Being a healthcare traveler has a lot of exciting aspects; great pay, traveling the country, expanding your professional skills and so much more. But one thing that isn’t discussed as often is the loneliness you can feel after being away from friends and family for so long. Feeling lonely can make you want to give up and go back home, but you’ve already come so far on your travel journey to just cut it short. So if you are on your first or even tenth assignment and feeling this way, cut yourself some slack. You just moved to a different part of the country, started a new job and are experiencing a lot of change. What you are feeling is COMPLETELY NORMAL. Give yourself some time to adjust using a few of these tips below.
Make friends with co workers
When you first start your new assignment, don’t wait for the resident nurses to make the first move. You go for it! Introduce yourself and get to know them during any downtime, start a conversation asking them about their favorite local places to eat or great things to do in the area. They may even ask to join you. Boom, you just made a new friend. Don’t be scared to put yourself out there! (for extra tips on how to befriend your new coworkers read our 9 tips for befriending co-workers)
Join travel nurse groups and see if any travelers are in your area
Social media is an excellent resource to connect with fellow travelers. There are many travel groups where you can ask for advice, great places to eat, the best trail to hike or see if another traveler is also in your area!
Facetime with family or friends
It is always a comfort to chat with friends or family when you're having a hard time. Hearing a familiar voice and seeing a familiar face can ease any anxiety you do have. While you're chatting, you can plan a time for them to visit you while on assignment. You’ll be able to show them around your new area!
Travel with Pets, Family or a healthcare friend
Just because you are traveling, doesn’t mean you need to do so alone. Like OneStaff, most agencies are flexible and able to help you set up your travels to accommodate your fur baby, children and more. Read More: 12 Tips: Your Guide to Travel Nursing with Family and Pets Have a friend who is also a healthcare professional and wanting to travel? Join forces and get assignments in the same city/area, most agencies will be more than happy to help you both get placed in a similar area. You have a familiar face and someone to relate to your experience PLUS you can split living costs...CHA CHING.
Join a church or community group
When traveling alone, finding a sense of community can make all the difference. If you are spiritual, find a church where you can join a group, meet people and get involved. Same for any community group, find one that aligns with interests or hobbies you have and jump right in. These groups more than likely plan group outings and fun events. Once again, social media is a great tool in finding said groups. Just type in your interest and location or browse the ‘suggested for you’ and you will have a handful to join!
Join a group fitness class
Joining a group fitness class has multiple benefits, you stay active and exercise on a regular basis, meet like minded individuals with similar interests (working out) and HELLO ENDORPHINS! www.groupon.com is a great source to find group fitness classes in your area and you may even happen upon a discount!
Travel nursing doesn’t have to be a lonely venture, you’re on this exciting journey, traveling the country, improving your profession, meeting new people and making some good money. Like a young Hannah Montana once said, “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.” You’ll be surprised how many new friends you can make at each assignment if you only put yourself out there. Ultimately, you are there to work, BUT you can always find time for fun; here are our 15 tips to fitting fun and travel into your travel nursing schedule.