeah.

Chris Madrigal: It's actually a privilege to be... It's not something I just do for a job, but it's really cool to get to know you. And you know how laid back Megan and Austin are.

Lauren Bourg: Yeah.

Chris Madrigal: When you get referred a nurse then it really comes down to the nurse that referred, because water seeks its own level. And if she was cool with them then I already was like, "I can't wait to just talk to this nurse." I would say the best part is just having another nurse that you can just talk to. And this is the first time we've met.

Barbara Bourg: Yeah.

Chris Madrigal: And it's just like hanging. It's like a friend, like, "Hey, I know you."

Lauren Bourg: Chris is amazing to work with. I gave him really hard stipulations. It was like, "All right, Chris, I don't know you, but this is where I need to be. And I'm only taking assignments there and I'm only going to look at jobs there. Don't even think about sending me anything else." And it was never like, "Ooh, this person is crazy." With Chris, it was always like, "This is our goal. And it's our goal. It's not your goal. It's our goal." Which was really cool.

Lauren Bourg: The best part of travel nursing I think is just going places and doing things that I would have never done before. This last assignment in Colorado, in general, was a great example of that. I had gone on a handful of ski trips with a couple of friends that was a couple of days. And this gave me the opportunity to really check out Colorado and really learn how to ski, and I'm really good now, which is saying a lot from the beginning of the season. And now I'm even considering Colorado as a permanent place for me to live.

Barbara Bourg: Yes.

Lauren Bourg: Yeah, she's super happy about that. Coming from South Louisiana, I would have never considered that before. When Kenneth moved out there, it was like this really weird thing to us. It was a big deal when my brother moved out there. Housing.

Barbara Bourg: Fitting everything in your vehicle.

Lauren Bourg: It's so bad. This little angel just makes it so much harder. But housing, for sure. I think the ability to just... The flexibility to just be everywhere that I need to be, when I need to be there. And Chris has been awesome about getting me where I need to be, whether it's for my friend's wedding in Oregon or to be near my brother around Christmas time. With a normal job, no way you would be able to do all of that. No way you would have the time off. And so I've been really lucky to be able to just have more time with the people that I want to have time with.

Lauren Bourg: Next, I am on my way now to Austin, so I'm actually going to be working at my old hospital and my old department with my old friends and old doctors, and I'll be there as a traveler, which I think is going to be a really cool experience. And I'm excited to go back to them.

Barbara Bourg: It's pretty much what I expected. She can probably tell you. I've learned to calm down a little bit and go with the flow. I think her dad gives her more of a-

Lauren Bourg: Oh, my God, yeah.

Barbara Bourg: He's more of on a business port. She and I just talk more of the social part of it, and he's more concerned about, "Is she making enough money? Is she safe? Is she doing what she's supposed to do, or is she just totally doing the wrong thing with her life?" But he supports her too. So we both do. We're very proud of her.

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