May 15, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
The perks can be very attractive, the thought of travelling and living around the world can far outweigh any other consideration and the exposure you get is unparalleled, but is a career as a travel nurse really the right choice for you? On the face of it, travel nursing sounds like a very exciting career and in many ways, it is. However, it is not meant for everybody. As with any other profession or any other medical specialty, you may have certain personal characteristics and attributes that make you better suited for certain careers and perhaps not so well-suited for others.
Before you dive into this specialty only because of the opportunity to travel to some exotic destination, there are several things you should consider. The fact is, the location of the assignment is just one of the many aspects of travel nursing.
If the thought of travelling, living and working in different places around the world excites you and you are open to new experiences, you are on the right track. However, if you’ve made this choice just to run away from someone or something, you may have to rethink your choices. Without the right motivation, you may find this choice very difficult to handle.
Your career choice may have been influenced by your long-time desire to work in the beautiful countryside in the south of France but it does not necessarily work that way. To earn a steady income as a travel nurse, you need to be flexible about where you would like to work. Being willing to fill in whenever and wherever you are needed will earn you a reputation as someone employers can depend on in their time of need, which will work in your favour when it comes to finding regular assignments.
Travel nursing will involve being away from friends and family for long periods of time. To be able to enjoy the experience and also do your job efficiently, it is crucial that you can handle the separation well without being completely preoccupied about what you are missing out on. As a travel nurse you need to be focused on where you are and what’s happening around you, not a million miles away in a different country.
Travel nurses should hit the ground running. You should be prepared to walk into any healthcare establishment anywhere in the world and start working as part of your team right at the outset. For this you need to be not just knowledgeable and competent in your area of expertise, but you should also be accommodating to a different work culture and be able to look at things from a different perspective. Carrying your preconceived judgments and biases around with you on your travels can be a recipe for disaster.
Travel nursing is an exciting profession and you can truly go places as a travel nurse but only if it is a good fit for your personality traits and your mindset.