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How do I deal with a travel nurse?

Rule #1: Say hello and introduce yourself. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many nurses skip this obvious step.

Remember that the travel nurse is there to help. The sooner she feels welcome, the better. So tell her a little about yourself and ask about her areas of expertise. Most travel nurses have an impressive skill set; learning about her background will help put her at ease and enable you to make the best use of her talents.

Provide a thorough orientation. Travel nurses are pretty good at hitting the floor full stride, but they still need to know where the linen closet is and how to operate the phone system. Take the time to explain any especially important policies and procedures, and introduce her to the docs. Clue her in, too: If certain doctors like the charts to be pulled before they come to make rounds, let her know.

Be sure she knows her job responsibilities as well. Are RNs responsible for their own linen changes on your unit, or do CNAs do all linen changes and personal care? Who’s responsible for counting narcotics?

Check in with the travel nurse frequently, at least during her first few shifts. A simple “How’s it going?” can make a big difference. Also make it a point to include the travel nurse in any unit activities. She might not officially be a part of the gang, but she is for the time being and deserves to be treated as such.

Consider inviting the travel nurse to experience the town with you. Most travelers love to partake of local culture, so give her an insider’s glimpse of the area. Who knows? She just might invite you to visit her when she travels to her next assignment!

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5 Responses to How do I deal with a travel nurse?

  1. Travel Nurse

    Like any new RN to the unit, treat her as you would want to be treated in an unfamiliar area. Meeting new people and accepting them into your place of work is not always easy but it a necessary deed that cannot be avoided. We work in a profession that oftentimes has a lot of turnover with people coming and going (travel nurses, central staffing RNs, etc). Treat everyone with kindness and show them the ropes- as inconvenient as it may make your day. Because someday you will be the new person and you would want someone to do the same to you. The little tips in nursing go a long way.

  2. Great advice.

    Also if you are the nurse manager make sure to introduce her to the rest of the staff as soon as possible and maybe even assign a designated staff member to be her buddy for the first couple of days who can at least show her around and give her someone she knows she can go to if you aren’t available.

  3. Jason

    Is this website aware that nursing, for a few years now, is a bisexual profession. When writing an article it would be more appropriate to use a pronoun that is less gender driven.

  4. Stephanie

    Jason, are you saying that Nursing is only for Bi-sexuals now? I believe if you are going to complain about something, you may want to use the proper wording. I believe you mean nursing is a unisex profession, being for both women AND men.

  5. Shadow

    I’ve been on staff and I’ve been a travel nurse, and I’ve been a charge nurse as well as working the floor. As a traveler, you have to be flexible and fast. Your skill levels are generally excellent and they have to be, since you never get a true “orientation”…You are lucky if anyone bothers to show you the bathroom, much less the cafeteria. Many people show resentment towards you, as if you are taking advantage of them, and they think you are making more money than they are…. yes…you may be making more…temporarily…. but you have breaks in your employment that are created by having to do phone interviews…and travel time from spot to spot… and many travel agencies do not provide any medical or dental benefits… so, in the long run, not even considering your car has outrageous miles of wear and tear on it…… you make a little more hourly than the general staff nurse. In reality, it all depends on how quickly or how good your agency is in keeping you working. I have had agencies that took my last paycheck to reimburse them, after the facility did an underhanded thing of hiring a permanent nurse and breaking my contract….and lying about me to do it. I really hate it when people deliberately do things like that. My friends who have been in traveling, have also had similar experiences. So, its not all fun and games, glamorous situations…. usually, it doesn’t take much to figure out exactly WHY the hospital needs a traveler. The unit is a hellhole..and staff are angry, and nasty to each other… and then, YOU show up……… well…it may make them work together a little better since you are now their focus of discontent… LOL… but it makes the traveler’s life miserable. Its terrible to think you drove across country to do this for money, sometimes…you just want to say…”I will NEVER, as God is my witness…EVER…Be a Traveler….AGAIN!!!

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