This is the first of a three-part series exploring the importance of three critical support system(s) for healthcare professionals.
When you are going to be away for a prolonged period of time from what you are familiar with (family, friends, community, place of employment), having the right support in place can make the difference in a successful and fulfilling nursing assignment. This is especially true with RN and allied contract assignments.
As there are many types of support systems, we are going to focus on three in this series for healthcare professionals considering a travel-related assignment. The first support system to discuss is friends and family.
Family and Significant Others
Leaving the known to take on the unknown can be challenging. To be traveling to a new location or country, not knowing anyone, and leaving others behind can be very lonely, difficult, and emotional. Being able to travel with someone offers comfort and familiarity in approaching the unknown and having family or a significant other with you means having the support and experiencing the adventure together.
Traveling together creates a shared experience for all, allowing spending more time together.Decisions can be more easily made together and in person.Events will continue to be shared, like holidays and birthdays.Your children may have new opportunities and learn to adapt to new situations.
On the other side of this, considerations may include housing based on number of people traveling together.Healthcare and education will need to be researched and reviewed, with a comfort level that these needs will be met.
Because there are so many benefits of traveling with someone, many healthcare professionals taking assignments bring loved ones with them to have a built-in support system. If you haven’t considered taking your support system with you on assignment but would like to, a company that works specifically with families or nurses who are traveling with significant others should be part of your selection criteria. If you want or need to travel with family members or a significant other, share this information with your recruiter earlier rather than later so they can properly assist in your relocation, accommodation and travel needs.
There are other resources within family-friendly employers as well so speak with your employer about resources specific to your family’s needs; ask your assigned facility for referrals, and the Chamber of Commerce, neighborhood associations, local Facebook groups, and school reviews online can provide additional resources as well.
As a healthcare professional, having a support system is critical to your success, well-being and to prevent burnout. Sometimes, family or significant others are not able to come with you on assignment but identifying other support systems available to you is still imperative.