MedPro Blog

How to Transition into the World of Travel Healthcare

Working as a healthcare professional is very similar from hospital to hospital or clinic to clinic.

But working as a traveler is very different than working permanently in a hospital or an office.

You’ll need more flexibility and tolerance for handling the unknown. You’ll also need to learn how to pack quickly.

But, seriously, there is a transition you’ll have to go through as you move from a permanent employee of a hospital to a career as a traveler. Read below for some tips on how to make this transition.

  • Whenever you start a new assignment, bring an open mind. You’ll be working with people and patients of backgrounds different from what you’re used to. You’ll be operating under policies and procedures with which you’re unfamiliar (some of which you may think could be improved) and you’ll be working with equipment that may be more – or less – advanced than you’re used to.
  • You’ll need to become very good at learning your new colleagues’ names. This process will be repeated with each travel assignment.
  • Healthcare professionals tend to be very good with details and have a knack for paying attention to them. You’re going to need to up this skill to the max as a traveler. Why? Because if something goes wrong, as the “new guy” people are going to be looking at you as the culprit. So pay close attention and fill out all documentation properly.
  • If you tend to be shy, get over yourself. As a traveler, you’ll be meeting new people, asking a ton of new questions, making a few mistakes. If you can’t speak up, if you can’t engage new colleagues, you’re going to be a very lonely solo traveler.
  • Remember that you’re pretty much a guest in someone else’s “home.” Act accordingly. Don’t try to change procedures you think require changing. Or at least don’t do so for a couple of weeks until you’ve had a chance to prove yourself and then ask if you could try something a different way.
  • Learn how to make new bonds quickly. Remember how awkward it was the first few weeks of your last permanent job? You weren’t quite accepted. You didn’t feel as if you really belonged. As you move from assignment to assignment, you’ll be going through that each and every time. The faster you can have your assignment colleagues look at you as one of them, the more enjoyable each assignment will be.

Traveling to new assignments every few weeks isn’t always fun. There are downsides to working as a traveler. You will need to allow yourself some time to make the transition in your own mind. Give yourself time to do so and remember to be kind to yourself when you goof up, when you feel lonely and when you go through those inevitable awkward moments.

Still, working as a healthcare traveler can be very exciting and worthwhile. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work as a traveler, contact the recruiters at MedPro Healthcare Staffing. We’d love to answer your questions and concerns.