TheraEx Staffing Solutions provided this article.
Working as a nurse can be exciting and rewarding. Nevertheless, every nurse who has ever been on staff at a hospital or medical facility knows how stressful and demanding their job can be at times and how easy it is to fall victim to burnout. Many nurses find that their unpredictable work schedules and rigorous job duties prevent them from maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Travel nursing offers nurses the chance to escape from their day-to-day routine and allows them to explore new opportunities in different locations across the country. In addition to engaging in new workplace experiences, travel nurses also have the opportunity to enjoy a new and exciting lifestyle while exploring new activities and adventures.
There are a handful of small changes you can implement to help improve your work-life balance as a travel nurse gradually. We have a few tips to help you get started.
Choose Travel Nurse Assignments That Suit Your Needs
The best part about travel nurse assignments is that you get to decide what will be the best assignment for you. Whether it’s location, desirable working hours, or high pay, there will always be an assignment that fits your needs. Think about what matters the most to you. Why did you decide to become a travel nurse? Was it to make more money, explore new fun and exciting locations, or create meaningful memories with your friends or family? Choose assignments that will help you achieve these goals.
It’s also important to note that it is okay if your needs change over time. You might miss family (if you decide to travel on your own and they stay back at home) and want an assignment closer to home. Or you might have an adventurous streak and want an assignment in a region with plenty of activities and things to do.
Set Limits and Stick to Them
Most nurses go into healthcare because they have an innate yearning to help people, but it’s also important to place reasonable limits on yourself while doing so. Try to do your best each day to stick to a set schedule and leave when your shift is done. While there will always be patients to care for, your personal time is just as valuable. By actively maintaining a set daily routine, you can go a long way toward establishing a healthy work-life balance that will leave you feeling less stressed at the end of the day.
Leave Work at Work
In your profession, there will be many times you are exposed to situations that will stick with you and will weigh heavily on your emotions. On any given day, a nurse may play a part in a particularly tragic or emotional situation, and those situations can affect you long after your shift is over. In order to have a happy home life, you will need to do your best to block out work events after you leave for the day. If you spend all night dwelling on the what-ifs and could-have-beens, not only will your home life suffer, but you’ll also feel mentally drained.
Create a Bucket List and Take Time for You
One of the easiest ways to improve your work-life balance is to build time for yourself into your schedule. Create a bucket list of the things you would like to do and pick assignments that will help you complete them. Maybe you’ve wanted to go whale watching in Alaska, watch the sunset on a Florida beach, or explore a California amusement park. Maximize your off-hours by doing things you enjoy and bring you a sense of adventure or relaxation. Most nurses want to do what’s best for their patients, so it’s time to start thinking of yourself as a patient and focus on giving yourself what you need to live a fulfilled, happy, and healthy life.
Just remember that one of the greatest perks of being a travel nurse is being in charge of your career and the decisions you make. You can come and do your job and leave when your contract is over without having to worry about the stresses of a permanent job. This alone is a huge step in taking care of your mental health and allows you to enjoy a healthy work-life balance.
Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.