My quest to help a fellow traveler

I remember my first day as a travel nurse like it was yesterday. 

I walked into the hospital wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to take on whatever came my way. Little did I know that the next year would be the most challenging but rewarding of my nursing career. In this blog post, I want to share some lessons I learned as a first-time travel nurse. 

These lessons are essential for any nurse starting out in their career as a traveler.

Trust in your assessment skills 

As a travel nurse, you are often expected to jump right in and hit the ground running. It can be intimidating at first, especially when you don’t have all the answers yet or haven’t had time to build relationships with your peers. But by trusting your assessment skills and relying on your judgment and experience, you can quickly get up to speed and become an invaluable team member. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help 

No one expects you to know everything as a first-time traveler.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek advice from your colleagues when needed – that’s what they’re there for. Not only will this help build relationships with your peers, but it will also help ensure that you are providing quality care while following all protocols and procedures correctly. 

If your gut gives a warning, listen to it 

Sometimes our best clinical judgment isn’t enough; we must also trust our instincts when something doesn’t feel right. 

If something about a patient’s condition or treatment plan seems off – speak up! Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns; it could make all the difference in achieving positive outcomes for that patient. 

After all, at the end of the day, it’s your license you need to protect.

Err on the side of caution 

It is better to take extra precautions than not enough regarding patient care decisions. 

Err on the side of caution when making decisions about treatments or medications; if there is any doubt in your mind, always consult with another colleague before proceeding with anything. While it sometimes may not feel like it, the truth is that this is a team effort.

Not charted, not done 

This isn’t just a rule for travel nurses – it applies across all healthcare settings. 

Documenting every step of patient care is not just important but essential to avoid legal issues down the line. Make sure everything is charted correctly; otherwise, it may as well not have been done at all. Remember…you can NEVER chart too much.

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast 

It can be tempting (especially during busy shifts) to rush through tasks so you can get back home faster – but that is never wise practice when caring for patients.

Always take your time and focus on providing quality care without rushing through anything; this will ensure optimal outcomes for each patient and reduce stress levels for yourself. Rushing to get things done will only lead to mistakes and cause more problems in the long run.

Safety should always be at the forefront of your mind when caring for patients, no matter what setting you are in. 

Wear clean scrubs (always!)  

Cleanliness is paramount when working in healthcare settings – especially now due to Covid-19 protocols being strictly enforced everywhere.

Make sure you always have clean scrubs ready to maintain appropriate hygiene standards at all times; no one wants germs spreading unnecessarily due to sloppy personal hygiene habits. Plus, looking good means feeling good, and if you feel good, then you can do your job better. 

Cut yourself some slack  

Being thrown into unfamiliar situations takes its toll on everyone eventually – even seasoned travelers like myself need reminding sometimes that mistakes happen, life goes on, and learning opportunities exist everywhere we go.

Give yourself some grace if things don’t turn out exactly how you planned; chances are good that something positive will come out of whatever situation arises.  

The final word

Becoming a successful travel nurse requires hard work and dedication – but more importantly, it requires an open mind willing to learn from positive and negative experiences. 

As long as these 8 essential lessons are kept top-of-mind while traveling between hospitals throughout different states and countries, any rookie travel nurse will succeed sooner rather than later. 

With these nuggets of wisdom under their belt (and clean scrubs ready!), they’ll soon grow accustomed to life on the road before they know it.

To learn more about the travel nursing opportunity and cities across the country, visit Bestica Healthcare and start planning your next assignment today.


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