6 Travel Nursing Tips for Adjusting to a New Facility

Friendly nurses sitting at a table and talking

Travel nursing offers amazing opportunities for nurses to experience new destinations and facilities across the country. In addition to getting to experience new locations, it also provides the chance for nurses to help facilities that need it the most. To be a travel nurse, you’ll need to be adaptable, organized, and ambitious when constantly changing facilities and surroundings. Here are some travel nursing tips to help you adjust to a new facility.

Taking Time to Learn Policy and Procedures

Adjusting to your new assignment as a travel nurse can be stressful when you don’t know the facility’s policies and procedures. It’s important to ask questions to learn as much as you can about your new facility so you can learn the ins and outs. Is there a chain of command you need to follow? Does the facility have time frames in which things need to be done during your shift? Take time and request the policy and procedures to review them and ensure your success.

Learn Emergency Protocols and Plans

As a travel nurse adjusting to a new facility, it is essential to learn what to do in an emergency with your patient. Take time to learn the emergency protocols and plans. Does the facility have sepsis or rapid response teams? Do you know where the crash cart is? What is the protocol when a code red or code pink is called? Do you know what the codes are and how to respond to them?

Familiarize Yourself With the EMR

Something else you can do as a travel nurse to feel comfortable in a new assignment is to learn the computer systems. Most travel nurses find the most challenging and stressful part of working in a new facility is learning the charting systems. As a nurse, you will need to look up a patient’s labs, history, and exams, so you will need to find out where this information is. You will also need to chart your assessments, vitals, and more, so it is essential to spend some downtime learning the computer systems. 

Organizing and Prioritizing Your Day

Adjusting to a new facility as a travel nurse can be overwhelming at times. Time management and organization are important to get through your shift. Planning your day can help you stay organized. Even if you veer off of your plan a bit, having a general outline for your shift can help keep you prioritizing tasks. It’s helpful to have patient notes in a consistent place so you can quickly reference them. It’s also helpful to keep notes on your patients with times that medication and therapies are due to stay on track.  

Be Friendly to Other Team Members

Another tip to help travel nurses adjust to a new facility is to be friendly with the other staff members. Nursing is about teamwork, and it is hard to feel like an outsider and not know who to ask if you need help. Finding a few other nurses to assist you with questions and concerns will help you navigate unexpected issues. Having a positive attitude and being friendly with other staff members such as lab, pharmacy, secretaries, and more can help you when questions arise in other departments.

Remember the Patient Matters Most

No matter what travel nursing tips you take to feel comfortable at your new assignment, the most essential thing that matters is that the patient comes first.  The patient’s comfort and care are the first priority for every nurse.  Remember, you are the patient’s advocate.

Being a travel nurse requires adaptability and quick learning, especially with frequent changes to the facilities and settings you find yourself in. However, these travel nursing tips can help you be well-prepared, organized, and a team player so that you can successfully ease into your new assignments and bring the best care to your patients.

Find Your Next Travel Nursing Job with CareerStaff

At CareerStaff, we are here to help you find new travel assignments and make sure you have the tools you need for success. We have hundreds of amazing travel assignments in regions across the country! The nurses and clinicians who travel with us love our lineup of great benefits, and we’re also proud to offer top pay and weekly stipends for our travel assignments. Our list of available travel jobs is updated every day; you can search all of our current travel job openings here.

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