As with any new experience, there is a learning curve. If you’re just beginning your first traveling nurse assignment you won’t know all the tricks. You also won’t know what questions to ask or what issues you may run into. In order to make your first traveling nurse assignment a positive one, you need to be aware of issues that can ruin your traveling nurse adventure.
In all the excitement to begin your first travel nursing assignment, you may have failed to do your research, with regards to your housing. This is a fairly common error first time traveling nurses make often. You could end up 30-45 minutes from your assignment creating a very long commute.
In many cases, the issue can be resolved simply by getting in contact with your travel agency. If you chose a good one they will be more than happy to help you solve the issue. When it comes to housing travel companies will usually do their best to resolve the issue quickly.
Like any contract, there is usually some fine print or exceptions. It is essential that you read the contract and then read it again. Be sure you understand all the different language that is used in a contract. If you are unsure about anything in the contract you should seek out clarification with your travel agency. Another option is to talk to a veteran traveling nurse.
Do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions about your first contract. Understanding what the terms mean and what exceptions are included in your contract can be the difference between getting stuck being a floater or not.
Low Patient Count Issues
As bizarre as it sounds a low patient count can be an issue for you. Typically, if there is a low number of patients to take care of travel nurses or floaters are the first ones to be sent home. They do not want to send home their regular, full-time employees. So, if you were counting on a certain number of hours you could end up in financial trouble.
One way to circumvent that issue is by being sure that your contract has a maximum number of times the hospital you are working for can send you home. Or at the very least that there is a minimum amount of hours included in the contract. Knowing what the minimum amount your check will allow you to budget with that minimum amount.
Frame of Mind Issues
This is the issue you have the most control over. Your frame of mind can be an asset or an issue at each and every travel nursing assignment. If you go traveling excited and looking forward to the new adventure than even a couple minor issues won’t bother you. However, if you set your mind to focus on the possibility of issues then in all likelihood there will be some.
The best course of action to avoid issues that can ruin your traveling nurse adventure is to plan, do your research, prepare yourself for possible issues and pick a travel agency that you feel comfortable with. Picking the right travel agency is extremely important. You need to be comfortable with your rep so you are able to talk to them about any issues that come up. You also need to be able to ask questions and not feel like you are bothering anyone.
It also might be a good idea to talk with other travel nurses who have been doing this for a while. They can save you some headaches by telling you what issues they dealt with during their first traveling nurse assignment. That does not mean you will completely avoid running into any issues, but avoiding the big ones will help make your first assignment a good one.