2020 has been a year unlike any other. And as we wrap up the most poignant and difficult Nurses Week in recent memory, the world has been doubly reminded of the sacrifice being made by the nursing professionals putting their own wellbeing on the line to help treat those afflicted with, and affected by, the COVID-19 coronavirus.
At CareerStaff, we’re doing our small part by connecting nursing professionals with jobs on the front lines of COVID-19 care, and providing resources and information for them to stay healthy during those assignments. On top of that, we’ve asked our experts what other tips for travel nurses working on the COVID-19 front lines.
11 Tips for Travel Nurses in the COVID-19 Era
1. Be flexible with your start date. Whether or not your travel nursing assignment is directly on the COVID-19 front lines, you may be asked to swing into action a little sooner than normal. We’re finding that, when they do find a nurse they need, many hospitals request them to start within the week.
2. Travel light, and alone. We know that the ability to bring your pet on an adventure, or temporarily share an apartment with an old friend, is a big part of the appeal of travel nursing. But during COVID-19, you’ll increase your chances of finding great housing if you leave your pet behind, and everyone’s safety is best served if you self-isolate outside of the workplace.
3. Be mindful of your health (mental and physical). Always a hazard for nurses, burnout is an even more serious danger in the COVID-19 era. Nutrition and stress are both factors, so doing everything you can to get your recommended daily nutrition and 8 hours of sleep is a great start.
4. Practice the art of self-sufficiency. We’re hesitant to even float this idea, since nurses are probably the most selfless people on the planet. But even so, consider this: Going just a little farther with self dependency, like keeping a store of personal masks or snacks, can help you avoid small frustrations (and the temptation to hit the fast food drive-thru on the drive home).
5. Take advantage of freebies. #DYK that many of your favorite brands are offering freebies and discounts to nurses, clinicians and emergency responders working on the front lines of COVID-19 care? Don’t miss our recent rundown of perks for COVID-19 responders (including free Starbucks) as well as info on how to find local details.
6. Find a travel nursing job that offers quarantine reimbursement. Though perhaps not quite as much as when the virus first hit, quarantine is a real risk to healthcare workers on the COVID-19 front lines. Make sure you choose a travel nursing assignment that offers reimbursement so you’re covered financially if you have to undergo quarantine because of it.
7. Review your facility’s infection-prevention guidelines. Chances are good that carefully following a facility’s infection guidelines is mandatory in your facility, no matter what department you work in. Even so, it’s worth making the extra effort to commit these guidelines to memory, and to make a habit of following them.
8. Stay informed. We know there’s precious little time to spend keeping up with the news. But because it’s important to have the latest idea of what’s going on in the fight against COVID-19, as well as see the latest progress (believe it or not, there’s been a lot of it). A single click on the following resources can give you the info you need in just a few minutes:
- The World Health Organization (WHO)’s resource page
- The Joint Commission’s Infection Prevention and Control page
- International Coronavirus Tracker at (Worldometers.Info)
9. Don’t forget about Tax Day. Because of COVID-19, the U.S. government changed the due date fore 2019 taxes from April 15 to July 15, 2020 — a date that’ll soon be upon us. To see what your state’s specific tax deadlines, and for some great travel nursing tax tips, head on over to The Gypsy Nurse for a helpful rundown.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is a high-stress time, and you shouldn’t hesitate to seek the assistance or guidance of a counselor if you feel like you can’t keep up. If there isn’t a counselor available at your facility, reach out to your immediate supervisor immediately if you feel you’re falling behind.
11. Choose an established travel nursing company to ensure a smooth journey. When you choose a travel nurse staffing company as a partner to find a job caring for COVID-19 patients, you’re also joining an established network with a long-standing dedication to ensuring the health and wellbeing of the nurses and clinicians in its network.
At CareerStaff Unlimited, we take care of our nurses. That includes making sure you have the equipment and info you need to deliver great care, not to mention competitive pay and amazing benefits (read about them here). It also means following strict policies to prevent infection and offering 14-day quarantine reimbursement.
If you’re interested in helping us fight COVID-19 on the front lines, we can connect you with a facility that’s in need of nursing professionals like you. Read more about the benefits of working a CareerStaff travel assignment here, or find an assignment now.