Brian Grovijohn joined LRS Healthcare as an allied client manager with more than 15 years of permanent, full-time imaging experience in his carry-on. So, when he turned his professional eye toward connecting X-ray techs and other imaging travelers with nationwide career opportunities, he saw avenues for shared success across the map.
Having never experienced the travel portion of his clients’ career paths, Brian’s curiosity was piqued when the chance to tag in on the end of an assignment in Eads, Colorado, popped up a few months ago at Weisbrod Memorial County Hospital, part of the Kiowa County Hospital District.
With his family on board with the decision to temporally head (slightly) west, Brian decided to turn this adventure into a chronicle of sorts—documenting the ups, downs and day-to-day happenings of imaging life on the road.
There’s always room for Jell-O—and more testing.
Oy vey—even though testing is an important requirement for medical travel, Brian agrees, it presents itself as a tedious 🙄
“Really, I have to do more testing! I have been taking these tests for 15 years—every year. I’m pretty sure I know what P.A.S.S. means by now,” Brian laughs. “Can I just do my drug screening and physical and be done?”
That sentiment is something Brian hears from his travelers from time to time as well, and those necessary “evils” are luckily something the majority of traveling healthcare professionals can breeze through with a little sarcasm under their breaths too. 😉
“OK, I guess my 15-plus years of taking Health Stream and prophecy type tests paid off,” sighs Brian happily. “I was able to complete everything over a quick lunch break. Now it’s on to getting my PPD read and find my flu vaccine record; then, and I’m set! Man, to think 10 years ago one of the big things preventing me from medical travel was the thought of all the paperwork. It actually wasn’t that bad. What was I thinking?!”
The goodbyes are bittersweet.
Even the best laid plans are at the mercy of timing and emotion. As Brian prepared to slide behind the wheel, home life held him back a bit.
“Today’s the day! I’m hoping to leave by 2 p.m., but it’s already 1:45 p.m., so that’s not happening. But the kiddo’s dance recital is over (she rocked it), and now, it’s time to whip the grandparents up a quick lunch and start loading the car,” said Brian.
After Brian’s gear was locked and loaded, he headed to the lovin’ arms of his family to say his temporary goodbyes.
“The goodbyes were good, then my oldest came in for another hug, and then another. My wife had to peel her off me. This is hard. I’m gonna miss my family,” Brian explains.
Sometimes, it’s about the destination AND the journey.
Only an hour late hitting the road, Brian is fueled up and ready to roll.
Oh, wait. Beep, beep, buddies! Brian’s got places to go and people to X-ray. Road-tripping to assignments can be part of the fun and a bit of a headache at the same time.
That said, memorable sights were all around, and looking back, little struggles like traffic, hailstorms and losing your apartment key make the triumph of arrival feel as heroic as Rocky’s climb to the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Time to put in the work, work, work, work, work.
Orientation day was your typical quick rundown, doing a lil’ digital radiography and electronic medical record system training. Brian also toured the hospital before hopping right in on a chest X-ray.
“It’s been a couple years but it feels good to be back in the mix. If they toss any skull work at me, I might need backup—it’s been at least eight years since I’ve done that,” jokes Brian.
Later in the day, more severe weather advisories reared their ugly heads. “Between hail and storms on my way in and now a winter weather advisory when it’s clearly not winter, I don’t know what to expect outside anymore,” (kinda) laughed Brian.
Despite more unsavory weather outside, orientation day’s wrap felt like a success.
“I made it through without any major hitches, feels good! Got hung up on the buttonology a little, and had a system continuously error out on me—probably user error. Everything smoothed out in the end, and it seems Sunday evenings are just as busy in this smaller town as they are in the larger cities,” recaps Brian.
His official day one was off to a solid start with a pre-shift workout sesh. “My mind is clear, and I’m ready to tackle the day—here we go,” Brian says to himself.
Sometimes it seems LRS Healthcare client managers and recruiters can’t toss a twig in a medical facility without hitting one of their travelers—and we ❤️ it! This was the case for Brian (sans flinging nature at anyone) upon arrival, running into one of his former travelers working at Weisbrod PRN.
Her and Brian spent some QT together catching up and getting the lowdown on the facility’s full-time and temporary travel needs—side note, if you’re interested in either, hit Brian up, they may be lookin’.
Making genuine connections was more common than Brian expected. “Everyone there was extremely nice. The ER doctors have all been especially awesome to work with,” Brian recalls.
On call + sleep = 🤷🏻♂️
“Woke up, no more callbacks but, man, I remember why I don’t like being on call. I had a heck of a time falling asleep. Today could be a long day, but I guess waking up with the kids for so many years has trained me function well on little sleep,” Brian said.
Day two ended up going as well, if not better than day one—way to bring it, Brian!
Humpday of Brian’s fill-in week got a few more X-rays under his belt and a few more continuing education credits on the books.
“I had a fair number of X-rays today but still found a little time to help at the office despite a challenge with the internet connection. I even got a few CEs done as well. Now that I’m back in my temporary home, it’s time to kick back and relax and wait for my kids to call to say good night,” said Brian.
Brian was an early bird . . .
“Every healthcare worker can relate—I got a call early this morning asking if I could come in a half hour early. Kind of threw a wrench in my workout plan, but off I go. Super exciting, it’s also laundry night this evening. Being out of the game for this many years means I don’t have eight days’ worth of scrubs on hand,” Brian jokes.
. . . And a busy bee.
“It was another good and eventful day! Even in smaller hospitals, everything seems to come in all at once. Not that I have that much going on 😂. Now, I hope to sleep all night for two nights in a row. 🤞I don’t get to do that at home, so it would be great to do it here,” said Brian.
Brian is on the home stretch of his week-long sub as a traveling imaging specialist. It was a quite night with no early morning calls, so he was able to start another day with a mind-clearing round at the gym before heading into the hospital.
“I have one CT on the schedule, let’s see if they will add a couple more. They’ve got an Optima scanner I haven’t been able to take a spin on; hoping for some angio scans,” thought Brian. “My week is done except for call until Sunday afternoon. It was a good week. I’ve met a lot of great, extremely friendly people, many of which I could call friends. Had this been a typical 13-week assignment, I imagine I’d have enough time to get to know them all much better and call them all friends.
“This has been a great experience, and I wish I would’ve tried it earlier in my career.” I am ready to get through the next couple of days and get back to my kids though. One of my daughters asked me to come snuggle her when I get home since she will be asleep. I just might have to do that despite the likelihood of exhaustion,” Brian explains.
It’s “one more wake-up day until dad comes home” day according to Brian’s daughter.
“This has been a great experience, but I’m really missing my fam right now. Got a call at about 6:50 a.m. for a head CT; I got it completed and the report is back. Now, it’s time to go for a quick run. It’s finally above 30 degrees this morning. I didn’t bring clothes for these cool temps. It’s looking to be a beautiful day here today, though. If it works out, I get to hit up a movie this afternoon.”
Even though it’s the final countdown, it seems the weather won’t give Brian a break.
“What a final day! I’m happy for my time here, and I am just waiting for my replacement to arrive. It should be an interesting drive home. Thunderstorms are starting here and trekking the same way I need to go back home,” said Brian. “I’ve looked at a more northern route and a southern route. Both will add an hour or two to my drive but if it means I don’t have to drive through torrential downpours, hail and potentially tornadoes, I will probably do that. Unfortunately, the way the future radar looks, I am going to have to drive through some bad weather regardless. I will check it out in an hour or two when my replacement gets here.”
Home in time for snuggles.
After a long drive through some unavoidable bad weather, Brian arrived home right around 1 a.m.
“As I was huggin’ and kissin’ my older kids, I went to put some stuff away. In the process my youngest daughter woke up, came downstairs and snuck up behind me. Bout scared me to death, ha! I had promised to snuggle her when I returned, and she was wondering why I was home but not up with her. That girl doesn’t forget anything, even in the middle of the night,” Brian smiles to himself.
“I spent 15-plus years working as an imaging tech, but never have I had an experience like this. It was great, and I wish it would have been something I would’ve pursued earlier in my career. I was only there for a week, but I learned a lot and met people I call friends,” recaps Brian.
Being on call and having this trip be much shorter than what’s commonly a 13-week stay, Brian didn’t get to do as much sightseeing as the average medical traveler. He did find time to discover the wonders of Hometown Gas & Grill’s chicken strips and made professional connections with folks he calls friends while sharping his imaging tech saw and reenergizing his love for the field.
As a traveler, you can probably relate to Brian’s experiences and then some. And if you’re interested in becoming a medical traveler, we encourage you to join team LRS Healthcare. We take pride in forming lasting bonds with our travel nurses and allied travelers, helping them make the most out of their careers and finding new adventures to check off and add to their bucket lists.