Setting up a routine is really important for a person. It is even more important if that person is a travel nurse. But why? Establishing a routine can give you a sense of stability and a homey feeling and it can soften that cultural shock. Making a routine is a kind of a ‘safe zone’ that helps us maintain control during unpredicted events and stressful times which is, we can all agree, something that every medical worker can relate to.
Even if you are an experienced medical traveler it may be challenging at times to cope with the stress of changing your environment. And if you are a first-timer, here are some tips to help travel nurses make a routine at their first assignment.
THE SOONER THE BETTER
If you are impatient or even anxious about your upcoming travel assignment, there are things that you can do to start feeling less tense. Start organizing! The sooner you start planning your trip and start taking steps to get ready, you will start feeling relief.
So, don’t just think about why you should be doing it but rather start doing it. You can take the first step in setting up your routine even before you arrive at your next destination.
Start off by making a list. Put down everything on paper. Make main categories and subcategories. And start crossing off items right way!
THINGS TO DO RIGHT AWAY
Things you can do right away could be packing up your clothes and toiletries, checking your medicine travel kit, and taking care of your documents. And while you’re doing this, you will make sure to have enough of everything and if you don’t, it gives you the time to buy and refill your supplies.
Once you are done, you can move on to the next step. Start gathering information about your temporary residence. Think about your travel nursing assignment, specifically about how you are going to travel to work, try to find the best route for you, the quickest or the most interesting one. You can also map grocery stores and local markets or parks and gyms.
THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU ARRIVE
It is always a good idea, if it’s possible, to book your flight a couple of days before the starting date of your travel nursing contract. It will give you the time to unpack, set up your housing and decorate it as you like. You can also use this time to check out all of those things that you have been wondering about and planning. You might have wanted to take the bus, for example, but it turned out you really enjoy the scenery when riding the train.
This way, you can use this extra time to recover from the jet lag, adjust to the new environment and make adjustments to your initial plan.
START YOUR ADVENTURE
Once you start doing your job you should already know your basic schedule and have an idea of how to stick to it. Of course, a travel nursing job can be unpredictable at times, but if we speak of regular days you will probably be grateful for all the planning you did. After a long day at work, you will be happy to know which bus to take and which store to visit on your way home.
It is important to keep your habits the same – to some level, such as exercising or eating healthy. But don’t forget to enjoy the adventure that travel nursing can be. Hopefully, you have already set some dates for exploring local novelties.
In addition, feel free to change your plans according to how you feel, to organize a movie night, or go to a picnic with your colleagues. It is great to have a routine in order to lead a balanced life but don’t become a slave to it.
In conclusion, getting organized and making a routine has multiple benefits in travel nursing: it gives you a sense of control, makes daily tasks easier, helps you get into the rhythm of your new assignment faster. And don’t forget that if you have any questions you can always contact your medical staff recruiter and ask them for advice on anything you are not sure about or concerned about.