Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
We are a husband and wife nurse team looking forward to starting our travel nursing careers upon the graduation of our second nurse daughter. One of us is ER and the other is Med Surg. My biggest concern is: Will the hospital will be willing to coordinate our schedules — at least for the most part — so we will be able to enjoy our time off together exploring the area?
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
Your first question in the pre-employment interview would have to be about self-scheduling. Simply explain your situation to the nurse manager and see what they say. In my experience, most hospitals will try to work with you on scheduling options such as shifts off, working your “3 in a row,” etc. Most will also allow a certain number of requested shifts off per month if you have a big day trip you are planning. But ask about ALL of this in the interview before signing your contract.
I have actually spoken to unit managers, that when asked about scheduling, have said, “We’re hiring you to fill our need. We will schedule you when we need to.” I told her, “No, actually you won’t,” and gently placed the phone down. If you ask enough questions about scheduling, or even just one broad question like, “How do you handle schedule requests?” and get any negative tone, you might very well have your answer right there. Feel them out on the subject and then trust your judgment.
When your recruiter finds you an assignment, you can also ask them if they have any other travelers in the company who are at that facility and if it would be permissible for you to speak with or email them. Ask your recruiter too, if they have had any feedback on the facility.
Finally, if you want to put your super spy powers to use, call the actual unit on which you will work. Ask to speak with the person who actually does the schedule for your shift or even just a cool nurse that will give you five minutes of their day to let you know how smoothly the scheduling works in their unit … hint: all the “cool” nurses work on nights
Remember to also ask about which weekend will be your “on” weekend and make sure you coordinate that with your spouse.
Hope you enjoy your travels and if you require any assistance with finding some great recruiters to work with, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope this helps.