With hospitals across the nation struggling to meet the demand for registered nurses, the travel nurse is becoming an ever more crucial position within the healthcare arena. Because of their willingness to relocate to regions with the greatest need, the job outlook for travel nurses will continue to be positive for the foreseeable future.
Veterans with many assignments under their belt understand the unique challenges this exciting career presents. They know that making friends and connecting with those who will share their work-time hours will make this appealing, yet sometimes daunting, occupation the very best it can be. Check out these tried-and-true tips for connecting with the co-workers on each assignment.
1. Do your homework
As soon as you receive the location for your assignment, start doing some research on social media. Look for travel nursing Facebook groups and ‘Like’ the page. Many groups allow you to post questions and this is a great opportunity to try to find other travel nurses that work in the same facility or hospital.
2. Make the first move
Being the new kid on the block can seem daunting but rather than wait for people to reach out, choose to be the one to extend a hand to your new co-workers. Bring a snack to share with everyone in the break room (donuts, anyone?). Make a point of introducing yourself to the nurses, techs and physicians who pass through your unit or office. Invite a couple of other nurses to grab a cup of coffee or have lunch. Take note of those who go out of their way to make your transition a smooth one, jot down a few words of thanks, and slip it into their locker.
3. Seek out co-workers with similar interests
Are you a passionate reader? Love to try the newest coffee hangouts? Eager to find a cool place to work out? Enjoy hiking? Your fav things to do/places to go/life-long hobbies can provide an awesome, open-door to connecting with co-workers. Whatever your interest is, share it and look for opportunities to meet up outside of the workplace with these like-minded people.
4. Be all in
Everyone likes a go-getter much more so than a ho-hummer. So, from the minute you walk through the door, be on your “A” game. Banish forever even the slightest notion that a short-term assignment means a smaller level of commitment. If you treat the position as if it’s the most important job of your career, you’ll win on two fronts. A winning first impression as a dedicated teammate will cause co-workers to warm up to you, and your passion for the job will produce a greater sense of meaning from your work.
Friendships make every assignment smoother and often remain strong, even when life takes us in different directions. In travel nursing, and in life, the best way to make a friend is to be a friend.