Even the most seasoned medical professionals working with travel nurse agencies understand how exciting it is to receive your first assignment. You’re wondering what the new place will be like, what your specific duties will be and you’re excited to meet new people.
It’s a good idea to start preparing right away for the move to your first job. Discover some tips on how to prepare to dive into your first travel nurse job.
Arrange For A House or Apartment Sitter
It’s best to arrange for someone to look in on your home or apartment while you’re gone. This is important in case the unexpected happens like the furnace malfunctions or the water heater goes out. If you’re aware of a problem at your house, you can address it right away. Also, having activity going on around your house or apartment can discourage thieves from trying to break in. Simply opening and closing the curtains each day can be a way to signal that your home is not standing empty 24/7.
One option is to arrange for a neighbor to check in on your place. If you have anything that needs to be done on a regular basis such as watering plants, taking packages off the front step, emptying the dehumidifier, or getting the mail, then you may want to hire someone to do the job.
Make Arrangements For Mail Delivery
You could ask the person watching your home or apartment to gather your mail each day. Or you could go to the post office and request that they keep all of your mail there. So, after your first assignment is complete, you can go to the post office to pick it up. As a note, if you’re going to be away for several weeks, you may want to get someone to collect your mail so you’re aware of any bills or other pressing items.
Make Arrangements for Your Pets
If you have pets there are a few choices to make. Of course, you want to choose the best option for your pet. If you have a cat or a dog, you may be able to take it with you on your assignment. This depends on where you’re staying and if pets are allowed there. If pets are allowed, consider the weather in the location because if it’s too hot or cold, you may need to bring dog paw balm along with you to prevent cracked paws on your furry friend. Be sure to factor in how much time you’ll be able to dedicate to your pet while working on your new assignment. If you’re going to be gone many hours during the day, you may not want to bring your pet along.
Another option is to leave your dog or cat at a kennel. If you’re going to be gone just a couple of weeks, this option would give you peace of mind about the safety of your pet. You know that the people feeding and caring for your furry friend are professionals.
A third option to consider is asking a friend to keep your dog or cat while you’re away. If the person loves your pet and has the space, then you may have found the perfect solution.
If you have a smaller pet such as a fish, hamster, or bird, you may want to arrange for a friend to take care of your pet. Otherwise, there are businesses that specialize in boarding birds and other small animals while their owners are away.
Create A List of What is Needed for the Trip
Making a list of what you need to pack for the trip is an excellent way to stay organized. More importantly, it’s a great way to avoid forgetting anything! Some professionals working with travel nurse agencies provide packing checklists that are helpful to nurses.
What type of clothing would be suitable for the location you’re traveling to? Packing the right type of clothing is going to help you avoid buying anything new after you arrive. How many work outfits do you need? Packing more items of work clothing than you think you’ll need can save you from doing laundry every day.
Hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and soap should all be on the list of toiletries to pack for your trip. Keep in mind how long you’ll be gone so you can buy items in bulk if necessary.
If you’re going to be staying in a rental house or have similar accommodations, you may need some cleaning supplies. Bringing just a couple of items such as dish soap and laundry detergent will help you to avoid buying them if they aren’t provided.
Establish A Contact Person at Home
If you do forget an item that you can’t purchase from your location, it’s important to have someone who can help out from home. For instance, say you forgot an important piece of paperwork on your desk at home. You could call your contact person and ask him or her to mail the document to you. Or, if you forget your cellphone charger or extra cellphone battery, you can ask your contact person to mail or overnight these types of items to you. This person may be the same one watching your home or perhaps a friend who knows the type of work you do.
Alert the Local Police
Even though you’ve arranged for someone to watch over your house or apartment while you’re away, it’s a good idea to let the police know about your trip. This is especially important if you have a home. The police may be able to drive by it every so often to check the property. This can give you even more peace of mind about your place while you’re working at your new assignment.
Finally, taking some time to make these preparations before you leave for your first assignment can help you put your full focus on the important work ahead.