Traveling far from home (or at least at a location that’s too far to go home after your shift) is one of negatives of working as a traveling healthcare professional.

Aside from taking your family with you (which is hard), going home on weekends (costly and time intensive) or just accepting assignments that will bring you home at night (you may not be able to go on many assignments), read below for some ideas on how to stay connected to your friends and family while on a travel assignment.

  • If you don’t have an account already, sign up for Facebook and ask your friends and family members to “friend” you. This will allow you to read all their updates and post your own. This is a great way to stay aware of the goings on in their lives and staying involved. Facebook has an app for smartphones, in case you don’t take a laptop with you.
  • You’ll probably want to know what the weather’s like back home (especially if you live in Michigan and have an assignment in Florida in February; all the better to gloat). The Weather Channel has an app for your smartphone so that you can check the weather anywhere at any time.
  • If you’re not a fan of Facebook, consider joining Google+. The app for the social media platform allows you to use what it calls Huddle to send quick group messages to everyone who is in your “circle.”
  • Skype allows you to chat face to face for free with anyone who also has the Skype app on their smartphone. You also can call or text anyone with Skype’s low rates using Skype credit.
  • Love Twitter. TweetDeck recently updated its mobile app. You can customize your news feed for updates from all of your Twitter, MySpace or Facebook contacts in one location.
  • Want to schedule all your tweets and Facebook postings? You can using HootSuite’s mobile app.
  • Take pictures with your smartphone and then instantly download them to your Facebook or other social media feeds with the Instagram app. This allows your family and friends to see what you’re up to pretty much just as you’re up to it.
  • If you’d like to send instant messages to your family and friends, download the LiveProfile app. LiveProfile allows you to share updates in real time to your family and friends.
  • Want to know what’s going on in your neck of the woods? Check your local newspaper’s website to see if it has an app for smartphones. If not, check out Patch.com’s mobile app, a site that provides news coverage and other information for more than 800 cities and towns across the country. If your town isn’t covered yet, just wait; Patch is growing.

If you’re an experienced traveler, what apps do you use to stay in touch with the folks back home? What other tips could you offer to help new travelers stay connected?

Whether you’re an experienced healthcare traveler or you’re looking to explore this exciting career, if you’re an OT, RN, PT, speech therapist, pharmacist or other allied health professional, send your resume/CV to MedPro Healthcare Staffing. We look forward to hearing from you.