The Atlas Life

Travel OR RN, Joe Brinkman - The Atlas Life #74

"I think from a nursing standpoint, or a travel nurse standpoint, it's so important for your recruiter to know you. Meeting your person, your recruiter in person, I think it helps solidify that you've made the right decision."

Meet Joe Brinkman, a traveling OR nurse with Atlas MedStaff. Hear him and Becca talk about his travels and what that personal relationship means to him in this episode of #TheAtlasLife.

Becca Jaquis-Givens Bio Page:

Joe B.: Every time there were a couple of nurses out in Oregon, they're like, "I have questions about this whole travel nursing thing." I point them to this person. Whether they contact her or not, I don't know, but I always am more than willing to... I mean even Atlas as a company, everyone I've met has been fantastic. So if they want to company, Atlas. If they need to recruiter, it's Becca.

Becca J-G.: Thanks buddy. Appreciate you.

Joe B.: So my name is Joe Brinkman. I'm an OR nurse, and I've been traveling a year and a half?

Becca J-G.: About two. Almost two years.

Joe B.: Almost two years. I connected through my partner in crime, Tina. We were in North Carolina. We were with another company. We were looking to switch, and I think Tina just called you.

Becca J-G.: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Joe B.: And Tina was like, "Hey, you should talk to Becca because I've talked to Becca, and here we are."

Becca J-G.: Tina had, I believe, gone on, gone onto different profiles. I think she just found me through my bio. Honestly, she was a call-in. She hadn't even filled out an app yet.

Joe B.: I don't even know.

Becca J-G.: And then you were her referral, and you guys had been traveling together as a travel pair. Yep.

Joe B.: I started... It was kind of on a whim. I had thought about it. It wasn't something... I wasn't looking to make the jump when I did. I was working with Traveling Surg Tech, and you know, I had some questions. I talked to her, she gave me her recruiters name, I called that recruiter. That recruiter called me on a Thursday and said, "I have a job in Minneapolis. Here's what it's paying." And I said "Okay, sounds good."

Becca J-G.: And this time you were a OR RN, not a tech any longer?

Joe B.: Yeah, yeah, I was a nurse. When I went back to work, I think I went back to work that Monday, I put my notice in and started traveling. The best part, I mean obviously I've been to both coasts, saw both oceans in one year. Becca got us out to Oregon, fell in love with the town. I would go back to that hospital in a heartbeat, found out this weekend there's an opening. Just seeing what every state, every area has to offer, I think is probably my favorite part.

Joe B.: The not so glamorous, probably housing. That's always a headache. I mean, I have three cats that we traveled with, but somewhere that takes pets has proven to be difficult. Being the new person isn't always the best, but it usually takes two or three weeks or so to meet everyone and get into a routine and learning where stuff is, how they do things. Some places are better than others, but you just kind of learn to fly by the seat of your pants, go with what you know. If you don't know something, ask, because somebody does.

Becca J-G.: Mm-hmm (affirmative). He's so flexible. I mean we all say we love all of our nurses, and I truly do love all of my nurses. Joe and Tina as a packaged pair I think are awesome. Even individually though, I've gotten to know him I think a little bit better, even though Tina's not traveling with you.

Joe B.: Yeah.

Becca J-G.: So when we got him an assignment in Lincoln, I was like, "Yeah." We were super excited really getting to spend time with your nurses. We say that, and it's not cliche. It just brings all the feels. It just is awesome.

Joe B.: You know, I talk to people at work and like, "Oh I hung out with my recruiter this weekend," and they haven't. They've never met their recruiter other than through text or phone call. When you meet your recruiter, you're not just a number in their phone, you're a person. With Becca, I know I'm not just a number. I'm a person, I'm a nurse, and she'll get back to me. Always.

Becca J-G.: You matter.

Joe B.: Yeah. I would love to go back to Oregon. Whether that's going to pan out or not, I don't know, and I think that's part of traveling is you kind of have to fly by the seat of your pants sometimes, go where it's not expected.

Becca J-G.: That's what's really nice, too, about forming those bonds, because over the phone and sometimes in a text or an email or even a phone call, you don't get that personal thing. But you know, meeting me now, and coming in and seeing Rich and Steve and Atlas and just the culture of this place and meeting other recruiters and stuff, we are really going to take care of you. We're not just saying it. We really are.

Joe B.: Yeah.

Becca J-G.: And you know, we might not know for two to three weeks before your assignment where you're going to go. Let's hope you're submitted.

Joe B.: Right, and that's part of traveling.

Becca J-G.: But that's the niceness about the flexibility that you have, too.

Joe B.: Yeah.

Becca J-G.: You're like, "Okay Becca, I trust you. You're going to take care of me." As far as you're concerned, I know what you're looking for now, as far as your time off. That's a really important question to ask, too. "What do you do on your time off?" You're not working all five days a week, and so I think knowing your nurse personally is really easy, usually, to pitch location, pitch pay package, pitch the management that makes sense.

Joe B.: Yeah. I think from a nursing standpoint, or a travel nurse standpoint, it's so important for your recruiter to know you, know your likes, your dislikes, where you want to go, where you don't want to go, what you can and cannot do. Meeting your person, your recruiter, in person, I think it helps solidify that you've made the right decision. I'm me, and she takes care of me.

Becca J-G.: And you're going to tell other nurses that, too. Right?

Joe B.: Yeah. Yeah.