By July 24, 2013 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: How Can I Manage My Schedule on the Road?

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self portraitAsk a Travel Nurse Question:  

I am going on my first assignment soon and I have some scheduling concerns — doctor appointments that I’ll need to make and events I might like to attend. How does a travel nurse do this and still work? As well as trying to meet someone special while on assignment who might enjoy traveling with me? Also, where can I buy your books?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

That’s a few sentences jam-packed with a variety of travel nursing issues!

OK. First, doctors appointments. When you travel, you should either be assigned a schedule, or more likely, be given the opportunity to self schedule. Find out who does the scheduling and how receptive they are to travel nurse requests. Honestly, this is something I always ask about in the pre-assignment interview. I asked one nurse manager how they handled the schedule for travel nurses and she told me, “You are here to work for us. We’ll plug you in where you are needed.” I immediately thanked her for her time and promptly hung up the phone before she could even respond.

Most places are happy to have you meeting their staffing needs and will do well to assimilate you into their regular crew, including the way they handle scheduling. Once you know how this is handled, it should be easy to plan your appointments. Many places will give you your assigned shifts, a month at a time, a few weeks before that schedule begins.

As for meeting someone special, let me caution you that I don’t do well with a bow and arrow, so I try not to play Cupid. But I’m sure there are travel nurses out there on eHarmony or Match.com. Be a social butterfly and explore the city or town in which you will be working. Seek out clubs or organizations that share your interests. If you get your monthly schedule and you have every Tuesday off (or request that), then maybe you can take a four week cooking class and meet new people.

When I was in L.A., I studied improv at the Groundlings Theater on Melrose for about two years. These were classes that were four or eight weeks in duration and occurred on the same days or nights each week. This was a great way to meet new people and goes even further to illustrate how much you can schedule in your off time.

Granted, you will not always meet people that will be able to accompany you in your travels, but you might just find someone who makes you want to stay put. A lot also depends on what makes you happy in life. Were you to find a mate, would you be content to work your regular hours while they traveled with you and picked up odd jobs here and there? You do not need to find another travel nurse with whom to share your life. You just need to find someone on the same page as you. Maybe you stay on the road for a few years together and settle down in a cool little town you find during your travels. Maybe you live your life in an RV traveling from assignment to assignment and never staying in one place for more than a few months. Whatever lifestyle you want to live, there will be someone who shares your vision. As for where to find that special someone, well, that’s a bit outside my expertise.

I am currently working on a rewrite of my book, Travel Nurses Bible, and it will be available at travelnursesbible.com and probably an Amazon Kindle version. Since I’m still working on a remodel of a foreclosure I bought, in addition to working full time, in addition to chasing around a two year old, well, let’s just say the rewrite has taken much longer than I expected. I have also recently changed webhosts, so my site is under construction. I hope to be able to set up the website so that people may purchase a password and then be able to access my book from any computer or smartphone. Keep checking back here on TravelNursingBlogs.com or at travelnursesbible.com for updates or announcements on when the rewrite will be complete.

In the mean time, hope this info helps 🙂

David

david@travelnursesbible.com

About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

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