How To Support Your Fellow Travel Nurses on Assignment
People need people. Travel nurses know this better than anyone, and it’s reemphasized with every new assignment. Each contract means starting over again: meeting new people, making new friends, and engaging with a new social environment. It’s hard work, especially if you’re new to it all. For this reason, travel nurses should always get to know other travelers working at their facility.
You’re not alone on assignment
Now more than ever, it’s easy to find fellow travel nurses while on assignment. The growing nursing shortage has led to an increased number of travel nurses at facilities across the nation. This means travel nurses are in good company. You’re more likely to work side by side with someone who understands the challenges of packing up, moving, and working in a new place every 13 weeks. This is the perfect opportunity to form meaningful relationships with peers who understand you and relate to the challenges you face. Every travel nurse needs support and empathy at some point.
The science of support
There are several ways nurses can prioritize self-care and combat job-related burnout, but one of the easiest and most often overlooked is support from their peers. When travel nurses support one another, they are empowered to validate each other’s emotions, offer advice, and provide their peers with someone to lean on. In challenging times, it’s something every nurse needs.
This isn’t just anecdotal — scientific evidence demonstrates that support and camaraderie improve mental health and well-being in nurses. When nurses feel empowered and supported in the workplace, they are less likely to be stressed and more likely to feel satisfied and committed to their job and facility. This improves nurses’ personal well-being and the quality of patient care.
Social support also has tremendous influence on physical health outcomes. Studies show emotional and social support can reduce your risk of chronic health conditions and may even help you live longer. It’s abundantly clear that nurses who support one another contribute to a happier, healthier team.
Travel nurses need friendships
Nurses experience unique challenges together, and those challenges are exacerbated when you’re uprooted every few months. While on the job, it’s extremely important to reach out to your fellow travel nurses, check in on how they’re feeling, and offer support.
Use these tips to forge meaningful connections with your fellow travel nurses in times of stress:
- If you think a nurse is having a difficult time, extend an invitation to talk about it.
- Listen with an open mind; don’t dismiss their feelings.
- Don’t offer unsolicited advice. Ask if they’d like advice or another form of support.
- Check in to see how they’re doing. Help them find additional support if they need it.
Making friends with fellow travel nurses can create a support system that lasts much longer than one assignment. If you become close with another travel nurse, you may even be able to work future assignments together. Travel nurses often choose facilities with a buddy, so their friendship can literally travel with them. Together, you can share the good and bad days with someone who understands and is there to support you.