While working as a nurse during a global pandemic is something none of us probably imagined would happen when we entered this career path, this experience has shown how adaptable nurses are and how we can rise to different challenges thrown our way.
The stress of working in a hospital right now is very real, and it can affect everything from how we pack our lunch to what we wear to work. If you find yourself working a Covid 19 contract, it is also important to think about how this may impact your relationship with your landlord, and how to ensure you are being as considerate as possible to keep everyone safe and comfortable.
1. Be honest about the types of patients you are working with.
If your landlord asks what kind of patients you will be taking or if you have had to care for Covid 19 patients–be honest! They may have a specific reason they need to know this, such as a compromised immune system or family members who may be more susceptible. Remain open in your communication to build trust if they have questions.
2. Keep a set of slip-on shoes in your car to wear in and out of the house.
To help keep your living space as germ free as possible, keep a plastic box in your car to set your work shoes in. Then you can wear a pair of slip-on shoes or sandals to and from your rental to keep your hospital shoes out of the house and minimize tracking in anything from the hospital.
3. Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize.
Be sure to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car, work bag, and close to the entrance of your house. It seems like most places have sanitizer in stock by now, but you could always ask friends or family to mail a couple bottles if you can’t find any locally.
4. Don’t take anything to work that isn’t necessary.
My husband and I have tried our best to take disposable containers to work so we can avoid bringing multiple bags back and forth. We figure the less we take in and out of our house, the less risk of possibly bringing any extra germs home. Also, if I bring my laptop to work on writing during my downtime at night I am sure to use sanitizing wipes on it before I pack it back up to go home.
5. Be patient if your landlords seem nervous.
While most of us working in healthcare feel pretty confident in our abilities to keep clean and avoid bringing viruses home even prior to Covid 19, landlords might not be quite as up to date on recent facts regarding the virus. Because of media sensationalism, there is a lot of misinformation that you may need to gently correct to help ease their worries.
As travel nurses, we are always learning how to roll with the punches and handle the new situations that are thrown our way. Covid 19 is just another thing we will overcome and use as a tool to learn and move forward. Whether you are working a Covid contract or steering clear of the hot spots, you may find that a little extra courtesy and patience goes a long way when building relationships with your landlords in the near future.