As a travel healthcare professional, it is as important to think about what to do while on assignment as it is what NOT to do. Coming into a new facility can be intimidating. It can stir emotions that you may have had early in your travel nurse career. Take a deep breath. Communicate your concerns to your AB Staffing Recruiter and your new team and make yourself at home.
In this article, we discuss what not to do as a healthcare professional on assignment and offer ways to combat feeling uncomfortable, shy, and maybe even a bit out of place.
- Don’t expect to change the system at the facility. You are a guest. Be respectful of hospital procedures and hospital culture, as well as the culture of the people you are serving. As long as there are no safety concerns, it is best to work within the system.
- Don’t forget you are a talented travel healthcare professional. While you are among the newest on your team, remember that you are well-educated, talented, and have a lot to offer. Don’t be boastful but on those days when you feel like you are not making a difference or wish you could do more, know that you are needed and appreciated. Your experiences are what help make you the caretaker that you are and that is what will ultimately make you shine at your job. They just need a little time to get to know you.
- Don’t stick to your comfort zone. Remember why you chose to be a travel healthcare professional. Maybe you wanted adventure. Maybe you wanted to experience a new culture or learn new skills. The biggest leap you’ve taken is leaving the comfort of home. Now is the time for adventure. Meeting coworkers and staff is to your advantage as they can help you at work and give you recommendations of where to eat, shop, and attend events.
- Don’t be a homebody when you’re traveling. There will be days and weeks when all you want to do is rest when you get home. Rest is good but so is exploring the area where you are living. If you aren’t, you might as well stay home. Go for a hike. Explore parks and walking trails. Attend farmers’ markets. Talk to the locals at locally owned eateries and bars. Think of it as an adventure!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You will never know all the policies of the facility working on a short-term contract, but you can make it your mission to learn as much as possible. Ask lots of questions. This will build your confidence and if you tend to be shy, will be a good reason to talk to coworkers.
- Don’t take it personally. During your travels, someone will probably forget your name. They may treat you differently because you are a traveler. Brush it off and move on. The great thing about travel assignments is that you can always move on to a new facility when your contract is up.
- Don’t forget self-care. Routines while on the road give you a sense of home and give your mind time to wind down. Keep your bedtime routine. Talk to family and friends on a regular basis. Search out your favorite foods and activities. Find places that feel like home. Self-care will keep you healthy in mind and body.
- Don’t forget to use your street smarts. Depending on where your assignment is, the facility, location, and shift be aware of your surroundings. Lock your car. Do not leave valuables in your car. Secure your home. Park where it is well-lit and ask someone to walk with you if you are leaving after dark.
- Don’t ignore your recruiter’s advice. Our recruiters know the facilities better than you do. Part of their job is to give you direction on what to do, where to go, and at what time. If they tell you to show up early and bring your documentation, listen to them. If they tell you not to leave for your assignment because you haven’t been cleared yet, please don’t just go and figure it out when you get there.
- Don’t ignore the advice of the housing department. They will give you specific directions on what to do and not do. They will always tell you to NEVER put money down on a rental that you haven’t seen. Don’t send a check or wire transfer. You need to make sure the place is somewhere you would be comfortable living in before you pay upfront.
- Don’t procrastinate. Our Crisis Nurses have left at a moment’s notice to work in COVID-19 hot spots like New York City. Procrastinating can mean that you don’t get the contract you want or miss other opportunities. Of course, ask questions and make sure the position is right for you but don’t wait to act if you’re ready to say yes to a contract, especially a Crisis Contract.
- Don’t keep your experience to yourself! AB Staffing looks for healthcare professionals who want to share their experience. We also offer bonuses for referring colleagues to us. Contact your Recruiter to learn more.
At AB Staffing, it is our goal to safely place our travel healthcare professionals in facilities across the country. We are here to support you, getting you ready for your assignment, and offering help at every step of your journey. We hope we have inspired you today and wish you well on your next assignment!