Working as a travel nurse can be an exciting and rewarding experience. A travel nurse in NC has an opportunity to explore what this great state (or other states) have to offer. In addition, a travel nurse will still be able to work in the field he/she loves. However, traveling for work on a consistent basis can have some potential pitfalls. The person traveling has to interact with new co-workers and supervisors on a consistent basis. Even though a traveling nurse may be lonely or out of his/her comfort zone, he/she has to still maintain mental sharpness. There are things that a travel nurse can do that can help limit their potential exposure to Board action. Those are discussed below.
FOSTER AND NURTURE TRAVEL NURSE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
One of the main issues that travel nurses face is that they come into a new environment on a consistent basis and do not know any co-workers or supervisors. This can create issues down the road if there is a mistake that takes place and it is not clear who is responsible. Because full-time staff and supervisors have an existing relationship, supervisors may tend to side with the full-time staff over travel nurses because of their familiarity with full-time staff.
A travel nurse that fosters and nurtures working relationships with co-workers and supervisors stands a better chance of having a supervisor really listen to the travel nurse’s side of a story more than if a travel nurse has not established a good relationship with co-workers and supervisors. There is just more familiarity and trust when you actually get to know someone. That is not to say that sharing a lot of personal information is necessary. Creating a positive working relationship is as simple as having meals with staff members and getting to know each person. Another thing that can help is always doing things the right way. Be an example that co-workers and supervisors see and appreciate. Be a positive voice to co-workers as well. People tend to appreciate others attempting to lift them up. How a travel nurse is able to maintain positivity can boil down to how he/she takes care of himself/herself off the clock.
GO UP THE CHAIN, WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY
Another thing to remember is that every supervisor has someone to whom they answer. In addition to your supervisor, get to know their supervisor as well. If there is an issue, it’s possible a higher up can work the issue out. A recruiter can also be a good ally for a travel nurse. Recruiters do a lot of work placing travel nurses with providers. Having a quality relationship with the recruiter can do wonders. Make sure to keep recruiters away of what is going on with your employment, so they are not caught off guard. It’s best that they hear any alleged issues with your employment from you first, or shortly after hearing it from the provider.
MAINTAINING MENTAL SHARPNESS ON THE ROAD
Being consistent by maintain mental sharpness while travelling is not an easy task. Whether you are travelling for work or just for leisure, you are not in a familiar and comfortable environment. In this day and age there are a lot of options that can help travelers keep a certain comfort level. This, in turn, helps maintain mental sharpness.
Some ways to help keep a certain comfort level revolve around routine. Most hotels now have some sort of workout equipment and walking/jogging is always an option, weather permitting. There are a lot of options for grocery stores all over the state. Finding a certain food or drink that helps your body is easier than it has been in the past. If you know you are going to an area that may not carry a certain product that you need/want, make sure to pack that product and bring it with you.
STAYING CONNECTED WITH OTHERS
Working away from home can be lonely at times. This is great opportunity to spend time with co-workers and supervisors. Also, connecting with loved ones while on the road is relatively easy nowadays with technology. Maintaining a connection with loved ones and creating new relationships should help keep the feeling of isolation away. This should lead to better, more consistent sleep. More sleep should lead to more focus along with a proper diet and exercise. These all lead to better performance at work and less chance of an issue with the employer and/or NC Board of Nursing.
These are just a few of the things a travel nurse can do to potentially limit the chances of a complaint. If an issue arises with a provider, and it looks like they will contact the Board of Nursing, contacting an attorney will be the best next step to take.
Nothing in this blog post is legal advice or establishes the attorney-client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. If you’d like to learn more about professional licensing issues in North Carolina check out our site at www.northstatelawfirm.com or our YouTube site here. 919-521-8810 is the direct line to North State Law.