TNAA Healthcare provided this article.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, but your mental well-being should be a priority all year. As a travel nurse, you’re making huge life adjustments and often find yourself in unfamiliar environments without your support system close. Yes, diving into this new adventure is exciting, but it can be stressful at times. Here are agency resources you might have available to you that can help you re-center when life feels overwhelming.
Agency Resources for Your Mental Well-being
As a travel nurse, you’re filling a need in each hospital where you take an assignment. You’re sharing your skills and resources to care for patients selflessly. Ensure your agency is caring for you, too, because when one part of you is off – whether it be your physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental state – it can affect the others.
Ever explained a work situation to your friends, but they can’t relate or keep up with the industry jargon? It’s nice to talk to someone who can relate to what you are experiencing. See if your agency has a clinical services team you can speak to when you’re having a hard time on an assignment. Some team members might also take hospital shifts, which means they likely know exactly what you’ve been through during the pandemic.
Maybe you had a relationship with your hospital chaplain as a staff nurse. But as a travel nurse, do you know who the hospital chaplain is from assignment to assignment? Select agencies have a corporate chaplain as a source of non-denominational care that offers spiritual and emotional comfort when you need it most.
Mental Well-being Programs
At TNAA, we reevaluate our benefits every year to see what we can implement to serve our travelers better. During the pandemic, it became prevalent that we needed to expand our mental wellness resources to meet our travelers where they were – all over the country, working shifts at all hours of the day and night. We’ve since partnered with First Stop Health, a free, unlimited, confidential resource that connects our travelers, internal employees, and their loved ones with a licensed counselor by phone or video call.
Ask your agency what free resources they might have available to you that focus just on your mental health. Some might have Employee Assistance Programs that offer free therapy sessions. While there might be limits on the number of sessions or events per year, the EAP can get you started and likely recommend you to a professional in your health network afterward.
When was the last time you took an actual vacation, and do you feel comfortable taking time off with your agency? Talk to your agency’s benefits team to learn about any PTO options available to you and the bridging policy for benefits when you’re between assignments. Knowing this information can bring you comfort when you want to plan an extended break just to relax. Want other ideas to focus on your mental well-being? Here are five ways you can decompress after a hard shift. Or check out the American Nurses Association Resources list that includes apps, factsheets, gratitude practices, podcasts, quizzes, and more related to mental wellness.
We hope you found this article on ways to re-center yourself during Mental Health Awareness Month helpful. Do you have any tips to help re-center yourself? Comment any ways you have found to re-center.
Are you looking for your next travel nurse assignment? Click here to view our travel nurse jobs page. Do you need housing for an upcoming travel nurse assignment? Click here to view our travel nurse housing page.