Travel Nurse Do’s and Don’ts

Travel nurses are met with unique challenges as well as many benefits that a traditional nurse might not encounter. Here a few do’s and don’ts designed to help your journey as a travel nurse.

Do get active

join a Zumba class, yoga, cycling or enter a road race. Staying active is important for a healthy lifestyle and a great way to meet people in the area.

Do learn something new

hospitals and healthcare facilities have different ways of doing things. Learn how the units are run, ask questions, and try to gain new knowledge around a procedure or process that can benefit your career.

Don’t argue the rules

there will always be minor differences in procedures and processes between hospitals. As long as there are no safety concerns, don’t assume a different style is wrong. Adhere to the policies in place.

Do make new friends

with all the technology today it’s tempting to stay close to your inner circle through facetime, email, and texting. However, nothing compares to personal interaction, a hug when you need it, or a friendly face across a cup of coffee. Be sure to connect with people in your area so you have a few friends to count on in person.

Do eat healthily

your energy level and ability to perform is directly related to your nutritional intake. While it may seem obvious to a medical professional, everyone falls into the trap of rushing, grabbing junk food, or skipping meals altogether from time to time. This is especially true when you are in a new area, unfamiliar with restaurants, or alone and feel food prep is just too time-consuming for one person. Stay strong by planning aheadeating right, and taking care of you as the number one priority.

Do rest

nursing is a demanding job, any day and every day. There are physical and emotional aspects, stress, and enormous responsibility at every turn. Adequate rest is key to good decision-making, stamina, and mood.

Don’t be afraid to ask

a new area, a new job, and a new home can add up to a lot of uncertainly and unknowns. Ask questions of those you respect and trust, research reliable sources online, and never be embarrassed to inquire about something.

Do visit a park

take advantage of your new location by taking in the sights. Find a few parks, nature centers, or animal parks and enjoy the local attractions.

Don’t fail to review your contract

read carefully to understand the assignment, location, hours, benefits, pay, and housing parameters.

Don’t get into a rut

avoid eating and shopping at the same place every time. You can still have favorites, but be open to new experiences. Try new restaurants and stores every week.

Don’t forget to stay streetwise

vary your routine, avoid leaving valuables visible in your car, walk and park in well-lit areas, and stay alert of your surroundings.

We hope these Do’s and Don’ts help you with your travel nurse journey!

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4 Relaxation Tips for Travel Nurses This Fall

Being a travel nurse can be stressful. Moving every 13 weeks and starting new jobs at the same time can be stressful. Leaving people, you have come to know and love at this pace as well.  Add in being away from family and friends and it can be hard to find ways to relax or de-stress. We have put together some relaxation tips for travel nurses to help you on your journey.

 

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR)

According to Oxford ASMR “is a feeling of well-being combined with a tingling sensation in the scalp and down the back of the neck, as experienced by some people in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound.”  ASMR can be triggered by things like paper tearing, scalp massages, or whispering voices. These are not the only things that can trigger ASMR, however, these are common ones. If you would like to find an ASMR for yourself YouTube is a great place to search.

 

Breathing exercises are great ways to help you relax.

In order to really relax you need to activate your body’s natural relaxation response, a state of deep rest that:

  • Puts the brakes on stress
  • Slows your breathing and heart rate
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Brings your body and mind back into balance

Breathing techniques can be done in many forms such as breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and tai chi just to name a few.

 

Hot Baths

Taking a hot bath may not be everyone’s “cup of tea”, however, it is a great way to relax and reduce stress. Bathing stimulates blood circulation and helps calm the nervous system. Another perk is it can relieve common aches and pains. Which can be common working such a strenuous job like nursing. Also, if you have trouble sleeping at night try taking a bath right before bed. You may find that washing in the shower first and then taking a bath after is more relaxing. As many do not feel as clean after a bath than with a shower.

 

Laugh

This may seem a little strange, however, laughter really does help to relieve stress, which in turn relaxes us. Laughter has many benefits.

Short-term benefits

A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it does not just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-term effects

Laughter is not just a quick pick-me-up, though. It is also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
  • Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

The way you choose to laugh is totally up to you and what you find funny. You can search for funny videos on YouTube, Facebook, or even Instagram, watch your favorite comedic movie or show. There are so many ways to find laughter.

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