MedPro Blog

Preparing Your Family for Your First Travel Assignment

Working as a healthcare traveler is exciting and fun. For you, the traveler, that is.

For your family? Perhaps not so much.

After all, you could be gone for weeks at a time. How will they get along without you? Who will do the tasks that you tend to do? How much will they miss you? Will they see you at all while you’re on assignment? Will they visit you? If so, for how long? Where will they stay?

All of these are legitimate concerns, and so it should come as no surprise to realize that your family may not be as excited about your transition to a career as a healthcare traveler as you are.

So, unless you plan to take your family with you as you travel (which will mean you’ll have other – more logistical in nature – issues), read below for some tips on how to prepare them for this big change.

  • You can be a traveler and not really travel. That is, you can ask your travel staffing service to send you on assignments that are within a daily commute from your home or within a few hours’ drive so that you can return to your home base on your days off. Many travelers choose to take short-hop assignments for this reason.
  • Sit down with your spouse/partner and together decide how many assignments you’ll take over a year’s time. And when. For example, some travelers won’t travel during the summer, or over the winter holiday. Some will want to work one assignment (for about 13 weeks) and then take several weeks off. The two of you – and perhaps even the whole family, if your children are older – should get together to come up with a plan that fits your situation.
  • If you don’t already, consider putting your bill-paying tasks on autopilot by signing up with utility companies, etc., to pay online on a certain day of each month.
  • If you have young children, one of your major concerns will be making sure there is someone with them when you and your spouse/partner can’t be. This is where you’re going to have to ask friends and family members to help out and/or look into additional babysitting or daycare options.
  • Plan to have a schedule as to when your family will visit (if that’s possible). If not, create a schedule where you will call or Skype or otherwise talk to your family regularly.
  • Perhaps it’s most important that you understand that your family may be sad, perhaps even a bit angry, that you won’t be with them every day. It’s understandable that they’ll be nervous and edgy. You might be nervous and edgy yourself, so remember to cut everyone some slack as the day of your first assignment nears.

Do you have family you leave behind when you travel? Are there any tips we didn’t mention above that you think would be valuable to other travelers?

Whether you’re a nurse; a physical, occupational or speech therapist; pharmacist; or other allied healthcare professional, and you’ve ever wondered about the opportunities available as a healthcare traveler, contact a MedPro Healthcare Staffing recruiter today!