By Jennifer Traub

February 3, 2020

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5 Things All Travel Nurses Should Consider Before Quitting a Difficult Assignment

Let’s face it. When hospitals are calling in travel nurses, it is usually because they are in dire need of extra help because they are so short staffed. This could put you in some not so favorable working conditions and make for a difficult assignment, that may make you want to pull your hair out. The motto I use when I get a job in facilities such as these is, “You could do anything for 13 weeks.”

If that internal reassurance is still not getting you through, you may want to consider a few things before you call it quits.

Check the hospital system rules

First, you need to see if quitting your current assignment will affect your potential for getting another job in the same hospital system. For instance, if you are working for an HCA hospital, it is possible you may not be able to get another job with another HCA hospital for an extended period of time. This limits your options in finding work as a traveler.

Reread your contract

Second, you need to reread the fine print in your contract. Some agreements with the hospital you are working for clearly state you will need to pay money upfront if you choose to end your contract early.

Search for Resources

Next, see if there are any resources that can help you get through the remaining weeks of your contract. You already went through orientation and the whole process of acclimating to a new facility and city. It’s a shame to throw away all of that time and energy if there are ways you could salvage your deteriorating mindset. Reach out to management and see if you could get patients that are more conducive to your skillset or if there are more team members who could

Buddy up with other travelers

These nurses have the same mindset as you, so therefore you are all in this together. Confide in another traveler you trust about how you’re feeling. I don’t know too many other travelers who wouldn’t help another nurse who was struggling.

Treat yourself and do fun things in the city you’re in

Finally, make sure you treat yourself and do fun things in the city you’re in. We have a very difficult job and self-care should always be a priority.  If you’re not taking care of yourself, you sure as heck can’t take care of anyone else.

I hope these tips have helped give you some insight and/or motivation to keep plowing through your difficult assignment. Sometimes a traveler needs to call it quits despite all of these recommendations because they don’t feel safe working on the unit they’re on or because of other various reasons. That is OK too. You’re a contract employee, and one of the benefits of that is having the freedom and flexibility to work when and where you choose to.

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