Managing Stress in Travel Nursing
Travel nursing is an excellent career option. There are many pros to the job, such as the ability to travel and work, the job satisfaction of helping those in need, and high-paying roles.
However, travel nursing can also be a stressful profession. According to one study published in Nursing Research and Practice, 92% of nurses have moderate, high, or very high levels of work-related stress. Travel nurses also experience their own unique set of stressors on top of those suffered by regular nurses. So, how do seasoned travel nurses cope with the stress?
Stresses That Travel Nurses Experience
Travel nursing jobs require flexibility and adaptability. Living a nomadic life can take its toll. You don’t put down roots in your workplace, as you are often not there long enough. Some of the most common causes of stress among travel nurses include:
· Being Away from Home
When you work near your home, at the end of the day you know you are going back to your house, and family. When traveling, this is not the case. You sleep in a place that is not your home, and for many people this can be extremely stressful and make them feel lonely.
· Dealing with a New Boss
Entering a new work environment is always stressful. When travel nursing this is a frequent occurrence. You must adapt to a new setting, new colleagues, and a new boss. Typically, your new boss will have a different style of running their team from the last one. You may find it stressful getting into a new routine, or you may find that you don’t gel well with your new boss.
· Compassion Fatigue
Compassion fatigue presents when you continuously connect with patients and, after constant exposure to suffering, develop a lack of empathy.
· Heavy Workload
Nurses are experiencing heavier workloads than ever before. Long hours and demanding tasks can cause you to have a lack of energy and feel overwhelmed and stressed.
5 Coping Mechanisms for Travel Nurses
· Set Up a Routine
Whether you are in your current role for twelve weeks, setting up a new ‘normal’ will help you feel at ease and create a stable work-life balance. Schedule how to productively spend your time on your days off, set up an exercise routine, and schedule time to cook meals.
· Get Some Sleep
Getting eight hours of sleep on a busy and often changing work schedule can be tough. But sleep is important and has been proven to reduce stress levels. Do the best you can to fit in a full eight hours every day.
· Adventure Is Calling
One of the reasons you became a travel nurse is likely because you enjoy traveling. When you are in a new place, take the time to go out and explore. See the sights and research an interesting place around your area that you want to visit.
· Connect with Co-Workers or Locals
After a long day dealing with patients, it can be easy to make your life simply work and then home. However, when traveling, without your friends and family close by, it’s important to make connections with those around you. Make plans with co-workers or the new friend you made at the gym. This will help you to take your mind off work and ease your stress.
· Create Your Comfort Zone
Do you have a favorite film, book, or food you like to enjoy that always makes you feel a little better? After a stressful day, indulge yourself. Watch your favorite movie on Netflix or order that pizza. Take some you time and enjoy the things that comfort you.
To Sum Up
Stress is common in the travel nursing profession. However, it doesn’t need to overwhelm you and burn you out. There are many effective ways that you can cope with the stress from your job and focus on the positive aspects you love about your role.