Healthcare Traveler Sticky Situations and How to Handle Them

by Howard Gerber on January 9, 2014

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handle-difficult-nursing-situationsWhether you are on your first travel assignment or have years of experience under your belt, you may encounter a sticky situation occasionally. Knowing how to handle tricky situations is part of your job. But sometimes it can be difficult to know how to deal with certain circumstances. Consider some of the sticky situations below.

Situation: You don’t like your roommate.

How to handle it: Ask yourself if you have really given your roommate a chance. Sometimes first impressions can be negative, but given time, things can change. If you have given it time and you feel the same way, think about what is bothering you. If your roommate has bad habits, is messy or smokes, consider if a compromise may work. If it is a personality clash, decide if you can learn to deal with it. If all else fails, talk to your recruiter and determine if it is possible to move. Thirteen weeks with a roommate you don’t get along with can make your travel experience difficult.

Situation: You feel practices at work are unsafe.

How to handle it: Think about whether an unsafe situation was a one-time thing or seems to be a regular occurrence. For example, if workloads are high once in a while, it may be something you need to deal with. In other instances, if you are always understaffed and caring for so many patients it is unsafe, you need to talk with your manager. Remember to never do anything that would put your nursing license at risk.

Situation: Your hours are being cut.

How to handle it: Before you sign your contract, determine how the hospital will handle cutting staff due to a decrease in the census. It may be written into some contracts that travel nurses are not cancelled. If your contract does not allow your hours to be cut and they are, talk to your recruiter and staffing agency as soon as possible.

Situation: You got off on the wrong foot with a coworker.

How to handle it: Personalities sometimes conflict. If you are not getting along with a coworker, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Try not to take things personally. Determine what the main problem is. Communicating with your coworker about the problem and trying to find a solution may help. Sometimes an apology may be all that is needed. Remember you don’t have to be best friends with all your coworkers, but you do have to be respectful.

Situation: You are unhappy with your assignment.

How to handle it: In some cases, it may take a while to adjust to your new surroundings. Being homesick, lonely and the newbie at work can be overwhelming at first. Don’t mistake those feelings for disliking your new travel job. If you don’t like the assignment at first, give yourself a little time to adjust. Think about what aspect of the assignment you don’t like. Is it the facility you’re at, the housing situation, or your new city? Once you narrow down the problem, you may be able to come up with solutions.


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