Tips for Dealing with COVID-19 as a Traveling Nurse

By Luke Smith

September 8, 2020

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Tips for Dealing with COVID-19 as a Traveling Nurse

Times in the medical world have been difficult, to say the least. They have been downright crazy for the most part. COVID-19 has sent us all on a whirlwind adventure that nobody signed up for or expected.

Being a traveling nurse during these times has been particularly difficult. You may have found yourself working in a couple of different hospitals with differing protocols and ways of handling the virus. Likewise, you may have experienced difficulties with patients and doctors suspicious of you from coming in from elsewhere.

It isn’t easy; it probably won’t be for a while yet. But here are some tips for dealing with it.

Travel Nursing and COVID

In normal times (and perhaps now more than ever) travel nurses are an essential part of the patchwork of medical professionals. As the job title indicates, you are traveling, often in 4-6 month increments, across the country to work at different hospitals and fill in where necessary. During the COVID-19 pandemic, willing travel nurses have been a critical part of filling in gaps and making sure there is enough support in each hospital.

However, the landscape of travel nursing has changed profoundly as a result of the pandemic. Many are saying that jobs are difficult to find as travel restrictions have taken effect. To deal with this, professionals suggest being flexible and quick in your selections. Be willing to try new things and position your recruiter to help you react quickly.

The pandemic is making things difficult for everyone, but especially nurses who have to see the dark reality of the disease play out every day. Taking time to care for your mental health is critical to maintaining your ability to successfully do your job. Get away from COVID a little by not keeping up on all the health-related news outside of work, take time to stay healthy and exercise, and stay in touch with friends and family by reaching out for support as needed.

Adaptations

In many ways, hospitals have been forced to adapt and do things a little differently as a result of COVID. One of the significant things that many have been dealing with is an explosion of misinformation that makes patients skeptical of treatments that could save their lives. Spotting and combating fake news in a professional setting is becoming a more and more critical part of the daily job requirements.

Healthcare providers have also been required to adapt to more virtual solutions in the wake of COVID. For instance, many patients are now demanding remote notarization for things like wills and birth certificates, which typically must be handled in person. These adaptations are essential to keeping people safe and separated as much as possible.

Telehealth is also becoming more popular for patients that are actively trying to avoid hospitals for non-emergency health concerns. More and more, doctors and nurses are getting on board with having check-ups and diagnostic appointments online to assess a patient’s need to come in for a face-to-face meeting. Doing this requires some change in thinking for travel nurses, but it can be a critical means of limiting the spread of COVID to patients that may not otherwise be exposed.

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Travel nursing is a great means of exploring the country and working in a variety of different settings. These nurses are critical components of the healthcare system, especially during the pandemic. However, like many other healthcare professionals, they have had to adapt to changes that COVID is bringing to the table including things like skeptical patients, online patient visits, and online notarization amongst other things.

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