As a travel nurse, it’s not easy to constantly be the “new guy” (or gal). Each assignment brings a new set of personalities, methods, policies, etc. This certainly presents a challenge, even to the most flexible travel nurse. But, if you weren’t up for new challenges, you wouldn’t have chosen a career as a travel nurse, right? Because your ability to work well with new colleagues can be the difference between a good or bad travel experience, here are a few tips to help you gel well with your new team.
Have a good attitude. Keep in mind that your travel jobs are great resume builders. You want to be able to add your colleagues as references once your assignment is complete. Wouldn’t it be great to be referenced as a pleasant professional? Avoid giving the impression of a complainer.
Expect things to be different. Is your current facility not yet utilizing computerized charting? Was the equipment better at your last assignment? It may not be necessary to mention it to your new colleagues. No two facilities are the same. In other words, try to leave gripes and complaints to a minimum. Make a good impression by behaving as a gracious guest.
Leverage your skill set. It’s quite awesome to develop a growing skill set as a travel nurse. You are a great asset to any healthcare team. If there is a procedure or piece of equipment that you are familiar with, share your knowledge with your colleagues. They will appreciate your expertise and insight. You should also remain teachable. If you have an opportunity to learn a new skill, allow a colleague to teach you. Continue to add skills to your practice, thereby increasing your value as a travel nurse.
Party with your co-workers. The amount of friendships that you develop as a travel nurse is icing on the career cake. Spending time with your colleagues outside of work can add so much adventure and fun to your experience. When those opportunities come, take them!
As you may have noticed, the main point of these tips is the term “help.” Acting as a great helper is key to having a good working relationship with new colleagues. When you get down to basics, travel nurses are hired to help; so, keep that in mind when interacting with your colleagues. You’re not being brought on board to make huge changes, but that doesn’t mean you won’t make a huge impact. Stick to doing your best, keeping a positive attitude and lending a hand. You’ll not only be a good travel nurse to your colleagues, but a memorable one at that.