Surviving the Holidays as a Healthcare Traveler

by Howard Gerber on November 24, 2016

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healthcare traveler holidaysIt’s almost that time of year when families and friends get together to enjoy the holidays. If you’re working as a healthcare traveler and away from home on assignment, it’s normal to be a bit homesick. Instead of sulking, turn the situation around and find the silver lining. You can still make the best of the holiday season and maybe even spread some good tidings!

Visit When You Can

One of the first things you should do is figure out your work schedule as far in advance as possible. Although contracts vary, you might be required to work some holidays. When it comes to major holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, a common requirement is to work at least one of the three holidays.

Once you know what holidays you’re working, you can make plans. Depending on your work schedule and how far you are from home, you might be able to squeeze in a holiday visit. If you can’t go home for the holidays, maybe you can bring a little bit of home to you. Consider inviting loved ones to visit you for the holidays.

If all else fails, look at the bright side. One positive thing about working over the holidays is the extra money you will earn. You’ll most likely receive overtime pay if you work any of the major holidays. Most facilities pay time and a half or double time for holidays worked.

Spread a Little Cheer

It’s also helpful to consider the spirit of the season. One way to remember all you have to be thankful for is by giving back. Consider doing some volunteer work around the holidays. Regardless of which city you’re in, there are probably several opportunities to help out. If you’re looking for a worthy cause, call a local nonprofit agency, volunteer center, or church.

If you can’t be home for the holidays and attend your usual parties and get-togethers, consider throwing a party. Invite new friends and co-workers out for a little holiday celebration.

Another option is to explore your new city with a buddy or even by yourself. Being in a new city for the holidays can be exciting. Every city has their own unique celebrations and traditions. Whether it’s the window displays in New York City or a surfing Santa in Los Angeles, enjoy what your city has to offer.

Take Care of Yourself

The holidays can be depressing for some people. If you’re working while being away from home, you might get a case of the blues. Do something to treat yourself. If you’re unable to enjoy the holiday festivities with your loved ones, consider pampering yourself. After work, treat yourself to a massage or a nice meal out. Be sure to get enough sleep, exercise, and downtime to relax. Connect with family and friends back home through phone calls and video chats.

Lastly, remember to keep your perspective on things. It might be a bummer to miss a holiday with your family, but consider all the benefits of working as a healthcare traveler. Between seeing another part of the country, making new friends, and doing work you enjoy, it’s a pretty nice gig!

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