The beauty of being a travel nurse is the ability to set your own schedule. This means that as the busy holiday season hits, you can opt to take some time off to bake, shop and attend get-togethers with friends and family. However, since the holidays are also a time when everyone wants to take time off, you may have already committed to an assignment to help cover other employees’ holiday leaves.
So if you’re spending time away from home on an assignment this holiday season, don’t despair. You’ll have opportunities to fit in plenty of holiday cheer during your placement. Here’s what you can do.
- Take some time for you. No doubt, if you’re helping to make up for staffing shortages during your assignment, you’ll have plenty to do. And if you’re out-of-state or a few hours from home, you won’t have the usual holiday commitments. So why not take this opportunity to pamper yourself on your days off? Get a massage, read that book you’ve wanted to get to, catch up on your favorite TV shows on Netflix, etc. Some downtime to breathe and relax will do you good.
- Brighten the holidays of others. You probably have at least a few patients on your watch that also won’t be home for the holidays. You can help to make their season brighter by spending extra time to chat, helping them decorate their surroundings, etc.
- Enjoy gatherings with other travel nurses. There may be others on assignment who also will be away from their families for the holidays. During your time off, you can always do some holiday shopping or have a holiday meal with other travel nurses at your facility.
- Experience the holidays in a different locale. The city of your assignment may have holiday traditions you’ve never experienced, such as tree lighting events, plays, musical performances, outdoor displays or local delicacies. If you’re in a warmer climate than you’re used to, you may be able to spend some time on the beach. If it’s a colder climate, you can enjoy the magic of a white Christmas. Take advantage of your surroundings as you take in the sights and sounds of the holiday season.
- Take good care of yourself. The winter months are a time when many people get colds or the flu. It’s your responsibility to your patients—as well as yourself—to stay well. So make sure you get plenty of sleep each night—most people need six to eight hours. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids.
- Ask your loved ones to visit. If they have the means and the time, you can ask friends or family to visit during your days off. They’ll be able to experience a new culture, while you can have a little home away from home during your holiday assignment.
- Use technology. Even if your loved ones can’t visit, you can always catch up by phone, Internet or using face-to-face chatting tools, such as SkypeTM or Facetime for Mac.
May your holidays be merry and bright
During the holiday season, you can balance work and personal time with these tips. Remember, you’re helping to take care of those who need you. Let this noble mission be a source of happiness to you, and enter the new year with a fresh view of the difference you make in the lives of others.
Looking for your next travel position?
MedPro Healthcare Staffing can help. We work with nurses, therapists and other allied health workers for travel placements across the country. To learn more and find a placement that’s just right for you, contact one of our experienced recruiters today.