Make Time for Family and Friends While on Assignment

Written by Rose Torrento on Thursday, May 13, 2021 Posted in Travel Nurse Tips

make time for family

Every person needs a support system — a group of people they can rely on in both good times and bad. Nurses especially need to have friends and family they can turn to when they need an ear to listen or just to enjoy the connection that comes with human interaction. For travel nurses, this can be more difficult to maintain, since you’re always on the move. Nevertheless, it’s vital to find reasons and opportunities to maintain your social circle, especially while you’re on assignment and distant from the people you care about.

long distance relationships

Long-distance relationships are challenging but worth it

It’s a fact of life that people need people. Even if you’re someone who is more independent, you still need someone in your corner every once in a while. After a hard day, it’s a comfort to know you have someone you can talk to.

Sadly, travel nursing turns almost every personal connection you have into a long-distance relationship. Working back-to-back assignments away from home can take a toll on your relationships, whether familial, friendly, or romantic. Many travel nurses struggle with this and begin to feel isolated as a result. Combined with the stress of consistent travel and a nursing career, losing the connection to your support network can cause huge emotional strain.

There’s a reason long-distance relationships get a bad rep. It’s much harder to stay present in someone’s life when you’re not around to meet for coffee or celebrate together on the important days. It takes more time, effort, and coordination to connect with loved ones who live in a different city or time zone than you.

Despite the challenges, it’s important for both you and your distant loved ones to stay present. Putting effort into your long-distance relationships provides you with emotional support when you need it and lets your family members and friends know how important they are to you, too.

nurse long distance relationships

Tips for maintaining long-distance relationships on assignment

Making a long-distance relationship work isn’t always as challenging as it may seem. There are many ways you can maintain those connections to the people you love without adding more stress to your plate. While you can always send a check-in text here and there, you should also incorporate a few more meaningful tactics for connection:

  • Plan a digital date. Technology makes it easier than ever to share quality time with loved ones from afar. You can do many of the same things you’d do in person over the phone or computer, like watching a movie, playing games, and chatting over dinner or coffee. Schedule a time and day for your “date” and plan to be present with each other online.
  • Write like pen pals. There’s something endearing and personal about receiving a hand-written letter from a loved one, but even a lengthy email message can feel more intimate than a text message. Share your physical address or your email with loved ones and swap messages like pen pals while you’re away. (Just make sure to update them when you move!)
  • Plan get-togethers between assignments. Things can get hectic between assignments, but it’s important to use some of this time to catch up with people back home. Plan ahead with your family or friends to arrange get-togethers before you head out again, whether that’s a dinner date or a mini vacation. Getting it on the calendar early helps you plan for it later.

Putting energy into your relationships while on assignment keeps your loved ones close and helps you live a happier, more fulfilling life.

There’s someone else who needs to be part of your support circle: your Health Providers Choice recruiter. We’re your lifeline when it comes to navigating your assignments, and we will always be there to advocate for you. If you have questions or are unsure about anything, we’re just a phone call or email away. Contact us online or call us today at 888-299-9800.

About the Author

Rose Torrento

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.