Today in the chart

MedVenture Startup Bands Travel Nurses Together

The MedVenture App was developed with all traveling healthcare professionals in mind and provides a connection outlet for them during their contracts.

Travel nursing isn’t all glitz and glamping. Often, the traveler’s nomadic lifestyle, with its RVs, outdoor excursions, or moving boxes, is also accompanied by a sense of loneliness and a loss of community.

“Travelers move as frequently as four times a year. The average human, on the other hand, moves only about eleven times. It’s constant change,” says Emily Cheng, BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC, and CEO/Co-Founder of MedVenture.

Understanding the need for community while enjoying the freedom of traveling, Cheng designed the MedVenture App to connect local healthcare professionals during their contracts.

“Typically, most of us find comfort and relationships start to build towards the end of your assignment when you’re about to leave. And this can be really bittersweet.” The MedVenture App aims to connect contracted healthcare professionals so those relationships can grow from the start.

Here’s how.

How MedVenture Started

Cheng is originally from New York and is now based in Seattle. She has been a nurse for about nine years and a travel nurse for over five years. Her nursing background spans most ICU settings, especially CVICU. She is currently working as a mobile IV nurse.

On her first assignment, she moved from New York to California. Finding a community was hard in a big city. She wanted to find other travelers who wanted to explore and thought, “There must be a better solution to connect with other travelers.”

MedVenture was a pandemic-born business. “We’ve actually bootstrapped the app up to this point. Hopefully, in a year or so, we’ll be ready for fundraising,” she explains. Cheng has been working in tandem with building the startup. “I’ve reached burnout many, many times. We’re hoping to shift to a sustainable model where we can keep building and doing the work we are so passionate about about also being able to sustain us, but it’s difficult.”

How MedVenture Works

MedVenture was made with all traveling healthcare professionals in mind. The MedVenture App has several features, including:

  • Connecting platonic friends
  • Dating
  • Member meetups. “Any user on the platform can create a meetup, whether that’s a hike to somewhere or a brewery meetup.
  • There have been over 1,100 meetups hosted through our technology,” Cheng says.
  • MedVenture sponsored meetups
  • Discussion board for local things to do, restaurants, and housing
  • Facility reviews
  • Resources like discounts help with health insurance, tax prep, or recommendations on products.

Why is MedVenture for all healthcare professionals? “So much technology is catered towards supporting us nurses, but then it leaves all our colleagues who are not nurses by the wayside. We wanted to include all healthcare professionals that travel and so we have about two dozen different professions on our app that are represented. We also include ‘traveler alumni’, which is those who have decided to now plant roots and stay put,” Cheng explains.

MedVenture has been debating opening up to all healthcare professionals. “Having the common ground of working in healthcare is so powerful. There’s so much more to life, and that’s what traveling taught me. De-identifying with our career can be a beautiful thing,” Cheng acknowledges the paradox of how embracing your community allows for the therapeutic release of one’s identity as solely a healthcare professional.

MedVenture Camp 2024

MedVenture has its own flagship nationwide event called MedVenture Camp. It’s an all-inclusive adult summer camp. This year, it takes place in Equinunk, Pennsylvania. Cheng expects up to 175 participants.

What goes on at MedVenture Camp? The following activities are all taught or facilitated by healthcare professionals:

  • Holistic health sessions, such as meditation, reiki, yoga, or Pilates
  • Healthcare-themed camp Olympics (Think: wearing PPE on a slip and slide)
  • Sports activities
  • Pool parties
  • Karaoke and lip-syncing contests
  • Coffee tasting
  • Themed night parties
  • Empowering workshops such as a peer-to-peer support group or agency transparency panel
  • And more!

Cheng acknowledges that it’s important for healthcare providers to decompress in a high-stress environment. Stress compounds over time, leading to burnout and compassion fatigue if we don’t complete the stress cycle. “We don’t learn about that as healthcare professionals. When you get the stressor, even when it’s gone, you will still have the stress in your body.”

Since the pandemic, Cheng sees how many are still having difficulty making in-person connections. “Everyone’s craving it, but they don’t know where to find it. We really wanted to curate that.”

“Having the common ground of working in healthcare is so powerful. There’s so much more to life, and that’s what traveling taught me. De-identifying with our career can be a beautiful thing.”

The Traveling Community as an Ecosystem

Cheng likes to think of the traveling community as a whole ecosystem. It’s not just the travelers, but it’s also their partners, their kids, their allies, and even the staff members who support them in their facilities. “The goal is to help the wellbeing of healthcare professionals, who are at the center of everything we do, through community. People forget community is such a big part of our wellbeing and is an integral part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.” A sense of belonging is essential to everything.

Whatever you need, whether it’s support through a 12-hour shift, going on a trip together, or exploring a local hike, there’s so much beauty in finding community, Cheng observes.

Cheng boasts that her biggest win so far is that the app has over 21,000 users. “I never would have thought we would reach this many,” she says. MedVenture gets feedback that they are helping travelers create real connections, dating partners, and lifelong friends. “They’ve had these core memories with new people, and not being alone has helped them on their journey.”

Final Thoughts

Being alone is not something to be feared, Cheng says. You can learn so much about yourself and your values. Through that, you can eventually seek out the community that will align with those traits and support you appropriately.

“I’m proud to impact thousands of healthcare professionals each day. I feel honored to help those who help everybody else,” Cheng says.

To learn more about MedVenture and MedVenture Camp, check out their website or Instagram, and to stay updated on the latest in nursing tech and startups, subscribe to The Nursing Beat.

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