Preparing for Travel Nursing During the Holidays
For new travel nurses, this may be the first holiday season away from home. For others, family is why nurses choose to be in this field, to earn money that can help their loved ones back home. Spending this time away from loved ones can take a toll on your mental health.
So, the real question is, how do you prepare to miss the holidays and set your mental health for success? Read below for a few tips!
Make sure you don’t spend it alone!
The best advice we can give is to meet up and join a few fellow travelers or locals to celebrate the holidays. Sharing your favorite holiday traditions, delicious food, and even better laughs at a holiday event is a fantastic way to bond and expand your network of friends. Following this advice has been the bread and butter of some of the most cherished memories.
Try and stay busy
Some travelers cope best by staying busy and choosing to work the holidays. While it might be a bummer not being around your loved ones, on the bright side, it can feel just as good knowing you allowed other staff nurses to be at home with their families.
Also, if you’re working, you know that you are the primary source of holiday spirit for your patients, so have fun with it! Have festive decorations or play holiday music on your unit to brighten their moods.
Plan a FaceTime call
A video call is a great way to feel included with your family while not being physically present. Schedule a video call with your family and use the time to open a present or two to feel like you’re part of their festivities. Your family will appreciate you taking time out of your day to spend time with them while catching up on all you might have missed.
Celebrate again when you’re together
A perk about being a travel nurse is you can take extended periods of time-off between assignments. If you find yourself working on a holiday, plan to celebrate it in full force when you get back home (if your assignment ends at a reasonable time). Your family probably won’t mind leaving the tree up a day or two longer, saving that leftover plate, or even baking and decorating treats while sipping hot cocoa to get into the holiday spirit when you’re back together again.
Remember, it’s not when you celebrate but whom you celebrate with that matters the most.
Ask about resources your staffing company may have
Additionally, whether you’re working the holiday or not, familiarize yourself with any mental wellness resources your agency offers if you, a colleague, or a loved one might. Recruiters are always there for you to reach if you need anything!
The holidays aren’t always merry and bright like we want them to be. Sometimes, the holidays can be a challenging season to get through for some. Knowing the available mental wellness resources can set you up for success when a helping hand or comforting word are most needed.
Find an assignment near home/find shorter assignments
One of the things we all love about the holidays is we get to see our family and friends. Being a travel nurse doesn’t necessarily mean you have to miss out on all of the fun. You can always try your best to secure an assignment close to or at home. Check if the recruiters you work with have contracts in your area of interest.
If you really want to be home during the holidays, you can always try to land short-term assignments to ensure you are free with no responsibilities during the holiday season.
You might realize that you want to work all the holidays
Some travelers prefer to work during the holidays. Some nurses claim the shifts tend to be slower-paced and more enjoyable. They also like the holiday pay, which can help ease your mind while using that extra cash for gifts to yourself or others. If the only concern is the holiday pay, be sure the assignment is worth your time!. Don’t let it affect your attitude toward other co-workers or patients, as it can lead to a poor work environment and mindset.
Here at KPG we hope you enjoyed these tips and have the best of holiday season!