Preparing for Your First Travel Nursing Job

Preparing for Your First Travel Nursing Job

Preparing for Your First Travel Nursing Job

Your first travel nursing job is an exciting time. Think of the places you can visit and things to do while being a travel nurse. It’s mixing work and pleasure!

But before you get carried away with excitement, you must know how to prepare for your job as a travel nurse. 

Plan Your Steps

So how do you prepare for your first travel nursing job? Here’s how you become an expert in traveling as a nurse:

Explore what travel nursing is

 If you have plans to join the travel nursing bandwagon, exploring what this job is all about is your first step. Again, researching is your key. Learn what travel nursing is. Read blogs about people who are travel nurses or follow travel nurses like Cup of Nurses

If you have a friend who is a travel nurse, you can also ask them about their experiences. It’s also a good idea to talk to someone already in that field as they can tell you first-hand about the profession and what to expect from it. 

Do your research

Before you plan your life as a travel nurse, do your homework and research. Check out different travel nurse agencies and the services they offer. Finding an agency to help you while you are on your contract is always good. Make sure to check the ones that offer the best options. 

Make connections with other travel nurses

Travel nurses are the best people to engage with if you plan on becoming one yourself. Connect with them through social media or join groups, Facebook pages, or forums of travel nurses and meet those working in the field already. 

There may be travel nurses in your unit as we speak. Talking to them may give you a good idea of how travel nursing is.

Ask about the agencies to work with or how to prepare your documents if you ever become a travel nurse like them. 

Consider the area of work you want

As a travel nurse, you will be assigned to different specialties most of the time. And if you are a nurse experienced in particular areas, travel nursing will favor you.

While there are many areas you can work in as a travel nurse, you still need to consider which area you would like to work in as a travel nurse. It will also help narrow down the jobs you can apply for, and travel nursing agencies can easily find you a job.

Update your certifications

Certifications can be your advantage. Although you don’t need it, it can help you stand out. Ensure your certifications (especially if you have a specialty) are updated.

Update your nursing license; even better if you have multiple licenses in other states too. It will be an advantage to your career as a travel nurse. 

Certifications like PALS, ACLS, and BLS must also be updated. Keep a copy of all your certifications and licenses as a paper document and digital if possible. It will be easier to print copies and update them whenever possible.

Have a savings bank

It’s a fact that many travel nursing agencies offer housing and allowance to travel nurses, but you will always have expenses to pay upfront. Of course, agencies will reimburse you, but you must also have cash.

Having a savings bank is always a good backup. You will never know what will happen to you once you get to the first assignment, so having cash is always helpful.

Always ensure what is written in your contract and what is not. And ensure that you have money in the bank for emergencies. 

Be healthy and fit for work

Before your travel nurse job:

  1. Ensure you’re in the best condition.
  2. Make sure you’re not sick, eat healthy food, and exercise.
  3. Get a check-up to ensure your body is as healthy as possible.

It’s also a good idea to have your vaccinations updated. If you take medications, have them refilled before leaving for work. 

Learn to pack light

Once you have your assignment, learn the art of packing lightly. If your assignment is for 13 weeks, ensure you have enough clothes to last you around those weeks. Sure, you can shop for new clothes, but if you want to save money, you must know what to bring.

Remember your scrubs and bring your comfy shoes. It will make your life easier as a travel nurse. List down also everything necessary that you need to bring. It will save you time packing your things. 

Enjoy the Experience

Travel nursing is exciting, but it takes a lot of planning and paperwork to get to your first assignment. Once you have your assignment and have done everything accordingly, it will run smoothly.

As you do, enjoy the experience. Meet new friends. Enjoy the scenery and have fun too. You will be a pro at travel nursing in the long run! 

Looking for more nursing and travel nursing information? Check out these helpful links!

EP 213: What Role Does Humor Play in Healthcare?

EP 213: What Role Does Humor Play in Healthcare?

EP 213: What Role Does Humor Play in Healthcare?

What does humor play in healthcare? Everything! Without humor, working in healthcare can drain our energy. A good laugh while working or seeing funny and comical things helps our healthcare professionals ease up even a little bit.

As nurses, our jobs require us to deal with stress almost 24/7. Finding humor in our actions helps us stay sane and make it through the day. It’s also a good feeling to laugh after a stressful day, so humor is important in this line of work. 

In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Jim Fulmer. Jim is currently a  board-certified Internal medicine hospitalist who has worked with nurses in a lot of different healthcare settings over a long career. 

He has had experience working in health care in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky, Australia, and Alaska, public health, traditional office practice, research, and in various leadership roles as a hospitalist.

He is also a medical cartoonist on Instagram and has created a hospital-themed board game and card game called Doctor Wars. 

Questions for Our Guest

The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We often go off-topic, so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas, please let us know.

Looking forward to our conversation!

These are the questions you had in Calendly. We’ll go off your questions and wherever else our conversation goes.

  1. Can you give us a background about yourself and some of the experiences you’ve had throughout your career?
  2. How has your perspective on medicine and healthcare changed over your career?  
  3. Was there a point in your career when you realized that the way you interact with people and the way you treat them is just as important as the treatment you give? 
  4. What do you think about the insurance side of healthcare? 
    •  Insurance can be frustrating to patients and healthcare workers. Time to evaluate the patient is less and less, and the most important factor for the quality of the care of the patient is the TIME you spend with them…now we are focusing more on documentation and coding system than actual care. 
  5. What made you start, and what is the Doctors Wars game? 
    • You recently posted if musical instruments were healthcare specialties,  were humor and education something you were always passionate about? 


Ending Questions

Before we end the show, we have one last question we like to ask all our guests.

If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why? 



To watch the full episode, click here for the full video 👇👇


00:00 Introduction
01:52 About James Fulmer
08:58 The distinction between working in hospitals and rural places
12:17 Adapting and respecting multiple cultures as a travel health professional
16:21 The very complex problem of improving healthcare
18:28 Why is improving healthcare such a challenge in the face of a massive project?
22:19 Using our talent to improve everything around us
25:42 Is medicine’s future headed in the right direction?
37:45 Can a single-payer system solve one of healthcare’s problems?
42:49 There is no perfect healthcare system
44:52 Bias decisions in healthcare
48:26 The pros and cons of social media and humor
53:45 How Jim came up with the card game
1:00:05 Wrapping up the show

10 Tips for Staying Healthy on Your Night Shift

10 Tips for Staying Healthy on Your Night Shift

10 Tips for Staying Healthy on Your Night Shift

Your night shift is one of the most challenging shifts you’ll experience. Not because it’s busy and patients are coming in but because you must stay awake. The struggle is real, as they say.

The hospital is often the busiest during the daytime, so working the night shift is exciting. Your first three days may be great, but it can be exhausting if you keep doing the same shift for months.

Sleeping during the day feels different than sleeping at night. You may feel extra exhausted and sluggish. It is vital to stay healthy even on your night shift. How can you do it? Here are helpful tips for doing that.


We Are Role Models

Staying healthy while on your night shift is possible. You have options on how you make healthy choices even while at work.

As nurses, we promote health and provide patients with quality care.

We must be good role models by showing them how we care for ourselves. And we can do that by doing the following: 


#1. Eating healthy 

While eating fast food at night is tempting, it’s not always a good idea to do so. Keep yourself healthy by eating healthy. Eating foods high in sugar and trans fat can destabilize blood sugar levels and may cause stomach upset.

Stay healthy on your night shift by packing healthy meals like fruits, veggies, salads, or trail mix. Doing meal prep at the start of the week is also a good idea. It will cut your time preparing your food each time you go to work.

You can also choose good and healthy options to eat for the whole week. 


#2. Set your sleeping schedule

A consistent sleeping routine is crucial in preparing your body for the night shift hours. If you have the time to sleep the moment you get home, try sleeping in two sessions.

Try resting from 7 am to 11 am, then another from 3 pm to 5 pm. But if you don’t like naps, you can always choose when you want to sleep. Make sure to set the mood of your room when sleeping at home.

Create an environment that’s convenient for you to take the snooze. Use black-out curtains and turn on the AC in your room.

Be sure to set your alarm too. While sleeping in this kind of room sounds fantastic, you don’t want to be late for work too! 


#3. Get plenty of exercises

It may be hard to incorporate exercises into your daily routine, especially if you just got off an exhausting shift. But to stay healthy, you must also put in the extra effort. Incorporate exercise into your weekly schedule.

You don’t have to go to the gym regularly if your body can’t make it. Simple activities like biking, walking, hiking, or jogging work well too. It will also help you get some fresh air and some cardio. 


#4. Keep yourself hydrated

Staying awake for a long time during the night shift is challenging. There will be moments when you want to go to sleep. But before you do, hydrate yourself by drinking enough water and other fluids.

It will also ensure that your body is functioning correctly, as water keeps your body’s organs running. 


#5. Reduce your caffeine

Night shift requires staying awake and alert at all times, even if the patients are asleep. It’s also the reason why many nurses have caffeine fixations.

While coffee and caffeine-packed drinks are lifesavers, it’s not always a good thing. It will give you a surge of energy for a few hours, but once it crashes, you end up exhausted and wanting more.

We cannot entirely remove caffeine, but we can reduce our intake. Avoid drinking caffeine once your shift hits 2-3 am. It will prevent you from being able to get sleep once you’re off duty. 


#6. Schedule your night shifts closely

Some nurses have weird night shift schedules. Some nurses would go on night duty for two days, have a rest day, then return to the night shift for a day. It ruins their body clock.

Asking your scheduler to put all your night shifts in one row will help you get the rest you need and not waste your days off catching up with sleep. 


#7. No alcohol

Drinking alcohol to help you fall asleep after your night shift is one of your biggest mistakes. Not only will it induce your sleep, but it also affects your REM and may develop into an alcohol addiction if you’re not careful about it.

So, it would be best to avoid drinking alcohol before sleep to be safe. 


#8. Naps are OK

Timed naps on your break are good. It will help you stay alert and focused all through the night. Find a dark space where you can rest for at least 20 or 30 minutes on lunch breaks. Power naps can help you get through without feeling too exhausted after the work shift. 


#9. Limit your screen time

You’re probably thinking if you keep staring at your phone, you’ll be okay through the night. It won’t help you. The blue light emitted on your phone harms your sleep hormones and melatonin. Minimizing your screen time at night or before bed maximizes rest and sleep. 


#10. You need to move 

Sitting all night will make you sleepy. Take time for short walks and do simple cardio exercises while on your night shift. It will keep your blood pumping.

Walking stretches your muscles and wakes up your legs. It’s a refreshing way to keep yourself awake. Plus, moving around feels good. It reduces your sleepiness. 


Your Night Shift is Going to Be Hard

The night shift is hard, especially if you’re a new nurse. Staying up all night for many days can take a toll on you, physically and mentally. And as nurses, we must take care of ourselves.

eople rely on us; we must remember self-care and get enough rest. It makes a real difference. Hopefully, these tips helped you out. 


Looking for more nursing and travel nursing information? Check out these helpful links!

EP 212: A Patient’s Perspective of Delirium With Amelie Susanne

EP 212: A Patient’s Perspective of Delirium With Amelie Susanne

EP 212: A Patient’s Perspective of Delirium With Amelie Susanne

What is a patient’s perspective of delirium? An induced coma is also known as MIC or medically induced coma, barbiturate-induced coma, or drug-induced coma.

It is also called as temporary coma or a deep state of consciousness controlled by an anesthetic drug.

Often, barbiturates like pentobarbital or thiopental are used to help patients. It can also be intravenous anesthetic drugs like midazolam or propofol, but what happens when a patient goes through an induced coma and wakes up from it?

Can a patient recall any memory while they are in a coma? This episode will talk about a patient’s perspective of delirium and many more. 

In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Amelie Susanne Roth. Susanne is a coma survivor. After an initial bacteria infection, Susanne had to be placed into an induced coma that lasted 16 days.

We talk about her time in the ICU and her experience of being in a coma and suffering from it. In this episode, we flip the script and learn firsthand about the patient’s experience.  


Questions for Our Guest

The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We often go off-topic, so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas, please let us know.

Looking forward to our conversation!

These are the questions you had in Calendly. We’ll go off our questions, and wherever else our conversation goes.

  1. Please give us a little background about yourself.
  2. How did you end up in the hospital? And can you go a little in-depth into what happened?
      • Do you know what kind of infection it was? Where it came from?

3. Can you put us through the course of your hospital experience? Before this, coming from the day you came in?

      • What you heard, what were you told, and how did you feel?

4. You going into a coma and being intubated; was this something you expected? 

5. When you were intubated and unresponsive, what was happening? 

      • Do you remember any of it? 
      • How did it feel?
      • Were you able to hear anything?
      • Was it just like a dream state?

6. When you came out of the coma, were you mentally back to normal?

      • Were you aware of the whole extubation process? For example, when nurses say, can you open your eyes, squeeze my hand, weaning process?
      • Did you suffer from any delirium or confusion?
      • How did you feel during everything that was going on?

7. Where do you think healthcare providers can improve?

8. What was the process after you regained consciousness?

      • Did it take you a long time to bounce back? PT/OT? What does PT/OT mean?

9. How has life changed for you?

      • Additionally, did you have any big realizations? Like a change in mentality or outlook? 

10. What made you decide to write a book?


Ending Questions

Before we end the show, we have one last question we like to ask all our guests.

If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be and why? 



Do you want to learn more about a patient’s perspective of delirium? Watch the full episode here 👇👇


00:00 Introduction
01:32 About Amelie Susane Roth
02:38 How it all started
07:25 Experiences of Being Under Sedation and in a Coma
13:40 How does it feel to be in delirium or a coma?
15:57 A better understanding of why a patient gets agitated
18:14 The post-coma experience
25:03 Medicine Failing Patients and the Need for a Different Approach
27:50 Coping with Traumatic Experiences After a Coma
35:00 Life’s outlook after coma
40:48 Amelie’s life prior to becoming a patient
44:27 The Life Lessons While Traveling The World
47:18 Wrapping up the show

5 Tips to Effectively Earn Your Patient’s Trust

5 Tips to Effectively Earn Your Patient’s Trust

5 Tips to Effectively Earn Your Patient’s Trust

How do you earn your patient’s trust? Earning our patient’s trust is vital to us nurses. We can provide them with the best nursing care if they trust us.

But how can we gain our patient’s trust? Is there a magic word to use? 


Every Patient is Different

Not all patients are the same. They all have different personalities, moods, and preferences. Sometimes, it’s hard to guess what kind of mood our patients are in, especially when they’re in pain for some time. 

As nurses, we must adjust our personalities to our patients. We cannot be angry or grumpy when the patient screams at us.

We have to be firm but gentle towards them at the same time. Seeing them beyond their pain and complaints is the first step to earning their trust. 

So how can we gain our patient’s trust? Here’s how


#1. Introduce yourself and address your patient by their name

The first thing you must do in building any relationship is to introduce yourself. An introduction is an obvious thing to do, especially in a healthcare setting where you care for different patients. Just like building a relationship, an introduction is the first step.

However, introducing yourself to your patient is sometimes forgotten in a busy healthcare unit or setting. But remember that you will be the patient’s first point of contact for their concerns, calls for help, or inquiries.

It is vital that they feel like they know you and are receiving personal care from you. We cannot always remember every patient’s name, so an initial introduction is crucial. 

Introduce yourself and shake your patient’s hand. Tell them your name and who you are. Ask them what they prefer to be called and take note of this on their chart.

It will ensure a consistent level of care even when staff changes. It will also help the patient feel at ease, knowing they have someone to call if needed. 


#2. Always dress professionally

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “First impressions always last.” This phrase is accurate, so how your patient sees you is essential. How you introduce yourself is one thing, but how you show up is another.

As nurses, we must dress appropriately. Wearing a nurse’s uniform is one way, as most people will think that a person wearing that uniform has the proper training and knows what they’re doing.

But make sure that your scrubs or uniform are clean and pressed. It will create the right impression. Avoid showing up in your patient’s room with blood-stained scrubs or drenched in puke or body fluids.

Your patients may not be comfortable with you and may not cooperate with you at all. Always keep your appearance as positive as possible. 


#3. Listen to your patients.

Going in and out of your patient’s room is easy, especially when you’re taking their vital signs. You can mutter a few words while writing information on their charts but earning your patient’s trust is more than that. If you want to build trust:

  1. Talk to them.
  2. Make eye contact and actively listen.
  3. Ask questions, and converse with them.
  4. Pay attention to your body language, sit in front of them, and make it clear that they have your attention. 

Sometimes, taking a break from your usual nurse routines and being present with the patient. Take time to hear them out and listen to them express themselves.

When a patient knows they’re being listened to will make them feel confident that their concerns are addressed. That makes them trust you as their nurse. 


#4. Keep your word

It’s tempting to comfort a distressed patient by telling them that things will be okay. However, you must make sure that you act with integrity and honesty at all times.

Patients and their families appreciate honesty even though your honesty can sometimes be hard to accept. Avoid making false promises. Keep your word by following through with what you tell your patient. It is one of the best ways to earn their trust. 

You don’t have to promise anything significant. Following through with simple acts can help your patient feel they can rely on you. If you say you’ll be back in an hour, then be back in an hour.

Again, keep your word. If you can’t guarantee this, tell them you’ll likely be called away to an emergency or other tasks. Again, don’t make any promises you can’t keep. 

Our work demands are unpredictable, especially in a busy healthcare setting. If this happens, ask someone to speak with your patient, maybe another colleague familiar with your patient, and keep them updated on what is happening. These are a few ways to earn your patient’s trust. 


#5. Be Trustworthy

To be trusted means you have to be trustworthy too. Being open and honest with your patient is one step. And even when the situation is unfavorable, keeping your honesty is a must.

Your honesty may not always be a comfortable place to be in, but your patients and their families will appreciate it. 

Always keep your word, and do not promise anything you can’t do. When your patients trust you, building a relationship with them can help improve their recovery time, making administering treatment more manageable.

Therefore for your patients to trust you, you must also put in the effort and show them that you’re genuine with your intentions to help them. 


Looking for more nursing and travel nursing information? Check out these helpful links!