The Risks of Being a Travel Nurse During Covid-19
The need for nurses all over the country is apparent as the Covid-19 continues to spread, and the risks of being a travel nurse are at hand. So if you are interested in packing your scrub suit and stethoscope to become a travel nurse, it is always an excellent idea to check out the risks involved during this Covid-19.
The Risks Nurses Face
Every job has its risks but if you are a nurse or any other health care professional, the risks are much higher. So, what do you need to know before traveling as one?
1. Burning out
One of the most common situations that many nurses face today is burnout . Not just nurses in hospitals but travel nurses as well. Between taking care of patients affected with Covid-19 and traveling to another place of work, burning out is very common to these nurses.
Being burned out is the feeling of being physically and mentally drained from the stress of their job. Ever since the breakout of the pandemic, many nurses have experienced burnout. As travel nurses, this is also a common occurrence in the workplace. So, if you want to become one, it is best to prepare yourself for this situation.
2. The Lack of PPE
The lack of Personal Protection Equipments or PPE is a known issue among many healthcare workers during this pandemic. As a travel nurse, you will have to worry about staying safe while at work. The number of coronavirus cases is continuing to rise, and many hospitals are packed with patients again. Many healthcare workers, especially, nurses are running low on masks, face shields, gloves, and gowns. So, travel nurses may experience the same thing when assigned to a different work location.
3. Getting Cross-State Licenses
Before accepting a job as a travel nurse, you must get a license first. You must also get a current nursing license that allows you to work across many states. A multistate license enables you to practice as a nurse across state lines in some parts of the country . On the other hand, other states allow you to work through a temporary license but with a limited time only. However, during this pandemic, many state governors permitted the board of nursing to temporarily change their licensing restrictions so nurses could apply for a permit to work in different states while the pandemic is ongoing.
4. Feelings of Isolation
One of the many risks of being a travel nurse is getting assigned to different locations within weeks apart. You will be living in various conditions too. That said, it is not unusual to feel homesick now and then. Because of this situation, feelings of isolation while on the job are expected. Being seen as the “new kid” in a new work setting is also common, so socializing with coworkers is not usual.
5. Working Beyond Your Nursing Scope
The pandemic exhausted all nurses and used nurses in all areas. As the Covid-19 evolves, you will work in places outside your usual scope of practice. Travel nurses usually go through orientation to help out other nurses in different areas, but sometimes, they work in situations beyond their skills. If this happens, the best action to take is to ask for help from your colleagues until you get situated in your new position.
Take the Role
There are always risks of being a travel nurse. Before you decide to accept the job, I can best advise you to review your contract carefully. It is easy to take a job as a travel nurse, but if you are not ready for the challenges ahead, you will have a hard time adjusting. So, before doing that, prepare yourself; mentally and physically.
You may encounter different challenges on the road, feeling lonely and isolated as the days go by. But don’t be afraid; it is always fun to take on challenges like this! Preparing yourself for such situations gives you one step ahead. We hope that we helped clarify a few things on what to expect with a job like this; good luck!