Employers Want Temporary Healthcare Staff to Have These 5 Qualities

While the assets most employers want in their staff are the same for permanent and temporary employees, companies that hire travel nurses want to see these five qualities in their temporary healthcare staff: 


1. Reliability
While being reliable is an essential component of being a stellar nurse, it’s doubly crucial for temporary nurses to be on time for their shifts. Many times, the reason healthcare facilities hire travel nurses is because of a staff shortage, so they are counting on you to help fill a gap in their schedule.


To build reliability as a travel nurse, incorporate these quick tips to prepare you for Day 1 on the job:

  • Map out your route to work the day or night before your first shift.
  • Ask about parking—are the lots generally packed in the mornings?
  • Will you need a special parking pass?
  • Download a map of the hospital or facility.

2. Flexibility
Travel nurses are hired to fill vacancies, so being available to pick up extra shifts when requested will be greatly appreciated. On the other hand, knowing how much downtime you need to do your job to the best of your ability will help you know when to say yes, and no. If you have to say no to an extra shift, try to offer an alternative, such as saying you can’t do a Sunday shift but could pick up another shift on Monday or Tuesday. It shows the employer your willingness to be a team player even when you have to say no to a particular ask.


3. Positive attitude
It can be challenging to project a kind and patient attitude when entering a new environment that could be tense or difficult. But the travel nurse who can project a positive outlook while navigating a new assignment will be a valuable asset to the team. Read 6 Strategies for Managing Difficult Patients and 4 Strategies for Dealing With Difficult People for tips on maintaining your positive attitude in the face of challenging circumstances.


4. Attention to detail
 While especially important regarding documentation, travel nurses who pay close attention to details and follow through on tasks will be high-valued workers. Since you’ll be doing patient charting and documentation daily, develop a system for learning how your current supervisor wants it done. Suggestions include recording conversations (with permission) about documentation to review later and snapping photos of how to document specific tasks for reference. Spending a little more time, in the beginning, ensuring you’ve gotten it right will help you stay on the right side of your supervisors and fellow nurses.


5. Commitment
As a travel nurse, treating these short assignments like a full-time job is wise. While you’re not at each position for long, tackling short-term assignments as if you are shows your commitment. Also, avoiding call-offs during your assignments is a big plus and can help set you up for future travel opportunities, or an extension with the current building.


If you take these five qualities to heart—reliability, flexibility, positive attitude, attention to detail, and commitment—you’ll become a sought-after travel nurse.


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LeaderStat specializes in direct care staff, interim leadership, executive recruitment, travel nursing and consulting for healthcare organizations nationwide.