We’re always going on about how travel nursing is great because it gets you into all kinds of different work settings. Good for your professional development, enhances your skills, yadda yadda yadda, you know the drill!
But what if it actually gets you a proper Hollywood-style job, working with the stars?!
Just before Christmas we announced our latest nurse photo contest, hoping to give people who had to work through the holidays a little pick-me-up! Well, when we selected a winner it turned out she had an interesting story to share about a recent job she’d done.
Edlynn Villalon worked for Warner Bros Studio, you see. As part of the COVID RN/LVN Team, she got to be there for a whole season of filming the hit Netflix series Lucifer, heading out with the actors to all the film locations!
So, naturally, we asked her if she would do a short Q & A with us about the experience of taking on a travel nursing assignment that was just a little different… But before we let her speak, we have a little announcement to make ourselves!
Why? We’re revamping our whole nurse photo contest! From now on, there’s not going to be just one single winner who gets a big prize anymore while everyone else is left without reward — we’re going to make it so everyone benefits. It will be super simple: every submission we publish, wherever (and we hope to post a whole bunch on our social media) is a winner! Go and check out how it works now.
But now, back to Edlynn and Lucifer!
Working for the devil
That’s quite an unusual job you had, or at least a very unusual workplace! How did you end up in this job? Did you actively look for it or was it all a bit of a coincidence?
I was working at an Adult-Day Healthcare Center for approximately three years, but then the COVID-19 pandemic began and they closed the center down. Luckily, I found an agency which was able to provide a quick and easy job placement as I tried to fix my resume to get back into working with a company/hospital. It was definitely a very unusual workplace — having to work in trailers, for example!
I got the job from an email sent by a recruiter: I happened to simply apply and it said the job would start immediately, which is what I wanted. It was the best decision I ever made!
What was it like, working with the stars? Was it exciting to be able to see how everything is done behind the scenes, at different kinds of film locations? You mentioned the wonderful team you worked with — what did you like most about it?
It was my first time working with actors and actresses. Since we had to be professional, we had to keep our composure and not act like a ‘fan’ amongst the celebrities. So that’s what I did: I remained strictly professional, even though it was difficult not to want to get a photo or an autograph!
It was amazing to see different film locations and how they do things on-screen and behind the screen. I worked with an amazing team filled with RNs, LVNs, EMT. Since we all had such a great dynamic from the start, I enjoyed coming in to work with my team and seeing the stars.
What was the biggest difference with a ‘regular’ nursing job, and do you feel that it required you to use your skillset differently? You said you were working shifts of up to 14 hours, starting at 3:30 in the morning — was that the hardest part?
The biggest difference is clocking in and clocking out using a phone app and not having to document so much on many patients. Also, we worked outdoors, and inside trailers — come rain or shine. I endured the rainiest and hottest experience of all my time working in the healthcare field!
The working hours varied since our working hours are dependent on the show production days, hours and locations. Most days we worked locally, but on other days work location was as far as an hour away.
The hardest part was working in full-gown, gloves and face-shields in the hot weather and on rainy days! But working in a team like the team I had, it was worth it. We made it fun!
What would you say to nurses who’d like to find an assignment like this — any tips or recommendations?
Working in an assignment like this is very, very, very different from working in a hospital. If you feel ‘done’ with working in hospitals, I suggest taking a look at this assignment. You will have a lot of independence when it comes to your shifts. But this isn’t for someone who wants consistency. You have to be flexible when it comes to coming in early, or leaving early or late.
And finally of course, we’ve got to ask: what’s Tom Ellis, the actor who plays Lucifer, like? Any juicy anecdotes you can share, or just fun things that happened on the set you can tell us about?
The only time we had the opportunity to take group pictures or with Tom Ellis was when the show production was finishing up for the season and the actor himself was kind enough to take a picture with the team. Tom Ellis and the rest of the cast — as well as the rest of the show production, from cameramen and make-up artists to the chef and lighting crew, you name it — they are literally just regular people!
The main reasons I enjoyed working with this show production were because, (1) we had an amazing team which worked well together; (2) the show production provided breakfast AND lunch for us (haha, such great perks!), and (3) we had the opportunity to see behind-the-scenes props, the stage they used… overall it was an AMAZING experience. The only sad part was when the show ended and we had to part ways!