Travel assignments in the nursing field are exciting; they open more doors of opportunities to grow your career, help you interact with people of diverse cultures, and allow you to explore different cities or states.
However, before embarking on your journey, it’s important to do your research. Knowing what to expect in your new location can make your travel assignment go smoothly and help you avoid any unwelcome surprises.
So, if you’re about to embark on a travel nursing assignment and don’t know how to go about it, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll discuss the vital factors you need to research before going on a travel assignment. Let’s get started!
1. Look up the city/state of the assignment
One of the first things you need to do when preparing for your travel assignment is to look up your new city or state. This information will give you an idea of what the place is like and what to expect.
Some things you may want to research include:
- The climate and weather conditions
- The cost of living in the area
- What type of housing is available
- The crime rate in the area
- Things to do for fun in the area
This information will help you prepare for your new location and ensure you have everything you need. For example, if you’re moving to a colder area, you’ll need to pack warmer clothes. Or, if the cost of living is high, you may want to save up more money.
2. Learn about the healthcare facility
Another important factor to research before starting a travel assignment is the healthcare facility in which you’ll work. This includes learning about the hospital’s policies, procedures, and culture.
Some important things you may want to find out about the hospital include:
- The nurses’ dress code
- The shift hours and days you’ll be working
- The type of patients you’ll be caring for
- What type of equipment is used at the hospital, etc.
Knowing more about the hospital in advance will help you be better prepared for your new job and ensure you’re comfortable with the new work environment. It’s also a good idea to read hospital reviews from other nurses to have an idea of what other travel nurses are saying about the hospital.
3. Know your rights and benefits
Before starting your travel assignment, it’s also important to know your rights and benefits as a travel nurse. These rights and benefits include understanding your contract, pay, and insurance.
Here you may research:
- Your hourly pay rate, any overtime pay, and the tax packages
- Your housing stipend or allowance
- Your health insurance coverage
- Your vacation and sick days
- The process of canceling your travel nurse contract, etc.
This information will help you understand what you’re entitled to as a travel nurse. It’s also a good idea to have an attorney review your contract before you sign it.
4. Where to live
Another important factor you need to research before starting a travel assignment is where you will live. This includes finding out about the different neighborhoods in the area and what type of housing is available.
Some things you may want to find out include:
- The average rent prices in the area
- The types of housing available
- The safety of the area
- The proximity to your work
- The amenities available in the neighborhood
Knowing more about where you’ll live will help you find a place that’s safe, affordable, and close to your place of work. You may also ask other travel nurses for recommendations for good places to live.
5. What to do for fun
One of the best parts about travel nursing is that you get to experience new and exciting places. So before starting your assignment, it’s a good idea to research what there is to do for fun in the area.
You may research:
- The best restaurants in the area
- The top tourist attractions
- The best bars and clubs
- The best hiking trails
- The best shopping spots, etc.
Knowing where to have fun will help you make the most of your free time, enjoy your new location and create memories. You may also want to ask other travel nurses for recommendations on what to do for fun or use Google, which is the best tool because your choice of fun places will depend on your hobbies, interests, and personal preferences.
Conducting proper research on the above factors before starting your travel assignment can help a lot with preparations and ultimately make your assignment smooth.
At MLee Healthcare, we can help answer your questions and find your next great contract. As a nationally ranked staffing agency that adheres to the highest standards, we have your best experience in mind. Contact us now to learn more.