This article was provided by Medely.
Your mobile device might just be the key to getting the most out of your new assignment.
We live in a world where our cars drive themselves and our refrigerators tell us the weather and commute times. Well… they do if you can afford it. Think about it – what are the chances that you’d forget your phone when leaving on a 13 week travel assignment? There’s a better chance you’d forget your toiletries.
Technology is a vital part of healthcare as well. Whether it’s something as cool as a 3D printed cast or something as seemingly simple as a digital staffing platform like Medely, technology is creating better patient outcomes and simplifying our work lives – yes, even those frustrating EHR/EMR systems.
Here are six ways technology can improve your travel nursing experience.
Your agency experience
From the moment you submit your application to a travel assignment until you collect your last paycheck 13+ weeks later, you will be regularly relying on your agency for all kinds of administrative tasks. This makes the agency you choose to book travel assignments through a critical choice in this experience. An agency’s level of tech adoption will impact how you apply, prove your credentials, accept your offer, clock in and out, and get paid. Look for an agency that provides digital tools for each of these aspects but still provides the level of support and interaction you need.
Most of us have at least heard the names Yelp and Travelocity. Knowing how to maximize travel tools makes getting to the new city a breeze and has you living like a local in no time.
Pro-tip: If you fly regularly many travel sites will use a cookie to track you. They may actually show you inflated rates based on your need. Use incognito mode in your browser or a privacy-focused browser like Brave to avoid this.
Once you’re there, make the most of your time. Make sure you don’t spend 12 weeks in a city only to find out the best Thai restaurant is just around the corner. To do that, you need to have the same info the locals have. Using tools like Spotted By Locals, Showaround, and Eat With will have you up to speed in no time. From having a resident show you around to planning meals around non-touristy restaurants, there’s an app to fit your needs.
Productivity apps are nothing new. From complex workflow apps like Jira to simple note-keeping apps like Evernote, everyone has their favorite productivity app. Nurses are no different. Here are a few useful productivity tools for nurses:
- Evernote (Android, Apple): Any list of productivity apps without Evernote on it is suspect at best. With the ability to quickly take and organize notes, set voice reminders, and file photos, it’s a must-have app.
- Epocrates (Android, Apple): This app that has been alive and kicking since the days of Blackberrys. Use it to quickly find drug safety information, drug interactions, and dosage calculators. The built-in Pill ID function lets you identify medication by shape, color, scoring, imprint codes, and more.
- UpToDate (Android, Apple): This app puts reliable, peer-reviewed info within easy reach and is an invaluable resource. Use it to find information for primary care, pediatrics, OB/GYN, internal specialties, and general surgery. It also has well as over a hundred medical calculators and thousands of patient education articles.
- Medscape (Android, Apple): The latest medical news, sorted by specialty, FDA announcements, and continuing education courses are all found in this app. Not to mention medical calculators and drug information.
- MedPage Today (Website): This site specializes in covering breaking medical news and offers several continuing education options and articles.
Life’s uncertain. You could show up on your first day and find out the facility misplaced your credentials. Or maybe you’re in a pandemic and would rather pick up per diem shifts than explore a new city. Making sure you’ve got all of your credentials in one digital location just makes sense. Before leaving on assignment, scan or take a photo of each of your credentials. Give them a clear name, and upload them to a folder on a cloud service like DropBox or Google Drive.
Technology Pro-tip: Don’t own a scanner? (because who owns a scanner in 2020?) Take pictures of documents in a well-lit location, preferably with natural light. Get as close to the document as possible, and make sure it’s in focus. A fuzzy, poorly-lit document pic won’t be very useful!
Your work experience
While you’re in a new city you’ve got access to facilities and doctors you don’t have at home. Each of them may do things a little differently or use technology you don’t have experience with. You’ve got a great opportunity to expand your network and your knowledge. Use your days off to pick up per diem shifts at different facilities. Clock some hours on a different EHR, work with professionals that use different methods, or just figure out what kind of staff you like working with. This is one place where your choice in agency and having your credentials ready matters. Not all agencies offer per diem jobs or allow you to pick them up while on assignment. So choose wisely and be prepared!
Your connection to others
Oh sure, you love Facebook for staying in touch with friends from college or high school. But social networks, when on a travel assignment, can be vital to your mental health. They’re not just for staying in touch with people back home. LinkedIn and Facebook groups for travel nurses or local professionals are a great way to find local networking events. Meetup is also a great way to find events for people who share your interests in a new city.
Do what works for you
Technology can impact all aspects of travel nursing. It helps you maximize your work experience (and pay!), explore new surroundings, stay connected, and ensures everything runs smoothly. Finding what works best for you may take some trial and error, but being ready to try a new app or service will enable you to tailor your travel experience to best fit your lifestyle and needs.