Getting to the heart of travel healthcare.

A podcast hosted by Sunny & Matt

Podcast Episode


Cardium welcomes Tom Hamilton and Kent Johnson who talk about the unique nature of strike coverage in travel healthcare, what it's like to work a strike assignment, and what you should know.

Working a Strike Assignment: Is It for You?

December 11, 2019

GUESTS: Tom Hamilton and Kent Johnson, Aureus Medical Group


Tom Hamilton, senior account manager with Aureus Medical Group's Imaging division and a guest on Cardium podcast.

Tom Hamilton is a Senior Account Manager with Aureus Medical’s Imaging division. He’s been with Aureus for 13 years and has worked with imaging professionals during the entirety of his tenure. He’s an expert when it comes to staffing during a strike action and estimates he’s handled nearly 20 strike situations during the course of his career. Tom takes pride in the relationships he builds within the imaging field, enjoys serving as a mentor to others, and is passionate about helping technologists find their ideal career path. Outside of his workday, he’s an outdoorsman who skis the slopes in the winter and the water in the summer. In the fall you might find him pheasant and quail hunting with his college-aged sons.

Kent Johnson, team lead with Aureus Medical Group's Cath Lab division and a guest on Cardium podcast.

Kent Johnson is a Team Lead with the Cath Lab team of Aureus Medical’s Nursing division. He’s been with the company for 20 years and has specialized in placing Cath Lab, IR, and EP RNs since 2008. During his career he’s handled staffing for numerous strikes, one of which lasted approximately six weeks. Of his role, he finds meaning in helping healthcare professionals achieve their personal and career goals while recognizing the impact they have on patients and their families. Kent takes pride in being a husband, father of four, and in his service as a Seabee in the U.S. Navy.

Strikes may not happen often in healthcare, but they do occur. A strike may stem from a contract issue between a hospital or healthcare system and its labor union, the inability to reach a contract agreement, or an unresolved dispute surrounding another issue. Whether a strike lasts a matter of days or sometimes weeks, the question remains, what about the patients? Because care doesn’t stop. How does a hospital fulfill its responsibilities to patients during the strike period to ensure patient safety and continuity of care? In the case of a strike, hospitals most often turn to contract staff – travel nurses, imaging techs, and other traveling healthcare professionals – to step in for the strike’s duration. We know that not all assignments in travel healthcare are the same. But in the case of a strike assignment, there are some notable differences. What are those variances and at should you know before you sign on? Seasoned recruiters Tom Hamilton and Kent Johnson have staffed many of them. They join us on Cardium to get real about the unique nature of strike coverage.

Topics we cover in this podcast episode include:

  • What is generally behind a labor disagreement and a strike
  • Typical length of a strike and how it’s determined
  • How a hospital keeps operations going in the event of a strike
  • How strike coverage works for the traveler and the agency
  • How a healthcare professional gets involved in strike coverage and what’s in it for them
  • What a traveler can expect when covering a strike – environment, dynamics, schedule, etc.
  • What level of support a healthcare professional working a strike can expect from their recruiter, agency, and hospital
  • Career planning – working strike coverage into the broader assignment plan
  • Questions to ask a recruiter about a strike assignment if one becomes available


Full transcription

We want to hear from you!

We love connecting with our listeners. Have a show topic, a suggestion, or feedback on our podcast? Interested in being a guest? Reach out to us!

Send us a Message