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3 Important Self-Care Tips for Travel Nurses

Travel Nurse Relaxing

Self-Care is important for Travel Nurses.

One of the unfortunate truths in healthcare is that nurses spend their professionals lives caring for others, but yet often don’t take the time to care for themselves, either physically or emotionally. This seems to be particularly true for travel nurses due to their demanding schedules, living in new cites and being way from friends and family. Why is it so hard for nurses to spend time on self-care? For some travel nurses it may be a challenge simply to find the time to carve our of their day. For others, it may be an uncomfortable task to schedule “me time” – feeling that they may be “indulging” when they are surrounded in their working day/night by others who are in need. While the specific reasons for the pervasive lack of self-care in travel nursing can be numerous, the critical importance of taking time to nurture one’s mind and body cannot be overstated. A number of recent studies have shown that people who do not take time on a regular basis for self-care can do lasting damage to their physical and emotional well-being. With this in mind, the team at Go Healthcare Staffing has compiled these 3 important self-care tips for travel nurses.

Set Aside Daily Quiet Time For The Mind:

Travel nurses are absolutely bombarded every day with noise: monitors beeping, patients in need of care and the normal hustle and bustle of a demanding healthcare facility. Even a travel nurse’s non-work hours are filled with text messages, appointment reminders and other personal and professional demands. Sensory overload can occur very easily and that can contribute to headaches, lack of focus and lack of sleep. So, when travel nurses are off work, try completely unplugging from the world, if even only for 30 minutes or so. Give yourself permission to simply sit and decompress. This is not sleeping or a cat-nap. Think of it as a simple approach to meditation and cleansing the mind this is YOUR time. Position yourself in a quiet environment (inside or outside) and allow yourself to breath. Don’t feel pressured to solve a problem or plan your shopping list. Don’t worry about calling mom because you haven’t talked to her in a week or replying to your friend’s text from last night. Simply allow your mind to empty itself of the problems and noise of the day and remove the negativity. You can close your eyes or simply focus on a pleasing object or a point in nature. This quiet time will help quiet the mind and the body and will do wonders for your mood and your body. This is not indulgence, it’s necessity.

Get Some Form of Physical Exercise Every Day:

The body-to-mind connection is even more critical for travel nurses. If you don’t feel well, you won’t BE well. Now, we know – easier said than done. Travel nurses by nature have crazy schedules that can often prevent them from going to the gym or working out on a regular basis. However, there are easy steps that can be taken to work in some exercise in the daily routine. A simple 10 minute walk can be beneficial. Even something as small as parking a block away from the facility you’re working at to get a little extra exercise in fresh air can help you feel better and at least get some form of activity in.

Now, if it’s possible, regular exercise is best, but remember, it doesn’t have to be a 4 hour marathon workout session. Ideally, join a local gym temporarily while you’re on assignment (in fact the YMCA is one organization that will honor memberships from one facility to another nationally). Most gyms will have month-to-month memberships that can fit your schedule and won’t hurt your bank account. Often these facilities will even give you a further discount if you just ask (remember: “never ask… never get!”). Tell them you’re a travel nurse, explain what you do and you may be surprised at how accommodating the staff can be in terms of pricing. From there ask the fitness counselors if they can develop a quick workout (45 mins) that you can reasonably do 2-3 times a week. Many people defeat themselves thinking that they have to go to the gym every day to get benefits – not true! Just working 2-3 times per week for 45 mins per session will have a tremendous positive impact on your overall well-being. Try mixing in cardio (treadmill, bike, elliptical machine) as well as resistance training (free weights, machines, etc.). A healthy mix of resistance and cardio is critical for a good workout – too often nurses focus on cardio but strong muscles will help burn fat (remember: muscle burns calories) and protect your back, legs and other areas that get beat up from the demands of travel nursing. In addition, resistance training and weight lifting trigger specific endorphins that can help improve your mood…so make sure to “pump the iron” too!

Make Time To Do Something Every Day That YOU Find Rewarding

This may seem like a simple task, but for many travel nurses, it’s not. Travel nurses often put unrealistic demands on themselves in all phases of their professional lives. These demands can leak over into their personal lives as well, particularly when on an assignment. Travel nurses can often feel pressured into spending time outside of work with colleagues whose company they don’t particularly enjoy, or visiting tourist traps in a particularly city that they’re not interested in. Now, we’re not saying be anti-social or turn into a hermit after work, but make sure you’re doing things YOU like to do, rather than what you think somebody else thinks you should do, and do them on a regular basis. Make some time to do something every day that YOU find rewarding and don’t judge yourself on this aspect of “me” time. The possibilities are endless, but the point is YOU make the call and you can do it on your own if no-one shares the same passion. Binge-watch “American Pickers” on a Saturday morning? Do it. Window shop downtown even when you feel it’s stupid because you’re broke? It’s OK! Grab a good book and head to the local pub to have a drink in a corner booth and enjoy watching the world go by for afternoon – it’s all good!

So, remember travel nurses – taking care of yourself is an important part of caring for others – it starts with YOU!

Happy Holidays Travel Nurses!

Wishing all Travel Nurses a joyous and happy Holiday Season – no matter where your travel nurse journey takes you!  Need help finding that next Travel RN adventure?  Visit our job board here – we are happy to help!

The team at Go Healthcare Staffing

5 Healthy Power Foods for Travel Nurses During the Holidays

Healthy food nurseHealthy eating can be very difficult during the holiday season for most of us, but it’s a particularly difficult challenge for travel nurses.  Between crazy shift schedules, being away from home for 13 or more weeks while on an assignment, and (for most Travel RNs) not having a partner to help prepare meals or eat with, healthy eating for travel nurses can be a huge challenge.  When you combine those factors with the temptations of holiday food treats being offered just about everywhere you look, it’s no wonder that many travel nurses have a tough time with meal planning and maintaining a healthy diet at holiday time.  For busy travel nurses that are always on the “GO”, here are 5 healthy power foods for travel nurses during the holidays that need little to no preparation and will help keep you energized throughout the day.

  1. Bananas: Not only do they come in their own handy wrapper, but bananas may be one of the best foods for energy. They are an excellent source of potassium, carbohydrates and vitamin B6, all of which can help boost energy levels during a particularly busy travel nurse shift.  Bananas are also filling so they will help to stave off hunger and the desire to eat junk food.
  2. Tuna or Salmon:  These fatty fish are good sources of protein, fatty acids and B vitamins, which make them great foods to include in your diet. A serving of salmon or tuna provides the recommended daily amount of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 works together with folic acid to produce red blood cells and help iron work better in the body. Optimal levels of red blood cells and iron in the blood can reduce fatigue and increase energy. These fish come prepared in a can that you take take to work, or you can easily prepare in advance as part of a sandwich or over a green salad.
  3. Lentils or beans: Both legumes are rich in energy-boosting protein and a good source of nutrients.  They are also rich in carbs and fiber. In fact, just one cup of cooked lentils provides up to 40 grams of carbs and about 16 grams of fiber.  The fiber in lentils promotes slow stomach emptying and more controlled increases in blood sugar levels. This helps you feel full for longer after you eat them and provide steady energy levels.  Both legumes can be found in soups which you can heat up at work – just watch the sodium levels on some brands of canned soups as they can tend to be high.
  4. Strawberries: This delicious fruit can help stave off that travel nursing sweet tooth while also packing a nutritious wallop.  Strawberries provide carbs, fiber and fruit sugars that can enhance energy levels. In fact, one cup of strawberries provides 12 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 7 grams of sugar, while also providing almost 150% of the RDI for vitamin C.  Strawberries are easy to work with  – you can incorporate strawberries in many recipes, and use them in smoothies, parfaits or over green salads.
  5. Green tea.  Coffee tends to be the go-to energy booster for many Travel Nurses, but what about those that are looking for an alternative to that sugary coffee drink to give a boost at any time of day?  Try green tea.   Similar to coffee, green tea contains caffeine, which can increase energy levels. However, green tea also contains a compound called L-theanine, which can actually moderate the effects of caffeine, such as anxiety and the jitters, and it produces a more moderated boost of energy, instead of the jolt many feel from strongly caffeinated coffee or energy drinks. Some research has shown that the combination of caffeine and L-theanine in green tea can increase focus, alertness and concentration.

So, next time you’re looking for a quick snack over the holidays, or if you need a healthy boost of energy at work instead of an extra slice of cheesecake leftover from the party last night, then try one of these healthy alternatives instead.  You will notice the difference!  Have any energy-boosting food tips of your own?  Please tell us about them by leaving a comment here – your travel nursing colleagues will thank you for it!

Hurricane Florence Assistance and Resource Information

US Flag in stormOver the past several days, Hurricane Florence has devastated parts of the Carolinas with severe flooding and storm surges.  Unfortunately, thousands of North and South Carolina residents, both coastal and inland, find themselves in need of assistance in a wide variety of forms.  For those that would like to assist in some way or find more information on how to help, we’ve compiled a list of agencies and options to make it easier to help.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) indicates that donations of cash offer the most flexibility for charities and nonprofits to address those with urgent needs. FEMA asks that people do not donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine or perishable foodstuffs at this time.  FEMA also urges those wishing to volunteer to not self-deploy, as it could negatively impact first responders and their missions. Potential volunteers are asked to register with a volunteer or charitable organization. FEMA notes that unfortunately there will be volunteer needs for many months after the disaster, so those wishing to help should sign up now.

Note: this list is not completely inclusive and represents what we know to be available at the time and reported on by various news and media outlets.

This is just a short list of many Hurricane Florence relief/assistance options.

Unfortunately, in these situations, some unscrupulous people will try to take advantage of these disasters and create fraudulent charities for financial gain.  If you suspect that an organization (not listed above) or individual is engaging in fraud, you can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud.

Thank you for your support of those in need.

The team at Go Healthcare Staffing


The State of Travel Nursing – July 2018

Industry veteran and Director of Recruitment for Go Healthcare Staffing, Craig Matijow, offers his take on the current state of travel nursing, cover topics such as pay rates, job availability and more.

Interested in taking a look at Go Healthcare Staffing travel nursing assignments?  Check out our job board here.


Travel RN Jobs: OR Assignments NY-NYC Starting This Summer!

Travel RN Jobs OR Jobs NY-NYC This Summer Go Healthcare Staffing

OR Travel RNs: we have some great opportunities in New York State and New York City this summer. July starts, great pay, great locations.

Learn more or quick apply now on our job board here!


Go Healthcare Travel Nurse Hot Job: PACU Charlotte June 2018

PACU Travel RN Job: Beautiful Charlotte, NC. $1600 weekly pay, 6/25/18 start. 13 week assignment. Immediate interviews. 13 week assignment, June 2018 start. Click here to learn more/apply now.

Travel Nurse Hot Jobs: ICU, Tele, MedSurg – Rapid City, SD June Starts!

Happy Nurses Week 2018

Happy Nurses Week 2018 from the team at Go Healthcare Staffing

Travel RN Jobs Summer 2018 in New England!

Travel RN Jobs in New England Summer 2018

Travel RNs – Experience New England this summer with Go Healthcare Staffing! 100+ great Travel RN jobs available in MA, ME, CT, RI, VT, NH! Where do you want to GO? Visit our job board here for the travel nursing opportunities you’ve been looking for in Summer 2018.  We’ve got you covered – where do you want to GO?