I like to quote famous people in my writings. For this article, I’d like to cite a famous author, Hunter S Thompson, who once said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride”. Which, if you think about it, is exactly what travel nurses do. They take the chance of adventures that a lot of people can’t bring themselves to take. The rewards are off the hook, but even so, it takes some bravery, and a lot of gumption to step into the arena.
An assignment can fly by quickly, or it can seem like a lifetime. This can depend on how you feel about your latest job, but a lot of it has to do with how much you like the new town you find yourself calling home. So, therein lies the rub.
How do you handle a dud assignment, when all you want is to earn a living and get your adventures on?
If it’s a situation at work, that’s probably a case for you and your recruiter to handle, or you need advice from a fellow travel nurse. I’ve seen my wife come home in tears, so I know how bad things can get, but I’m going to stick to my area of expertise for this article, and stay out of the hallowed halls of the hospital.
So, the town your working in rolls up its sidewalks at 7:30, and everyone’s over sixty, or under twenty, depending on which demographic you choose to hang with (or in this case, not hang with). It can be rough when you don’t enjoy your temporary hometown. You can’t enjoy your off days, it makes it hard to get anything done, and you feel like you made a huge mistake.
We are a travel nurse family, and that can be a different animal then the single travel nurse, or a family without young children, but some of the following suggestions can be used by anybody that finds themselves in this situation.
1.) Never underestimate how much time you can kill improving yourself.
I’m not implying anyone reading this article needs an exceptional amount of betterment, but I also don’t think anyone doing this kind of work is afraid of a little personal growth. As a matter of fact, I’d say that it’s one of the reasons most of you are doing it. Take advantage of a bad situation, by reading, listening to lectures, or working on a new skill.
2.) You know you’ve always wanted to learn a new language.
You’re a traveler after all. Maybe you’ve always been interested in taking your nursing career in a new direction or starting an exercise program. You could try meditation, take up yoga, or learn to bake. A boring town gives you just the excuse you’ve been waiting for to investigate these opportunities. I would encourage anyone who is, or is with a travel nurse, to start taking pictures and writing down all the cool stuff you’ve seen and done. Sites like the Gypsy Nurse are always looking for new contributors, and if you’ve ever read anything by me, you know they’ll publish anybody!
3.) Remember too, that anonymity is your friend on the road.
Sometimes we’re held back from trying something new or taking adventures by how we think our friends, or family will react to it. Nobody likes feeling judged or being embarrassed, but it helps when the people doing the judging are ones you’re likely to never see again. Try it, and if you succeed, brag. If you fail, learn from it, and move on. Be fearless, and you’ll never be bored.