Travel Nurse Across America® provided this article
Tips to social success as a travel nurse
So you are on your latest adventure as a travel nurse…you landed the ideal job in your dream city, packed up, and settled in. Now what? Suddenly, you have some time on your hands and no one to share it with, nowhere to go, and you’re feeling a little lonely. It’s perfectly normal to go through this type of adjustment stage as a travel nurse. And, with the stressful demands of your job, sometimes it’s better to keep a more moderate schedule. However, that doesn’t mean living like a hermit. Socializing is very important for everyone’s mental and emotional health. To keep nursing and life balanced, you should stay connected with people, feel needed and appreciated outside of work, and look for opportunities to meet new people that can add richness to your life.
Here are a few ways to meet and win new friends while on a travel nurse assignment. They may not all be right for your particular personality, but keep an open mind and be sure to give some a fair try. Here’s hoping you are on the road to popularity very soon.
One of the fastest ways to meet new people is through your existing friends. Ask if they know people in your new location. This can be an excellent source of new friendships because your current acquaintances know your personality and might be able to match you with those who share common interests.
Be approachable at work–
You don’t want to limit all your friends to co-workers because that would leave very little variety to your day. However, it is an excellent place to start. Grab lunch or take a walk with others in your department. You will learn who is a good fit quickly, then perhaps it can grow into after-work get-togethers.
The fitness factor–
Join a gym or sign-up for a class. Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and other fitness classes are all popular ways to get exposed to a group of diverse people. These also provide flexible commitment on your part. You set your time at the gym and usually roam away from a conversation if it’s not working for you. Classes have set time limits, so you know there is little time at the start and finish if you want to pursue a new friend further.
Start a club–
Once you have a few people that seem to fit well with your personality, engaging regularly can be very helpful to help those relationships grow. Host a book club, regular dinner potluck, or even a wine and cheese tasting to bring people together.
As the name suggests, social media is a place to foster socializing. Look for Meet-Ups, Facebook pages and groups, event pages, and apps that are designed to connect people with similar interests. Always use precautions to stay safe. Never give out personal information online, meet only in well-lighted public places, inform someone about any meetings with location details, etc.
While it’s not advisable to download your entire life story at a first encounter, it is often helpful to share about yourself gradually to grow a relationship. Showing emotion and confiding in someone you trust can help bolster a casual friendship into something more valuable to both parties.
Tread lightly on work talk–
Most of your life may be consumed by your work, and it is undoubtedly a proud part of your day. However, nursing may not be interesting to everyone. Share on a gradual basis and gauge reception from your audience. And be sure never to share personal details about your patients or information that can be linked to a specific person. Privacy and discretion should always be your top job despite how rousing the details may be.
Once you have done a great job meeting new people and forming a few friendships, you must keep them going. Any relationship takes some effort. Try to schedule regular “dates” or activities. Go for coffee, have a monthly movie night, commit to trying a new restaurant regularly, or even have a “call date’ to chat. In a world of instant technology and texting, it is still imperative to have live conversations for a relationship to last.