No doubt, security is one of the most significant issues for nurses, but today, we have gathered safety traveling tips for the front-line warrior travel nurses.
Travel nursing may seem exciting, but it will take no time to transform into a nightmare. We are here to share a few tips and suggestions to make your nursing trips better. Also, we have added a bonus segment to help you make your travel safer so stick around with this blog.
Preparing for Travel Nursing Trips
Preparing for travel nurses trips can be really exciting, at least for me. I have gathered a list of what you should carry to travel nursing trips.
First and foremost, keep your essential documents such as a Social Security card, nursing license, driving license, insurance policy, nursing degree, immunizations, and other additional certificates in a safe compartment of your baggage.
Even if you have submitted these documents to your travel nurse agency, the hospital can still demand them.
Make a small carrier bag that is easy to reach. In it, keep the chargers for your electronics, snacks and water, first-aid, novels, audiobooks, or any other thing for entertainment on the way.
For the way, make sure you get at least two sources of money and take help from navigation apps to find the safest path toward your assignment location.
Travel Nursing Trip Expectations
I read somewhere on the Internet that traveling is good for the soul, and I can’t agree more. When you travel, you will learn many new things, meet new people, and experience adventures. All this is not possible with your typical perm job.
Also, travel anxiety may be common for many of us. It is normal to worry about missing flights or losing important documents. Make sure to counter-check everything before leaving. Keep a list and make sure you have it all!
Besides, in these coronavirus times, you might have to follow strict SOPs while using hotels and rest houses on the go. Keep toiletries, masks, and sanitizers with you every time.
As a new nurse, this might be the first time you’re traveling alone but don’t forget that this isn’t your last. Travel Nursing involves a lot of trips every thirteen weeks or so. Make sure to enjoy each one of them and hope it’s not your last!
Travel Nursing Safety Traveling Tips
Focusing on the topic at hand, let’s discuss travel nursing safety tips.
Share All Of the Trip Details With Family or a Friend
Honest advice: share all trip details, where your housing is, and your daily routine with your family or friends. Besides, share with them the time you will reach your destinations and stopping points. This way, they can keep a security check on you and inform the police if something goes wrong.
Make An Easy-to-access Bag
You may not be able to open your luggage again and again, especially during air travel; it is impossible. It is better to keep a small and easy-to-carry bag with you that contains all the on-the-go necessities.
Choose the Safest Possible Route
Either you are traveling to another state or your work every day, make sure to use the populated and safest possible route and park your vehicle in well-lit areas. Even if you stop at a gas station or rest house, ensure that it is well-populated.
If you are staying in a hotel, prefer not to stay on the ground floor. Also, the room you choose should have a window, and all door locks should be working.
Your New Neighborhood
When moving to a new location, your new neighborhood can prove to be a significant threat to your safety. Use Crime Mapping to check out recent crime activity in your area.
Visit Areas In the Day
Visiting grocery stores, salons, and gyms during the day can help you find them quickly at night. Doing this reducing the chances of robberies and other threats.
Keep your phone fully charged and keep a portable power bank with you all the time while traveling. If you are going by air, keep your luggage locked.
In case you are traveling by road, make sure to carry a spare car key and a spare tire with you. Also, it will be a good idea to keep pepper spray, especially if you are traveling alone.
Bonus: Making Your Trip Safer
Safety comes first and foremost. We have compiled some super-handy tips to make your travel nursing trip safer and better.
Before leaving for a trip, research all the rest houses, gas stations, and hotels that will come your way. This analysis will help you save time and choose the safest route if you are traveling by road.
Even if you keep original documents, licenses, and certificates, we advise you to keep at least two copies of each one of them in safe baggage.
When you stop somewhere, and you find out public WI-FI, never use it. Connecting to public WI-FI will make your laptop or phone prone to hacking. A mobile hotspot via your cellphone provider is a safer choice.
Lock up your valuables and luggage, too, if possible. Note down the numbers of police and hospital emergencies on your way before you leave. In case of any mishap, you may not find time to search for their numbers.
The handy, accessible backpack you keep with you should have a first aid kit, money, and battery power backups.
Make sure to tell your bank where you are going. Else, they may get suspicious when they see your ATM drawing money from any other state.
Moreover, hide emergency money away from the pocket you have kept other money. It is best to stay sober during all the trips.
When you reach your final destination, ask out your neighbors for dangerous areas in your city. When talking to others, don’t show that you are new to this town or city. Else, you will be more prone to robbery or other threats.
Safety Traveling Tips for New Nurses
The latest travel nurses who are going on a nursing trip for the first time should check our traveling tips out. For other nurses, If there was no one to guide you on your first trip, read our checklist out so you live through this trip smoothly.
Get all the information about your start date, an orientation day, and shift timings from the hospital before leaving. This data will help you manage the extra time efficiently, and you won’t be late on your first day.
Before you start packing for your trip, take time to make a checklist of all the essentials you will carry with you. This way, you won’t forget anything essential, neither will you panic while packing. In addition to this, make a checklist of on-the-go essential too.
Keep all your original documents and at least two copies of each document in a safe compartment of your luggage. The hospital management may ask you to submit your documents again. Keep a digital copy of all your documents in a secure cloud folder.
Decide whether you should travel by air or by road. Count the travel costs, including fuel expenses, food, and water or air ticket. If you choose to travel by road, make sure to install a GPS on your phone or buy a map.
Before leaving, do a final check with your checklist or ask fellow travel nurses to count essential things you should be carrying.
Also, check the housing arrangements. If you are renting a house yourself, it should be in a well-populated area near to the hospital or health center you are working in.
FAQs About Travel Nurse Safety Traveling Tips
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding travel nursing safety traveling tips.
In which states can travel nurses go?
Travel Nurses can go to any state they want. Their travel depends on the state license they have. There are two types of state licenses; single-state right and multi-state license (also known as a compact nursing license).
Travel nurses usually opt for a multi-state license. There are currently 34 states in the USA that support it. When you have a multi-state right, you can go to any state that supports it without any additional investments.
If you want to move to a state which does not support NLC, you can still do so. This time, you have to apply for a single-state license of that particular state.
However, if you are NLC registered and choose to move to a state which does not approve it, you will lose your NLC and will have to renew it again.
Read more about Compact Nursing Licenses here.
Where do travel nurses stay?
Travel nurses can either move to a house given by an agency or rent a house themselves, and the travel agency will pay its stipends.
If you rent a house yourself and the agency pays for it, it has numerous benefits. Most nurses prefer to go for this option.
First of all, you can choose where to stay. The housing choice will be yours, and you can decide this by keeping in mind the nearby facilities.
If you find a house cheaper than the fixed monthly allowance given by the agency, the rest of the amount goes into your pocket. Also, these stipends are tax-free – a win-win situation.
If you choose to move to a house given by the agency, it saves time and prevents you from a house-finding struggle. Also, the chances of scams will be lesser. However, you may not have many options and may not get your desired home if you go for it.
You can stay in hotels, shared housing, with family or friends, or rented apartments.
Read our complete guide about travel nursing houses.
Can travel nurses bring their families along?
Yes, you can. It may sound impossible as you can’t just ask your family to pack their luggage and move to an entirely new place every eight weeks.
You can bring your families along, but we will advise you not to. Not only will the always-traveling schedule disturb them, but your kids won’t get their schooling this way.
If you still want to travel with your family, get a mobile home and distribute the responsibilities with your partner.
Wanna know more about travel nursing with families? Read here.
Is travel nursing safe?
Yes, travel nursing is no different from permanent nursing jobs except that you have to travel every eight weeks or so. We can call this profession as safe as other jobs.
However, you need to take care when on travel or when moving to a new city. We have compiled a complete travel nursing safety guide above.
Make sure to take necessary steps and precautions while traveling and after shifting to a new place to make travel nursing safer.
Nurses usually fear trips, but these travel nursing safety traveling tips have got you covered. Before you leave, make sure to make a packing checklist and a to-do-list for when you have moved to the new state.
On the way, make sure to stop and rest in the well-populated areas. Keep your phone battery full and carry at least two sources of money. When you reach there, don’t forget to check out your surroundings and ask people about the city’s dangerous areas.
Nothing can make your trips safer but you. Take necessary precautions and follow the tips above to make your trip most memorable and risk-free.