Travel healthcare can be a rewarding and exciting experience! As you choose your first assignment, you’ll want to consider which factors will make the experience successful for you. This will help you to settle in and have a great first assignment.
What to think about when choosing your first travel assignment.
For your first placement, it can help to go a little easy on yourself. You may want to start slowly and not make too many drastic changes to your usual work routine. Consider the following:
- Don’t venture too far from home. As a first-time traveler, you may not be used to being away from home for 13 weeks (the standard length of a travel assignment). Choose a city that is in the state in which you currently reside, and is not too far from your hometown. This way, if you begin to feel homesick, you’ll be able to drive back home for a visit during your days off. For your second assignment, you’ll be seasoned and ready to branch out and travel out of state!
- Choose a facility similar to what you’re used to. For example, if most of your experience has been in a 200-bed facility, it might be extremely stressful to take an assignment at a 1,000 bed teaching hospital. For your first travel assignment, start small at a facility similar to where you’ve worked in the past.
- Don’t overcommit. Sure, you may be ready and willing to accept overtime hours. However, until you’re familiar with travel work, you may find that a 48-to 60–hour work week is exhausting. To do your best on your first assignment, you’ll need to be well rested and levelheaded. Look for a placement that offers a standard-length work week, with the option for overtime. Maybe you’ll settle right in and want to work more, but you never know if instead you’ll want to spend your free time exploring your new surroundings.
- Research the area. Before you accept your new assignment, read online about the area. Make sure it’s a place you’ll want to live for 13 weeks. See what there is to do in your free time and how safe the area surrounding the facility is.
Be prepared with plenty of questions.
To help ensure you’ll find the perfect first assignment, make a list of all your questions. Your recruiter will be able to answer some of these, and the rest you can ask during your phone interview with the facility. You may want more information about:
- The usual nurse-to-patient ratio.
- The level of care needed, on average, by patients.
- Orientation (will you receive one, and how long is the process).
- Techs and nurses’ aides (does the facility use them and will you be working with them).
- Continuing education (is it available to travel staff).
Preparation paves the way for success.
By asking plenty of questions, doing your homework and working with your recruiter, you’ll find the best first-time assignment for you. You’ll be able to start your travel career smoothly, paving the way for a successful future in travel healthcare.
Ready for your first assignment?
The professionals at MedPro Healthcare Staffing are ready to work with you! We place travel nurses, pharmacists, therapists and other allied health staff with assignments across the country. To learn more, contact MedPro Healthcare Staffing today!