The world is in the middle of a pandemic; the likes of which it has never seen before. A highly contagious, respiratory-borne illness, clearly not susceptible to heat as we had hoped, has caused casualties at a breakneck speed.
In such circumstances, travel nurses have become an indispensable part of healthcare, perhaps more than ever. This profession requires you to travel in 4-6 month increments to different hospitals across the country to fill in wherever necessary. Traveling nurses help ensure there is enough support in all healthcare facilities. But their frequent traveling during a pandemic only brings its own set of challenges for them.
Here are some useful tips for travel nurses to deal with the COVID-19 crisis!
Be Flexible and Proactive
How a pandemic has changed the professional landscape is a whole new ballgame for travel nurses. Travel restrictions have made it difficult to find jobs and once we are through it, it is expected to become even more challenging with so many travel nurses applying for the same jobs.
The best you can do during and after the pandemic is to be flexible and proactive about accepting new jobs. Be open to trying new things and learning on the job. This also does not mean accepting tasks that you don’t feel you are equipped to handle. But be willing enough to develop proactive strategies to optimize patient safety and care.
Remind Yourself That You Are Needed
Working as a travel nurse, away from home during a pandemic, can be overbearing at times. It is natural to experience burnout and feel like you cannot deal with these new challenges anymore. But in times like these, take out a moment to breathe in and self-reflect. Above all, give yourself a kind reminder that there are so many out there counting on you. There are not enough people who have your skillset and thus, you can be someone’s superhero today.
Do Not Forget Self-Care
Travel nurses, or any other healthcare professionals for that matter, put themselves at high risk every time they perform their routine duties. Be it giving medication, taking vital signs, or even taking a patient to the bathroom, there is a high risk of exposure every day. This changes how nurses take care of patients as they now have to take their own safety into account as well.
During normal circumstances, you might be used to bustling in and out of patient rooms all day. But in the COVID-19 crisis, you have to slow down, put on proper PPE, reinforce your efforts, and make your peace with the fact that you cannot do it all. This last bit might be a difficult reality to embrace but you have to do it all the same.
Stay Hydrated and Get the Support You Need
Under all the PPE and the gear you wear, it can get very hot. So, plan your hydration before your shift, during lunch, and after your shift. Besides, working in new hospital layouts and with different technologies can be challenging as well. So, feel free to reach out to colleagues with questions and for support. Be it personal or patient care, do not shy away from asking for the support that you need.
Nursing can be a pretty tough job on a normal day and a pandemic only compounds it so much more. You might not get everything done, and the pressing demands and the severity of the situation can make the job of a traveling nurse even more trying.
But amidst all that mayhem, remember that you are someone equipped with the skills to save lives. Someone who has learned to help, care, and serve every day and there is hardly any other pursuit more divine than that!
APN Healthcare Can Help You
If you are a travel nurse looking for a new assignment, APN Healthcare can help place you in a facility. We help nurses and other healthcare professionals find temporary or permanent placements in a wide range of healthcare organizations. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-924-3400. Visit our website and look through our open positions.