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Unhappy in your travel assignment? Here's what to do

Written by Chelsea Idzior on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Posted in Travel Nurse Tips

Unhappy in your travel assignment? Here's what to do

It happens to many travel nurses—you go an assignment and find out it's not what you hoped it would be.

The assignment may not be what you expected, you may have a supervisor or co-worker who is giving you a hard time or you may get word of a crisis back home and feel you need to leave the assignment early.

Read below for tips on what to do when you're unhappy in your travel assignment:

  • First, and exceptionally foremost, communicate with your staffing supervisor/recruiter. Let him or her know what's going on as soon as you get even an inkling that this could turn out to be a problematic assignment. You and your recruiter can work out possible solutions and/or exit strategies that work for everyone concerned.
  • If you find that you're working with one or more co-workers who are making your time on assignment difficult—discuss it with your recruiter and/or assignment supervisor. Talk to you recruiter first—the recruiter may want to broach the subject to your assignment supervisor before you bring it up.
  • If the problem is one where you're injured on the job, you need to report it to your assignment supervisor as soon as possible. Your health and safety are paramount. Your assignment supervisor will notify your travel-staffing firm (and you will contact your recruiter when you're able), but in the case of extreme emergency, inform your site supervisor first.
  • If you have a less-extreme problem (such as conflict with a co-worker), and you and your recruiter decide this would be the next best step, you may want to discuss your concerns with your assignment supervisor. You should approach this in a collaborative/non-confrontational frame of mind.
  • If you're unhappy in your assignment and you realize that the things that are bugging you aren't major deal breakers, aim to stay positive. Most travel assignments are 13 weeks long so you may soon be moving on to a new assignment.
  • If you have an emergency back home or you find that although you, your recruiter and your assignment supervisor have tried to  make things right and you still feel leaving the assignment is the best choice—contact your recruiter as soon as possible to work out an exit strategy. Under no circumstances should you ever just walk away from an assignment. This is highly unprofessional and, like any other job, could harm your job prospects with future employers. Instead, work with your recruiter as much as possible. The travel staffing service's clients need travelers desperately and having someone leave within a day's or less notice will often be a great burden to the hospital and its patients. Instead, work with your recruiter so that he or she can find a replacement for you as soon as possible. In the event of an extreme family emergency, this could be immediately.

Be sure to give feedback—positive and negative—to all assignments when you're done. This can help your recruiter place you in assignments that better suit your needs.

If you've ever thought about working as a traveling RN, contact a recruiter at Health Providers Choice today. We look forward to hearing from you.