It can be hard for travelers and their families to say goodbye when the traveler heads out on an assignment.
Read below for some tips on how to make this transition go as smoothly as possibly for everyone.
- See if you can arrange to Skype, FaceTime or otherwise speak to your family members via video online while you’re gone. This can help keep the feeling of isolation and missing each other at bay. As the old commercial used to say “it’s the second best thing to being there.”
- If within a day’s driving distance, see if your family can come visit you on your days off.
- If you haven’t done so already, create a Facebook page specifically for your family (you can make the page private or invitation-only) so that you can talk more personally about your day and adventures in your assignment city (make sure you don’t divulge HIPPA-quality information, of course).
- Talk to your children about where you’re going (show them on a map, find pictures of the city online), where you’ll be living and working and when you’ll be done with your assignment. Take a calendar and mark the date in a big red circle and ask adult members of your family to cross off each day with the child(ren) near bedtime. Like an Advent calendar during the holidays, this can make the time go faster for the young ones.
- Ask your children to draw their feelings about your leaving and then discuss any fears and anxieties that pop up.
- Send postcards two or three times a week. Of course you’ll be Skyping or calling every day, but there’s still something magical and exciting about getting postcards in the mail.
- In a similar vein, consider sending small gifts to your children and older adult family members periodically, such as a t-shirt, hat or other item that sports the assignment city’s name on it.
- If your assignment is half a day’s drive away or less, see if you can come home on your days off at least once or twice during an assignment of the typical 13-week length.
- Finally, understand that your family may not be as excited about your healthcare travel career as you are. Talk about their concerns, fears and (perhaps) even envy about you “always being gone somewhere great.” Don’t be afraid to have what may be tough conversations and always reiterate how much you love and miss your family.
If you’d like to learn more about assignments as a healthcare traveler, contact the recruiters at MedPro Healthcare Staffing. We can help you find exciting travel nursing opportunities across the country – or across town, so that you won’t have to leave your family for days at a time. Contact us today.