Working as a travel nurse means you will spend time on your feet. Depending on the job and your hours, you may spend as much as 8 to 12 hours a day on your feet. That means you need to take measures to keep your body healthy during a long shift.
Opt for Comfortable Shoes
The foundation of any job where you stand or walk for hours is wearing comfortable shoes. Forget those trendy and fun shoes. Opt for comfortable, non-slip shoes. Practical shoes play an essential role in your job as a travel nurse. It helps you stay comfortable during a long shift, so you can focus on your patients.
Wear Compression Socks or Stockings
Blood circulation is a major problem with standing or walking for hours each day. As a travel nurse, you have the added complication of regular driving and flights to each new job. That means you want to take measures to maintain your blood circulation. It will not help your patients if you struggle with your own health. By wearing compression socks or stockings, you improve your blood circulation to your feet and legs. That helps reduce your risk of varicose veins and spider veins.
Stretch During Your Breaks
Take breaks when you can and sit down. You also want to stretch during your breaks to help maintain blood circulation and keep your body in good health. Take a few minutes to stretch your muscles before you sit during your lunch break.
Good health is vital for any nurse. You need to care for your body, and that means taking measures to protect against poor circulation. By taking the right steps, you keep your feet, legs, and body healthy as you travel to different locations and you work long shifts as a nurse.
When you take on a role as a travel nurse, you may find that hospitals and medical facilities expect you to float. They may ask you to adjust to a variety of changes throughout your time in the facility or hospital. By preparing in advance, you will not find yourself facing undue challenges when you start a new job.
What is Floating in Nursing?
When it comes to nursing, floating is a tool a staffing professional may use to help with staffing shortages at a hospital. It means that you are taken from your scheduled unit to work with a different unit in the hospital or medical facility. You may move around a few times during your stay at a specific hospital, but the rate of floating depends on the staffing shortages in the specific facility.
Expect Floating in Travel Nurse Roles
As a travel nurse, you are likely to be asked to float in some medical facilities. Travel nurses work for a hospital or facility on a short-term basis. Your role in the facility is to handle staffing shortages for a set time frame. It allows the hospital or facility to hire new professionals or to handle other challenges while you work with the patients.
Due to the temporary nature of your position, the facility may ask you to float to keep up with changes in staffing. If they hire a new nurse for a long-term role in their hospital, then you may find yourself working in a new unit. Travel nurses are the first professionals who may be asked to float, so expect the changes to avoid any confusion or problems during your work hours.
Floating is part of nursing. It allows the medical facility to provide for the needs of their patients. The key is preparing for the changes before you move into a new location so that you are not caught unaware when the hospital asks you to work with a new unit.
Taking on a new job is always exciting. When you enjoy traveling and want to incorporate your travel plans into a nursing career, a travel nurse position may seem like the best solution for your goals. Although travel nursing is an exciting career opportunity, you should be aware that it may take time before you actually start working in a job.
The first factor that may impact your ability to start working as a travel nurse is your license. A travel nurse needs a nursing license in multiple states. Even if you are offered a position, you may find that you lose the job or need to wait to start the job until you finish any paperwork to get your license in a different state. Before you start looking into job opportunities, you will want to get a license for the states where you want to work. That will simplify the process when you are offered a position.
Your skills as a nurse also play a role in the job search. If you have specialized skills, then you may have fewer challenges with your search. General skills mean you will have more competition for positions and may find that it takes longer to get started in a new job. Although you can start working as a travel nurse while you obtain specific skills or further education, you want to focus on specialization as part of your long-term career plan.
The process to become a travel nurse differs slightly from traditional nursing. You will need a license for multiple locations and you need the right skills to appeal to potential employers. By taking the time to specialized in nursing and getting your paperwork in order, you will find that more employers show interest in giving you a new job.
Travel nursing gives you a chance to explore new locations. Choosing the right location for your career can seem daunting when you have so many options. The key is focusing on the factors that are most important in your life and for your situation.
Consider Your Interests
The first factor to consider when looking into your options as a travel nurse is your personal interests. You will have free time during your stay in a new location, so you need to consider what you want to do on those days off. If you enjoy artistic ventures, then you want destinations with art museums or fun artistic endeavors. if you prefer outdoor adventures, then an area with hiking trails and access to nature may appeal to your interests. Narrow down your choices based on your interests and preferences for your explorations.
Look into Licensing Requirements
Licensing requirements are not the same in every state. You need to make sure you qualify for a license in a specific state before you apply for a travel nursing position in the state. If you do not meet the standards of a specific state, then you may need to take a few months to qualify for a license and obtain a license before you apply for a travel nurse position.
Factor in the Competition
Competition for a position varies for each location. A position in Hawaii may have more competition when compared to a position in Colorado. If you do not have the time to wait for a travel nurse position, then focus on locations with less competition.
Finding the right location for your role as a travel nurse may seem complex. You have multiple factors that impact your decisions. The key is focusing on the factors that are most important to your goals and then applying for the job.
A travel nurse takes on a myriad of responsibilities. You take on paperwork, provide care to your patients, and you deal with unhappy and depressed individuals throughout your day. The added stress of working in a new environment on a regular basis means you need to take active measures to reduce your stress levels for your health.
Take Deep Breaths
In an emergency situation, you do not always have time to deal with your own stress levels. A fast and easy way to cut back on stress in a high-intensity work environment is through deep breathing. Take a few seconds to slow down your breathing and take a deep breath. Breath in a for a few seconds, hold the breath and then exhale slowly. Repeat the process five to ten times. You will notice that your stress levels reduce and you are able to focus on caring for your patients.
Ask for a Break
Travel nurses may be asked to work long shifts. That means you are at the hospital or medical facility for an extended period. That can weigh on your mind, especially in high-intensity units like emergency care or the intensive care unit. When you feel overwhelmed by the stress, ask for a break. Even a five-minute break will give you a chance to step away from the situation and give your mind a break.
Talk to a Supervisor
Stress is not always in your control. If your stress relates to the actions of your co-workers or other situations that are not in your control, then talk to your supervisor. Ask for an adjustment to the schedule or for the supervisor to talk to the other party. Do not ignore problems until they get out of control and impact your health.
Stress management is a key part of any career. As a travel nurse, you will face stressful situations. By taking the time to address your stress levels, you can focus on your patients and their health.
A travel nurse spends more time looking for a job when compared to other nurses. That means you need a stellar and updated resume that catches the attention of potential employers. The key is avoiding mistakes and bad advice that will make it harder for a future employer.
Leaving Your License Number Off the Resume
As a travel nurse, you will have a nursing license number in multiple states. You do not want to leave your license number off your resume because it will complicate the process. A hiring manager does not always have the time to look up your license number in a state database. That means you get skipped over for the job because a hospital or medical facility may ask for a background check using your license number.
Avoiding Your GPA
Resume writing advice will often suggest that you ignore your GPA. As a nurse, this is not always the best idea for your resume. An excellent GPA can be the deciding factor between two potential candidates. It shows a willingness to put in the work to learn the skills and information a nurse needs in a clinical setting.
Ignoring Your Contacts
When you look at advice related to resumes, you may notice that you are often told to follow the chain of command. While this may apply in some careers and fields, it is not great advice for a nurse to ignore his or her contacts. If you met a hiring director at a conference or another event, then send your resume to the individual and ask for consideration for a position. It may not result in a job every time, but your network plays an important role in your career opportunities.
Your resume is the first impression you make on a potential employer. As a travel nurse, you want it to stand out without giving up on simplicity. By taking the time to list relevant information, you help a hiring manager finalize their choice to give you an interview.
Moving to a new location for a travel nurse position means you will have a few loose ends to tie up. You do not want to face undue challenges or problems because you forgot to handle an important detail before the move. Fortunately, you can reduce your stress as you travel by taking a few key steps before the move.
Get a P.O. Box
A P.O. box is an easy way to handle your mail when you go on an assignment. Change your mailing address to the P.O. box and pay for the box for the duration of your trip or an entire year. You will not need to worry about important mail getting lost or stolen from your house or a previous apartment when you have a P.O. box with your mail.
Talk to Loved Ones
Do not ignore your loved ones. Talk to them about your itinerary and plans. Make sure they know where you are planning to arrive and the time of your flight. You can also keep them up-to-date with the assignment and your expectations after you complete the assignment.
Take Care of Your Bills
Do not leave your bills sitting around until you return. Make sure you inform any companies that give you a bill about your plans. You may need to change your phone service or ask the company to change your location to avoid roaming charges. You also want to make sure you stop a newspaper delivery to your home and stop services like electricity, water or other utilities. Inform the company that you are moving for a short time and will contact them when you return.
Travel nursing means you will move regularly for your job. By tying up loose ends before you leave, you can focus on the needs of your patients without unnecessary distractions.
As always, remember that a travel nurse spends time out on the road, so a vehicle is an important part of your career. When you plan to drive to your next job, you should check your vehicle before the trip to avoid problems.
The holiday season is a complicated time of year for many professionals. As a travel nurse, you may pick up new job opportunities as nurses and medical staff takes a vacation and break from their normal careers. The challenge is making the most of holiday traveling without risking your health. Simple tips to help you!
Prepare for Sickness
The winter season means you have a higher risk of getting a cold or flu. While you can get a flu shot to reduce your risk, you will still face a crowded environment at the airport. That means you want to prepare for the possibility of exposure to bacteria or viruses. Work on building up your immune health before you plan your trip. Bring a travel-sized hand sanitizer you can keep in your carry-on bag and use to keep your hands free of bacteria.
Go to the Airport Early
The holiday season is also a popular time for travel. That means you will spend more time at the airport trying to get through security and any other check-points that may exist. Plan ahead and leave early to get to the airport for your flight.
Pay Attention to Your Contract
A travel nurse may need to work on a holiday. Expect to have holiday hours, especially when you pick up an assignment that focuses on peak vacation time frames. You will want to look at the details of your contract to determine if you will have work on the holiday.
Travel nursing gives you a chance to enjoy unique aspects of a new location. That does not mean you will want to ignore the potential of health risks from the travel process. When you plan to work at a new position during the holiday season, you should take measures to prepare for your trip early and limit your risk of catching a cold or the flu.
Travel nursing is a fun way to explore new locations and focus on your passion as a nurse. The key is packing light to maintain your flexibility as you work in different locations. You do not want to take more than you can handle on a flight, but you also need enough of your belongings to feel at home in a new location.
Check the Weather Patterns
Before you start planning your trip, check the local weather patterns. If you are planning a trip in the summer, then you will want light clothes that fit the environment. If you are planning to travel in the winter, then you may need a coat and other warm clothes to handle colder temperatures. Look at averages for the duration of your contract to ensure you pack to fit the location.
Pay Attention to the Schedule
Your schedule at the hospital or medical facility will impact your packing process. If you have four days of ten-hour shifts, then you will want at least four sets of work-appropriate attire. You may want one or two extras to handle any last-minute changes to the schedule. If you have five days of eight-hour shifts, then you need more clothing for work. Look at your contract and the expectations of your employer to ensure that you have enough work attire.
Roll Your Clothes
An easy way to fit more clothing into your carry-on baggage is rolling your clothes. It takes up less space than folding and you will have fewer wrinkles in your clothes. You can also roll your clothes in your checked baggage, but make sure you do not exceed the weight limits for the airline.
Traveling light means you only take the items you need for your travel nursing assignment. The key is planning for the weather and packing according to your schedule and the potential weather patterns so you do not bring unnecessary items that you will not use or wear during your stay in a new area.
Planning a road trip to reach a new assignment as a travel nurse means you will spend hours behind the wheel of your car. Although a road trip is exciting and fun, you also want to make sure you check on your vehicle before you start the trip.
Check the Fluids
The fluids in your vehicle are a key part of your trip. You want to check the oil, coolant and other fluids before you start driving. Do not assume that you have enough fluids or that you do not need to change the fluids until you look under your hood.
Check Your Tires
The tires are essential for any road trip. Take a look at your tires before the trip and check that it has enough tread for the long drive. If you have any concerns, then change the tires. You also want to double-check that you have a spare tire in case you hit anything on the road that causes a flat tire.
Change the Wipers
Windshield wipers are a key part of driving. In ideal conditions, you will not hit any major storms during your drive. Unfortunately, you can end up driving through rainy or snowy weather conditions. By changing the wipers before the trip, you will keep your windshield clean during a storm.
Get Proper Maintenance
Maintenance is part of any road trip. Get your car checked by the right professionals and have your tires rotated before the trip. Get proper maintenance completed to ensure that your car will handle the road without a hitch.
A travel nurse spends time out on the road, so a vehicle is an important part of your career. When you plan to drive to your next job, you should check your vehicle before the trip to avoid problems.