Revisit: What makes a good traveler?

Nearing the end of week 4. Out of the blue, I was required to attend new employee orientation yesterday. This is contract two, by the way. You know my feelings about hospital orientations so I won’t revisit it. I will say my brain can’t handle 8+ hours of listening to someone talk. I’ve always been sympathetic of students in a class room setting because of it. 

Anyway, I wanted to redux a topic. I ask the question what makes a good traveler in the title, but what I’m hinting at is something else entirely. 

What makes a traveler well received on a floor?

Some places you go, no matter what you do people aren’t going to like you. You could be the best nurse and traveler, but they’re in the middle of contract negotiations and travelers (somehow) become a threat to their jobs (not really). That can mean no amount of ability or friendliness will endear you to them. 

The above situation sucks, but isn’t always routine. I’m referring to normal more relaxed assignments. There are ways to ease into the floor without much push back. Here is my short list 

  • Don’t come in spouting talk about how xyz hospital did it better. Not on the first day at least. Most people are used to how they do things and can get defensive with talk about how someone else does it better. Make it a casual comment or a topic of conversation, but don’t make it a way to put the place you’re working down. 
  • Keep your voice (and head) down. Some people are boisterous so I’m not saying dim your shine, but be mindful of tone. The place you’re at may not be the loud jokey type and it can be off putting. Go in cool until they get know you and then shine bright like a diamond. 
  • Don’t brag about the money. No one likes a braggart. Permanent staff already view travelers as cash cow, money hogs out to take take take. You may be there for the paycheck, but don’t make that all they see or hear from you. 
  • Be open to ideas. I mean, everyone does it different, but you may learn the best practice at this place if you’re open minded. 
  • Show your best from the start. People have a perception of travelers. They believe we don’t always give 100% because we don’t have true ownership. Show them you’re serious about your craft out the gate, willing to jump in, and you’ll get respect (albeit grudging initially). 

This is just my perception from what I’ve seen after almslt 3 years of traveling. You can usually tell who won’t survive and who will. Be the traveler who survives. 

It’s not always easy. I’m learning a lot still. Namely when it comes to making more money and being in the best places in the country. This, traveling can be as rich as you want it to be so keep your mind open and you head above water. 

Travel on, road warrior. 


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