Like most other professions, working as a travel therapist or nurse has its various challenges and rewards. One of the hardest challenges to face at times concerns family. Being away for several weeks or months can make it difficult to leave family, or stay in touch with family and friends. The stress of being separated can also weigh heavy on those family and friends.
As technology continues to evolve; however, there are new tools and options for travel healthcare professionals to stay in touch with the people they care about. Some of the most easy-to-use and accessible communications options include:
- Skype – One of the oldest and more universally-known communication programs is Skype (which is available for a free download on your PC, Mac or smart phone). Skype allows users, who must register for the site with a valid email address, to talk to other Skype users over the internet. There is no cost for peer-to-peer calls; however, more flexible options exist for call forwarding, a unique phone number (allowing phones to call you, and not only other Skype members), and other advanced features. Perhaps the best free option available to Skype users with cameras on their computers is the ability to video chat. Using your webcam (Many newer computer and laptop models have webcams built in; however, older computers or those without webcams can be easily equipped with models starting at about $30). Skype also allows for group video calling, in case you’d like to include family member in various households. While Skype allows for calls with smart phones (over an internet connection), it is not currently supported on Mobile devices for video chatting (video chatting is supported on computer devices only).
- Facebook – It’s hard to find someone you know who isn’t on Facebook yet, isn’t it? The world’s most popular social networking site is free for all users, and offers a unique way to connect with family, friends, and maybe even some old friends you may have forgotten. Share your photos, musings, or activities with your loved ones, and also stay up to date with their latest adventures. You can also comment and write on other users’ “walls” to keep in touch. Facebook is also available as a free downloadable app for most smart phones, allowing you to further stay connected, and keep those twinges of homesickness at bay.
- Facetime – For iPhone, iPod, iPad and Mac users, the latest add-on to the world of digital communications is Facetime. Facetime takes on Skype directly, with a wider range of features, and an incredible 720p display on Apple computers. Through Facetime, you can talk and see your friends and family who are using other Apple devices, including computers and phones. But, perhaps most uniquely, you can also conduct video chats with iPod Touch users (on a wireless, or WiFi, connection). Facetime opens up an entirely new level of connectivity, allowing the highest level of flexibility in communications with mobile to mobile video calling, over a WiFi connection.
With today’s technology, missing home can seem like a thing of the past. And if you’re looking for your next travel nursing or therapy job opportunity, MedPro Healthcare Staffing can help!