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Surviving the Bad Travel Nursing Days

Hey there, traveler. We know. It’s been a long, tough day. You stayed late for a patient in the ICU. You had what seemed like 100 patients at a time. Your favorite patient had a setback. Maybe the doctor you were helping didn’t have the best bedside manners today.  Whatever happened, you know you have to bounce back so you can be your best for your next shift.stress-391657__180

You might be tempted to indulge in your favorite foods or drinks, or head to your new “home-away-from home” to binge watch your favorite show—and sometimes it feels good to do these things. But the best way to put an end to your bad day is to do something that makes you feel empowered, confident, and happy.

Here are five energizing, dealing-with-it things you can do when your day got the best of you:

  1. Evaluate & Vent
    Sometimes you just need to sort it all out. Take a moment to reflect on what didn’t go so well and think about ways you can handle the situation better next time. If you need it, indulge in a complaint session. Set a time limit for your rant—say 10 minutes. Yell. Jump up and down. Phone a friend or relative and tell them about what happened. Then rewire the negativity and remind yourself of all your wonderful qualities. Make a list of them, if it helps. Then go do something that makes you feel good.
  1. bell-pepper-569070__180Find Inner Peace Through Outer Order
    Put your frustration to work. Organize your new place or closet. Scrub the kitchen floor. Polish your shoes or moisturize your cowboy boots. De-lint a sweater. Knit a sweater. Plant an herb garden. Wash your car by hand. Cook your favorite marinara. You know, the one that has to simmer for hours. Having tangible progress, orderliness, and control can be a real comfort.
  1. Exercise It Out There’s nothing like a good workout to, well, work it all out. Hit the gym. Hit a punching bag. Go for a long run. Do yoga in the park. Rent a bike and ride it along a scenic road or trail. Take a walk in the city or hike up a mountain. Let the energy out into the world so you don’t take it home with you. Or at least wear yourself out, so when your head hits the pillow, you’re too exhausted to let your mind whirr with the frustrations of the day.


  1. Do Good, Feel Good
    Call to see if there are short-term volunteer opportunities at a local animal shelter. Or, at your hospital. Bake a loaf of banana bread to share with the nurses and techs in your unit.  In other words, do something for someone else and get some perspective. As a traveler, volunteering is also a great way to meet new people in your new city. Look for something as soon as you arrive in your new city or town, and you’ll have something fun to do that will also take your mind off the most difficult days.
  1. Give Yourself Something To Look Forward To
    Studies show that positive anticipation is the best source of pleasure. Start planning your next vacation. Your next travel assignment. A weekend getaway. Get tickets to see a band that’s coming to town or to a movie you’re excited to see. There’s nothing like a little future fun to get you over the hump of a difficult day.

Whatever you do, your best bet is to get over what’s bugging you and find your happy place. When all else fails, just get yourself to the most calming environment you can find and remember: Everything looks brighter in the morning. We know it sounds cliché, but sometimes just turning the page will do the trick.

It’s easier to kick your nursing blues as a traveler because just being a traveler makes life better!  And by working with a company like Advantage RN – currently offering 7,000+ open positions across the country — you’ll always be able to keep the momentum going as you choose to work in a new place every 13-26+ weeks!  Give us a call and experience the travel nurse excitement for yourself.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 15th, 2016.
Posted in Travel Nurse Talk & Tips.
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