How to Avoid Travel Nursing Burnout
All nurses endure tremendous physical and mental tribulations on a regular basis. They have the dual task of taking care of patients while also making sure safety measures are all satisfied. And don’t forget about keeping management happy. Travel nurses are no different, and they have the additional challenges of a new work environment, potentially changing work shifts, and the other challenges associated with working in one place and having a permanent home in another city. Yep, we feel your pain! So, we’ve provided five suggestions to help reduce the chance of burnout – on this assignment or on any future one.
Suggestion #1: Eat Right
As a travel nurse, you’re typically on your feet from the usual 8-hour shift or even more! The good news is that large amounts of calories are burnt this way so your body needs additional electrolytes and minerals to keep up with this extensive activity. Eating balanced meals which include protein, carbohydrates, and key vitamins is important. Loading up on citrus fruits and vegetables will prove to be a smart choice for the long haul. Citrus fruits will strengthen your immune system, which protects a travel nurse (or anyone) from the communicable diseases you are exposed to every day.
Suggestion #2: Keep Constant Reminders to Reignite Passion
Even the most passionate travel nurses have to be reminded from time to time why they get up for work when they have to. Stress can slowly chip off a nurse’s dedication to his/her craft. Reminders can come in the form of pictures of your first rotation, notes from your first lecture or a picture of a patient who has meant a lot to you.
Suggestion #3: Deep Breathing Techniques
Before returning from break or hourly rounds, stop and take 5 to 10 slow, deep breaths. This can help you refocus and ground yourself. During spare time, a travel nurse can also choose to take some yoga classes. Studies conducted by UCLA in 2012 showed that daily yoga helps to reduce stress levels, significantly.
Suggestion #4: Get Some Rest!
At least 6 hours of sleep is recommended for the body to fully recuperate. Deep breathing exercises can help speed up the process of achieving REM sleep. Avoid drinking too much coffee because the caffeine may keep you awake when you are trying to sleep at night.
Suggestion #5: Keep in Touch with Family and Friends
Establishing a support system in a new location can be difficult for a travel nurse. A travel nurse should try to keep in touch with their closest friends or family members while also trying to socialize with new colleagues. Go out for a drink or talk with them during lunch breaks. A support system plays an important role in keeping emotions in check. In addition, the better a travel nurse’s relationship with his/her coworkers, the more enjoyable work will be.
Working as a travel nurse is vastly different from a normal 9-5 desk job so you need to be prepared physically, mentally, and emotionally to effectively work your position. Following these five tips will help prepare you so you can be effective and simultaneously experience the wonderful opportunity that is travel nursing!