Making Long-Distance Relationships Work as a Travel Nurse
Written by Rose Torrento on Thursday, January 24, 2019 Posted in Travel Nurse Tips
Long-distance relationships tend to get a bad rap. Often, this occurs because we’ve been part of a failed one! However, not all long-distance relationships are doomed to fail — and just because you’ve decided to embark on a career as a travel nurse doesn’t mean your current relationship will fail. There are steps you can take to make sure your relationship not only stays healthy but also that you and your loved one grow as a couple and as individuals.
Connections are key
Managing relationships from afar can be difficult no matter if it’s with a romantic partner, family member, or close friend. Not having your loved ones nearby can make you feel lonely and sad, especially in a brand-new city where you don’t know anyone.
Despite these difficulties, maintaining your connections back home is important while on assignment. Personal relationships are critical for happiness, and neglecting them can put a damper on your mental health and your job performance.
Physically seeing loved ones can be difficult while you’re busy on a travel nurse assignment. Instead, you’ll need to find other ways to connect from afar to stay in touch and continue to grow together while you’re away.
Ways to bond with loved ones from afar
While face-to-face connections are often easier and of higher value to us, there are many ways we can connect with our loved ones with miles between us. Here are a few simple ideas for how to build on your relationships and stay in touch, no matter how far away you are.
- Make a schedule to talk. As a travel nurse, your schedule might be opposite from your loved ones and can keep you quite busy throughout the week. Identify a time that works for both of you each week and schedule a phone call or video chat. This way, you have something to look forward to and it’s less likely you’ll be too busy to talk.
- Do things together. You don’t have to be in the same room as your loved one to do things together. For example, there are numerous websites that let you synchronize TV shows on streaming services, so you can watch TV with a partner while on the phone. You can also play an online game while voice chatting or even share a daily routine like breakfast.
- Send care packages. Who doesn’t love getting a surprise package in the mail from a loved one? Pack a few surprise items and ship it back home to your family or friends to let them know you’ve been thinking about them.
- Hand-write letters. Snail mail is still popular, especially when you’re apart from loved ones. Sending a hand-written note can be a thoughtful or romantic gesture your loved one will appreciate even after you return.
Growing together while apart
One of the most important things to remember when in a long-distance relationship is that it requires a higher level of trust, communication, and thoughtfulness. You need to be open and honest about your emotions and discuss things that are bothering you to work through problems.
This higher level of communication, as well as the solitude you experience, will make both you and your loved one better people. Long-distance relationships give you the opportunity to explore parts of yourself on your own, learn how to be self-sufficient, and grow into someone new. Once you return from your assignment, you and your loved one will have a greater understanding of yourselves and what it means to be in a loving relationship.
With patience, attention, and bonding activities, you and your loved one will make it through your assignment and be stronger because of it.
About the Author
Rosemarie Torrento has worked in health care for more than 26 years, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. Early in her nursing career, Torrento worked as a freelance contract nurse before accepting a position in nursing administration. During her 17-year tenure in that role, she oversaw nursing employment and travel nurse contracting at a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Michigan. Understanding the challenges travel nurses faced, Torrento founded Health Providers Choice Inc. (HPC) in 2003. Through Torrento’s extensive experience and her role as President and CEO, HPC provides travel placement of registered nurses and allied health professionals to hospital systems nationally.