It’s the most wonderful time of the year! (Despite it being early November still) Stores are starting to line up their shelves with Christmas ornaments, supermarkets are pushing those holiday treats and nurses are getting ready to juggle family and work life. For a travel nurse, the holiday season could look a little unusual to what you’re used to. But don’t worry, we’re here to give you all of the tips and tricks so you can get exactly what you want and need as a travelling nurse during the holidays!
For those new to travel nursing, this will be your first year away from family and friends. For veterans, you are just on another round of nurse life with a dabble of holiday spirit. Whichever situation you are in, travel nursing can both be taxing on mental health and overall well-being. With this in mind, we can set our set ourselves up for success and prepare ourselves for this time away from home. But is it even worth taking on travel nursing assignments during the holiday season?
For those unfamiliar with this role, travel nurses take on contracts for up to 13 weeks. These contracts can be extended, or you will be able to seek out a new contract. These assignments could have you travelling across the country to new places you’ve merely dreamed of being, along with elevating your skills and experience in different hospital settings. On top of this, as an “in-demand position” you are also looking at a higher pay rate than full-time nurses. Creating an all-over riveting work experience.
Pros Of Working As A Travel Nurse During The Holiday
1. You Can Work It To Your Advantage
The great thing about continuous short-term contracts is being able to tailor them to your own needs. Want to spend Christmas with your family? Request that time off. Want to meet your financial goals? Work extra holiday shifts. As long as you discuss your and the facility’s requirements (important because each facility has its set requirements for the holiday) before you sign your contract, then your holiday time as a travel nurse could be set perfectly – or at least almost perfectly – for you.
On top of this, you can prioritize working in specific states where you would like to experience the holiday season. Want to see your first white Christmas? You have Utah, Colorado, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia to work with. Sick of the cold and want some warmth in your bones? Seek out Florida, Texas, South Carolina and Louisiana. When we mean tailoring it to your exact wants and needs, we really mean it.
2. Meeting Your Financial Goals
The financial benefits of a travel nurse are already a part of the package when signing up, but these also tend to trend slightly higher during the holiday season too. While this will depend on facilities staffing budget, you are looking at overtime and guaranteed hours for permanent nurses who are taking vacations or have had unexpected emergencies or illnesses. As well as the usual influx of patients due to the colder season and COVID. Although these are typical cases, hospitals and facilities also employ incentives to secure travel nurses throughout the holidays.
3. Learning And Making New Holiday Traditions
We all leave home and miss our usual family holiday traditions, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something just as exciting on the horizon. Hospitals and facilities often do their best to take part in familiar traditions like decorating the area, wearing Christmassy outfits or jewelry, taking part in Secret Santa or indulging in a potluck. Although you are stepping into the role for a short time – and may feel a little awkward getting involved at first – it’s a tremendous way to make new connections and even gain some new ideas. Along with this, of course, you’ll be meeting and spending time with fellow travel nurses who are also looking to create new traditions and have new experiences!
While it’s all well and good to look at the positives of working during the holiday season – as well as being away from home for travel nurses – it’s also important to be realistic about this time of year. When we aren’t around our usual tribe (family and/or friends) of people, it can be difficult and worrisome for our mental health. In saying this, we can prepare ourselves to thrive both mentally and spiritually throughout the holiday season!
Preparing Travel Nurses For The Holiday Season
1. Don’t Isolate Yourself
It is very common for many of us to go into hermit mode when we are in an uncomfortable situation or are feeling down. Being alone during the holidays to work can be the perfect moment for us to coop ourselves up in our homes, close the blinds and keep ourselves separated from the world. We know this can be soothing for some, but it’s also not a time when you should – or others would want you to – be alone. Not only will there be other travel nurses around that you can work to spend time with, but you will also have permanent staff that will most likely open up their homes to you. Creating connections where you can share your traditions like food, movies or experiences!
2. Remember Why Your Doing What You’re Doing
Whether it’s a financial goal or wanting to help those in need during this time of the year, you are utilizing this time to expand yourself and grow. Keeping busy with work can not only help you but also allows for those permanent staff who can’t take time off as easily throughout the year to spend time at home with their families. You are being selfless and strong and have all the abilities in making patients, and fellow staff enjoy their time as well. Being optimistic and positive can allow you to be grateful for the position you are in and thrive.
3. Have Resources!
This could look like a few different things. Maybe you go for the spiritual path and include meditation, journaling, taking care of your overall well-being and showing gratitude in your daily life. Or, you opt to find mental wellness resources online, utilize online therapy during this time or create a routine with fellow staff like trying new coffees at Starbucks or bringing in holiday snacks to share. Or, Or, you could simply try and do all of the above. With science proving some of the latter to be very beneficial and others just being some fun ideas to incorporate, you can find yourself deep in ideas of how to not only keep your mental health strong but share with those around you.
Travel nursing throughout the holiday season can be great in so many ways. You’ll be helping hospitals and facilities in need of extra hands with an influx of patients, allowing permanent staff to take time off to see family and friends, bringing and learning new traditions and potentially gaining a great income along the way. Not to mention spending it in a state where you can live out a dreamy weathered Christmas (to your liking of course). It truly is a wonderful time of the year, travel nurses just need to make sure they shape it into the holiday that works best for them. Stay prepared with TheraEx Staffing Agency and let us help you get exactly what you want and need for the holiday season!