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 . 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 . 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!
5 House Hunting Tips for Travel Nurses
One of the essential things to secure as a travel nurse is your accommodation or housing. Whether you are a seasoned travel nurse or just starting on your first assignment, you must settle in a place that is already furnished, so you don’t have to worry about where to sleep, cook or take a shower after shifts. It would be best to secure a place to stay during the duration of your work, and these house hunting tips for travel nurses are the answer.
House Hunting Tips for Travel Nurses 101
Looking for suitable accommodation, apartment, room, or housing during your assignment as a travel nurse can be stressful. But the question is, would you prefer looking for accommodation and receiving a stipend? Or let the agency take care of it, so you don’t have to worry? Are you bringing your pets along? – indeed, looking for a house or apartment to accommodate all your needs as a travel nurse is challenging. But, don’t worry, these tips can help you with that.
Tip #1. Beware of “Too Good to be True” Offers
There are plenty of places to look for housing as a travel nurse, but you must be wary of where you are looking. One of the most common places to look for is Craigslist. No doubt about it, there are many good sources of for-rent units on this website, and there are also bad ones. How can you distinguish the difference? If the offer is too good, too cheap, and almost impossible to believe in, then you might skip that one because it could be a scam. A good source will always have positive feedback and reasonable prices. If you find one that offers you cheap accommodation in a well-off location, then there is a chance that you are being baited for a scam.
Tip #2. Look at ALL options.
You have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to housing and accommodation. However, it will also depend on your preference. It would be best if you checked out all your options first before deciding which one to pursue.
Option A is staying at hotels. Plenty of hotels or motels offer long-term stays for 30 days, perfect for travel nurses like you. Low night rates and tax breaks are also provided if you book an extended stay. If this is the option you would like to take, be sure to call the hotel manager ahead to make arrangements.
Option B, on the other hand, is staying on Airbnb locations. These are usually popular choices for many travel nurses and travelers alike. Not only do you get to pick the spot of the Airbnb, but you can also view the kind of bedrooms you will be using. As someone who travels for work, you may need one bedroom (if you are working alone) or something small for your convenience. You can also choose to live close to the facility you are working, or downtown where you can enjoy the sites and do exciting things after your shift.
Whatever option you choose, make sure that the accommodation you pick suits all your needs.
Tip #3. Find a Roommate or Work with One.
Another good tip for house hunting as a travel nurse is finding a roommate with whom you can share the rent and save expenses. It could be a fellow travel nurse you are assigned with or a traveler staying in the accommodation for long-terms .
When choosing a location for work, check if you have relatives or friends living nearby. While having accommodation is excellent, you can also live with family or friends living near the facility you are working as a travel nurse. Of course, IF and only IF you are allowed to live with them. If not, choosing to have a place of your own is always a good idea. Besides, you don’t want to disturb anyone, especially if you are assigned on night shifts.
Tip #4. Do Some Research Before Accepting a Job Offer.
As a travel nurse, you are often looking forward to your next assignment. However, it would be best if you also do your research before accepting any job .
First, understand what benefits you can get if the agency finds the accommodation for you. Many travel nurses utilize this option when it comes to housing needs. One of the benefits of this is that agencies can find you a suitable place to stay, especially if the work location does not have a lot of options to choose from. It also saves you time and energy looking for a place to stay. Using the ones provided by your agency is more practical.
You must also understand what furnished means when it comes to finding a place to stay. When we say that the home is “furnished,” it means that it already has the amenities you need for the duration of your stay. This type of accommodation is helpful for travel nurses who do not like to bring furniture or housing necessities when traveling. Of course, every location to go to is different, and when they say furnished, the things included could be a dresser, dining table, couch, or chairs. Keep in mind that washers/dryers, microwaves, iron, and others are not always included. It would be best to visit the place or talk to the manager about what you would like to be included in your accommodation before you stay there. Otherwise, you will bring some necessities with you.
Tip #5. Pet-friendly Housing is a Must.
Some travel nurses love to travel with their dogs or cats. If you have a pet and would like to bring them along, be sure to remember this house hunting tip for travel nurses – check if the accommodation allows pets.
If you want your agency to find you a place to stay, be upfront about bringing your pet/s with you. It would make your life easier, but if you are looking for a place to stay, calling and personally asking if pets are allowed in your housing is a must.
These House Hunting Tips for Travel Nurses are Practical
Finding a suitable place to stay during your assignment as a travel nurse can be stressful, but if you want to save yourself from this predicament, it would be best to use your agency and let them find one for you. Of course, extra stipends are helpful, but be practical if you are stressed about looking for accommodations.
Why You Should Consider Becoming a Travel Nurse
Being a travel nurse is not for everyone. Among all the areas of nursing, traveling to work as a nurse in different parts of the country is a tiring job. However, some chose travel nursing from the get-go.
If you have doubts about becoming one, here are the reasons why you should consider becoming a travel nurse in the future.
Join the Travellers
As one of the most flexible nursing jobs, travel nursing has attracted a lot of new nurses. If you are interested and want to consider becoming a travel nurse, you are in luck. Here are six good reasons to do so!
1. There is career growth.
One main reason why some nurses enjoy being travel nurses is because of the career opportunities. When you travel to different medical facilities, there is always a chance to meet other healthcare professionals. It allows you to build your network and learn new skills while on the job.
Creating connections as references for future work is excellent when you are a travel nurse. Not only that, working in different locations shows how adaptable you are to change and accept challenges in this profession.
2. The schedule is flexible.
As a travel nurse, you will work for short-term employment. It means you get hired to work within a specific timeframe. Because of this setup, you have the freedom to choose the days for your vacation and work. You have time to do other things or simply focus on yourself and rest.
This kind of freedom is not something you see in other jobs, so if this is not a good reason to become a travel nurse, I don’t know what is. And if you consider becoming a travel nurse someday, best believe that you have time for the things you want to do.
3. The possibility of higher pay.
On average, travel nurses earn around $25 to $40 per hour . However, since most hospitals are short-staffed these days, travel nurses are in demand. You can expect higher offers and opportunities to work overtime with shift differentials each time you get hired. Bonuses and incentives are also given depending on your performance as well as compensation packages. These packages include housing, health insurance, and high pay rates.
4. There is no workplace politics.
Every workplace has some sort of drama. When you work in a permanent hospital setting, tensions can arise. It can cause conflicts and arguments among staff nurses which cannot be avoided. However, if you are a travel nurse, you have the opportunity to avoid this situation. You don’t need to be involved in whatever drama is going on in your work setting. All you have to do is go to work and fulfill your duties as a nurse. You can focus on your position and provide better care for your patients.
5. There is a chance to live your dreams.
Becoming a travel nurse gives you the chance to live out your best life. If you are into meeting people, an outdoor enthusiast, and going to different places, this is the perfect job . You can choose the location for your next assignment, which means you can have time to do whatever you want. Whether it be hiking or checking local spots, it is a good feeling to know that you are not so tied down with work all the time.
6. They have reimbursements.
As a healthcare professional traveling to work can be expensive. However, plenty of travel nurse agencies can reimburse you for your expenses on gas, scrubs, and other things you need for traveling. They can arrange everything for you and some agencies even allow you to bring your spouse or pets with you. Of course, you must also have a complete nursing portfolio before traveling. It will make it easier for agencies to sign you up.
Becoming a Travel Nurse is a Good Choice
The outlook for travel nurses is going well these days. As the pandemic continues to roll, more and more nurses are needed across the country. If you are a registered nurse looking for a new start, becoming a travel nurse is an excellent opportunity.
With the increasing demands and reasonable pay, this could be an opportunity of a lifetime. Check your local job boards for available work or be in contact with nursing agencies that can help you get in. We hope that you find this post enlightening; good luck out there!