I’ve landed my first travel assignment! Now what?

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Landing your first travel assignment can be tremendously exciting and a bit overwhelming all at the same time. Not only are you changing jobs, but you’re moving to a brand new location to work with coworkers you have yet to meet.

Following these ten tips can help lead to a smoother transition to your new travel assignment with less stress.

Put in proper notice at your facility. If you have not already given your current place of work a heads up on your new plan, now is the time to make it official. Even though it might be the last thing you want to do, don’t wait until the last minute. By providing the proper notice, you will leave in good graces and more than likely will be welcome back at a later date.

Note: Remember to keep you recruiter informed concerning the amount of notice you need to provide your current employer. Whether it is 2 weeks or 30 days your recruiter will need to know this so the time is factored in when determining the start date of your new assignment.

Find your housing. If you’re not taking company-paid housing, then it’s time to find a new place. Check out our post on finding a place here.

Research your new city. Thirteen weeks is not a long time to be in one place! Take advantage of sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor to find the best restaurants, activities, shopping, and more in your new town. Make a list of all of the things you hope to do during your assignment and see how many things you can cross off while you’re there! You can also ask your recruiter if they provide a location guide. The guide is generally filled with useful information concerning the facility and surrounding area.

Connect with current travelers at your new location. It is perfectly acceptable to ask your recruiter to connect you with one of their traveler’s currently at your new travel assignment. Current travelers can provide you with a wealth of information concerning the facility, possible places for housing, and information about the location. Who knows, you may find a friend before even arriving at your assignment.

Get packing! Moving your life to a brand new city for three months can seem overwhelming, but you probably do not need as much as you think you do. Check out our travel nurse essentials list here.

Refill prescriptions. It’ll be easier to refill any necessary prescriptions now rather than having to worry about it later. If that is not possible and you do not carry your own insurance, contact your recruiter and determine the agency’s insurance provider. Then you can locate a pharmacy that accepts their insurance and has your medication on hand.

Start a moving binder. This is the place where you can keep all of your travel expenses, packing lists, inventory and other useful information that will help you when it’s time to hit the road again.

Organize records in one place. Along with your moving binder, this will prove to be super important for each new assignment. These items should include medical records, certifications, licenses, and college transcripts. Consider storing these on “the cloud” as well so you’ll have easy access to them from anywhere.

Watch for first day info. Most likely, you won’t get this information until the week before your assignment starts, but you can ask your recruiter what is typical for the hospital and about things such as scrub colors, parking, and anything else they might be in the know about. Keep in mind, many of these topics are acceptable to discuss with the hiring manager during the interview process

Show up to your first day ready! Be sure to arrive a little early on your first day so your initial first impression is a positive one. As you go through orientation, keep in mind your new facility will probably do things much different than what you are accustom to. You will be introduced to a new EMR, new hospital procedures, new locations for supplies, etc. The secret to surviving your first day or even your first 13 week assignment is to remember you were hired because you possess a specific skill that the facility needs. The skill you use to assist and help your patients is universal across facilities and if you rely on that skill you will do just fine. Don’t sweat the other stuff, you will get accustomed to it in a short amount of time. After the first couple of days your new facility will start to seem like home!

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