What does it take to become a great travel nurse? In part one of this post, we explored 4 traits to become a great travel nurse, here are 4 more.
A great travel nurse…
…can communicate effectively
Every nurse, but especially a travel nurse must be able to communicate clearly with patients, their families and doctors. You won’t have time to get to know the staff and you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively right from day one. A lack of clear communication can put the patients’ health and safety at risk. There is no time for awkwardness amongst new colleagues or when dealing with difficult families or patients. You must be able to put your personal feelings aside in order to be professional and communicative.
A travel nurse cannot afford to be late or call in sick for personal reasons. Without dependability, your superiors and patients cannot rely on you to be there when they need you to. If you say you will do something, you will have to see it through until the end, there is no room for forgetfulness.
Nursing is hard work. There will be long hours on your feet with few breaks in between, and you certainly can’t leave unfinished work that you will get to on your next shift. There may be heavy objects to lift or people to hoist in and out of bed, there will be unpleasant tasks like bedpans to empty and messes to clean up. And there will be demanding patients who expect you to be everywhere at the same time. If you can handle these demands and still keep your cool while you’re at it, you will make a great travel nurse.
In order to deal with the demands of the job, you will need to have a thick skin and the ability to let the stress role off your back. Changing environments and working with new colleagues on a regular basis can be difficult, and you must be resilient enough that the frequent changes don’t faze you.
Of course the life of a travel nurse is not all stress, non-stop work and difficult patients. You will have times when you get great patients, who are easy and appreciate what you do, you will have days when you enjoy your work immensely and there will be days when you can send your patients home, happy and healthy.
However, if you want to be a travel nurse, you must prepare yourself for both the challenges as well as the triumphs. If you think you possess these traits, you are already well on your way to becoming a great travel nurse.