While the healthcare profession is invaluable to our society, in many cases, healthcare workers, and especially nurses, have a thankless job with a fair share of hazards. In the face of these hazards, it’s easy to sink into the negativity, which may affect your mental health and, indirectly, your productivity at work. As a travel nurse, you must not fall into this trap. Create a positive work culture instead and bring it on the road, so you can remain productive as you help those in need.
Why It’s Important To Have A Positive Culture
As a nurse, it’s essential that you foster a positive workplace culture during any assignment where you travel and work with others. Getting along with your coworkers is necessary because you count on them to work with you to help patients and, sometimes, to save their lives. In addition to the fact that you’ll all get along better, your positive culture could also affect your overall productivity.
When you’re unhappy at work, you’re likely to just go through the motions and not have the same passion for your job that you once had, and that can impact the patients. Even worse, if you’re sick of your job and don’t think you’re appreciated, then it’s more likely that you or your team could call out from work, which also does a disservice to the patients.
In addition to keeping you and your team content at work, a positive work culture can boost productivity because there will be mutual respect and support. You’ll want to go above and beyond to help those on your staff. Happiness at work can also make you healthier physically and mentally.
Lead By Example and Recognize Others
So, how can you encourage a positive work culture even when you’re on temporary assignments? Start with effective communication. Suggest hosting an open meeting every morning where everyone can air their concerns. Then, you can try to work through those conflicts together and start and go forward throughout the day without any negative feelings.
You can also participate in team-building activities that can make your unit even stronger. The activity could be a gratitude circle, where you go around the room and have each nurse express gratitude to someone else. Another team-building exercise is an office trivia game where you ask questions specific to nursing and have the other nurses play individually or as a team to try to guess the answers. It’s a fun way to create a little competition and remember the best tactics to help your patients.
Take Care of Yourself
You can’t build a positive culture if you’re running on an empty mental gas tank. Instead, the key to spreading positivity is to care for yourself first. This may be something as simple as packing healthy lunches or prioritizing daily movement outside of work. However, energy is a complex subject. If you find yourself lacking motivation on a chronic basis, it may point toward something bigger such as a mental health condition or a chronic illness. The best way you can address that is by prioritizing your health every day and visiting your primary care provider regularly.
Know Your Rights
Finally, it’s important that you know your rights on the job site because if you’re unable to create a positive work culture and it’s negatively impacting your productivity, you need to fight for your rights. People outside the profession don’t always realize it, but you might easily see nursing as a high-risk job, and you may have federal protections. This could be especially true if you’re working in a dangerous part of the world or around patients who may be contagious.
If you’re ever working in a situation where you believe that your safety is threatened or you aren’t being heard by your employer, then take action. Reach out to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). Report what’s occurring, and you’ll be protected from employer retaliation. Take advantage of this option if necessary, and you’ll set up yourself and your fellow nurses to be safer and more productive while at work.
These are just a handful of ways to create a positive work culture as a traveling nurse and make a difference in your organization. Set the right tone at work, and your productivity will increase.