Travel nurses often work long hours in unfamiliar regions and often have little downtime between shifts. This can not only cause significant stress but also, can contribute to long-term burnout for nurses that don’t find work-life balance. Here are some tips for travel nurses working long hours.
Prioritize Self-Care Outside of Work
Travel nursing is demanding, which makes self-care that much more important. Outside of working hours, it is important to eat well, exercise, and engage in personal pastimes that bring you joy. Anything that you can do to relax and have fun can ease the stress of working long hours. Cultivate hobbies outside of the workplace and spend time exploring your new surroundings. This is one of the benefits of travel nursing.
Take Breaks When Possible
You might be tempted to forgo breaks when you’re trying to prove yourself in a new healthcare environment or are still trying to master a new system. When working long hours, however, breaks are important to ensuring quality care. Breaks afford options to hydrate, get in a quick bite, and rest your feet. Working long hours can contribute to extreme physical and mental fatigue, so if you have a chance for a break, take it. Check out our article on knowing when to take a mental health day to take care of yourself.
Get Extra Sleep
Travel nurse jobs are draining in part because of the long hours and in part because of the unfamiliar surroundings and distance from family and friends. When you are working long hours, the fatigue can make it harder to do your job more effectively. Get extra sleep when you can. Take naps before your shift if you can and try to stick to a regular sleep schedule on the days you don’t work. This can be tricky when you are working as a travel nurse and sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings, so maintain a healthy sleep environment as well.
Get Organized On Your Days Off
One of the ways that you can ease the strain of working long hours as a travel nurse is by staying organized. Wash and iron your scrubs on your days off so that you don’t have to try to manage this task while working long hours. Plan meals in advance if possible, so that you can also grocery shop and perhaps cook in advance between nursing shifts. The more organized you get between shifts, the easier it will be while you are in the midst of it.
Work With a Company That Cares About Your Placement
Work with a travel nursing agency that focuses on helping you to find an ideal match for your next placement. One of the best ways to avoid burnout when working long hours as a travel nurse is to receive a placement match that aligns with your ability to find balance between work and your personal life. Stability Healthcare provides a support team to make sure you’re being taken care of, find your next placement today!