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10 Tips to Maximize Your Experience as a Travel Nurse

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If you’re heading to a new job as a traveler, you may feel excited and a little apprehensive. Although it is an exciting adventure, starting a new job in a new area can make anyone a bit nervous. But there are several things you can do to make your experience great. Consider some of the 10 tips below.

  1. Learn a little about the area before you arrive. Gather a little information about activities, community events and places you want to make sure you check out. While you don’t have to plan everything, knowing a bit about what you want to see will get you started.
  2. Join in. Now is not the time to be a wallflower. Make the most of your travel experience by getting to know neighbors, coworkers and people in your community. Consider joining a church, fitness center or hobby club.
  3. Make the first move. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to your new coworkers and neighbors. Of course, always keep safety in mind and always use good judgment.
  4. Ask about classes. Find out when your hospital or facility has in-services or continuing education classes. You may be able to learn about equipment you are not familiar with or learn how to do a new procedure.
  5. Give it time. You may not feel at home immediately at your new job. It takes a little time to get used to new surroundings and a new home. Don’t worry if you are a little homesick at first. Homesickness will likely pass once you make a few friends and get adjusted to your work environment.
  6. Go with the flow. Keep in mind, some hospitals may do things differently than where you have worked in the past. There is often more than one way to do something. Keep an open mind. You may learn something.
  7. Travel off the beaten path. Ask your coworkers or other travelers which restaurants are the best, or what shopping spots have the best deals. Tour books may be a good place to start, but people living in the area are a great resource for must do activities and fun places to visit.
  8. Immerse yourself in the culture. If you’re in an area, which is rich in a certain culture, try to take part. For example, if you are living in a primarily ethnic neighborhood, learn about traditions, eat the foods and attend community events.
  9. Keep communication open. If something is not going well with your assignment, don’t be afraid to speak up. For instance, if your living arrangements are not working out, talk to your recruiter to see if something can be done.
  10.  Keep perspective and enjoy yourself. Every day may not always seem like a vacation, but keep in mind all the perks of working as a traveler. You have a unique opportunity to combine work with seeing another part of the country and meeting new people. Your travel job may be a once in a lifetime experience. Take the time to enjoy it.
Contributor Tera Rowland

Tera Rowland is the vice president of Soliant and has worked in the healthcare staffing industry for almost 20 years in public relations, social media, marketing and operations. In addition to Soliant, Tera worked at the Mayo Clinic as an internal communication manager and for the Children’s Miracle Network. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and the American Staffing Association. Also, Tera has served on the board of directors for the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum as part of the communication committee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations as well as a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of North Florida and has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare Traveler Magazine, and Scrubs Magazine. Make sure to read the rest of Tera's blogs!