Solutions has become so much bigger than we ever imagined. For those of you who don’t know where we came from, I’d like to tell you the story. Grab a coffee and let’s chat. Its not coincidence that there are so many people in our office with the last name “Shannon” We’re a family business that started in 2001. I was working as a nurse in Prince George, in ICU and Emergency and as a travel nurse in San Francisco. When I returned from one of my assignments our hospital, the hospital where I had spent a decade working had only 25% of the FTE’s to run their emergency department. We were in crisis, so being a nurse I thought about what I could do to help and how we could use the model they used in the US to staff our emergency and to assist our community in maintaining emergency services. I went to the administration of the hospital and said, “Hey, I’m a travel nurse, why don’t we try this to see if we can bring nurses in from other communities for the summer.” And Solutions began.
We staffed the emergency with the most amazing nurses who came up to give us a hand. They came from all over BC and other parts of Canada and we had a great summer. That fall, I was working in ICU and the Director of Nursing from an outlying hospital brought in a critical patient at 2am. I asked her, “What are you doing working?” and she told me “We are in crisis, we have no staff” to which I replied “Well, I think I just started an agency”
“I’ll call you Monday!” and she did.
So our little group of nurses staffed her facility for the next year, allowing her community to maintain emergency services. There was about 30 of us then. We all traveled to communities to assist when we got the call. So that Director of Nursing was at a conference and was speaking to the Director of Nursing from another community. She was asked, “Where are you getting your nurses, I heard you have nurses.” to which she replied, “This nurse in Prince George started an agency.”
“I’ll call her on Monday!” and so we staffed that facility for their period of crisis.
Our printer ran 24/7 in the spare bedroom of our home and we never really thought what this would look like in 10 years, we were just trying to help. We used the same screening process and travel and recruitment processes we use now on an old HP printer in our home.
Then the most amazing thing happened. Nurses who worked with us, went home, and spoke to their administration and said, “I work for an agency, why don’t we try using them to staff our hospital over the summer!” And they did.
Jeff and I both quit our jobs and came and worked together full time and the printer ran faster and we hired a cleaning lady and a recruiter and we chased this company not really understanding where it would go, but knowing that we were helping communities across the country to maintain emergency service for their communities and that the nurses who worked with us were loving their jobs. We laughed a lot, we made a lot of mistakes, but we knew we were helping and we were having fun doing it.
This is still who we are, We still answer the phone 24/7. If you have a clinical concern, I will still be the one on the other end of the phone to work through it with you and Jeff will still be the one who problem solves your travel en route.
Solutions has been and continues to be an amazing experience. We meet the most extraordinary people.
– Jeff and Sandra Shannon