8 Questions Travel Nurses Can and Should Ask During an Interview
Every assignment is a new experience, no matter how long you’ve been a travel nurse. And every new experience is an opportunity to ask questions. It’s important to learn as much as you can about your assignment before you accept it. The interview process is the perfect time to get the information you need — all it takes are a few good questions. The right ones will dispel uncertainty, set expectations, and help you feel more confident when taking on a new contract.
Travel nurses are not expected to go into an assignment unclear about what’s in store for them. Asking just one or two questions during your interview can give you great insight about the job and help you decide whether the assignment is right for you. Both new and experienced travel nurses should take advantage of the chance to ask questions for a seamless and confusion-free transition.
These 8 important questions can and should be asked during your interview.
- Is call required? Some facilities will keep you on a set shift schedule, and your days off will truly be off. Others might require you to be on call a few days a week. Asking about call requirements and their frequency ensures you know how much time the facility expects from you.
- What are the weekend requirements? As a nurse, it’s unlikely you’ll have every weekend off, but some facilities might require a certain number of weekend shifts.
- Where might I be asked to float and what are the ratios? If you go into an assignment expecting to work one unit but get floated to another, the transition can be jarring. Ask about what units you might be floated to and what the staff ratios are so you know what to expect.
- What types of patients are served on the unit? As a nurse, you’re accustomed to working with all types of patients; however, it’s helpful to know what patient groups you’ll be working with so you can set your expectations accordingly.
- How many beds are on the unit and what are the typical ratios? Staff-to-patient ratios can vary dramatically. This question will help you get a better idea of the anticipated workload.
- What documentation system do you use? Not all hospitals use the same systems for charting and documentation, and you might only be familiar with a few. If the facility uses one you don’t know, you can take time to learn about it beforehand.
- Where do most travel nurses stay when they are there? Asking about typical travel nurse accommodations can help you make the right housing decision based on the experiences of others.
- What is orientation like for a travel nurse at this facility? Every facility will conduct orientation differently, with some running longer or shorter, some requiring tests or modules, and some requiring different schedules and dress codes.
Travel nurses aren’t expected to have all the answers, so it’s important to ask questions of your potential employers to set expectations and fully understand the contract before you accept your new assignment. Remember, asking questions is a sign of strength and will show that you’re engaged and ready to learn so you can perform your best.