Hidden Perks in the Life of a Traveling Nurse

August 7th, 2019

Registered Nurse, Amy Terry is a traveler and has a world of opportunity at her fingertips. She shares the hidden perks of being a travel nurse.

You get to travel the nation, meet awesome people, see new and exciting places and help various healthcare facilities during staffing crises. You can pretty much go anywhere, anytime you want!

Your Vital Role As A Traveler

There is a reason you are needed as a traveler. Various healthcare facilities across the country have staffing needs, and they need your talents and skills to help make their facility run more smoothly. More often than not, most healthcare facilities are busy places and sometimes morale can take a hit, as a result of the constant hustle and bustle (not to mention the added staffing difficulties). How do you think the permanent staff members feel on a daily basis, in a facility that is understaffed? Stress and frustration are the two biggest things that occur when staffing levels are low in a facility. My husband, Ryan, is the one who introduced me to the gypsy life. His best explanation as to what we as travelers do is a perfect illustration of our role in any health care facility: “You are a traveler…think of yourself as a mercenary…a ‘healthcare soldier’. You go in, learn the job role as quickly as possible so you can help fill a spot and temporarily ‘save’ the facility you are at.” Your role as a traveler not only eases staffing difficulties but allows for daily work to go on smoothly in the department you are at. You are essentially a ‘healthcare hero’!! By simply filling in a staffing hole, you are helping a lot but is there more you can do to help out the facility you are at?? The answer is YES!

Spreading Joy At Work

One of the best places you can spread some joy, as a traveler, is at the facility you are assigned to. As we talked about earlier, morale is usually not the best in departments that are short staffed. Yes, you are improving morale by simply being there but there is so much more you can do. Ryan and I have made it our goal to spread joy and laughter at every facility we are assigned to. We want the staff to know we are more than a ‘temporary fix’. We want to help inspire a positive work environment, wherever we go. It’s like a domino effect: you make one person laugh/smile, someone else sees them laugh/smile…which makes another person laugh/smile, and so on. You have a lot more influence than you realize, at your facility. You can make such a huge positive impact on not only the patient’s you care for, but the staff as well. What are some ways to spread some joy at your facility? You can pick up extra shifts, to help a fellow employee spend more time with their kids. You can bring donuts, candy or snacks for the staff to enjoy in the breakroom. Making people laugh and smile goes such a long way to help brighten someone’s day! Get a group of staff together and have dinner one day after work-getting to know the staff is an excellent way to build rapport and it helps strengthen trust in work relationships. What are some ways you’ve helped spread joy at your assignment?

Donating To Charities

If you’ve been at an assignment for a while, chances are that you’ve acquired quite a few items during your visit. i.e.: clothes, extra kitchen items, shoes, coats etc. I don’t know about you but I like to travel with only the necessities! Ryan and I make a point to find either a Good Will or halfway home to donate items that we don’t really need to take with us. It’s a twofold win: you get to lighten your load and bless someone with needed items!

Volunteer Work

Team Rybo is from Tennessee (a.k.a. The Volunteer State) and we are big fans of volunteering to help others. If you are looking to spread some joy in your assignment area, seek out places in which you can volunteer your time to help others. Animal shelters-you can donate food and volunteer your time to help play and care for animals at a local animal shelter. (extra perk: you get to love on pets…which they will absolutely love in return!) Soup kitchen: There are soup kitchens located in various areas across the country. Get on your phone and google a local soup kitchen in your assignment area. You can help serve food to people that have fallen upon tough times. Nursing homes: you could volunteer to help at a nursing home. You can do arts and crafts with the residents, play a musical instrument, have a spa day with the ladies, teach a dance class. There is nothing more satisfying than giving your time to the elderly. Medical Missions: you can volunteer your awesome medical skills to help people less fortunate get much needed healthcare.

Spreading joy, while on assignment, is one of the best ways to fill your spare time. You get to use your time and energy to help better the world around you. Something as small as listening to someone may mean the world for that one person. Whether you donate your time, money or items, you have the potential to make a huge positive impact on the lives around you. As healthcare workers, our main mission is to help care for people. By spreading joy in your assignment area, you are furthering your mission. What’s even cooler is that you can do it in multiple places across the country. How you can you spread some joy at your assignment??