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7 Tips That Will Make You a Stronger Travel Nurse

March 5, 2015

Travel nursing often feels like an adventure. You get the chance to work in new cities and constantly meet new people. You also get to make a difference in the lives of patients from one end of the country to the other.

That's not to say that being a travel nurse is all sunshine and roses. Working away from family, friends and the comfortable surroundings of home can sometimes present a challenge. How do you remain a strong travel nurse when you’re missing the normalcy of a staff position?

Try following these 7 tips on your next assignment:

1. Never Do More than You Can Handle

Working extra hours is often a great way to earn extra money, but it can also drain your energy if you volunteer for too many shifts. Pace yourself so you can do the best work possible at each and every assignment.

2. Prioritize your Tasks

Make a short list of all the tasks you need to complete each day. Place them in order of priority. This will help you stay on track and feel satisfied when you finish a task. How you spend your time will instantly feel more rewarding.

3. Clear your Mind

Everyone can benefit from short, occasional breaks. A quiet moment alone can help you manage, and possibly reduce, the stress you may feel at work. Commit to a few minutes of daily exercise, meditation or some other activity that will help you remain calm when you start to feel overwhelmed. It might also give you an always-helpful energy boost.

4. Communicate Early and Often

Make a point of listening to your patients’ feedback and addressing their needs or answering their questions. You are their lifeline in a situation that can be frightening. Establish a healthy working relationship with the other nurses and doctors so that you can work as a team to help every patient.

5. Take Care of Yourself

Pay attention to your own body so that it doesn't hinder you from providing quality patient care. Get enough sleep between shifts and eat a healthy diet. Watch for warning signs of illness or fatigue and address those symptoms before they become a problem.

6. Make Time for Things You Love

Travel nursing assignments present an opportunity to spend your free time exploring a new place and experiencing new adventures. Carve out time to do activities you enjoy. Go to a movie. Take a walk in the park. Visit tourist attractions that you might never get the chance to see again.

7. Chronicle Positive Experiences

Keep a nursing journal and jot down rewarding experiences with patients and co-workers that happen each day. It will help remind you why you became a nurse in the first place. It will also keep you loving what you do, even during hard times.

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