7 Life Hacks for Travel Nurses
Aside from the countless positives that comes with travel nursing (great pay, unique benefits, awesome experiences), like every profession, it’s also one that comes with many new experiences that you may not be used to dealing with. As a Travel Nurse, wouldn’t it be nice to have some life hacks to make your life easier?
Specifically, once travel nurses begin their assignments, they are forced to adjust to many changing circumstances that can cause stress and unneeded frustration. Delayed start dates, lack of orientation, schedule changes, and and the list goes on. For our experienced travelers, raise your hand if you’ve been there.
In order to make the entire traveling experience easier, here are a few tips to avoid the common pains that come with travel nursing and to make the seemingly unavoidable, avoidable.
- Hope for the best, prepare for everything
Travel nursing comes with many adjustments that can leave nurses having to make last minute adjustments in an often changing environment. Flights have to be rescheduled, start dates can be pushed out, housing arrangements need to be made, and so on. A great way to avoid this problem, or at least make it easier, is to adjust your mindset.
Having expectations is key, but having the ability to calmly adjust to changing circumstances will reduce the impact that comes with sudden changes.
The traveling process take a lot of time, especially for travel nurses. From interviewing, to the offer, getting compliant, arranging transportation, finding a place to live, setting up orientation, etc… there are a lot of moving parts to get you working. Open dialogue, great communication and patience is an excellent way to smoothen the entire process for both the nurse, recruiter, and hospital of which the nurse is employed. Patience is an asset, and it can be learned!
One thing you must remind yourself is this: you are a travel nurse, emphasis on the travel part. You will most likely be in different locations often, settling into a brand new place as well as moving out within a short time frame, and that’s okay! One backpack and one luggage should be standard in your book, versus a stack of old photo albums and bags of clothes from 10 years ago. Bring only what you need, not what you want. Plus, we’re guessing you’re probably going to pick up some new digs in your new location. And don’t worry, you’ll be back home and those photos will still be there!
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- Stay hydrated and fed
Nursing is a tough job, especially while you are traveling. Along the way, you may get hungry and thirsty and may not have the opportunity of sitting in an office building and having easy access to a fully stocked kitchen. Bring small snacks and stay hydrated in order to avoid the energy drain that comes with working on an empty stomach. This will also prepare you for a long shift, which many nurses are required to do. Being prepared with food and water will make the long night shift less stressful.
- Maximize your lunch break
This goes without saying, but nursing is a tremendously stressful profession. Long shifts, no breaks, facilities being short staffed, and the list goes on. Take advantage of your lunch break. That is, when you get one. But when you do, it doesn’t hurt to step outside and take a breather. Stop, take a deep breath, relax, and decompress. You’d be surprised how many of our travel nurses tell us how much of a difference it can make.
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- Focus on the reward
As a travel nurse, you are put in stressful situations on a daily basis. After all, there are people’s lives at stake! The greatest reward is the genuine satisfaction that comes with taking care of people. But it also helps to remind yourself of the additional rewards that comes with handling that stress. In this case, adjusting your mindset and reminding yourself that, the experience, the adventure and the opportunity of travel is something that not everybody has. And the pay isn’t so bad, either. With that being said, reminding yourself that the end goal is an excellent way to sharpen your focus and make the entire work experience that much easier.
- Stop and smell the roses
Finally, stop every now and then and take a good look out the window. Also, it doesn’t hurt on your days off to treat yourself. You’ve earned it. Chances are, you are traveling to a place you’ve never been to. In your spare time, utilize it by exploring new land, new cultures, and new activities. Go ahead, Live Like a Local. The best advice would be to find a certain area you like about the city you are traveling to and purposely get lost in it.
What other life hacks do you think are important? Let us know!