8 Mistakes That Rookie Travel Nurses Make While on the Job

8 Mistakes That Rookie Travel Nurses Make While on the Job

Working as a travel nurse is one of the best decisions you will ever make in your nursing career. Of course, just like any other newbies, you can’t wait till you are assigned to a different location. While waiting for an assignment, it is best to read about the eight mistakes that rookie travel nurses make so you can avoid doing them in the future. Here’s what you need to know. 

Avoid These While Going Through Your Contract

#1. Skimming through your contract.

It is a big booboo on your part if you do not read your contract thoroughly. Your travel nurse contract is an essential part of your assignment, so any responsible nurse will carefully read through it before signing [1]. Skimming through your contract will place you in a situation that you might not like. 

Before signing, make sure to check for accuracy and completeness. Check also for the assignment, pay rate, dates, travel reimbursements, bonuses, time offs, and other special agreements that you may have. Your agency should be able to answer all your concerns if needed. So, don’t just skim through it; read your contract well!

#2. Being unprepared for your assignment.

As nurses, we are trained to be ready at all times. We can even make boy scouts a run for their money if we talk about preparedness! It is a part of our nurse skills to be alert and ready for anything. However, rookie travel nurses are too complacent about their assignments that they don’t bother preparing – big mistake! They let their excitement get the best of them. Remember, you are traveling for work, not for fun. Be in a work mode mindset as you take on an assignment. While you can still see sights along the way or during your offs, you still have to be prepared to do your nursing duties. Avoid these mistakes that rookie travel nurses do, and you will save yourself from trouble.

Agencies will help you process everything you need – even your license entering a compact state. In short, you have all the help you need. All you have to do is show up on time and make sure that you make a good impression on your first day. Always bring your supporting documents if your supervisor needs them – it will show how responsible you are for a rookie travel nurse!

#3. Bringing too much stuff with you.

The shortest duration of your assignment is around four to eight weeks, with the longest of thirteen weeks. There’s no need to bring too much stuff with you. Bring only the essentials, and make sure you have enough to reuse. If you are assigned to a different state during winter, bring clothes suitable for the weather. Other than that, leave the ones you don’t need during this assignment. Besides, the weeks will fly by, and the next thing you know, you are off to another location again. 

Take note also of the place you are staying. Is it furnished or not? See what is included in your accommodation. This way, you can decide whether to bring other items along or not. 

#4. Not asking questions.

As a travel nurse, you will always be the “new kid” in town. And as much as you want to do your job and go, it is not always the case. Whenever you are assigned to a new facility, be sure to ask the right questions. You need to learn where things are, who you need to call for emergencies, what practices are done, or protocols to follow. Asking these questions will help your survival on each shift. 

Be sure to make new friends too. Sure, you are the extra hand, but it won’t hurt if you greet people and be friendly. After all, you work in the same facility. Besides, having new friends broadens your network. So, do not hesitate to be nice to everyone you meet along the way. You will need guidance and help as you go. 

#5. Acting like you are not part of the team.

Sure, you may be a temporary nurse extending help, but that does not mean you should also exclude yourself from others. Staff nurses will expect you to do your best. Showing up on time and doing your duties are essential, but you are not hired to work there to separate yourself. 

Try to be a part of the team, be nice to people, be prepared, and do your part. If you work like you are part of the team, your coworkers will treat you the same. Don’t be a total stranger. 

#6. Acting like you know it all.

Another mistake that rookie travel nurses make is acting like they don’t need help from anyone. Being a know-it-all is something you should avoid. Sure, you have the skills and knowledge, but ignoring protocols and not following the standard procedures in the facility you are working in is a huge mistake. 

Take time to listen and learn from your coworkers. It does not matter how long you have been a travel nurse or new to the job. Being open to suggestions and learning the trade is vital if you want to keep your job. Besides, learning new skills will only strengthen your ability as a nurse. Once you have shown that you are valuable to the team, you might find your coworkers asking for your input. 

#7. Joining the hospital drama.

One mistake that rookie travel nurses make is by joining the hospital politics during their brief stay [2]. As a result, they found themselves tangled with the drama that they could’ve avoided in the first place. 

As tempting as juicy gossip can be, avoid engaging in it. Remember, you are only working in this facility for a few weeks. It is always better to build strong relationships than to be part of the gossip crew. Besides, you don’t know the people involved or the whole story, so why bother becoming a part of it? So, do what you came to do, avoid gossiping, and focus on your patient care. You will be appreciated more!

#8. Working hard or hardly working.

Last but not least, one of the mistakes that rookie travel nurses make is working too much or too little. As a nurse, your work is a priority, but you can become a workaholic when you work too much and don’t pause to breathe. So find time to balance work and recreation. One of the reasons you became a travel nurse is to see other places, so do it! Take a look at your schedule and plan an activity for the day. While you are assigned a job, why not take the opportunity to see places? Knowing when to work and have fun has its perks. Besides, after a long day of serving patients, a breather sounds about right. So, enjoy the moments while you can! 

Find Balance on Your First Job

Becoming a travel nurse is exciting, primarily if you are assigned to a place that you haven’t been to before. But as you do, find balance in your work and play. Be mindful of your ways, be presentable, arrive on time, and leave work at work. Over time, you will enjoy each assignment, and you don’t have to make the same mistakes rookie travel nurses make! Being a nurse is a rewarding job, and for you to deliver quality care, you must also take care of yourself. Hopefully, this list cleared it out for you. Best of luck! 

 

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