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You finally have the chance to take an assignment out-of-state but you have a pet…what should you do? Have no fear, KPG Healthcare is here to give you some helpful advice if you’re planning to travel with your pets!
Check out this helpful page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that outlines what YOU should do before traveling with your pet via airlines.
Research is the most important step in anything we do. It’s incredibly important when deciding on whether you should bring your pet with you on an assignment.
The biggest question and determining factor when traveling with a pet is whether to use an airline or to drive.
Different airlines will have different rules about how a pet should travel. Your pet can either be checked-in and placed in a safe room within the cargo hold or placed in the cabin with you. One of the determining factors in whether your pet will be with you or in the cargo hold is the breed and size.
For example, American Airlines does not accept snub-nosed dogs of any mix (Shih Tzu, Pugs, Boston Terrier, etc). Southwest Airlines will allow a pet into the cabin if the pet fits within a Pet Carrier with maximum dimensions of 18.5’ long x 8.5’ high x 13.5’ high. Check the airline’s pet policy before booking flights: Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Airlines, Delta Airlines.
Your pet will cost anywhere between $95-125 to be placed in the cabin. Some airlines may not allow more than one animal per person, but other airlines may accept two animals in one pet carrier. Regardless, you will need to make sure you indicate to the airline company that you will be bringing a pet on-board/check-in.
Also, airlines may require documentation from your vet verifying your pet is safe to fly.
Driving is the other option and, arguably, the easier solution. The majority of the travel nurses who take assignments with their pets will travel the country by car or RV. Traveling by car or RV allows travel nurses the opportunity to take assignments with their pets anywhere in the country.
There may be some restrictions on crossing state lines with your pet, but make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations. Each state will have its own rules and regulations about bringing pets into the state.
For example, Hawaii has strict rules on bringing any animal into the state. Check out California’s regulations.
You should double-check your car is prepared for a long journey with your pets. There should be space for your pet to sit and lay down, enough food and water to get to your destination and make sure there are frequent stops for the potty, to run/walk, and to eat/drink.
It’s important to remember to ask your vet if your pet is well enough to travel via airlines or on a long road trip before departure. Vaccinations and health checks are important to consider when thinking about taking your pet on a flight.
If you plan on taking your pet on a plane, you CANNOT travel within 30 days of your pets’ rabies vaccination. Some airlines require you to microchip your pet before the flight.
If your pet has all their vaccinations and is good to fly, research a vet in your assignment city. It’s good to know where you can safely take your pet while on assignment in case of an emergency. It’s always a good idea to reach out to that vet in your assignment location to verify if your pet is accepted there for treatments.
Housing is another factor you should research before taking an assignment.
Not all housing, even Airbnb’s, will allow pets! It’s important to double-check with the host or leasing company to verify if pets are allowed OR if there is a pet deposit you would need to pay. If you’re not sure about pets, always ask questions!
Now that you’ve done your research and have decided to bring your pet along for the assignment, it’s time to plan!
With the prior research, you should have an idea of whether or not you will be driving or flying, where you’ll be staying, and located a vet nearby.
If you plan on driving to your assignment, it’s best to pack and plan with your pet in mind. A cleaning kit will come in handy for any accidents that might appear throughout the trip. A goodie bag with treats, toys, potty bags, and leashes should be kept together for easy access during any rest stop.
If you plan on flying, make sure you have completed any requirements brought forth by the airline company, received a clean bill of health for your pet, and are up to date on vaccinations. Additionally, make sure you have indicated you will be bringing a pet on board the flight and the carry-on bag fits the dimensions.
Cost-of-living will be different everywhere you go. It is wise to budget and calculate how much of your income will be going toward your pet(s). Creating a budget is a great way to see where your costs go and where you need to make cuts to save. Check out this website to compare the cost of living between where you live and where you’ll go!
By this stage, you’re about ready to head to your next assignment location with your pet! You’ve done the research and you’ve done the planning, all that’s left is to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
If you’re flying, try to remain calm and remember to keep your pet in mind. Make sure you aren’t feeding your pet right before a flight, but allow plenty of time for them to eat and drink. Go to any pet relieving areas before your flight to avoid any accidents.
If you’re driving, make sure to enjoy every moment of the journey! Stop and smell the roses, literally. Take your pet to a field of flowers and let them run wild. Just make sure you are taking plenty of breaks and resting when you can.
The only thing left to do is to enjoy the journey to your next assignment.
The holiday season is in full effect and for KPG Healthcare’s last blog post of the year, we decided to focus on traditions!
Traditions are important to any person regardless of age, sex, gender, race or religion and it can be passed down from generation to generation or it can be the beginning of a new. Whether traditions are celebrated with friends, family, communities, pets, plants or the friendly neighborhood, it keeps us grounded and connected to the ones we love.
So, for our final blog post of the year, we wanted to share some of the traditions that make up the KPG Healthcare family!
Christmas is my favorite holiday because I love everything about it. However, what I love most about Christmas time is Christmas Eve. Every Christmas Eve my whole family comes to my parents’ house for a big family dinner & gift exchange. There is nothing better than being with my favorite people, eating way too much food and laughing the night away. I’m also fortunate enough to be able to get a white Christmas every year in Idaho.
During the holidays, one of my favorite holiday tradition with my friends is Friendsmas! It’s my favorite because my friends in Northern California and Southern California come together to celebrate the holidays. There’s lots of food, plenty of catching up, a huge white elephant, and then we party the night away.
Tradition means family time and making new memories. I am blessed to have a solid family foundation and traditions such as making tamales (which we do to honor my Mom’s tradition and our heritage), baking cookies for Santa and the Elves, and making homemade meatballs (my husband’s grandma’s recipe passed down now 3 generations). Most importantly being grateful for what we have and creating lasting memories for my daughters.
My family was pretty big on Christmas when we were children. The day after Thanksgiving, the lights would be out and the tree would be up almost instantly like clockwork. I remember having to wait for my siblings to wake up all the time since I was awake when the sun came up. They would take their sweet time and the only way for them to hurry was for me to annoy them. The presents were always great, but the thing I remember the most was during breakfast time. I don’t know what was in the food or if it was just the holiday spirits, but I remember my family being so close in the morning time talking about old stories and playing a lot of family games. We still talk about all of the old times to this day, even watch the occasional embarrassing VHS video that my stepdad filmed.
With a new baby in our house, my family’s first Christmas/holiday was exhausting but also exciting. There’s lots of fun family time, picture taking, and delicious food with both sets of families coming together. My mother in-law’s birthday is also on Christmas day, so the festivities never stop. We can’t wait to continue making new holiday traditions as Elle gets older, she’ll be able to unwrap gifts this year – so we’ll see how that goes!
My family holiday traditions are decorating the inside and outside of the house with as many lights as possible, watching Home Alone 1 & 2 every day, driving to candy cane lane to see the light shows and finding snow to go tubing!
As you can see, the holidays mean a great deal to each and every KPG Healthcare employee. From family games to family photos, baking cookies to eating cookies, traditions have and always will remind us of where we are and where we came from.
We hope your 2019 has been an eventful year full of growth, exploration and love. Let 2020 be a continuation of any success, prosperity, happiness wealth and all the love you received in 2019. Happy holidays from all of us here at KPG Healthcare!
Drum roll, please…
KPG Healthcare’s December Nurse Spotlight goes to…Cara! Cara is going to be our final nurse spotlight for 2019 and of the decade – woo! Without further ado, here is Cara!
Hailing from Bakersfield, California – Cara’s been a nurse for more than a decade and a travel nurse for four years. She’s a nurse that projects confidence, a depth of knowledge, humility, and kindness. From being an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse to Labor & Delivery (L&D), Cara has had the opportunity to grow and strengthen her skill set as a nurse through the years.
“There are so many avenues to change and better yourself as a person and as a nurse,” Cara explained, “I wanted to be in a field that could make a difference.”Cara
Her nursing career began when she witnessed her grandfather pass into the next life and it sparked something within her – the promise to always help people. She initially started in housekeeping and eventually moved up during her nursing school studies. After graduating, she began specializing in ICU, Tele and then L&D; however, the burn out from L&D led to her pursuing a travel nursing career.
Cara has experienced her fair share of challenges throughout her career. As a travel nurse, Cara typically accepts assignments that are within a four-hour drive from her home. The challenge with this requirement is the physically exhausting and long drive to and from the hospital after a long shift. However, the long drives allow her the call and catch up with family members who might be out-of-state.
Some of the challenges she faces at work vary between helping new nurses and playing a supportive role from patients to nurses to doctors. “There’s a huge opportunity to teach new nurses” who may need the extra guidance or who may be unfamiliar with certain procedures. There’s an opportunity to teach in every situation and Cara has taken the initiative to help her fellow nurses whenever they may need it.
Every day is a learning opportunity and every day we learn something new that can refine our own skillset. For Cara, patience and keeping a neutral, non-judgmental mindset are some of the skills she picked up and refined through her career. “There are specialties that get different situations,” Cara said, “a lot of it is being understanding and being there for them. You don’t know their story.”
With nursing, it’s not just the skillsets that improve but the mindset and outlook on life. Nursing and travel nursing have allowed Cara to become more compassionate and understanding of people and their situations. She is a firm believer everything isn’t the patient’s fault and “something happened to them and this is the result of that experience – to coop or not to coop.” With that, situations don’t phase her at work anymore, which is the result of the sympathetic and compassion she has for her patients.
However, her sympathy and compassion aren’t solely rooted in her nursing career. At home, Cara is an avid gardener with an army of fur babies – four horses, three cats, eight dogs, and 18 chickens. Gardening and tending to her fur family provides a moment of relaxation and a chance to practice self-care, which is equally important as sleep for nurses. Practicing horticulture therapy improves moods and provides many benefits Cara practices in her daily life on the ranch.
With her fur family in mind, Cara hopes to relocate to Oregon soon where the property is not only cheaper but larger than what California can provide. Somewhere in the mix of moving and working Cara wishes to travel to the East Coast for an assignment in the future with her eyes on Maine, Rhode Island or New York!
Cara, from all of us here at KPG Healthcare, we want to thank you for your continued support, dedication and outstanding work. We are thankful and grateful to have you part of our KPG Family. Keep up the fantastic work and give your eight dogs a good head scratch for us!