Experienced nursing professionals choose medical traveling as a career because of the amazing perks. Seeing new sights, honing skills and helping people all over the nation is the dream of experts in many industries. That said, it’s not all building resumes and saving lives.
Even the best travel nursing experiences have some pitfalls. Practicing positivity means taking the time to let off a little steam, so we prepared a list of some annoyances all of us have encountered while in the field.'
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1. The assignment doesn’t match the description.
As with any job, there are times that the description you apply for just doesn’t seem to match the reality of the position. For traveling nurses, this situation isn’t just a nightmare, it’s a horror story all too many have endured. This can be anything from very little to no real understanding of the facility and housing or discrepancies in pay. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid the first as even the most practiced recruiter can’t know all details, but pay rate and benefits should never be left unclear. That’s why our team at Freedom is so dedicated to getting to know our travelers, facilities and respecting both. We ensure all our nurses receive fair compensation and provide a support system for each individual traveler. Plus, we are a certified no-drama zone, and lying about an assignment isn’t allowed.
2. Housing that just doesn’t feel like home.
The place you stay while on assignment should feel like home away from home and yet, so many traveling nurses have experienced lackluster housing. There are quite a few ways that healthcare staffing agencies approach housing and it varies based on the organization you work with. Some offer a stipend and leave the responsibility of finding a place to stay on you. This can be great if you are heading to a place you are a little more familiar with. However, if you are unfamiliar with the locale, some agencies provide housing for you, ensuring you’re in a good location for your job and have the comforts of home. Freedom provides great housing, supports its nurses by helping plan travel, routes to your new job and just the right place for your pets!
3. Daytime calls on a midnight shift.
Oh, the night shift. As an experienced nursing professional, the night shift is no stranger. Never knowing when it’s actually breakfast, blackout curtains and consistently missing out on daytime television comes with the territory, but the fact that everyone else is on the opposite shift? That’s the real kicker. For the lucky, you can silence your phone for the 8 hours you rest but for many, being available and on-call means never escaping the interruptions. We can’t promise you will rest peacefully, but we do suggest looking at your phone settings. Some phones allow you to favorite specific numbers so you can receive notifications from them while silencing all other calls. If your phone doesn’t offer that capability, check out apps like Selective Silence and Call Bliss.
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4. The recruiter doesn’t take the time to build a relationship.
Recruiters are supposed to be confidants and provide the support system you need while working an incredibly difficult (yet rewarding) job. Great recruiters take the time to really understand the individual they are placing, taking special care in the career the person is hoping to build. The best recruiters will understand all that and the limitations of the nurse’s preferred destinations, specific requirements of their assignments and even learn from some of the stumbles in the past. Traveling nurses work to build rapport and trust with staffing recruiters, so it’s heartbreaking when a recruiter doesn’t return the dedication. At Freedom, we understand just how important having a relationship with your recruiter is, which is why we’re the choice of so many experienced traveling nurses!
5. Always being the new person in a new place.
The best part of being a traveling nurse is traveling. The worst part is always traveling. Serious cases of homesickness come at least once in every assignment and always on the worst days. Meanwhile, familiar faces only remain familiar for as long as the assignment lasts. On those bad days, where you feel the most homesick, call a friend and then call your recruiter. It’s silly, but it’s true: your friends and family will give you a boost and your recruiter will follow it up with amazing career direction.
Follow up your bad day by seeing a local landmark or eating local cuisine, to remind yourself of the amazing opportunity the assignment has presented you. Chances are in the long run, it’s the scenery and new experiences you remember most anyway.
Choosing a career as a traveling nurse is a great adventure, but even the best stories have some bad moments. When times get tough, remember you aren’t alone. Want to speak with one of our recruiters about your current frustrations? Discover the Freedom difference and take a moment to apply for a traveling nurse position and we’ll see if we got what it takes to move your career forward.
Did we miss your least favorite part of traveling? Tell us about it in the comments or on our Twitter @FreedomHCS!