Overcoming Feeling Lonely While On Your First Healthcare Travel Assignment

by Howard Gerber on August 21, 2014

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first-travel-assignment-tipsWorking as a healthcare traveler can be an exciting time in your career. Whether you work as a nurse, speech or occupational therapist, working as a traveler can be educational, fun and lucrative. But the downside is, it can sometimes be lonely, especially at first.

Leaving your regular place of employment, friends and family for a travel assignment can leave you feeling a little alone. But there are many ways you can beat loneliness on the road.

As you start your first healthcare travel assignment, cut yourself a bit of slack. It is completely normal to feel a little lost or homesick. Accept the fact moving and working in a new part of the country is a big step. Realizing it may take a little while to adjust, and the loneliness will eventually pass, may help you feel better.

In the meantime, stay connected with friends and family back home. Technology allows you to not only call loved ones, but you can see them too using Skype or similar programs. Take a friend on a tour of your new place, visit with family members or check in with your friends through video chat. Additionally, call and text often to feel connected.

One of the best ways to get past loneliness when working on your first travel assignment is to meet people and get involved in your new community. This includes your work community and the city or town where you live.

Although making friends may occur naturally overtime, you can jumpstart the process by taking the first step. Introduce yourself to people you work with and try to get to know them a little. Instead of staring at your phone in the break room, start a conversation. Ask a coworker what places nearby have great food or what community events are fun to attend.

If you meet someone else who just moved to the area, is new to the job, or is also a traveler, suggest getting together to explore your new city. You don’t have to wait until work colleagues invite you out; you can make the first move.

Get involved in activities in your area. Even if you are working as a healthcare traveler in a big city, there are opportunities to get involved in group activities and meet people. For example, join an exercise group, volunteer, or take a class, and introduce yourself to your neighbors.

Coming home after work and just sitting in front of the television is not going to do much to prevent you from feeling lonely. Even if it takes a few weeks to make friends to hang out with, keep yourself busy. Enjoy your independence and spending time by yourself. It can be freeing to make decisions on where to go and what to do without having to consult with anyone. Explore your new city, pursue a hobby, or get involved in a new one. Keeping busy will help prevent you from dwelling on homesickness.

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