4 Stress Relief Tips for Travel Nurses

Working as a nurse means you face a variety of complicated situations. You work in a high stress environment and you need to handle the challenges of caring for your patients. A travel nurse has the added challenge of adapting to a new environment and taking on high stress shifts in a medical facility. When you work as a travel nurse, you want to take measures to reduce your stress and keep calm in the workplace.

Set a Routine

A routine is not always easy when you work as a travel nurse. You may face challenges with the work environment that relate directly to your work hours. By setting a clear routine, you limit the risks to your health and your mind.

Try to get up at the same time each day. Do not sleep in on your day off, since that can throw off your sleep schedule when you return to your normal work hours. Instead, get up at the same time and follow a basic morning routine. The more you stick to a routine, the easier you will transition into your new position and job.

Take Time for Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a simple way to calm down in a stressful situation. Take a long and deep breath in, hold your breath for a few seconds and then release your breath slowly. Repeat the process until you feel calm and can face the challenges of your work without feeling overwhelmed.

Even though it takes only a few seconds, you focus on your breathing. That gives your mind a short break from the stressful situation and helps you refocus on finding a solution. You can also use deep breathing for stress relief as part of your daily routine.

Consider Meditation

Meditation is shown to have a positive impact on your stress levels. While it is not always easy to meditate, you can benefit from a few minutes of meditation each morning. Start out with five to ten minutes of sitting in a quiet place and allowing your mind to clear. You want to focus on the present moment, so you can use a tool like meditation music, a burning candle or even a flower as a focus. Observe your focus without allowing other thoughts to clutter up your mind. If a thought enters your mind, acknowledge that you have a thought and then let it go. The practice will give your mind a break and help you organize your thoughts.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Diet is often overlooked in a high stress environment. As a nurse, you want to take care of your health so you are able to help others with their health. That means you need to eat a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein. Do not skip meals when you are able to eat a meal.

Stress relief is an on-going process for any travel nurse. Since you work in a high-stress environment, you want to take active measures to address your stress levels and maintain your health. The key is taking steps to give your mind and body a break while also giving your body the fuel to handle the challenges of your work.

3 Negotiation Tips for Travel Nurses

Taking on a travel nurse contract does not mean you must give up on your pay and benefits. Even though you take on a nursing role for a short time frame, you do have options to negotiate your pay, benefits or hours before you start a new job. The key is having the right strategies to ensure that you are asking for a fair adjustment to the contract.

Research the Area

Before you take any steps to negotiate with a potential employer, you want to research the local area. Find out about the pay a nurse receives in the local area. You want a per-hour rate as well as a salary rate to have a clear idea of the going rate for the local area.

This is particularly important if you have specialized skills and plan to work as a travel nurse in a specialized position. The pay rate for different areas may vary based on the local cost of living. You should also be aware that a stipend for your rent and other expenses is part of your pay package, so you want to add it to your hourly rate before you assume that you are not paid a similar rate to other nurses in the local area.

Find Out More About the Contract

Do not ignore the contract. Read the details of the specific contract and make sure you understand every detail of the current contract. Even if you have worked in a travel nurse position in other locations, the details of a contract may vary between medical facilities and localities. You do not want to overlook critical information when you ask for an adjustment to the contract.

Take your time and read the details thoroughly to ensure you know everything. You can then make notes about what you want to ask and what you are willing to accept in your contract. Make sure you understand the information if you have any questions or concerns about the original contract.

Give Clear Reasons for Your Requests

Negotiation is a process that focuses on benefiting both parties. You do not want to go into the process with the assumption that a facility is able to pay more for your work or that the requests you want to make will benefit your new employer. Before you go into the negotiation, clarify your reasons for the request. You want to show how the changes will benefit the medical facility. Use your research into the local area and your knowledge of the current contract to help support your requests.

Allow a potential employer to come back with a new offer. You may find that they offer more in some areas and have strict standards in others. The key to successful negotiation is focusing on a fair contract that benefits both parties.

Negotiating your contract as a travel nurse is a process. You want to make sure your prepare in advance to avoid unnecessary challenges with your requests. By taking the time to research the local area and setting up clear standards for what you will accept in your contract, you can get the position that fits your experience and goals.

4 Tips to Prepare for a Road Trip When Working as a Travel Nurse

A travel nurse spends time on the road or transitioning from one job into the next job. That means you want to take measures to prepare for your travel plans before you actually get into a car or get on a plane. It is particularly important when you plan to drive to your next job because you do not want to make your road trip an unpleasant experience.

Check Your Vehicle

This may seem obvious, but it is essential for any road trip. As a travel nurse agency, we have your back and want to help you have a successful and safe journey. You do not want to get on the Interstate only to have your car break down before you travel ten miles up the road. The situation gets worse when your vehicle breaks down at the halfway point between your original location and your new job.

Take the time to check your vehicle. Change your oil and check the other fluids in your car. Fill up your gas tank and get any weird sounds checked by a professional to avoid unnecessary delays in your travel plans.

Plan Your Route

Set a clear route for your trip. Do not assume that your vehicle’s GPS is the ideal tool for your route. The GPS may take you through a complicated route when you are not careful about your plan.

Get out a map and make sure you know your route. Use the GPS as a tool to assist with your plans, but make sure you already know the basics of your route to avoid getting lost or wasting time driving around in circles.

Give Yourself Enough Time

A road trip is a meandering trip. You will not reach your destination after a few short hours. Depending on the distance from your home town to your new travel nurse position, you may spend several days on the road. The trip will take longer if you stop for detours or to check out interesting tourist sites along your trip.

Plan your visits to tourist destinations and make sure you have an idea of how far you can drive each day. You also want to make sure you take stops for meals and short breaks to stretch out as part of your travel time. When you are clear on the time you need to drive the total distance, give yourself at least one or two extra days to account for any unexpected problems.

Pack Snacks and Beverages

Do not ignore your need to stay healthy and hydrated. Pack a few healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables or nuts as part of your trip. You also want to make sure you have some water in the car. Use your judgment for other beverages, but plan out a few snacks and water as part of your trip. It is not always prudent to stop for a meal and you do not want to get dehydrated during your drive.

A road trip is a fun way to enjoy the process of traveling to a new job. The key is preparing in advance to avoid unnecessary problems during your trip. By taking the time to plan out your drive and check on your vehicle, you can focus on the road and on to your career as a successful travel nurse!