5 Tips to Survive the Night Shift as a Travel Nurse

When you take on the role of a travel nurse, you agree to long shifts and working at unusual times. In some cases, a hospital or medical facility will ask you to work the night shift. Transitioning from the day shift to the night shift seems challenging, but you can simplify the process.

Change Your Eating Schedule

A healthy meal plan is essential for any nurse. The challenge when you transition to the night shift is that you will not feel hungry at the same time. Avoid eating for an extended period. You want roughly 12 to 16 hours between meals to change your patterns. Start eating on a schedule that shifts from the normal daytime plan.

Eat your breakfast after you get up in the evening to prepare for your shift. Eating a breakfast meal at that time will help you regain energy for your upcoming shift and will help you transition into a new schedule. Enjoy lunch in the middle of your shift, when you take a break. After you finish your shift, eat dinner. By shifting your meals around, you teach your body that your morning is in the evening.

Plan Your Sleep

The average adult needs roughly 8 to 8.5 hours of sleep each day. When you transition into a night shift, sleep is the main challenge. You need to shift your sleeping patterns so that you sleep in the day and have energy to last through the night.

Set aside enough time for sleep. Before you start a new shift, make sure you have a full 8 hours or more to sleep. Initially, you may need extra time to adjust your habits and give your body time to fall asleep. Create a schedule that gives you plenty of rest so you are energetic during your shift.

Put Up Blackout Curtains

Close the blinds and put up blackout curtains. You need a dark environment to sleep through the day. By putting in blackout curtains, you will encourage your body to sleep. If you are not able to put in blackout curtains, then put foil in the windows and then close the blinds. The foil will reflect light outward and will keep your room dark.

Use a White Noise Machine

A white noise machine is ideal when you try to sleep during the day. It blocks out the noise from your neighbors and reduces the number of disturbances to your sleep. Use the machine to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Exercise Regularly

Do not allow your normal activities to fall off. Exercise on a regular basis to stay healthy and active. Regular exercise gives you energy to handle any task you may face. It also helps you stay awake during a night shift.

A travel nurse takes on unique shifts at a medical facility. In some cases, you need to transition to the night shift for your patient’s care. By taking the time to plan for the potential disturbances and adjusting your meals, you will find that the process is easy.

Tips to Save Time on a Job Search

When you get fired from a position or decide to look for a new job for your career goals, you don’t want to waste your time. You want to save time and accomplish your goals in an efficient manner. By using a few strategies, you can cut back on the time it takes to find a new job.

Get Prepared and Organized

Before you start your search for a new position, set up a professional email account. Avoid emails with funny names or nick-names. Opt for an account that uses your first and last name or that uses your last name with an initial from your first name. A professional email allows you to connect with potential employers.

You also want to organize your plan and prioritize your search for a new position. Prepare your resume and provide a cell phone number on the resume. A cell phone number means a potential employer can contact you at any time. If you provide a home phone number, then make sure you have a system set up for messages.

Preparation is the foundation for your career aspirations. It allows you to avoid delays in your search. By updating your resume and setting up an easier system for communication, you will be able to connect to potential employers before others fill a potential opportunity.

Create a Template for Your Cover Letter

A template for your cover letter means you will easily be able to update it for specific employers. The template describes the basic skills you bring to a company. You can then edit the document for specific details.

The goal is an efficient system for your applications. Fill out your contact information. Use a general opening and closing paragraph. These parts of the cover letter will not change for each position. Use the middle paragraph to fill in specifics for a position you want. By using a template, you save time and avoid writing a new letter for each position.

Prepare Your References

Gather information about your references before you start applying for positions. Companies ask for references at different times throughout the application process. You may need the information when you first apply for a position. You may also need a list of references during an interview. By gathering the names, email addresses, phone numbers and other details of your references before you apply for a position, you have the data available when you need it.

You want personal and professional references available. Personal references are friends, family members, teachers or others in your life. Professional references are your co-workers, a previous manager or a previous employer.

If you want to save time before you apply for a job, then you need to prepare in advance. Set up a system of communication and create a template for your cover letter and resume. Gather information about your references. By taking the steps to prepare for the process, you do not waste time during applications and can move quickly into interviews.

Stress Management for Travel Nurses

Working as a nurse is a high-stress profession. You have the lives of your patients in your hands and they depend on you to help with their needs when they visit a doctor or an emergency room. When you travel as a nurse, you take on a complex role. You may spend hours on your feet and caring for your patients in a high-stress and high-demand position. The challenges of your job do not mean you must maintain your high level of stress. You can take steps to reduce your stress levels and wind down after a long shift.

Take a Warm Bath

A classic way to unwind after a long shift is taking a warm bath. Give yourself a break from the challenges of your work and take a few minutes to yourself. A warm bath helps in two ways: it gives you a break away from the stress of your work and it warms up your body. The warm temperatures help your muscles relax. Staying in a bath also allows you to get away from any other stresses in your environment. It keeps you enclosed in a small space until you feel ready to take on the next challenge.

Visit a Spa

Travel nurses have an advantage when it comes to stress management. Are you working in a mountain oasis? Is there a ski resort nearby? Are you near the beach? If you are working in a tourist hot-spot, then you have access to amazing spas and attractions. Whether you are in a ski town or you are near the beach, giving yourself a spa day offers an opportunity to relax and unwind.

During your next day off from work, visit a local spa. Enjoy a little pampering with a full body massage. Visit the sauna to warm up your body or enjoy a relaxing break in a hot spring or Jacuzzi. Spas offer different services to help you relax after a difficult week.

Get Your Work Organized

When you work as a nurse, you have a stressful work environment. While taking your time off to unwind is a useful way to avoid feeling overwhelmed, you also want to reduce your stress at work. A simple solution is organizing your work. Set up a system that helps you stay on track. Keep your paperwork in order and make sure you have documents filed properly for your patients.

Set priorities and stick to your plans. As a travel nurse, you may feel pressured to take on more than you can handle. If you start feeling overwhelmed, then take  a step back and evaluate your situation. Prioritize vital tasks and work your way through the tasks based on their importance.

Travel nurses take on a complicated role in a medical facility. You work long hours on a single shift and may feel overwhelmed at times. By taking measures to relax and unwind at the end of a long shift or a difficult week, you will enjoy the job and journey.

Working as a Travel Nurse When You Have a Pet

Working as a travel nurse offers an opportunity to see different states and localities. The challenge is taking your pet and maintaining their needs while you work in a new job. When you have a pet and you plan to travel as a nurse, you want to take the steps to prevent problems related to your pet.

Check the Accommodations

Travel nurses are often allowed to bring a pet, but the accommodations may set limitations on the size of your pet or the breed. If you have a large breed dog, then verify your options for accommodations before you travel. If the position does not offer appropriate accommodations, then you may need to consider renting or finding an alternative. Keep in mind that most accommodations do allow small pets, but may require a deposit against potential damages from a pet’s behavior.

Update Appropriate Vaccinations

Your pet may need booster shots or other vaccinations before you start traveling. Keep in mind that each state has different standards for rabies shots or other vaccine schedules. Check your home state and the new state to ensure that your pet’s vaccines comply with the standards of the state.

Carry an Interstate Health Certificate

Visit a veterinarian a few days before you intend to travel with your pet. Many airlines require a certificate of veterinary inspection as well as documentation of your pet’s vaccination records. The certificate of veterinary inspection must be provided within 10 days of taking a plane. If you plan to travel by car, then you still need to carry records of your pet’s vaccinations; however, you may not need as much documentation as an airline requires.

Get a License

A pet license is an important part of traveling with your pet. Get the paperwork in order before you start traveling to ensure that your pet is properly documented. It prevents complications if your pet gets sick or injured at any time during your travels.

Purchase Pet Insurance

A pet insurance policy allows you to seek treatment in an emergency situation. Traveling increases the risk of injuries to your pet when compared to keeping your pet at home. By obtaining a pet insurance policy, you will not need to worry about expenses in an emergency situation.

Tags and Microchips

The final consideration is putting a tag or a microchip on your pet. Make sure that tags are up-to-date with the latest information. You also want to update a microchip if your pet has a microchip. You can also get a microchip and maintain the tags for further safety in case your pet gets lost or wanders off at any point during you travels.

Working as a travel nurse does not mean you must give up your pet. You can travel with your pet and enjoy a new job opportunity as long as you prepare in advance. Carry the documents you need to comply with state and local laws. It will allow you to enjoy your pet’s company in a new home.