Embarking on a career as a travel nurse can easily be one of the most exciting and rewarding moves you’ll ever make! Getting the chance to see lots of great cities and locations throughout the United States is something many people dream of doing every day. However, just like many professions involving a lot of travel, it’s important to keep some basic safety tips for travel nurses in mind during each of your assignments.
Safety Tips for Travel Nurses
1. Build a solid relationship with your recruiter
Being your first and main contact for safety concerns or general questions about a travel nurse assignment, getting to know your recruiter is a great way to ensure you have support wherever you go. In addition to the other benefits you can experience by forging a healthy professional relationship with your recruiter, they’ll be able to guide you through any issues of safety specific to your current location. It’s important that you have a reliable way to get a hold of them in the event you need something immediately. Whether it’s a cell number, chat messenger, or email, it’s extremely helpful to know how you can contact your recruiter to address any safety tips for travel nurses.
2. Communication is Key!
Beyond staying in touch with your recruiter for addressing safety concerns, one of the most important safety tips for travel nurses is to keep family and loved ones informed of how you’re doing — especially if you’re working somewhere new and unfamiliar! Whether you’re traveling by car, train, or plane, it can be a good idea to let people know when you’re departing and arriving so they know whether or not to check in on you.
That said, this will probably be achieved by relying on your cell phone, whether to stay connected or even to navigate and track your travel plans. If traveling by car it’s easy to charge your phone continually, however, it can be invaluable to keep a few extra external batteries around in case you find yourself out of juice! Consider finding solar battery packs as well that you can charge on the go and use if you’re really in a pinch.
3. Establish Your Route
While it’s easy to rely on electronics to get you from A to B, one thing that will never lose its charge is a good old fashion map. Sure, it may not actively track your movement, show you road blocks, or estimate your arrival time, but you’ll be happy to have some non-digital directions should the circumstance arise! One of the last things most of us want to do is to ask strangers where to go. Not only can this present risks in terms of exposing your vulnerability as a traveler, but it’s better to be prepared in the first place.
Use things like Google Maps to plot your route, find rest stops ahead of time, and print out a back up in case you lose power or your cell signal altogether!
4. Travel in Packs
Part of getting out to see a new city is experiencing all that it has to offer. Whether that means getting a feel for the nightlife, visiting different parts of town, or just making new friends and acquaintances, it is a good idea to travel with a group of people to discourage any unsavory situations. Using safety in numbers is something that can help you to develop a support system and stay safe while visiting unfamiliar areas.
Asking your group questions like “where are the best places to eat?” or “which parts of town are questionable?” are solid ways to begin mapping out how you’ll maintain these safety tips for travel nurses. If possible, you may even want to embark on your next assignment with a partner!
5. Know the Last Resort
Although you hope it never becomes necessary, in the case of a life-threatening emergency always call 911 first. Navigating unfamiliar environments can bring about dangerous circumstances, so it’s important to keep this in mind should you be dealing with very real danger. Though you may think you’ll remember exactly what to do, it’s helpful to remind yourself to stay calm and assess the situation as accurately as you can before dialing 911.
Additionally, it could be helpful to keep the address of where you’re staying and other critical personal information handy in case first responders need to learn about who you are during an emergency.
Keeping these safety tips for travel nurses in mind can help you make the most out of your next assignment wherever that should be! As always, use your best judgment and experience to plot the safest, most efficient route, and you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way!