travel nurse covid-19 vaccine

Travel Nurse COVID Vaccine Stories: The Tele Titan

In this series, read the inspiring stories of some of Emerald’s own travel nurses about their experience receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, and their words of hope for the future.

Travel Nurse Hanna C. – “I feel so lucky and privileged to have gotten the vaccine when everyone deserves to have it.”

travel nurse covid vaccineHanna went to nursing school in Hawaii before becoming a staff Tele/MedSurg nurse in her home state of Oregon. A few years later, she took her very first travel nursing assignment in California with Emerald travel nurse recruiter Eliza Dawson (who she’s worked with ever since!).

Prone to adventure, Hanna even took a brief break from domestic travel nursing to accept a year-long international nursing position in Saudi Arabia where she worked on a special unit for royal family members, diplomats and elected officials.

By the way – when we interviewed Hanna for this article, she was driving home from helicopter pilot flight training. Helicopter. Pilot. Training.

*Stares into space and wonders what I’m doing with my life*

Hanna has been working on travel nursing jobs since COVID began gripping the U.S., and she is currently working on night shift in her hospital’s Tele unit. Here is what she had to say about her experience receiving the COVID vaccination while on travel nursing assignment:

When did you receive the vaccine? Any side effects?

I got my first vaccine shot in December 2020, and the second shot was 21 days later in January 2021. The facility where I am a travel nurse announced that all staff would be getting the vaccine, even travelers, which was exciting. I experienced no side effects, and the process of getting vaccinated was quick and efficient. I’m now completely vaccinated, so I’m feeling a big chunk of weight off of my shoulders.

As a travel nurse, how did the news that you’d be getting the COVID vaccine make you feel?

I had a good cry of relief that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I now have the overwhelming feeling that I am protecting my family, protecting my patients, and taking the next steps of doing everything I possibly can to be part of the solution for our country and our world.
Even though I’ve been vaccinated, I still don’t go out to many places, and neither do my roommates who are also in healthcare. I’m still wearing my M95, goggles, face shield and PPE at work – I’m not invincible now, but I have another shield in front of me. I worry less that I will give the virus to someone, contract it myself, or have major symptoms if I do get COVID. This gives me an extra oomph of energy walking into work every day!
Fear can be very debilitating and immobilize you, but having the vaccine helps me remember that I’m doing everything humanly possible to be safe.

What advice would you give another clinician who is still waiting on the vaccine, or the general public who has not yet received?

Having friends and family who haven’t been able to get the vaccine yet makes me feel so lucky and privileged to have gotten it when everyone deserves to have it.

I know that many people have felt let down that haven’t been able to receive the vaccine yet because there weren’t enough. To all the people who are waiting: it will be worth it!

To the people who are afraid of getting the vaccine: I encourage you to read an academic review or medical journal and get more than one point of view. Educate yourself, talk to more experts. It’s absolutely worth it.

Despite everything, what gives you hope in 2021?

For myself personally, I’m looking forward to when my family is able to get the vaccine. We might still wear masks and practice social distancing for the foreseeable future, but I can’t wait to be in closer proximity with loved ones and celebrate missed milestones.
I’m also excited for small businesses re-opening and the community being able to function and help people rather than being frozen in place. The vaccine gives you hope so you don’t have to be alone anymore. I’ll have the option of going home to see my family. This vaccine will allow us to enjoy other people’s company besides our own.