By Aaron Moore, MSN, RN-BC, travel nurse expert
I’ve recently gone through some big changes in my life. These changes where not by choice but things that were out of my control. Any time things get “out of control” we tend to freak out, but I’m here to tell you there is a huge difference between “out of control” and “out of our control.”
Detaching ourselves from things that are out of our control is a great coping strategy used in many professions. Remember, you can’t control things like a co-worker’s attitude or actions, but you can control your response. You can’t control the ultimate outcome of a patient’s health, or make them take your advice—especially once they leave the hospital.
Patients have free will to make choices about what they will and will not do, and some health issues are out of their control, as well. So don’t take any nagging thoughts home with you; do your best every day and wash your hands of it when your shift is done.
Choose your workplaces and career path
My years of travel nursing included all types of change. Many were by choice: I mean when you change places of employment every 13 weeks or so, you have to expect a certain amount of change. In fact, I signed up for it! And while I was exploring different parts of the country, I was able to get experience that helped me work toward future goals.
The variety and flexibility is part of the beauty of travel nursing. If you don’t like something about an assignment, just remember you’ll be done in a few weeks and can move on. And don’t feel bad if you discover this career isn’t for you over the long-term. It is more than worth it to try it at least once.
Take control when necessary
Now there are those times when things can seem out of control. You may be on duty and see something that just doesn’t sit well with you. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Be a patient advocate and remember that no matter what, if you’re doing something out of care and not malice, you’re probably doing the right thing.
I always call my recruiter or clinical liaison prior to doing anything major. Remember, your recruiter is your lifeline to travel nursing, and before making any important decisions it’s a good idea to run it by another person. Especially if this person is experienced in what you are going through.
Nursing is a career full of changes and stressors. And travel nurses may face more change than most—but some of it we can control, like where and when we want to work. At those times when we can still feel stressed, however, I like to refer back to one of my favorite quotes: “Without risk there can be no adventure.”
Are you looking for adventure and a little more control over your career? Then take a calculated risk and try travel nursing!