By August 8, 2012 0 Comments

Getting Sick on Your Travel Nurse Assignment


iStock 000016423713XSmall - Getting Sick on Your Travel Nurse AssignmentGetting sick when you are a nurse is almost inevitable at some point. Caring for ill patients is the nature of the job, and while there are things you can do to decrease your chances, acquiring the occasional bug still happens.

So what’s the protocol for a nurse when you are sick? If you are a permanent nurse, having your shift covered usually is relatively easy considering you know the staff and nurse managers well. However, what happens if you get sick in the middle of your new 13-week travel assignment?

Sometimes the answer is not completely definite; it really depends on the hospital. This facility is counting on you to fill their need, that’s why you are there. It makes it hard for them to function properly if you are out sick on your already short assignment. However, most are somewhat lenient and underst and that this happens.

If you are sick, the first step you should take is to contact the hospital and then your recruiter immediately after. Unfortunately, since you are an hourly employee, you are not paid for your time off. Sometimes the facility may offer a chance to make up your shifts, but it’s not guaranteed. Missing a few days is usually not a huge concern, but if it turns into a week or a more extended time, your contract will most likely be cancelled. The hospital contracted a travel nurse because they needed someone to work, and if you can’t do that, they will need to find a replacement.

If your contract is cancelled, don’t think your travel nursing career is over. Your situation and illness should not limit the working relationship between you and the agency. Once a traveler is cleared for work again, the agency should be busy finding a new assignment. However, to maintain a good travel nurse reputation, be sure that taking time off is not a common occurrence.

About the Author:

My name is Jeannie Holmes. I specialize in social media, blogging and graphic design. I love writing for Travel Nursing, there's always new things to explore and learn. It's my mission to get down to the facts of travel nursing and let everyone know what a rewarding career it truly is. I’m also the Social Media and Brand Cultivator at Medical Solutions, one of the leading traveling nurse companies. I have never been a nurse and am not a recruiter. Thanks for reading.

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