It is a nomadic existence and, in a pandemic, a particularly high-risk one. The nurses parachute into cities like New York, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Green Bay for weeks or months at a time, quickly learning the ways of a new hospital and trying to earn the trust of the existing staff.
At the end of their shifts, they return to their temporary homes: hotels, Airbnb apartments or rented houses. Their families and friends are sometimes thousands of miles away, available only through phone calls or FaceTime.
Last week in Green Bay, where the surrounding county has averaged more than 150 cases a day since late September, a team of four travel nurses worked at Bellin Hospital, grappling with the unrelenting pressure of the emergency room and a Thanksgiving holiday far from home.
More than eight months into the pandemic, many travel nurses have done little else but treat Covid-19 patients.
One nurse traveled from one hot spot to another: New York in April, Arizona in July and Wisconsin in October. https://t.co/aTmDii9WOq
— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) December 3, 2020