Pandemic Leads Traveling Nurse to Aid on the Front Lines
Traveling to fight on the front lines of a pandemic in some of the hardest hit areas is not a job for just anyone—but for nursing graduate Jose Vidro, it’s the perfect fit.
The rewards of being a traveling nurse
Jose graduated from the Rasmussen College Ocala School of Nursing campus back in 2013 with his Associate’s degree in Professional Nursing. After graduating, he spent a few years working in a variety of positions before he ultimately followed his dream of becoming a traveling nurse. “I always wanted to be a traveling nurse. That was my ultimate goal even when I was in nursing school,” Jose says.
His passion for nursing and love for traveling are the perfect combination for the role. Fast forward to today and Jose has been on travel assignments in California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and even abroad in Guam. “I love going new places, meeting new people and learning about different cultures,” he says.
The most rewarding parts of being a traveling nurse are the relationships he has formed and the networking he has experienced. “I’ve been able to meet so many different people and work for so many different doctors who are well-known in the healthcare field,” he shares. Another extremely valuable aspect is the variety of environments and patients he has worked with. From large hospitals like Yale-New Haven serving as the regional Level 1 Trauma Center for all of Southern Connecticut, to much smaller hospitals that sometimes lack supplies and space for patients, Jose has experienced it all. “I’ve gotten a well-balanced array of experiences from working in so many different locations over the years,” he explains. “It’s helped me become a better nurse and be more flexible to adapt to different circumstances.” Working with a diverse patient population, Jose’s communication skills have also developed immensely. “I learned how to best approach an individual based on their cultural experience, socioeconomic status, education and background. So now I am able to fine tune how I relay messages to patients in different situations so they receive things in the best possible manner,” he shares. “It’s a learning experience that has helped me become a more grounded nurse.”
When reflecting on his experience at Rasmussen College, Jose mentions how prepared he felt for the workforce upon graduating. “The skills I learned definitely prepared me to be a strong nurse. I take everything I learned in nursing school with me to every single assignment I do. My strong foundation as a nurse is all thanks to Rasmussen.”
Fighting on the front lines of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic
The most challenging part of Jose’s journey has been fighting on the front lines of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. “I have never seen anything like this in my life,” he shares. “I have never seen so many people on ventilators. The intensive care unit floor is overflowing.” He has even seen colleagues fall ill during his shifts. “On one of my shifts in New York, I had to send the nurse manager on my floor to the intensive care unit to be ventilated. It’s very frightening,” he admits. “I go to work every day not even knowing if I’ll develop severe symptoms and end up in the hospital as a patient myself. There are so many unknowns.”
"I have never seen anything like this in my life."
Jose’s plea to the public is to take the advised social distancing measures seriously. “You can save lives. You might be lucky to be asymptomatic as only a carrier of the virus, but you still could pass it on to someone who won’t be as lucky or able to make it through,” he explains. Throughout his time traveling to some of the hardest hit areas in New York and Massachusetts, Jose has seen some of the worst cases the virus has caused.
While studies have shown the elderly are at a higher risk of developing more severe complications from the virus, Jose points out how COVID-19 doesn’t shy away from attacking the younger demographic. “This should be a wake-up call for everyone when it comes to being health conscious,” he says. “Focus on having a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise and avoiding drug use among many other things. You have to be prepared for anything nowadays as you don’t know what the future holds. Lifestyle choices matter.”
During these trying times, the heroic work of healthcare professionals everywhere is clearer than ever. To Jose and to all healthcare heroes and essential workers, thank you for dedicating so much of your time and energy to keeping the community safe and healthy.