Moving to a new city and starting an assignment at a new hospital can present challenges for any travel nurse. New co-workers, new patients, new routines, all while getting used to a new city can be a big adjustment for any travel nurse. Despite all of that, a new assignment offers so many benefits to help you grow as a travel nurse. While it may feel different at first, these 20 tips for adjusting to a new facility as a travel nurse will help you adjust in unfamiliar surrounding.

20 Tips for Adjusting to a New Facility as a Travel Nurse

  1. Request a tour. More than likely you will be offered a tour but just in case request a tour. This will help you familiarize yourself with your new facility.
  2. Find a mentor. Identify an experienced staff nurse who’s worked at the facility and can show you the ropes. This person can walk you through the procedures and policies of your new assignment.
  3. Ask questions. Regardless of your experience as a nurse, it takes time to learn how everything works in a new setting. No one expects you to know everything on your first day. Ask questions during your initial days so you can learn the ins and outs of your new facility.
  4. Keep an open mind. Each facility will do certain things different. The key to adjusting to your new facility is listen and follow direction. Just because things are different doesn’t mean they are wrong. Remember, the more you can be nimble the more you will grow as a travel nurse.

Patients Over Everything Else

  1. Patients are the priority. A patient’s comfort and care is the number one responsibility for every nurse. It doesn’t matter how long you are at each facility or shift. You have the opportunity to make a major difference to the wellbeing of every patient.
  2. Be a patient advocate. As a nurse, you are the voice of your patients. Provide the best care you and your team can for your patient to ensure the best outcome.
  3. Be respectful. Being the “new nurse” can be stressful. But the quicker you can build relationships with the people around you and show them your level of commitment through respect the more allies you will make. To receive respect means you have to give respect.

Learn Your New Surroundings

  1. Familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures manual. Policies and procedures have a sliding scale of variety between facility. It’s important to locate the manual and abide by the rules.
  2. Pay attention to scheduling. Learn who handles scheduling? Who handles overtime? Who handles call-ins? Remember, the responsible person might be different then who handled this at your past facility. Learn who is responsible at your facility of this critical policy.
  3. Learn the computerized system. It is likely you will have to learn a new computerized charting system from time to time. Take time to train on the new system. Feel free to ask your coworkers or mentor for tips on the system.
  4. Know floating requirements. This is something you probably discussed during your interview. However, it’s good to understand the requirements to avoid any schedule surprises.
  5. Locate the crash cart and learn the codes. This is vital no matter which floor you’re working or your specialty. You need to be prepared in case of an emergency.
  6. Learn the preferred method of communication. Communication is key and every prefers a different method of communication. Ask if a call, text, or face-to-face is preferred when communicating with your supervisor and team.

Teamwork Over Egos

  1. Be flexible. Depending on your situation, it can be very fast paced. It is important that you remember you are part of a team. Cooperate with other nurses and doctors. If someone needs help be there to help.
  2. Stay positive. Learning a new system with new co-workers and new patients can be stressful. The trick is to stay positive. No matter how the day before went, come in everyday with a smile and a positive attitude.
  3. Ask for help. If you are struggling with your new assignment, never be afraid to reach out for assistance. It shows you value teamwork in an environment where it really matters.
  4. Leave your ego at the door. As a travel nurse in a new hospital, accept that you do not and will not know everything. Assume the facility’s way of doing things is different from anything you’ve done before. Permanent staffers will not appreciate a know-it-all attitude.

Don’t Neglect Yourself

  1. Make time for yourself. Work can be busy and stressful. That is why it is important you focus on yourself too. Explore your new city. Ask others for recommendations. Your time will go by fast.
  2. Create and stick to healthy habits. Don’t neglect the basics. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, and exercise daily. To properly take care of others you need to take care of yourself too. Put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others.

Help Future Travel Nurses

  1. Pay it forward. You’ve learned the ropes and finally got the hang of things as your assignment comes to an end. Why not share what you’ve learned with travelers who come after you? Consider starting a notebook of tips and helpful insights related to the facility. You can leave it with a nurse manager to share with new travelers so they can reference your notes while they learn, as well as add to it throughout their assignment.

Host Healthcare Travel Nurse

Host Healthcare offers an extensive list of travel nurse jobs. Call one of our friendly recruiters at (800) 585-1299. We are here to help you to get started.