When hospitals or other medical facilities are in need of highly trained professionals at a moment’s notice, they’ll call in travel nurses for the job! And while temporary work situations will always present challenges for each party involved, travel healthcare jobs have their own unique hurdles to overcome. No matter your skill level or history with healthcare, there are certain aspects that can separate the best hospitals for travel nurses from the rest!
Not to scare anyone, but travel nursing can be a daunting way to live and work to say the least! Think about it — you’re called to travel somewhere completely new to a hospital you’ve likely never heard of, just to meet complete strangers and work in an environment thriving on precision, cooperation, and stamina. It may even be possible that you’re floating between multiple locations during one assignment — so let’s just say this isn’t for everybody!
For those who do thrive on travel and constantly working in new locations, travel nurse jobs are some of the best opportunities out there. And still, even the most experienced travel nurses can have their momentum slowed by a new work environment lacking some useful considerations. Here we’ll go through what things can make for the best hospitals for travel nurses.
5 Aspects of the Best Hospitals for Travel Nurses
1. Tailor Orientation Information to Travel Nurses
Travel nurses are a unique type of team member, and so they require an equally unique orientation process. In many cases, you may find that once you make it to a new facility, the orientation received is identical to that of full-time employees. It’s understandable that management sees a universal onboarding process as the most cost-efficient method, however, that means you’ll be sitting on information that isn’t pertinent to your benefits or job overall.
Instead of bogging down someone with general info, hospitals could better spend this time conducting a full hospital tour or even extra floor orientation time to really hone in on the role travel nurses are to fulfill.
2. Take Time to Review Equipment if Needed
Being the highly efficient and streamlined places that they are, most hospitals utilize much of the same, standardized equipment. Still, there are many companies who manufacture similar devices and models, meaning there could be slight differences in the way things function. Before having to jump into the thick of nursing, it can be best it hospitals allow travel nurses to familiarize themselves with a facility’s specific versions of equipment to avoid any difficulties. It won’t take long, but it can be a great help to fiddle with devices before they’re attached to patients!
3. Making Sure Travel Nurses are Connected
In the flurry of orienting someone to get up to speed on the basics of the facility, hospitals may overlook getting new travel nurses a company email address. Although someone’s personal or professional email may be sufficient, a work email address can really streamline communication and avoid any mishaps when informing teams as a whole. With email being the main channel to inform unit managers and other colleagues of critical information, it’s important that hospitals take the time to provide travel nurses with the same form of communication as the entire staff, whatever it may be.
4. Provide a Map or Cheat Sheet
Even though it’s actually kind of common sense, far too many hospitals will overlook getting facility maps into the hands of travel nurses for whatever reason. With travel nurses sometimes arriving only 1-3 days before their start date, any and all information on their newest workplace is going to be much appreciated. Having a list of important locations like orientation meeting points, parking, staffing offices, security offices, and just the cafeteria can cut down on stress and help keep adjusting to a new hospital much easier.
Additionally, having a cheat sheet of important information is never a bad idea. This can include things like:
- Staff lists, detailing specialties and other key details.
- Proper steps for admissions and discharges
- Phone numbers for commonly used resources like labs, pharmacies, etc.
- Policies and procedures, documenting common issues, and steps to take
5. Accommodate Floating Travel Nurses
It’s known that floating between different facilities on a single assignment is all part of the job, so the best hospitals for travel nurses will take this into consideration. Best practices would suggest allowing travelers to familiarize themselves with a hospital and their team for a week or two before having them float to other nearby locations. This can keep things running smoothly and won’t overwhelm someone too much.
Unless it’s completely needed, it can also be best to avoid floating traveling nurses in specialties they aren’t as experienced with. Otherwise, giving them a heads up of the possibility of this will provide time to prepare and find resources in making sure this is a successful move for individuals and the facility as a whole.
As always, the best hospitals for travel nurses will have thought of these things ahead of time and planned for their temporary staff. If not, feel free to point them to this blog and read up on the ways they can do more to make travel nursing assignments as efficient and productive as possible!