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Meet Tiffani: She’s an RRT working in the trenches of a COVID unit

Career Advancement, First Time Travelers, Helping Hospitals in Need Massachusetts

It takes an army to fight this pandemic and respiratory therapists like Tiffani are an important part of that army – monitoring and managing the ventilators of COVID-19 patients in the ICU.

Tiffani’s first travel assignment looks a little different than she imagined — but she’s thriving in the chaos of her busy shifts. Originally from Wisconsin, Tiffani started working with Aya in February on assignment in Indiana. She was terrified before she started she explains, “I’d been working at the same job for 10 years and the idea of leaving that consistency was scary.” But thanks to her recruiter, Tiffani found the courage to give travel a try. “Knowing that Steph is there for me and has my back, solidifies things for me and takes away 70% of my worry. The rest went away once I actually started.”

Tiffani was motivated to travel for many reasons. She wanted to get out of Wisconsin and see the country, reset her life and try a variety of hospitals to see their different systems and clinical techniques. But her motivation for traveling changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She didn’t have any COVID-19 patients in Indiana and her hospital started cancelling surgeries. So, she called Steph and told her she wanted to go where she was needed most. “I didn’t want to sit idly by,” Tiffani said. A few days later she was on her way to a new assignment in Boston on an ICU Trauma/COVID unit.

This crisis has been unlike anything Tiffani has ever experienced. “These patients are the most critical I’ve ever worked with, and even the slightest change in their oxygen can have such a huge impact. You have to be very precise and very patient.”

On her unit, the patient ratio for RRTs is 7:1. When asked how she’s handling balancing so many patients at once, Tiffani explains that you have to remove yourself from the situation mentally and let your logic take over. That way, you can help the patients to the best of your ability. “You can save all your emotions for when you’re off the clock,” she advises. Tiffani is especially grateful to her team — her coworkers and management have worked well together. They’re always there to answer her questions and help her through.

In the span of just a few months, Tiffani has experienced so much through travel. She’s glad she took the leap of faith and left her perm job. She offers these words of wisdom for her fellow RRTs and other clinicians: “Keep doing what you’re doing … fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together and at the end of the day, your coworkers are your family away from family. Stick together.”