Starting a new job can make anyone nervous, but travel nurses typically change facilities several times a year, often in new cities where they’ve never been. Travel nursing is an exciting experience, but you do have to get acclimated to new facilities frequently. The most experienced traveling nurses have their own tricks for adjusting quickly to different facilities. We have a few tips to help you adjust to new facilities during traveling assignments.
Successful Travel Nurses Start with a Great Attitude
Attitude is one of the most important aspects of being a traveling nurse. Successful travel nurses have a positive attitude that helps them settle in and learn. As a traveling nurse, you meet people from all walks of life, visit many different areas, and also learn many different ways of doing things. When starting a new assignment, having a positive attitude and an open mind can go a long way in helping you get up to speed. In addition to having a positive attitude, it’s also helpful to be confident in your abilities. After all, you were hired for this assignment for a reason! Remind yourself that you are a capable professional. With the right attitude, you can adjust to any healthcare facility as a traveling nurse.
Travel Nurses Should Take Advantage of Orientation
Never underestimate the orientation period for getting acclimated to a new practice as a nurse. After all, that is exactly what orientations are there for. You’ll likely take a tour as part of orientation. If not, ask! Tours can help you get your bearings and give you an opportunity to observe what day-to-day operations look like. Orientation is also a good time to learn the facility-specific policies and procedures and learn more about the computer systems you will be using during your assignment. Make sure to ask questions if you have them!
Find a Mentor and Get to Know Your Team
Making friends is also important for travel nurses. This is not only for social interaction and knowing the names and faces of who you will be working with, though that’s also important. Getting to know your team and finding at least one person you can look to as a mentor can go a long way in helping you adapt to the facility. Socializing with your colleagues can help you feel comfortable asking questions when you need to. Also, you can ask them for tips on adjusting to your role, as they are likely pretty familiar with the facility.
In addition to getting to know your colleagues at your new assignment, don’t forget your other support systems. Other travel nurses and your recruiter are all important. While they may not have worked in the specific facility, they often have tips and guidance to help you settle in easier.
Learning is Key for Adjusting to Travel Nursing
One of the best skills you can have in travel nursing is the ability to learn. Adjusting to a new facility means learning everything you can about how this particular organization works. Everyone learns a little differently, so keep this in mind. However, you might consider jotting down notes in a small notebook, reading manuals on policies and procedures, and studying computer charting systems. Do whatever works best for you to learn more about the facility.
Successful Travel Nurses are Prepared and Organized
Experienced travel nurses are experts at organization and preparation. Make sure you have plenty of time to travel to your new assignment area. Also, make sure you have the things you need for a successful assignment.
For instance, you may need to travel with important documents. Make sure to take these with you on assignment and have them accessible. These documents might include your social security card, copies of professional licenses, proof of required vaccinations, and other similar documents. Have these ready for your first day to make things easier.
Unpacking before your first day, if possible, also helps you prepare for your new assignment. This helps you know right where everything you need is. It can help reduce first day stress and help you avoid living out of suitcases and boxes while you get used to a new area and facility.
Also, when possible, many travel nurses do a test run of their daily commute. If you’re not from the area, you likely don’t know typical traffic levels or ETAs to get to the facility from your housing. Doing a trial run is a simple way to prepare so you can be on-time during your assignment. You might even pop in to introduce yourself during your commute test if policies allow you to. Preparing can help take unnecessary stress out of your first few days on assignment.
Travel Nurses can Focus on Providing Quality Patient Care
Providing great care to your patients is something that is important in any facility. Patient comfort and care matters most no matter where you are. When you focus on this aspect of your job, it helps you stay focused as you get acclimated to a new facility for your travel nursing assignment. Doing the best job you can do and advocating for patients can help you be successful in any assignment in any facility.
Take Care of Yourself During Your Assignment
Another secret of success in any job, but particularly as a traveling nurse, is to take care of yourself. Getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, and nourishing your body can go a long way in improving your mood, attitude, and your brain. It helps recharge your batteries so you can do your best. Self-care can help you stay focused and do your job to the best of your abilities. This is always important, but particularly when you’re adjusting to a new facility. You can check out some self-care tips we have for traveling nurses to help you find what works for you, just make sure you’re doing what you can to care for your overall well-being.
Trust Yourself. You’ve Got This
Above all, remember to trust yourself. Many beginning travel nurses find themselves feeling nervous in their first few assignments. Even if you’re feeling nervous, remember that you got this job through your education and experience. The more you trust yourself, the more you can achieve. So, have confidence that you will catch on and adjust to your new facility. A good mantra to repeat yourself is “I can do this,” because you absolutely can!
Start Traveling with AHS NurseStat – One of the Top Travel Nursing Agencies in the Country
We are one of the leading travel nursing agencies in the U.S. and are growing fast! Our team at AHS NurseStat cares about you, your personal goals, and your career goals. Our recruiters are available 24/7 to help you achieve your goals and find the right job for you. We take time to understand to ensure your placement is a great fit for everyone. Our goal is to connect amazing people with exceptional employment opportunities. When you become a traveling nurse with AHS NurseStat, we offer opportunities throughout the country at facilities of all types and sizes. We offer competitive compensation packages, a caring team, and incredible experiences. Get started today by talking to a recruiter or browsing our job board for travel nurses.