Pack: Things That Every Travel Nurse Should Always Bring With Them

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By Janet Warton

August 18, 2021

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Things That Every Travel Nurse Should Always Bring With Them

The high number of COVID cases in the country has left many healthcare facilities understaffed. Travel nurses have been filling in the gaps throughout the pandemic, with 40,000 to 50,000 professionals deployed across the country daily. They generally work 13-week contracts, but these are often extended because of the continuing demands.

Every time they’re assigned to a new location, they’re often provided lodging with basic appliances and living essentials. However, there are some things that travel nurses should always pack no matter the scenario, particularly the following:

Important documents

Important travel nursing documents include various paperwork such as proof of vaccinations for certain illnesses, your social security card, and required certifications for your specialty. Of course, you shouldn’t forget your nursing license, credentials, and contract either.

Personal documents like your birth certificate, driver’s license, and insurance will also come in handy in case of emergencies. Aside from having the original copies or photocopies of these documents, you can also consider having digital versions of them in case you need to produce them or send them to offices remotely.

First-aid kit

You may be working in a health facility, but having your own first-aid kit also ensures that you have emergency supplies for when something happens outside of work, like in your lodging. This should be a health essential for you.

Your first-aid kit should have band-aids, bandages, cold compress packs, tape, gloves, thermometer, and a thermal blanket, among others. Vitamins and other over-the-counter medications should also be in the kit. If you have prescription pills, pack a full supply and take a copy of the prescription in case you’d need refills.

Ergonomic accessories

When you’re constantly moving from place to place, ergonomics may be the last thing you think about. But it’s actually especially important in situations like when you’re sleeping in an airport or cramped in a van. Ergonomic accessories help prevent aches and pains by keeping your body in a neutral position.

Ergonomic accessories reduce stress, tension, and pressure on certain body parts, particularly weight-bearing joints. A travel neck pillow provides neck and head support while relieving the pain and discomfort that comes with sleeping in an upright position while traveling. Meanwhile, an ergonomic keyboard supports the wrist, hands, and fingers – perfect for long hours typing up health reports. They’re shaped to relieve pressure and reduce the tension in the wrist tendons.

Clothes

Depending on how long you’ll be staying, you won’t have to take a lot of things from your wardrobe. Aside from the length of your stay, another thing you need to consider is the weather. If you’re being assigned to one of the colder states, like Maine or Wyoming, then bring heavier scrubs, some thermal underwear, and thicker clothing. Your travel wardrobe should contain casual outfits you can mix and match, work clothes, lounge/gym clothes, and one or two pieces of formal ensembles. As for footwear, bring your trusty sneakers, together with slippers and dressy shoes.

Packing the right items can be challenging for new travel nurses, but you’ll be able to form the perfect strategy as you get assigned to more locations. Start with these essentials and go from there.

Are you looking for your next travel nurse job? Click here to search our job board. Do you have your next job secured but need housing? Click here to search our housing page.

If you are a new traveler or looking into becoming a Travel Nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step by Step

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