In this article, we’ll look at what a day in the life of a nurse looks like in general and in these hardened times.
The world is going through a drastic change, this is the time when travel nurses play a crucial part. With a role similar to permanent nurses, travel nurses are employed by agencies to combat the shortage of nurses around the country.
Today, our world’s condition has put a massive shortage of nurses. Where travel nurses are allowed to expand their experience by working in various healthcare units, this profession comes with several hardships too.
Travel nurse’s assignment depends primarily on their specialty.
What Is It Like To Become A Travel Nurse?
Whether you talk about feelings and emotions, adaptability, or comfort, becoming a travel nurse is being on a roller coaster; full of ups and downs.
Becoming a travel nurse gives you uncountable advantages in terms of income but it is no less than laying up trouble for yourself.
You need to travel every three months to an entirely new place.
Also, being a travel nurse is the other name of having a unique lifestyle. Where you have to work for years at the same place as a permanent nurse, as a travel nurse, you can get rid of your boring workplace every three months.
Sounds interesting, right? Balancing work/life can be terrible until you are a travel nurse. Wondering why until you are a travel nurse? Well, here it is. Travel nurse’s assignment can last 2-3 months, after which they can take a break as long as they want.
Besides, travel nurses are usually hired by a travel nurse agency. Travel nurse agencies are NO LESS THAN a lottery ticket. You can choose the “exact” job you want; you get free medical facilities and free housing too!
Every job comes with its drawbacks. Travelling to a new place means new friends and new colleagues.
This Is All Fun Until You Are An Introvert
Adapting to new and unfamiliar situations and staying away from family (unless they agree to travel with you) will be a crucial part of your schedule.
You need to adopt technology; no matter wherever you go, you need to deal with the latest technology and machinery.
Also, as I mentioned before, you get gaps between assignments, which can be as long as you want. Does the question arise that who is going to pay you for those breaks? No one. Yes, this is a significant drawback that you do not get paid between leaves.
To summarize, being a travel nurse is an enriching experience, personally or professionally.
What Is A Day In The Life Of A Travel Nurse Like?
I am a firm believer in the fact that travel nursing is NOT for everyone. I understand that you love travelling and you are interested in medical sciences, but that does not make you a travel nurse. In short, travel nursing is a huge responsibility and requires a lot of courage.
Here is what a travel nurse do on a typical day:
1.Waking Up At A New Place
This seems the most formidable task for me. New climate, new city, new state, new people, traditions, holidays, people, and a different time zone. This is a travel nurse lifestyle in a nutshell.
Most of the time, travel nurses are given two housing options; one-room apartments rented by the travel nurse agency and a housing stipend. It is on the nurse to choose what suits them the best.
Usually, a few days are given off to adjust at first. Unpack your things, reach out to people living nearby and treat it as an adventure. After all, you are on a roller coaster!
Think about your daily needs, locate your necessities, find the nearest restaurants, gyms, picnic spots, spa and salons, and supermarkets.
In addition to this, make sure that you arrange conveyance according to your shifts and remember the route to health care units. This way, you will save time finding public transports daily.
You will be asked to complete the necessary paperwork and go through TB tests, physicals, and immunizations before joining the hospital.
When the first day of duty arrives, make sure to wake up and get ready early, take your license, photo id, and certificates with you to avoid any inconvenience.
One of the most important things you can do to boost your reputation as a nurse is to be there on time.
The big day has arrived.
Although the nursing orientation will vary from unit to unit, they are all likely to utilize 3-4 days. Orientation usually covers a lot of logical details.
A typical orientation session will brief you about the job description and update you about the baseline instructions. Understanding instructions earlier on will help you in the long term because
Better Safe Than Sorry
It is better to bring a notebook and pen with you and take notes. The staff in charge will brief you about the dress code, timings, and dates.
You get a tour of the healthcare unit, taught how to use medical machineries such as EMR, glucometer, and lifts, told where the equipment and medications are kept and are introduced to doctors and physicians.
This is my favorite part. You meet new coworkers, and you are introduced to a preceptor.
The preceptor instructs you about the daily tasks and schedule and provides you with day-to-day answers. Use your time intelligently and ask more and more questions from your preceptor.
Don’t consider asking questions a shame because these questions will enhance your experience as a nurse. Absorb the most you can.
You will be given an in-depth overview of the assignment, and your department’s do’s and don’ts. I already feel tired, to be honest.
You can give your most by talking to everyone in your department. Be friendly and introduce yourself nicely to physicians. Invite them over, plan outings together, and enjoy your days off. This will help you spend quality time during your assignment.
Everything About a Travel Nurse
Being a travel nurse is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Firstly, you either need ADN or BSN to become a travel nurse.
Associate of Science degree in nursing (ADN) is usually offered at community colleges and is a two-year program. Considered as fastest and low-cost route, this degree is a combination of clinical clerkship and classes.
Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN), on the other hand, is a four-year degree. Its syllabus includes pharmacology, microbiology, nutrition, public health, anatomy, pathophysiology, and mental health. BSN licensed nurses are permitted to take care of patients of all ages.
After completing the degree, the nurse is required to give an NCLEX-RN exam to start her practice. This test is divided into 6 subcategories and is computer-based.
Secondly, a travel nurse must have a minimum of 12 months of experience at a hospital. Additional certificates are useful too.
The final step before applying for travel nursing is documentation. Keep records and copies of your license and certificates. You can now volunteer locally or abroad and apply to a travel nurse agency.
Travel nurse agencies are all qualities rolled into one. They find your assignments and assist you during them.
A win-win situation. What next?
Preparing for an interview. Authorities hire nurses who will start working as soon as possible and fill the need. Prepare yourself before giving the talk. You might be wondering how to prepare for the interview.
Well, easy-peasy lemon squeezy.
Research the usual questions staff may ask you. Read books about travel nursing, use the search engine, and BOOM! You are all good to go.
Don’t forget that confidence is the key to a successful interview.
A typical travel nurse’s assignment can last from 8 weeks to 13 weeks. During this, you are free to accept any other position. From providing you with health insurance, legal protections, and housing, they also offer workplace health facilities.
FAQs About Day in the Life of a Nurse
Now that we know all that a travel nurse does in their day, let’s look at some specific questions you might still have.
1. Is travel nursing stressful?
All jobs have ups and downs and so do travel nursing. An average day for a travel nurse has around 8-12 shift hours. You get good pay but may not get the benefits of a full-time job.
Caring for the sick, handling emergencies, and administering changes can lead to severe fatigue and weariness. When talking about 2021’s situation—the COVID-19 times, nurse burnout chances are getting more and more. According to a study by Becker’s Hospital Review, 92% of nurses report moderate-to-high stress levels.
To conclude, yes, you will have long, stressful days but believe me, and they are worth it.
2. What does a day in the life of a nurse look like?
A typical day in the life of travel nurse is very much like that of a permanent nurse but better. Come to the hospital, meet preceptor, see what is on your memo, care for patients, conduct a physical exam to monitor changes in their health, communicate with doctors, and change medicines if needed.
Your daily routine also consists of counselling patients, learning to use medical machines, and keeping patient’s medical records up to date.
3.How long can you be a travel nurse?
A typical travel nursing assignment lasts up to 3 months after which the nurse can take a break as long as they want.
You will not always be given a chance to increase assignment duration, but you can stay at the same place for as long as 12 months (3-4 different assignments)
4.Where are travel nurses needed the most?
Travel nurses are needed all over the USA due to COVID-19 breakout and other factors. Reasons such as inadequate healthcare facilities or overly populated areas may need more travel nurses. Below are the states which are in constant demand of travel nurses throughout the year:
This state has passed a law; Statewide union and laws. According to this law, California should have a safe nurse-to-patient ratio due to which they are in constant need of nurses.
Can you believe that Florida has around 3 million residents who are 65+? Nurses are demanded continuously to aid them.
Texas is known to have numerous highly concerning healthcare facilities that require a lot of staff.
New York is a high-density state. With a population of over 18,804,000 that is the highest populated state in the USA, the nurse shortage is very intense.
New Jersey is the second most dense state after New York, so there is a severe nurse shortage throughout the year.
North and South California:
North California is the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the USA. Its rural area has many healthcare units, which results in a severe nurse shortage over there.
So, this is what a day in the life of a nurse looks like.
Travel nurses fill the gap in staffing needs in hospitals for a precise time. This year, the demand for travel nurses has increased tremendously across the country. According to a study by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a total of 11 million nurses are required to prevent a further shortage of nurses in the USA.
Travel nursing is worth it. It is a remarkable chance for nurses who are looking forward to enhancing their experience. Nurses’ positions may vary according to their specialty, but they all still earn a handsome salary.