HOW TO TRAVEL IN PAIRS AS NURSES
You may have heard about bringing a spouse, family, or pets on your next assignment, but what about travel nursing in pairs? After all, life on the road can become lonely, and what better way to combat this than to bring a fellow nurse or best friend along with you?
There are actually many advantages to travel nursing in pairs, but it does take some coordination on your end to make sure assignments, housing, and other things line up accordingly. If traveling with another nurse sounds appealing to you, read on to find out about the benefits of doing so, along with a few tips to guarantee success for both of you.
Benefits of Traveling in Pairs
Traveling with another fellow nurse can offer many benefits. While you may not work the same nursing shifts or even at the same healthcare facility, having a familiar face around when you’re in a new place is always advantageous.
Traveling as a pair gives you someone to go out with and explore your assignment location. Additionally, if you’re thinking about getting involved with certain activities or trying something new, having someone around whom you already know can help you feel more comfortable in new settings and make it easier to meet and talk to new people.
One of the biggest benefits to travel nursing as a pair is the money you’ll save on housing. It’s no secret that having a roommate makes it easier to afford rent, food, and other bills and necessities. By splitting the cost of housing, both of you will have more flexibility and options for places you may want to live.
Finally, having another person around can help prevent loneliness, especially near the end of your assignment when compassion fatigue may start to set in. At the end of the day (or early in the morning after your night shift), you’ll always have a friendly face to come home to.
6 Tips for Travel Nursing as a Pair
While travel nursing in pairs can offer many benefits, there may be some hurdles you’ll have to face to ensure both of your assignments run as smoothly as possible. Consider the following tips if you’re thinking about traveling with someone else.
- Meet with Your Travel Nursing Recruiter
If you’re working with a travel nursing agency, you’ll want to contact your recruiter as soon as possible to see what options are available. You both may have different recruiters—or you may even work with two different agencies—making it a lot more challenging to match up your travel nursing assignments accordingly.
Fortunately, your travel nurse recruiter is supposed to act in your best interest. They will be your advocate, so it’s best to communicate with them upfront about what you’re looking for. If you’re trying to match your assignment location to a friend, discuss this with your recruiter to see what they can do.
Before the conversation, ensure you have all the information your recruiter may need, such as what city and healthcare facility your friend is working at. With the right information available to them, as well as an open line of communication, your travel nurse recruiter is likely to be more flexible in finding the best possible option for you.
- Know What You Both Want Before Taking an Assignment
If you’re thinking about travel nursing in pairs, you’ll need to consider what you and your partner need and want out of an assignment. The last thing you want to do is accept a travel nursing assignment without consulting the person you’re supposed to travel with. This can become a source of frustration, and your fellow nurse may decide to back out at the last minute.
To avoid this, discuss openly with each other what you’re both wanting out of your assignments, along with what cities you’re most interested in working in. Additionally, if both of you work in different travel nursing specialties, you’ll need to make sure there are openings in each of your niches.
If you discuss your expectations with the other person beforehand, you will have a realistic perspective moving forward, making it easier to work with the other person’s schedule and needs.
- Keep a Constant Stream of Communication Between the Two of You
While living with someone offers many advantages on the financial side of things, having a roommate can also be incredibly challenging. Living in a shared space means compromising when necessary, which may not always be easy. Chores not being completed or specific habits of one person can be points of contention between roommates.
To avoid petty arguments and bickering, it’s best to sit down with each other and have an honest conversation about what you expect from your living situation. Who will complete what chores? Who will be responsible for fixing things when problems arise? Are there any limitations to having people over at certain hours of the day?
All of these topics should be discussed ahead of time to ensure your living situation will be successful in the long term. And, if you end up moving in with someone and it turns out to be less than ideal, keep in mind that all travel nursing assignments are temporary.
- Consider Working Near Each Other But Not at the Same Hospital
Nursing shifts can be long, and if you’re seeing the same person at work and at home, you may get tired of being around them rather quickly. While we always hope this won’t be the case, it can be easy to experience burnout of someone else’s presence if you’re around them too much, leading to annoyance and disagreements.
For this reason, consider working at different hospitals or healthcare facilities. You’ll still be in the same city or town, but your interactions with each other will be limited to the time you spend together outside of your jobs.
Additionally, you won’t have to worry about drama entering the workplace and affecting your ability to do your job if you have disagreements. Limiting the amount of time you spend together means you’re less likely to get into arguments over little things, which can easily turn into bigger issues and dysfunction between the two of you.
- Be Upfront with Hospitals That You Interview with
Just like you’ll want to be upfront with each other and your recruiters, you’ll need to be honest with the hospitals you work at. Some facilities may be concerned with conflicts of interest when nurses have relationships with each other outside of work. Hospitals may have certain policies—especially if you’re dating—to prevent outside issues from coming into the workplace and affecting certain processes and patient care.
Also, if you choose to work at the same facility, you may want certain shifts to coordinate or not coordinate. Having an honest conversation with the hospital you’re interviewing at can lead to more flexibility on their end, since they’ll be more prepared to handle scheduling or other requests when your assignment begins.
- Keep Your Travel Nursing Contract as Your Top Priority
Although you are traveling as a team, both of you have an obligation to fulfill your travel nursing contract. In fact, the contract you hold with your agency, as well as the facility at which you’re employed, will always be your number one priority.
Instances can arise where you or your fellow nurse may have to handle a canceled travel nursing contract. If this happens to one of you, the other will still be expected to fulfill their contract. The last thing you want to do is burn bridges with your agency or certain healthcare facilities because you end up prioritizing a friendship or roommate situation over your job, as this can quickly derail your travel nursing career.
To avoid this situation from occurring, always keep your contract as your top priority and your commitment to a fellow nurse as your second.
Traveling in pairs can bring excitement to your nursing assignments and save you money, but it will take some finessing to ensure any loose ends are tied and your commitment to your job is fulfilled above all else.
Are you considering travel nursing with a friend or fellow nursing colleague? At OneStaff Medical, we can work one-on-one with both parties to find travel nursing assignments as close to each other as possible or in the same city. To learn more or to get started, contact us today at 877-783-1483