Memory Book Tips for Travel Nurses
The main lure of travel nursing may be professional, but traveling is undeniably one of the job’s greatest perks. A whole new world opens up with each job assignment! One great way to preserve the memories of your adventures is to create a memory book for each travel nursing location.
Here are several ideas for the busy travel nurse about how to easily create memory books:
1) Buy 10-12 postcards from your new location. Align the postcards in stacks of three or four and use a hole-puncher to make one or two holes along one side. Repeat for all the postcards, being sure that the holes align. The back of each postcard is for memories! You can write about your visit to the site on the postcard, or you can use each postcard to list a favorite thought or experience about your new location (see #3 for examples of favorites!). Once you have written on all the cards, use a key ring (or two) to attach them.
2) Use items you already have to create a memory book! Paste, staple or tape items from your daily life into a notebook. You could start with your airline ticket on the first page or a receipt for a restaurant discovered on your way to your assignment, and then follow up with things like a take-out menu from your favorite go-to restaurant, notes to your from a patient, a metro or bus ticket from your new location, ticket stubs to tourist places you visited, postcards, etc. And of course, don’t forget the old standby of photos! In the space around these entries, write down why they are special to you, or share a funny or touching story about each item.
3) Whether you use postcards, a notebook, or an actual scrapbook album, you could structure the content of your memory book by dedicating each page to a different favorite aspect of your new location. Travel nursing provides a wealth of experiences, so you will likely have plenty of favorites! Favorites to include: co-workers, restaurants, experiences, museums, tourist attractions, visits from family or friends, etc.
4) If writing appeals to you, consider describing what a typical day is like in your new setting. Describe the other travelers in your facility or the perm staff. You can write a page or two for the standard workday or more for your weekend escapades! Include your observations, a timeline, or what you were excited about.
5) If writing about memories is too time-consuming, use lists! Include photos of you and your coworkers, friends, and patients of your adventures. Write a list of what you love about the subject of each photo. You could even have your new friends write you a postcard to include in your book.
6) For the truly crafty, use decorations from your new setting. If you go to the beach, spread some non-toxic glue on a piece of thin cardboard and dip it in the sand. Let it dry and include it in your memory book. Once your assignment is over, use your hospital name tag and some markers to create an attractive cover page for your memory book. Use brochures or tourist maps as decorative backgrounds for your photos, ticket stubs, writing, etc.
Creating a small memory book for each of your travel nursing locations will help you reminisce about your unique journey, and allow you to share your memories with your friends and family.