Becoming a travel nurse has sprung to the top of many nurses’ bucket lists recently and with good merit. With this desire to travel the nation while earning money doing something you love comes many travel nurse questions. You’ve most likely been a permanent nurse for a while and know how your own hospital setting works. You know how scheduling works, where you need to be when this or that happens and what your days (for the most part) will be like, but what happens when you enter a new hospital as a travel nurse?
When it comes to accepting the path of a travel nurse, your initial step will be to find a travel nurse recruitment company. Recruitment companies, like TheraEx, accomplish everything they can to get you set up, settled in and on your way to the destination and job you want and need. However, before this all goes down, there are some questions you can ask your recruiters in order to have all the details before diving in.
There is a way this all goes down. Essentially, we start by figuring out the specific details of where you would like to go, what type of assignment you’d like to have (specialties), preparing all the paperwork and then an interview process with the facility that wants to hire you. Naturally, the questions are going to be coming at you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be asking questions yourself. While there is inevitably a little bit of uncertainty when entering into a new position, you are allowed to get some grounding underway before everything is accepted.
Questions For Your Interviewer
Travel Nurse Question #1 – What are your expectations of me?
A bold question, sure, but one that can not only get you some real insight on what you need to be doing when you start your assignment, but also how well the communication will be while you are there. By inviting such a question, you are opening up a door for clear communication between yourself and who you are working with. Along with this, each assignment could bring conflicting expectations of you. It’s better to have your foot in the door with this knowledge before taking a step in.
Travel Nurse Question #2 – How do you manage your scheduling?
Finding out about the scheduling details could help avoid any headaches in the long run. Although usually facilities have the scheduling posted with their employee search, in the interview these shifts could be open to change. You can ask specific questions like how often is the schedule made, are the schedules consistent each week or if you are required to work overtime.
If the holidays are approaching, then discussing the scheduling details for these times will be crucial. Any dates you do not want to work should be sought out in advance and written right into the contract.
Travel Nurse Question #3 – What is the orientation process?
While it is common that orientation last for around 3 – 4 days, they are also possibilities that they can be from one day to a few weeks. So this is a pretty significant question to ask. As a travel nurse, your orientation will already be different than usual as you are expected to pick up everything as fast as you can and enter the facility with little assistance. Therefore, you can ask questions like will there be travel nurse-specific training or will it be equivalent to new employees or if you will be learning from one or multiple preceptors? Understanding your expectations will help you grasp how quickly things need to be running.
Travel Nurse Question #4 – Will I need to float?
Floating tends to make some nurses a little weary and nervous, yet to some extent travel nurses are expected to float. The best way to understand the situation and get yourself ready for it is to simply ask. If the answer is yes, then you should expect you will be asked to float to units where you have experience. If the answer is yes and you’d like it to be no, then make sure to speak to your recruiter about this beforehand so that they can offer you the jobs without that requirement.
Travel Nurse Question #5 – Is there a possibility to extend the contract?
The great thing about travel nursing is you generally have two options; depending on the hospital’s rules. You will either have the choice to simply end the assignment and leave, enter into a new assignment or take some time off before doing so. Or, you’ve really enjoyed the area you are in and the facility, and you would like to extend your contract. Those who are comfortable in their situation can find that 13 weeks go by in a flash. These questions can help you with expectations of staying on or understanding if this is just going to be a great stop along your path.
Travel Nurse Question #6 – Are there any other travel nurses?
This can be a great question for first-timers. Although staff nurses do their best to be welcoming and friendly, they also already have their lives very well established. Spending their free time with their own family and friends. If other travel nurses are working in your unit, you’ll find that often a little community is formed and you’ll enjoy having someone in the same position as you. Not only inside the hospital but outside too.
Don’t be afraid to ask burning questions. The questions that can help you feel solid on your feet and comfortable with your decision. You aren’t being too intrusive or untrusting of the process, but rather receiving all the details so that you can be the best fit for the job. Once you retain all of the information, you can accept the assignment and be on the way to your new adventure. If this is something that seems to be resonating with you right now and you’d like to see where it could lead you, feel free to check us out at TheraEx and ask us whatever questions you have!