Medical Visits as a Travel Nurse: Navigating Healthcare

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By Miles Oliver

June 10, 2023



Healthy Travel, Happy Nurse: Navigating Healthcare and Medical Visits as a Travel Nurse

As a traveling nurse, you’re doing a fantastic service for the many patients you see yearly. Still, while you’re helping people worldwide, you also need to keep your health in check. From staying insured to attending your regular check-ups and prioritizing your preventative health, there are many considerations to remember as you travel from place to place. 

medical visits as a travel nurse

Keep Up With Regular Check-Ups

As a traveling nurse, you may be on the road a lot. However, when you’re at home, you need to follow the advice that you give to your patients and attend your regular check-ups. It’s essential so you can find any potential life-threatening issues before they get out of hand. 

The importance of attending regular check-ups cannot be understated. When you catch potential issues as they happen, you’ll save money by avoiding costly medical services down the road. Most importantly, regular medical care improves your chances of increasing your lifespan, which you’ll need so you can extend your career and continue to care for others for years to come.

There are other routine check-ups that you should add to your calendar. For instance, you need to visit the dentist and attend your six-month dental check-ups.  While you’re there, you can get an oral cancer screening so you can ensure you have a clean bill of health. Untreated dental issues can lead to health complications, like infections and even a risk of heart disease and other serious ailments. Being proactive is key to ensuring that all goes well

Precautions For The Road

In addition to keeping up on your check-ups while you’re at home, you’ll also want to take the necessary precautions to stay healthy while on the road. Start by ensuring that you’re adequately insured. When you look for insurance, prioritize plans that include a complete package that provides vision and dental and offers day-one coverage so you know you’re protected as soon as you sign on.

If you regularly take medication for any issue, make it a point to check your inventory and ensure that your supply will last during your travels. It also helps to research the state where you plan to travel because if you run out, there may be limitations on how to get your refills. Consider avoiding local pharmacies and instead use a popular chain like Walgreens, which will be located in many states, so you don’t have to go through a lot of red tape if you need a refill. 

It’s also wise to have a plan of action if you have an unexpected medical emergency while on the road. Before you head to a new city, check out the hospital and urgent care centers in the area. Write down the addresses so you know where to go if needed. Also, keep copies of your ID and health-related documents that may come in handy if you suddenly fall ill.

Stay Active Outside Of Work

medical visits as a travel nurse

The chances are that you recommend that your patients practice preventive care so they can live the healthiest possible lives and avoid issues down the road. Make sure that you follow the same advice. 

 Forming good health habits early on can also mitigate some of the risks you may have from your family medical history, but having support from a doctor can also help. For example, it’s important to monitor your eye health by going in for check-ups with your optometrist once a year. During these appointments, they’ll check for common issues, like vision degeneration and cataracts. By being proactive about your health, you can avoid higher medical bills, have better long-term health, and live a more active life well into your golden years.

But how can you take charge of your health right now? Like your patients, you need to practice weight management by eating a proper diet that’s free of trans-fats. Instead, focus on smart foods that provide energy to get up and move around so you can burn calories. Foods in this category include: 

  • Oatmeal;
  • Yogurt;
  • Spinach;
  • Lentils;
  • Fruit. 

Once energized, take the time between patients to get out and get active. Take brisk walks around the neighborhood or park further away than necessary from your patient’s home so you can walk and get your heart pumping. If you only have a little time at the start or end of the day, then try a different type of workout. That might be a high-intensity interval training session. This is a way to combine heart-racing and mild activities. As an example, you might:

  1. Run as fast as you can for two minutes;
  2. Then walk for two minutes;
  3. Repeat that routine for 15-20 minutes.

As a travel nurse, your patients depend on you to get through their pain. Take care of your own wellness, and you can help them to reach that goal.

Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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