Walk the Talk: Better Teams Make for Better Work
There's no doubt about it: As a travel nurse, you've got to get good at working with lots of different kinds of people — quickly. Nursing is a highly social career, requiring you to work within highly stressful and tenuous situations with colleagues, superiors, patients, contractors, families of patients, and a host of other people.
The simple nature of this work in healthcare means that nurses and other practitioners are constantly balancing what needs to be done with how to do it. As tensions fly high, healthcare professionals are at four times the risk of experiencing workplace violence compared to employees in other industries. This has long been a concern for healthcare providers and regulatory agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In fact, OSHA has even launched a special initiative to acknowledge and prevent workplace violence in the healthcare setting.
As a travel nurse, these issues can affect several aspects of your life — from your potential to complete your job duties to the greatest of your ability to the quality of your home and personal life. It quickly becomes necessary to implement strategies to establish healthy working relationships as best as you can. There are several tactics you can implement to improve the positivity of your relationships and interactions at the various hospitals and care facilities you will be employed.
Maintain smooth transitions.
Maintaining the health of your relationships begins the very first day you enter a new position. The best thing you can do for yourself — and those around you — is walk in the door with a positive attitude and a plan to foster communal relationships. Introduce yourself, and spend the extra minute or two learning about who it is you're talking to. Developing trust and familiarity is how the foundation of a good relationship is built.
If you find yourself anxious on your first day of work, consider doing yoga or holding a meditation session just before you head to the new healthcare facility. It will help you stay balanced in your consideration for your own welfare as well as the welfare of others.
Get involved with your team.
Dive in. From day one, consider your new workplace to be your new team. Your co-workers are your advocates first and foremost and can be the greatest resource in the management of difficult patients. Where respect is given, respect is often received, so avoid workplace gossip if you can, and focus instead on the common ground you have with your colleagues and superiors.
Work with an attitude of permanence.
The worst thing you can do in a new position as a travel nurse is view your role as a temporary fix. Our brains have a surprising ability to control our actions based on our attitudes; seeing your job as short term will trigger your brain to act without regard for long-term consequences. And, as you know, short-term thinking can be disastrous in a healthcare setting. So get creative and imagine your position is permanent — it will make for a much more positive experience for you and everyone around you.
For more ideas and inspiration to help you maintain healthy relationships in the workplace, visit the Health Providers Choice website where you can find several resources to help you along your journey.