How to Decompress as a Travel Nurse: Wellness Tips for Travel Nurses

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By Andrew Ferguson

May 14, 2017

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How to Decompress as a Travel Nurse

Nurses work hard, and travel nurses work really hard. There’s almost no limit to the appreciation I have for nursing professionals. Ever since my wife became a nurse, I have seen firsthand the sacrifice and effort they put into their craft. I have witnessed the love they bring to a profession that can seem callous at times. Between keeping the doctors focused, putting in PICC lines, changing catheters, tracking down techs, and taking care of their families, nurses are some of the hardest working individuals on the planet. While most nurses fall in this category, there’s no denying that while travel nursing is one of the most awesome opportunities ever, there are some unique stressors related to it. In our family, it falls to me to decompress our travel nurse.

From elaborately planned sabbaticals to making sure the bathroom is well stocked with toilet paper, there are many ways to provide a little respite for the traveler in your life. I’ve tried a few different schemes since we’ve been on the road, with varying degrees of success, but I must say that I hit it out of the park with this one. So, if you’re a nurse in need of a little R and R, or are looking to do something special for your nurse (and happen to be working out west), I have just what the doctor (or more accurately, in this case, the nurse’s husband) ordered.

We’re in Western Colorado right now. My wife’s current assignment is close to Glenwood Springs, and Glenwood Springs has hot springs (which is probably self-evident by the name, but I wasn’t sure how to introduce it into the story). We went for a three-day getaway, with the intention of hitting up the hot springs and hiking Hanging Lake Trail on our way out of town. We stayed in the downtown area, within walking distance of the springs, and close to some great restaurants and shops. Our hotel had the great distinction of being the spot where Doc Holiday died on November 8th, 1887 of TB. I was fired up about this bit of gunslinger history, although it didn’t help that my wife kept calling him Doc Hollywood. Whatever your thing, Glenwood Springs is a really cool destination for any adventures you decide to get into.

The springs range in temperature from 99° to 108° Fahrenheit. They contain iron, sulfate, chloride, sodium, and calcium minerals. The ones we went to were right on the Colorado River and had a stunning view of the Red, Flat Top, and Iron mountains. There was a facility on-site to get snacks or drinks (you could even grab a beer, depending on just how relaxed you wanna get), and the shower and locker rooms were eloquent. The walkways between the different pools were kept warm by the geothermal heat exchange from the springs. There is also a non-mineral, heated family pool, that we took turns taking our young son to, while the other soaked in the hot springs.

My wife basically melted into the warm, mineral-rich water, and didn’t rematerialize for several hours. They suggest you don’t soak for more than 15 minutes at a time, luckily this isn’t an enforced suggestion. She absolutely loved the therapeutic soaking and was rejuvenated by the relaxing atmosphere. It was a well-deserved, and wonderful way for her to spend her time off from the stressful responsibilities of taking care of others. (Also, that Hanging Lake Trail I mentioned earlier…tough, but well worth the climb!)

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