The Atlas Life

The Atlas Life #56 - Travel ICU RN, Jessica Costa

Meet Jessica - she loves to explore her assigment locations and takes her pup with her on each adventure she goes on. She worked with both Matt Palinski, Client Manager and Aaron Biddle, Recruiter, who both introduce her episode of #TheAtlasLife.

Matt Palinski: I was Jessica's first recruiter. I started here about a little over two years ago and was a recruiter for six months before transitioning to this role. I was on the grind, as we call it in the industry, making phone calls, staying late. It was probably 5:30, 6:00 on a random weekday and the phone rang in the office. I was the only one there. Picked up the phone and just started talking with Jessica. Came back the next day and pitched jobs in New Mexico, Las Vegas, all over the place. I think she's probably the only nurse I ever worked with that said, "Yeah, all those places sound good. Submit me to all of them." So, that's kind of how it started.

Aaron Biddle: My name's Aaron Biddle. I am a recruiter here at Atlas MedStaff. Whenever Matt Palinski became a client manager and his nurses got distributed, I was actually fortunate enough to take over Jessica's contract. From there, she went to California with me and then actually is now back with Matt at Duke, at one of his facilities. So, it's really kind of came full circle.

Matt Palinski: When you've worked with a nurse before as a recruiter, it gives you a little extra ... I don't know what you want to call it but I don't want to say you favor anybody any more, but I can reach out to the hospital and say, " Hey, I've worked with this person before. You're getting a good one here." In Jessica's case, that's exactly what happened. A lot of times they won't let you even submit without license in hand. She's a noncompact nurse and Aaron and I got together and came up with the plan to present Jessica to the hospital and they jumped on her profile right away. I don't think it was even a day before they gave her a call and interviewed and offered her.

Aaron Biddle: She's awesome to work with. If I could clone her now, I absolutely would. She's extremely laid-back. Open to anything like Palinski had said. That's how North Carolina came out, as I sent out her profile and was like, "Hey, looking for Jessica Costa coming off." And Palinski was like, "Oh, send her to North Carolina." I was like, "Hey, you want to go to North Carolina?" She's like, "Yeah." And so she's just extremely laid-back and doesn't let a lot get to her and bother her, and it's really, really fun.

Jessica Costa: So my name is Jessica Costa. I've been a nurse for almost six years now and I've been traveling for about two and a half years of that. My old recruiter was Matt Palinksi. I was really frustrated with the first company that I was working with and I called Atlas on a random, I want to say it was like a Thursday afternoon. And Matt answered and I was like, "Hey, do you know anyone that's a good recruiter?" And he was like, "Well, I'm a recruiter. Let's get you somewhere."

Jessica Costa: And it was awesome. Matt got a promotion to being a client manager. And so then I got sent over to Aaron. Aaron's been awesome. I think I've been with him for about two years now. I felt like I was in like a rut. I'm originally from Upstate New York and it's amazing there. I love it, but I've always felt like I was like in a little bubble. Then one day at work a nurse that was about to start travel nursing was like, "You should try it. Like it's awesome." And I looked into it and I was like, "Yeah, you know that does sound really cool."

Jessica Costa: This is my buddy Timber. This is my 50 pound lap dog. I've had him for almost a year. He just turned a year the other day and we always go everywhere together. He's been to I think like 15 States in his life, which is crazy, but he loves it. He loves to learn new places. He loves like, you know, sniffing around all the areas. So, he's great.

Jessica Costa: I think the best part about travel nursing is just getting to explore so many different areas that I wouldn't if I was still living in upstate New York. I visited Idaho. I've visited Montana, which are like never places I would think to be great vacation spots, but they were amazing. Right now, I'm living in North Carolina and there's just so much around here. There's DC, Atlanta, the Outer Banks, there's just so much that we can go see and do on our days off.

Jessica Costa: I think the hardest part about traveling is just learning all the policies and procedures at every different hospital. I really didn't expect that it would be so difficult or if it would be so different at different hospitals, but every place has their quirks. Some places there's stuff that nurses can do, some places there's stuff that nurses can't do, so there's a big learning curve with that. That was something that was really hard to adapt to.

Jessica Costa: I think Colorado was probably the coolest. It blew my mind how much fun it is every day we were there. I was skiing on my days off. When the weather got nicer there were a lot of hikes. We'd go on hikes with people from our work. It was just amazing. The state is so beautiful. I was never expecting ... Like the grass was so green and that blew my mind. So yeah, definitely Colorado surprised me a lot.

Jessica Costa: I think the hardest thing to learn was knowing when to ask for help because as nurses, I think that we're so independent. We want to be so independent. We want to do everything that we can to help everybody. But this is, I mean, the job is a team. You have to have support. You have to have people to work with. So knowing when to ask for help I think is a huge, huge struggle for a lot of people. Especially me. I wanted to think like, "I can do everything by myself. Like I can do it, like, no problem." But then you're drowning and you can't seem to get a flow. You leave work two hours late.

Jessica Costa: So what's next? I don't know. That's a huge, I don't know, right now. Like I said, I'm in North Carolina right now, but I want to go back out to the West Coast. I'm looking at Seattle, maybe someplace in Oregon. I can't wait to go back to Colorado. So that's always on my list and then maybe Texas. So I just ... yeah, big list of potential next places.