For seniors who want to travel, health problems may mean that they need help getting from one place to the next. Therefore, it's not uncommon for nurses to accompany the elderly as travel companions.
Seniors are more mobile than ever before. People over 65 account for nearly 20 percent of domestic travelers for leisure purposes, and this number is expected to grow. With so many older people on the move, the job market for nurses traveling as companions is robust.
The types of trips today's seniors take vary. Many need travel companions for visits to family on holidays, graduations, weddings, or other special occasions. Others might need someone to accompany them to a class reunion or a golfing excursion with friends. The longer the trip, the more likely nursing care and assistance will be needed. Seniors embarking on vacations like cruises or tours abroad ensure future opportunities for traveling nurse companions.
It is an unorthodox setting for career nurses, but experienced travel nurses are well-suited as companions to seniors.
Travel nurse companions can help those with physical or intellectual disabilities in their care with day-to-day activities or medical needs while also providing peace of mind for family members. Many of these adults require help with everyday tasks or might not have family or friends available to accompany them. Nursing companions empower seniors to take advantage of their independence during travel, so they’re more likely to enjoy trips without limitations or interference from worried family members.
Family members can also find travel companions very beneficial as they don’t have to worry about various "what-if" scenarios while their loved ones are away. Family back home can stay in touch with a travel companion as a non-intrusive way to make sure a loved one is taken care of.
There are several advantages that come with these positions. Although your base salary may not necessarily exceed your traditional nursing position, traveling companions should not expect to cover expenses. Clients typically pay for travel tickets, hotel rooms, meals, fees, and other incidental costs. You will stay busy during this type of job, but the benefits make up for the lack of free time.
A position as a travel nurse companion is a good resume-builder as this is a highly competitive position. If you're a travel nurse who enjoys working with the elderly, traveling companionships make a lot of sense. It is an opportunity to fulfill the role of nurse while practicing your profession in an unusual and, occasionally, exotic setting.
Beyond attending your patient's medical needs, you should be comfortable dealing with delays and interruptions while making alternate travel arrangements if necessary. You will probably be expected to carry luggage, hail taxis, and escort wheelchairs. Generally, you need to be comfortable treating your patient as if they are your own family member.
If you have a background in nursing, enjoy working with an exclusive patient, and don't mind staying in touch with the patient's family, this position may be ideal.