Preparing for Your First Healthcare Travel Assignment

by Howard Gerber on October 8, 2015

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first travel assignment preparationYou’re finalizing your contract to start your first healthcare travel job. It’s an exciting, but hectic time. Before you leave on assignment, there are a lot of little details to consider.

Organization is Key

Getting organized before you hit the road will make everything about your first travel assignment easier. Make a list of everything you need to take care of before you go. Having a list will help you stay organized and prevent you from forgetting something.

Keep everything related to your travel assignment in one spot. Whether you use a binder or scan everything onto your computer, having everything together and easily accessible will prevent headaches. Make copies of important documents you need to bring, such as your license, immunization records, and Social Security card.

It is also essential to be aware of deadlines. You will likely have deadlines for completing paperwork. Drugs screening is also often part of the pre-employment process. If you are traveling out of state, you also need to look into licensing requirements.

Your staffing agency will let you know everything you need, but it’s your job to make sure you get everything completed in a timely manner. Don’t procrastinate; it will only add to your stress level.

Plan for Pets

If you have a pet, you’ll have to decide whether to take your furry friend or make other arrangements. If you’re considering taking your pet along, make sure pets are welcome where you will be living. Give yourself plenty of time to make arrangements for your pet. You don’t want to be scrambling a few days before you leave.

Decide What to do with Your Home

If you live with other people, you may not have to worry about what to do with your home while you are on a travel assignment. But if you live alone, you have to secure your home while you’re gone.

Some people chose to hire a house sitter or ask family, friends or neighbors to keep an eye on their place. At the least, you’ll want to make sure you have someone to care for your yard and plants while you’re gone. It might make financial sense to turn off utilities while you’re away. Also, don’t forget about forwarding your mail with the US Postal Service while you’re on assignment.

Packing Dilemmas

Before you leave, you’ll also have to pack. Packing for a 13-week healthcare travel assignment can be a challenge. Although you want to feel at home, you don’t want to go overboard and take too much.

Consider how you’re getting to your travel assignment. If you’re driving, you may be able to pack your car full of stuff. But if you’re flying and don’t want to ship things, you may have to limit what to bring.

Keep the essentials in mind. Clothes, toiletries, electronics and a few items that make you feel at home, such as pictures and candles, may be a good place to start. If you chose company housing, your place will likely be furnished with dishes and cookware, so you can leave those at home.


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