There is no denying that nursing is one of the most taxing and challenging professions in the world. However, undergoing a travel assignment can be amazing due to the excitement of adventure and signing up for the unknowns in life. Jumping into a new city and working in a new hospital can be scary yet so exciting.
You will also be working with new doctors, patients, and other travel nurses which can be a lot of change to take in all at once. Sometimes, it can feel super overwhelming which can lead to a pretty intense amount of nursing burnout. But it doesn’t have to be this way at all.
Right now, the world is facing a shortage of nurses. This means that other healthcare professionals are working longer hours to pick up shifts. This also means that more healthcare workers are beginning to truly experience how demanding and overwhelming this profession can be.
Here are some excellent tips for you to keep in mind when trying to avoid nursing burnout while travel nursing.
1. Find a Grounding Hobby
Many people have specific hobbies that ground them and keep them centered. Some people enjoy meditation or yoga while others enjoy exercise, painting, or even a relaxing bath. In order to avoid burnout, you should find an activity that you truly look forward to after a long day that you know will help you reduce stress and recharge.
2. Become Comfortable with Saying “No”
While this isn’t the way to go trying to skip out on nursing shifts, it is important to know your boundaries and set them. This way, you can preserve your energy and avoid any fatigue or burnout. When your tank is running low, you should become as comfortable as possible with saying no.
Your work environment is only as good as your boundaries.
3. Be Proactive
The best way for you to avoid nursing burnout while travel nursing is to stop it in its track when you begin to notice the burnout symptoms. Are you becoming overwhelmed with ratios that your recruiter didn’t speak about in your interview? Are you being put on call too much?
Are you dealing with stress-related work problems? Are you spending too much time in a hospital setting? If so, it is super important to speak up about this.
When problems arise, it is crucial to nip them in the bud before these things become far too overwhelming. Don’t let stress lead to burnout. You can speak to Nurse Leaders when issues arise.
4. Prioritize Your Health
Prioritizing your health doesn’t mean you should undertake any extreme exercise regimens or diets. However, prioritizing your emotional, mental, and physical health will lead to an excellent balance in your life. You should ensure that you are moving your body enough while also drinking enough water.
Water is crucial to enhance your stamina during a tough day. You should also consider exercising as exercise is a massive anxiety and stress reliever. Making sure you have a great diet will also fill your body with all it needs to boost your energy levels and mood.
Making good choices will combat physical exhaustion and make travel nursing far easier.
5. Have a Support System
Whether your support system is made up of other nurses in the same clinic setting, family members, or friends, this will be what keeps you going. Having a system of people who are always on your side and waiting to help you out will help you get the very best out of your travel nursing experience.
After a long day, it is always nice to converse and bond with a group of like-minded people who value your wellbeing. Communication is everything.
6. Take the Time to Laugh
Okay, we get it. This one sounds cheesy. However, when you make laughter a vital part of your day, it will completely boost your well-being. Whether you make the decision to go home and watch a funny movie, meet up with friends for game night, or go to a comedy show, taking the time to laugh will make you feel much better.
You should also consider building a strong patient and nurse relationship so you can make their day better with a belly full of laughter.
7. Get Good Quality Sleep
Persistent fatigue has long been a massive indicator of burnout for nurses. Persistent fatigue has a massive impact on both your emotional, mental, and physical health. Luckily, there are many things you can do in order to improve your sleep quality.
Going to bed at the same time every single night will help you slip into a good routine. However, with a nurse’s routine, this isn’t always possible. Instead, try to develop a nightly routine that helps your body go into sleep mode.
You could try reading, sipping some tea, or even meditation to try to relax your body. Not only is sleep greatly important to your health, but it is also a great mental break.
8. Take a Deep Breath and Remember, This Isn’t Permanent
Travel nursing doesn’t last forever. You won’t be stuck in this routine or place forever. Even the toughest of situations have an end.
As a travel nurse, going through adversity will only make you a far stronger person. On days you aren’t feeling great, remember that this isn’t permanent. Your travel assignment is not forever.
As you pursue various travel nursing jobs, it may be beneficial to get help when exploring your options. Travel staffing agencies make it easy for nurses like you leap into a new chapter of their careers by providing professional guidance.
At MLee Healthcare Staffing & Recruiting, we’ll help you start your new adventure.