Five Nursing Travel Assignment Challenges (and How to Handle Them)

by Howard Gerber on September 29, 2016

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nursing assignment challengesWhether you are a rookie nurse traveler or have been doing it for years, you hope each assignment goes well. Occasionally, though, issues do come up. Encountering a challenge while on assignment does not mean the entire experience has to be negative. In most instances, there are ways to deal with the situation and enjoy the rest of your travel assignment. Below are a few challenges you might encounter.

Disappointment in Your Location

When you signed on the dotted line, you thought you might have been happy or least accepting of the location. But once you arrive, you might have a different take. Maybe the weather is too hot, or the city is not what you expected. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself disappointed in your location, it can put a damper on the experience.

What you can do:
The good news is your assignment is probably only 13 weeks. But if you’re miserable, 13 weeks can go by slowly. Take a step back and gain some perspective. Ask yourself what’s really going on. Are there issues with your housing? Do you dread your workday commute? Figure out what the main issues are. Some cities are not entirely wonderful or completely awful. Do a little research about the area. Talk with locals about interesting places to visit. Look for day trips out of the city to explore surrounding communities.

Difficult Co-Workers

Most people have had to deal with a co-worker they don’t like at some point in their life. But if you’re a traveler, you may not have the support of friends, which can make things seem more difficult.

What you can do:
Don’t let a difficult co-worker ruin your assignment. Decide how much your problematic co-worker is affecting you. Is it something you can ignore? If not, try talking to your co-worker and figuring out what the problems are and how they can be corrected. Be open and honest, and explain you want a better working relationship. Depending on the situation, you may need to get a supervisor involved to solve the problem.

Loneliness

Regardless of how much you enjoy your travel assignment, you might have instances where you feel lonely. Being a little homesick is perfectly normal. But avoid getting so caught up in thinking about home that you don’t enjoy the time you have on assignment.

What you can do:
Depending on how far you are from home, consider a quick trip back to see family and friends. If that’s not possible, try to connect online and over the phone. It also helps to stay busy and spend time exploring your new city and making friends.

Hating to Leave

At the end of your assignment, you might not want to leave. In fact, you may have come to love your new job, coworkers and city so much that it’s depressing to have to move on.

What you can do:
If you love your current assignment, you can talk to your supervisor and recruiter about extending your contract. If that is not an option, you can always look into a permanent position and relocate.

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