Guest post by: Sarah Marks
In many ways, being a travel nurse can make for very difficult decisions. Some travel nurses are brave enough to add their family to the mix. Travel nursing with family has it’s own unique challenges.
Tips for Travel Nursing with Family
Between figuring out a school schedule, finding a doctor, to simply making sure that everyone stays as comfortable as possible throughout your assignment, here are a several ways to make your decision a positive impact on your near and dear.
Location, location, location.
One of the main reasons we become travel nurses is for the adventure. The best part is that you get to choose your next adventure with every assignment. With that being said, your family can usually pick a location that will keep *most* everyone in the family happy, (as if they are all ever happy at once.)
Maybe it’s an ocean view you crave, or perhaps you’d all just be happy to live near a beautiful park that keeps everyone busy. Searching for housing with short-term leasing options can make heading out on to your next adventure a lot more manageable and stress-free. You can also make life a little easier by narrowing down your search to things as specific as the agency you’d like to stick with, per our new job search tool, found here: http://bit.ly/2HVpNok
Be productive, not busy.
In between saving lives and kissing boo-boo’s, you can make the best of your free-time by prepping for your future endeavors. Whether it’s meal prepping in advance for the family that helps melts your stress away after a long day, or knowing that the tablets are charged and snacks are packed for a long car ride, it’s almost essential to have all your ducks in a row when travel nursing with family.
Some tips to stay ahead of the game:
- searching for top-rated family physicians in the area
- making sure your housing has laundry services on-site or a laundromat nearby
- searching for reasonably priced furniture to sell at the end of your assignment
Think of the children.
So what if Mom and Dad both have to work in this whirlwind fairy tale journey? With the help of the internet, word of mouth or maybe family in the area you may be in luck. If you are doing this on your own or are completely new to the area There are childcare services like Care.com. You can specify what you’re looking for, whether they need to watch one or multiple children, if they need to be CPR/First Aid certified, non-smoking, have their own car etc.
It is also nice that you can use this site to find help with tutoring. For older children in the household, having someone to come by that has great reviews and is able to do lessons and/or tutoring for specific subjects can be a life saver, and can make a huge impact on your child’s education.
Technology is ever-changing nowadays and is also very helpful in these situations too. Some travel parents find it worthwhile to travel with a nanny-cam. This makes checking-in effortless in a pinch. Stay-at-home parents can be a beneficial influence. Parents that actively participate in a childs learning experience and home experience combined, offer a smooth transition.
Explore your mind; and your own backyard.
You can use your child’s homeschooling to your advantage quite a bit when you are traveling. Most cities have an array of amazing museums, art exhibits, nature trails and even hands-on historic sites. Examples include:
- the Aztec ruins in New Mexico
- the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
- Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
These experiences can really help children to explore and better their understanding of what they are studying. No matter what your child is interested in, there is usually some way to travel and keep those interests close to “home.”
Another great idea if you have an animal lover at home? Make a list of the best zoos in the country and check out their favorite animals. You can research how they live, where they are from and how they can help to make the future bright for them too. (There are quite a few free zoos across the US too if you’re in a pinch for funds!) For find the best housing in your ideal location you can explore: http://bit.ly/2FQrYbe
A lesson lived is a lesson learned.
A lot of life’s hardest lessons are perhaps the ones that don’t necessarily get taught in school. Finding or making new friends, keeping in touch with others long distance, adapting and appreciating new cultures, locations and even religions are a big plus to travel nursing with family. There is never a bad time to learn a new language either. Being fluent in another language is not only very rewarding while traveling and meeting new people, but very helpful for your child later in life when applying for jobs themselves.
Life on the road sometimes seems like a problematic choice for travel nurses to make. When you know you are making great choices educationally and with true life experience at hand, it often leads to the best experiences. Here’s to your family’s best adventure.
Sarah is the content creator for TGN. She enjoys spending time with her kids, helping others and doing yoga.
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