Adventures in Cowboy Country: Tales from the Road

Adventures in Cowboy Country: Tales from the Road

Staff Care is proud to present this collection of "Tales from the Road" from Ms. Bev Reeves-Dudley.

I started working locum tenens in 1994. At that time, I wanted to form my own company so that I could put away a maximum amount of retirement money, and the business arrangements working for local corporations were not adequate. My first assignment was down in Wichita, Kansas, for five months. I worked for a great group of doctors and CRNAs until the company was taken over and dissolved into another competing group. Interstate 35 south of Emporia, Kansas, is unbelievable prairie and the Flint Hills. There were wide open ranges sculpted by forces of nature that had left stark, uninhabited, rolling bluffs. I saw a sign that said ‘antelope restoration project.’ One morning I saw a highway patrolman pulling a dead antelope off of the highway. I never saw any others. The other sign of interest was the ‘prairie burning’ warning. I took my bicycle with me and rode the local trails after work.

My next assignment was in Kansas City doing maternity leave coverage. My interview was the best I've ever had. My new anesthesiologist CEO was of German birth. I took German in high school and never had found any use for it until this job. The CEO had been a U.S. citizen for many years but he allowed me to practice my language in conversation with him when things weren't busy. I basically did the eye room and a smattering of everything else. That hospital became a casualty of mismanagement and the clientele had changed to more jobless without insurance over the years. I stayed there four years. It was painful to watch the place fail financially.

My next assignment was an emergency relief out in western Kansas. I took the train from Kansas City to a town one hour away. It was an all night train ride. I then rented a car and went to my assignment past wheat fields on all sides of the road. My new anesthesiologist CEO was originally from Poland and was very sensitive, smart and easy to work with. I was glad to help out. They were stretched thin even before the emergency opening. The hospital CEO greeted me at the door to the OR, and soon, I was working again, and able to do epidurals, which made for an richer experience career-building experience than my previous locum assignment.

Do you have a "Tale from the Road" that you'd like to share? We welcome your story in the comments below.

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